Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories Test | Final Test - Hard

James Thomas (professor)
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. The man sends the girl to which type of establishment?

2. How many times does the man let the phone ring as a signal to his wife?

3. What is the chef cooking when he is arrested?

4. Where is the daughter's location when she leaves to go to her father's house?

5. What type of music is often played by the roommates?

Short Essay Questions

1. "Here" describes a neighborhood in which everyone is friendly but does not socialize. Describe the neighborhood.

2. Discuss the scene in the restaurant in "Deportation at Breakfast."

3. Why does Emily feel invisible in "Offerings?" What does Emily do after she collects a large number of apologies?

4. What causes the woman to be upset in "Water?" What does the woman do?

5. The author of "Bread" questions if anyone should eat bread. Why?

6. Why was the man so distraught in "The Paring Knife?"

7. Girl: The mother gives the daughter several references about becoming what?

8. Discuss what might happen after the owner finds the dead rabbit in "Here's Another Ending."

9. What happens to the babies in "The Parents?"

10. In "The Cage," a man is trapped with no way to get free under his own power. Explain what happens that what it might mean.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A couple argues incessantly in "Blackberries." Why does the couple argue? Study the couple's dynamic to understand why they argue constantly. Are the issues they argue about important? Does the couple argue simply to argue? What can be done to change the couple's dynamic? Can the couple's relationship possibly be healthy? Also investigate how two people can argue without being hurtful, e.g., using "I" statements.

Essay Topic 2

Franky Gorky may be "The Nicest Kid in the Universe," but Franky is none too bright. Write two short stories about a character like Franky, or perhaps yourself, who receives three wishes. One story will reflect wise choices using the three wishes, and the second story will reflect making foolish choices. Would it be hard to decide what to do with the wishes?

Essay Topic 3

here are two poems that deal with trains: "Love Poems" and "The Burlington Northern, Southbound." Discuss the use of trains as imagery and how the inspire each author. Also discuss trains as a metaphor and how they are or are not appropriate to the stories. Research and find other poems using trains, e.g., Alan Ginsberg's "Sunflower Sutra," to compare and contrast. Which is the best use of a train as an inspiration and/or image?

(see the answer keys)

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