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 tender gesture does John make toward Fay on the battlefield in Chapter 4?

2. What does Carl say to John at the end of Chapter 5?

3. Why does Taft stop working on the deck early in Chapter 5?

4. How is the weather when John arrives at the Woodmoore house in Chapter 5?

5. Why is John angry at the beginning of Chapter 6?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the interchange between Carl and John in Chapter 4?

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

4. Describe the interchange between John and Fay in Chapter 5.

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

6. In what state is Carl when John and Fay find him in Chapter 3?

7. What happened to the Taft family after the patriarch's death?

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

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

10. Why did John Nickel leave Marion?

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

John Nickel is a deeply sympathetic character, but his self-destructive tendencies come into view whenever he becomes sexually entangled with a woman. Write an essay about three such of these entanglements. How does each begin and how does each develop? What personal weaknesses do these trysts reveal in John? What mental anguish do they unearth? Does John overcome this anguish by the end of the novel? If so, how?

Part 1) Marion

Part 2) Ruth

Part 3) Fay

Essay Topic 3

In the insular world of Memphis as represented in this novel, many individuals have opinions regarding John's personal life. In particular, the Woodmoore family insinuates itself into his relationship with Marion. Write an essay about each of the Woomoore family-members's opinions. What does this person think John should do regarding his ex-wife? Why is this opinion held, and how does the character express the opinion to John over the course of the novel?

Part 1) Mr. Woodmoore.

Part 2) Mrs. Woodmoore.

Part 3) Ruth.

(see the answer keys)

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