Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1)
Much of the first chapter of "Taft" is concerned with John Nickel's day-to-day existence. His life's ambition of being a musician has given way to resignation as a bar-owner. His work reveals the driving objectives in his life.
The objective of this lesson is to examine what work reveals about character in the novel.
1. For class discussion: As a class, make a list of the activities involved in John Nickel's day. How does he feel about each one of these required tasks? Do any of these tasks remind him of some past experience? Taken together, what is John Nickel's attitude toward his daily existence in the novel?
2. Divide the class into several groups and have each character choose a literary character whose career plays a significant role in the narrative: Willy Loman, Jane Eyre, etc. Each group should make a list of three major duties...
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