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. Who gets standoffish with John near the end of Chapter 4?

2. How old was Marion when she met John?

3. While giving Fay a tour of the bar in Chapter 2, John marvels what about Tennessee?

4. What is Carl wearing in Chapter 6?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does John reason about the Taft house in the beginning of Chapter 4?

4. How does John feel about Fay's neighborhood in Chapter 3?

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

6. Describe John and Fay's first kiss.

7. How is Ruth introduced in Chapter 5?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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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