Taft Short Essay - Answer Key

Ann Patchett
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. How do John and Fay meet in Chapter 1?

In Chapter 1, John Nickel is working on a winter afternoon in his Memphis bar, Muddy's. Fay Taft, a young white girl from rural Tennessee, walks in and asks for a job. Cyndi, John's main waitress, is immediately dismayed, and John thinks that Fay looks young. Fay insists she is twenty, and John eventually tells her to return tomorrow around happy hour to learn the ropes.

2. Why did John Nickel leave Marion?

As described in Chapter 1, Marion and John were lovers when John was in his band. One day, Marion told John she was pregnant, but everything would be alright: they would stick together. John immediately left Marion, and she moved back in with her parents. He didn't even take her call the night she gave birth.

3. Why did John return to Marion?

As described in Chapter 1, only after seeing Franklin for the first time in the hospital did John realize his mistake. He went to his parents house and begged for her to come back. She made a counter-offer: he would get a real job and pay her way through nursing school, and she and Franklin would move back in with him.

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