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. What is the first name of "The Philosophical Cobbler?

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

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

4. In "Blackberries," a woman tells her husband that they cannot eat the blackberries he has picked because they have run out of ___.

5. in "Snapshot, Harvey Cedars: 1948," a girl looks at a picture of her parents. What was the father's dream profession?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Fingers" is a strange tale about a woman that must subdue her kitchen before every evening meal. Discuss the author's format and style as well as possible inspiration for the story. What about the kitchen and its utensils and appliances that cause the compulsion to destroy and/or hurt oneself? What other compulsions, if any, are present? What is the gory outcome of the story? How will it change the nightly kitchen ritual?

Essay Topic 2

"Snapshot, Harvey Cedars: 1948" tells the tale of a woman's memories of her parents. The woman looks at a family photo fondly, remembering her dad's dreams of becoming a builder. The mother's body language is telling and unusual. Examine the mother's body language in the photo and the daughter's views. Do you think it is possible that the woman had some type of premonition or is the woman's body language a coincidence? If the woman had a premonition, do you think she was aware of it? Study the possibilities. Examine the daughter's thoughts regarding her father's suicide.

Essay Topic 3

In "Grace Period," a man spots a bright light on the horizon. The man can feel the earth rumble as the light gets brighter. No one answers the phone. Discuss what you think is happening. Do you think the bright light is a UFO? Do you think the man is frightened or hallucinating? Compare the story to others that begin the same way and end up with alien abduction. Also watch and review television shows that portray alien abductions.

(see the answer keys)

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