Taft Test | Final 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 is Carl doing for the first time in the Taft section of Chapter 8?

2. Who is Carl involved with as of Chapter 8?

3. In Chapter 8, Wallace says that Muddy's is developing a reputation as a what?

4. What does Carl demand of John after he breaks into Muddy's in Chapter 11?

5. Who calls John at the beginning on Chapter 7?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is John shot in Chapter 11?

2. What do John and Franklin do together at the end of Chapter 8?

3. What does Mrs. Woodmore request of John in Chapter 12?

4. What confrontation do John and Carl have in Chapter 8?

5. What does Wallace tell John about Carl in Chapter 8?

6. What does Fay ask John at dinner in Chapter 9?

7. What difficulty do John and Fay face in bailing Carl out in Chapter?

8. Why is John deeply gladdened by his morning with Marion and Franklin in Chapter 11?

9. Why does John refuse to be taken to a hospital after being shot?

10. Why is Taft shaken by the site of Carl's accident in Chapter 10?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the theme of innocence and experience in the novel, focusing on the characters of Fay and Carl Taft. How are the characters unaware of danger and vice before the death of their father? What silly and foolish mistakes do they make before this tragedy? How do these follies transform into dangerous and destructive activities after Taft's death? Why do these children become less heedful of their own safety after they lose a parent?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Throughout much of Ann Patchett's "Taft", John Nickel has to choose between his individual desires and his duty to family. Write a three-part essay about this continuous struggle, focusing on three moments when it became apparent to him:

Part 1) When John Nickel first met Marion Woodmoore, what did he want out of life? Discuss how these personal objectives lead to his leaving of Marion in her most vulnerable time. What has to occur in John's life before he can accept his responsibilities?

Part 2) Discuss John's sense of duty to Carl Taft. At what point does John determine he needs to protect Carl, and what is his logic? What trajectory does this take? How does John increasingly put himself in danger in protecting the boy?

Part 3) What sacrifice does Mrs. Woodmoore ask John Nickel to make in the final chapter of the novel? Why is this sacrifice difficult and why is it necessary? What indication is there at the end of Taft that John will make the sacrifice?

(see the answer keys)

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