A Summons to Memphis Test | Final 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. Where do Holly and Phillip acquire much of their furnishings?

2. How long after the move to Nashville does Lewis Shackleford betray Mr. Carver?

3. What do Betsy and Josephine tell Phillip in Chapter 8?

4. How do the people in his family and of the town treat Mr. Carver when he is young?

5. With whom does Mrs. Carver spend much of her time on the Saturday outings?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 11, Phillip allows Alex's car to remain in the driveway which blocks his father's car from exiting. What debate might be waging in his mind while he delays his father's departure?

2. In Chapter 8, Betsy and Josephine have prepared a bed for Phillip in their father's study. However, Phillip does not stay. He leaves his father and sisters and returns to New York. Why does he not remain and defend his father against his sisters? Why does Phillip leave so hastily?

3. While George Carver and his wife are in St, Louis for business, what happens to the Mr. Shackleford's company? How does Mr. Carver react to this news?

4. When Alex arrives in Memphis in Chapter 7, he sees his father waving to him from the runway. Describe Father's behavior upon seeing Phillip. What is happening that day? How does his father appear to Phillip?

5. At the end of Chapter 12, what does the reader know about all of the main characters?

6. In Chapter 12, Phillip begins calling his father on a weekly basis. Why are those calls important to Phillip?

7. During the drive from the church to Mr. Carver's home in Chapter 8, Phillip begins thinking of what his father might do next. What things does he think are possible? Why does he believe his father might do any of them?

8. When Mr. Carver dies in Chapter 12, Holly's father also dies. The two of them return to New York after the funerals, and continue their lives together there. Phillip describes them both as "serenely free spirits." What has caused him to characterize himself and Holly in this way?

9. In Chapter 11, Phillip puts together the story of his family's intrusion into his father's love affair with Clara Price. What does he realize, and how?

10. What is Betsy's stated reason for Father not going to see Lewis Shackleford in Chapter 11? What is the real reason?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Typically a four leaf clover is a symbol of good luck. In the novel, Phillip asks his mother for the four leaf clover pendant he sees on her dressing table. The pendant, however, does not bring luck to either Mother or Phillip. Discuss the pendant's history in the Carver family. How does the eventual recipient react to the pendent?

Essay Topic 2

Chapter 8 is a short chapter with only one hour of Phillip's story told. Yet, it is a powerful and pivotal chapter. What happens to the Carver family in this chapter? Why did the author chose to have only this one event in the chapter? Why is it so important to the story?

Essay Topic 3

What is the climactic point in the novel? Is it believable? How does it change the action in the novel?

(see the answer keys)

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