|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What vaguely racist thing does the bartender at Rum Boogie Cafe do in Chapter 2?
2. In Chapter 5, what still amazes John about the Woodmoores?
3. In Chapter 1, what does John Nickel say he will probably never do again?
4. What singer does Cyndi put on in Chapter 3 that annoys John?
5. Where do Taft's in-laws live?
Short Essay Questions
1. In what state is Cyndi on the second night of Chapter 3?
2. Describe the interchange between John and Fay in Chapter 5.
3. How is Ruth introduced in Chapter 5?
4. How does John feel about Fay's neighborhood in Chapter 3?
5. What do John and Fay do at the battlefield in Chapter 4?
6. Why does John buy cigarettes in Chapter 5?
7. What role does Carl play at Muddy's as time does on?
8. Why did John return to Marion?
9. Describe the interchange John has with Cyndi in Chapter 4?
10. In Chapter 2, what does Fay reveal to John about herself?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Romance in the novel is both a powerful force between characters and also one that is overcome by other types of love. Write an essay about the way romance is portrayed in "Taft". How does John Nickel fall in love with women in different and abandoned way? How do these romances fall apart? Discuss the motivations John has to leave the women that win his heart. What is more important to him in life?
Essay Topic 2
One of the central plotlines of the novel is the relationship between John Nickel and John Taft. This relationship is odd in that it does not abandon itself to the sexual tension around it. Write a three-part essay, analyzing this relationship:
Part 1) What is John Nickel's initial impression of Fay Taft, and why does he decide to bring her on to staff at Muddy's? Discuss how the relationship between Fay and John develops in the first weeks. How does it shift on the night that Carl overdoses?
Part 2) Discuss how John and Fay's impromptu trip to Shiloh helps develop the relationship between them. Why do they go? What is each character looking for from the other in these passages? What act of tenderness occurs at the end of the night?
Part 3) How does the relationship between John and Fay become a romantic relationship? What events help catalyze this shift? What kind of reaction does this receive from those around them, and how does the romantic entanglement effectively end?
Essay Topic 3
Throughout the novel, many of Carl Taft's true objectives remain unknown to John Nickel and the reader. Write an essay discussing how these objectives are obscured and finally revealed. What drives Carl after his arrival in Memphis, and why is he treated as a lovable screw-up? How does this notion of his harmlessness prove to be incorrect? Discuss how Patchett reveals the fallacy of this notion, and what changes in the world of the novel after it is revealed.
This section contains 1,119 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)