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. At the end of the story, everyone sings songs by ______.

2. The man at the hospital was getting stitches in which part of his body?

3. The woman teaches her daughter how to ___ without getting hit.

4. In "Water," a woman goes to her boyfriend's apartment to do which of the following?

5. What item does the woman's neighbor borrow?

Short Essay Questions

1. What holiday tragedy happens to Franky Gorky in "The Nicest Kid in the Universe?"

2. What realization does the widow come to in regards to her missing husband?

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

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

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

6. In "Fear: Four Examples," explain the main source of the man's fear regarding his daughter.

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

8. Discuss the life of the young girl in "The Restraints."

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

In "The Restraints," a girl is taken to a tavern by her father. Discuss in detail the psychological implications of the father's actions. Does the father know what he is doing is wrong? How does it affect the girl as a small child? In what ways does the girl suffer? How do other people see the girl? Can the man's actions be construed as child abuse? Define child abuse and relate it to the story.

Essay Topic 3

"Flash Fiction: Very Short Stories by James Thomas" contains many stories by many different authors. The only criterion is that the story must meet a certain word count, typically around 750 but no more than 1,000. Examine any common threads that are found within the collection. Are there any similar trains of thought, style or format? Review each story with those things in mind and make a list of connecting ties.

(see the answer keys)

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