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. While Cyndi is drunk in Chapter 3, she talks about her time where?

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

3. What does John notice about Carl as he leaves the bar in Chapter 2?

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

5. What do John and Fay look at immediately upon entering the battlefield in Chapter 4?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do John and Fay do at the battlefield in Chapter 4?

2. What does Taft worry about regarding his children in Chapter 5?

3. Why do Taft's in-laws get annoyed at Carl in Chapter 6?

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

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

6. Describe John Nickel's experience at the Rum Boogie Cafe.

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

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

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

10. What do Marion and John discuss at the end of Chapter 5?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about Patchett's portrayal of the modern Deep South in the novel. What is left of the specter of Jim Crow in the South? How do the remnants of segregation and racism manifest themselves in the narrative? Discuss how this nascent bigotry affects the character of John Nickel. Why does it make him more reticent to connect with Fay Taft? Is the city really as racist as he believes?

Essay Topic 2

The narratives of "Taft" take place in two towns: Memphis and Coalfield. In an essay, compare the way that these two towns are portrayed in the novel. What abstract ideas and movements are represented by the towns? How does Patchett forge a tone in the novel for each of these settings? Discuss the characters that come from each town. How are their objectives and values similar and different? Do they come into conflict?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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