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. Who visits Taft in the middle of the night in Chapter 10?

2. At the beginning of Chapter 11, what does Franklin say he wants to be when he grows up?

3. Why does the doctor in Chapter 11 agree to help John in Chapter 11?

4. What did Carl hit in his crash?

5. Who is left at the Woodmoore house in Chapter 11 when John is brought to the doctor's?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do Ruth, Fay and Cyndi gang up on John at the beginning of Chapter 9?

2. Where does John go to recuperate in Chapter 12?

3. How does John anger Ruth at the beginning of Chapter 7?

4. How do Carl and John bond in Chapter 7?

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

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

7. What assessment does the mechanic in Chapter 10 make regarding Taft's car?

8. How does Carl explain his arrest in Chapter 9?

9. When does Fay surprise Taft in Chapter 10?

10. Why does Taft ask his children to stay home Friday night?

Essay Topics

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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