|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. Who is left at the Woodmoore house in Chapter 11 when John is brought to the doctor's?
2. Why is Wallace surprised by in Chapter 7?
3. What does Mrs. Woodmoore interrupt when she comes to talk to John in Chapter 12?
4. What does Carl demand of John after he breaks into Muddy's in Chapter 11?
5. Why can John not sleep in his bed in Chapter 7?
Short Essay Questions
1. Describe John and Fay's interaction in Chapter 7.
2. What difficulty do John and Fay face in bailing Carl out in Chapter?
3. How do Ruth, Fay and Cyndi gang up on John at the beginning of Chapter 9?
4. How do Carl and John bond in Chapter 7?
5. How does Marion's friend, the doctor, help John in Chapter 11?
6. Why does John refuse to be taken to a hospital after being shot?
7. Why is Taft shaken by the site of Carl's accident in Chapter 10?
8. When does Fay surprise Taft in Chapter 10?
9. What is John's catharsis at the end of Taft?
10. What confrontation do John and Carl have in Chapter 8?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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
Essay Topic 2
Over the course of the novel, Carl Taft appears to be a dangerous and dynamic character. The reader experiences him at many points in his life. Write a three-part essay about the trajectory Carl Taft takes over the course of the novel:
Part 1) What is Carl's life like before his father dies? Discuss what he values in life and what challenges he faces. What does his father do to keep him in line? What mistakes does he make in his adolescent years?
Part 2) Discuss the significance of Taft's death in Carl's life. How is his experience of this tragedy different from his sister's and mother's? What makes it more painful for him, and what significant collapse occurs in his character before he leaves Coalfield?
Part 3) How does the world of Memphis prove horribly detrimental to Carl's life? Discuss how bad habits and addiction become near-suicidal in the larger city? What is Carl's low point and how is he partially redeemed by the end of the novel?
Essay Topic 3
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
This section contains 1,260 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)