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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. The mother warns that okra harbors which type of insect?

2. What is the name of the girlfriend in "The Burlington Northern, Southbound?"

3. Who interviews the widow?

4. Which plant should get plenty of water so it does not make your throat itch?

5. Where was the snapshot taken?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

A 70-year-old woman copes with living alone in "Widow." Examine the woman's grief and remorse due to the loss of her husband. Also examine the woman's new-found sense of freedom and how she copes with the emptiness of her house and lack of rules.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

It is said that people have muscle memory from activities they have done before, even if it is something that occurred long ago. This brings about the old saying, "It's just like riding a bike." Discuss the dancing bears in "Brilliant Silence." Do you think muscle memory applies to the bears' descendants? Is it possible? Is there some genetic marker that causes the young bears to dance? Is it simply learned behavior? If it is learned behavior, how and why are the young bears affected by the full moon?

(see the answer keys)

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