Body and Soul Short Essay - Answer Key

Frank Conroy
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1. Why is driving a cab an unusual choice of work for Emma, Claude's mother?

Driving a cab is an unusual choice of work for Emma, Claude's mother, because driving a cab is generally thought of as a job held by a man.

2. How does the time period during which the story begins explain Emma's job?

The time period during which the story begins explains Emma's job because during World War II while most men were away at war, women had to perform jobs usually held by men. Emma's job of driving a taxi was considered a job that a man would do.

3. What is the reader led to believe about Claude because Emma does not reveal any concrete information about Claude's father?

Because Emma does not reveal any concrete information about Claude's father, the reader is led to believe that Claude's conception was unplanned and that Emma unwillingly became a single mother. She tells Claude not to ask about his father. Emma has no maternal instincts and cannot give Claude the emotional support he needs.

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