A Summons to Memphis Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Peter Taylor
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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. What grade does Phillip enter at his new school in Memphis?

2. Why does Father think Betsy and Wyant have disappeared from the caravan to Memphis?

3. How many of George Carver's children marry?

4. What concern does Alex have about George's dating?

5. How does Phillip react to his sister's descriptions of their dates and their love affairs?

Short Essay Questions

1. Phillip visits Alex in Paris during the war in Chapter 5. Describe their time together in Paris. What happens to them on the Rue de Rivoli one afternoon?

2. In Chapter 1, the narrator begins the story with an explanation of the perils of a widower with middle-aged children,dating. What is the major issue faced by the widower? What examples of this situation does the narrator provide?

3. In Chapter 4, thirteen year-old Phillip introduces us to his first serious girl friend. Who is the young girl he falls in love with and how does he describe her? What develops in their relationship, and how does it end?

4. In Chapter 4, Alex also meets Mr. Carver. Where do the two meet, and what brings them together? How does their relationship grow during the course of the chapter?

5. In Chapter 3, Phillip paints a picture of his parents and his two sisters living in Memphis and their conversations about dating and the men they are both seeing. How does this appear to him when he is home visiting? How do Betsy and Josephine behave in front of their parents? What is the topic of conversation much of the time Phillip is visiting? How do the elderly Mr. and Mrs. Carver respond to their middle-aged daughters' banter?

6. In Chapter 4, Phillip speaks of two important relationships in the novel. One is the friendship between Phillip and Alex. The other is the friendship between Alex and Mr. Carver. Father and son are not particularly close, but each are close to Alex. In this chapter, how does this triangle of friendship begin to display itself?

7. In Chapter 1, Phillip begins to explain the story of his family and their move from Nashville in 1931. What does he think is important for the reader to know in order for the story to make sense? Where does he begin the story? What does he tell us about the people whose conflict made the family's move necessary?

8. As Chapter Six opens, Phillip describes the way his sisters are treating their father. How are the sisters behaving now that Father is dating?

9. In Chapter 5, Phillip leaves his father's home and moves to New York City. How does he manage this? Why does he choose New York? How does his family react?

10. In Chapter 2, Phillip recalls a conversation between his mother and a friend of hers from Nashville. In their conversation, the woman declares "you, my dear Minta, will love Memphis." Does Phillip's mother love Memphis? How does she adjust to her new home?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Phillip realizes his father did not consider how the move to Memphis would affect all members of the family. Was the move to Memphis the only thing to affect the Carvers? Was there another factor at play, one much more dramatic than the move, that actually changed the course of everyone's lives?

Essay Topic 2

Are Betsy and Josephine justified in preventing Father from marrying and cloistering him in his home with their constant oversight? Defend your position.

Essay Topic 3

Phillip has four women in his life. In Chapter 3, he presents a picture of his two sisters, his mother, and his girlfriend, Holly. Holly stands out as notably different, even opposite, from the three women in his family. Compare and contrast these four women. What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do they relate to the men in their lives? What might Phillip find appealing about Holly?

(see the answer keys)

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