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. At the Rum Boogie Cafe, John is certain he will have sex with a woman despite what?

2. How is the weather in Chapter 6?

3. What vaguely racist thing does the bartender at Rum Boogie Cafe do in Chapter 2?

4. Whom does John speak to on the phone in Chapter 2?

5. Who does John decide should handle the bar deposits in Chapter 4?

Short Essay Questions

1. How has John's relationship with the Woodmoores changed?

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

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

4. How is Levon Taft's life described in Chapter 5?

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

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

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

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

9. Why did John Nickel leave Marion?

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

Essay Topics

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

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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