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 the ranger in Chapter 4 warn Fay and John not to do before letting them into the battlefield?

2. Why can Fay only stay a work for a few hours in Chapter 6?

3. When does the battlefield close in Chapter 4?

4. Before leaving the Woodmoore's, what does John invite Ruth to do?

5. In Chapter 6, what does John tell the Woodmoores about his interest in Ruth?

Short Essay Questions

1. What role does Carl play at Muddy's as time does on?

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

3. Describe John and Fay's first kiss.

4. How does Fay describe her family to John In Chapter 6?

5. Who does Fay introduce John to Chapter 2?

6. Describe the frantic call that John gets at the end of the Chapter 1?

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

8. Where do John and Fay travel in Chapter 4?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the character of Fay Taft and how she is portrayed in the novel. To what extent if Fay an enigmatic character? How do both John and her father struggle to understand her and what she wants in her life? What fears do other characters have for her? In the end, is Fay a strong or a weak individual? What challenges and conflicts does Patchett use to reveal her essential character in the novel?

Essay Topic 2

The novel of "Taft" is about two fathers and the children they fear losing. Each of the central figures is concerned that he is the only thing standing between his child and the dark, vicious world around them. Write a three-part essay about the children of these fathers and how losing a paternal figure affects them:

Part 1) Discuss the concerns that Levon Taft has for Fay. What does he worry Fay is not prepared for in the wide world? What plans does he make in his final days to bring her closer? What does Fay do after Taft's death to attempt to hold the family together? How does she crumble in the wake of the tragedy?

Part 2) Compare Carl's collapse after Taft's death to Fay's. How did her experience this tragedy differently? How was he already unpredictable? Discuss the depths to which Carl falls after his father's death, and where it ends?

Part 3) How does Franklin's life change after he is taken away from his father? How does John fear his son is in danger? Discuss the ways in which Franklin and John fear separation and fight to reunite through the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the dark worldview that exists in the novel. Citing specific examples from the text, discuss in what respect the world of Taft is dangerous, particularly to children. How are the innocent in danger throughout the novel, and what misfortunes befall them? Focusing on Fay and Carl Taft, chart the way naïve figures face the world's challenges. How do these experiences reflect on the prospect of Franklin growing up without a father?

(see the answer keys)

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