Taft Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Ann Patchett
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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 does John notice about Carl as he leaves the bar in Chapter 2?

2. Who threatened John when he visited Franklin in the nursery for the first time?

3. What is Mr. Woodmoore's career?

4. What promise does John make Marion at the end of Chapter 5?

5. What sport was Carl a star of?

Short Essay Questions

1. How are Taft's feelings about race elucidated in Chapter 6?

2. In Chapter 2, what does Fay reveal to John about herself?

3. How has John's relationship with the Woodmoores changed?

4. In what state is Cyndi on the second night of Chapter 3?

5. What does John imagine at the end of Chapter 4?

6. What interchange do Fay and John have before parting in Chapter 4?

7. Describe the interchange John has with Cyndi in Chapter 4?

8. How does Ruth interact with Fay and John in Chapter 6?

9. What call does John Nickel make at work in Chapter 2?

10. What does John learn about Marion at dinner in Chapter 5?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Taft" is a story of two fathers: Levon Taft and John Nickel. Compare these two protagonists in an essay. What flaws does each father have? How does the author make clear to the reader that both Taft and John are, at heart, good men? Which struggles do the men share, and what problems are unique to each? Discuss the way each man's arc is a commentary on the other.

Essay Topic 2

The world of "Taft" is - for much of the novel - the world of Muddy's, the bar John Nickel runs. This microcosm of Memphis is created by the individuals that populate it. Write an essay about three characters that populate Muddy's. How would you describe each character? What role does each play in the plot? Is this a sympathetic individual? What does this character add to the setting of the novel?

Part 1) Rose

Part 2) Cyndi

Part 3) Wallace

Essay Topic 3

The novel of "Taft" has a major character's death at the center of its narrative, and the ramifications of this death serve as a dire warning to the other characters. Write an essay about death and the fear of death in "Taft". How does Taft's death ripple through the narrative of the novel? How does its effect confirm John's fears about Franklin? What does he worry will happen if he disappears from his son's life?

(see the answer keys)

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