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, desperate, reaches out to _____.

2. in "The Cage," a man is trapped by which of the following:

3. How long has the couple been apart?

4. What item did the man throw onto the floor in anger?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Discuss the interruptions faced by the man in "The Continuity of Parks."

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

4. Discuss the odd behavior in the town described in "A Chronicler's Sin."

5. Vines: Discuss the man's main issue in "Vines" and what he says to his wife. How does the wife respond?

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

7. Discuss the interview with "The Last Parakeet."

8. What is the thing that seems to bother the woman most in "The Haircut?"

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In "Feeding the Hungry," a man acts irrationally when he forgets to eat for one day. The man believes that he almost died from starvation. Obviously, that is not true. Study the body's metabolism and how it changes depending on the amount of food a person eats. Also examine the man's mental state to investigate any compulsions present.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

In "The Stones," the old stones have chosen to forget about or cease to talk about their adventures as young stones. Discuss in detail the behavior of the old stones versus the young stones. How have the old stones changed? What is the opinion of the young stones regarding their elders? Compare the attitudes of the old and young stones to grandparents, parents and children. What are the similarities? Does the story help to change your outlook on the opinions and advice of your elders? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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