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. Where do Marion and Franklin first meet John in Chapter 7?

2. How many shifts in a row is Taft planning to work in Chapter 8?

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

4. Why, according to the mechanic in Chapter 10, will the car insurance only pay a few hundred?

5. What kind of whiskey do Carl and John share in Chapter 7?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Taft die in Chapter 12?

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

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

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

7. When does Fay surprise Taft in Chapter 10?

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

9. What is John's catharsis at the end of Taft?

10. Describe Taft's interaction with Tommy Lawson's son in Chapter 10?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The narratives of "Taft" take place in two towns: Memphis and Coalfield. In an essay, compare the way that these two towns are portrayed in the novel. What abstract ideas and movements are represented by the towns? How does Patchett forge a tone in the novel for each of these settings? Discuss the characters that come from each town. How are their objectives and values similar and different? Do they come into conflict?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

"Taft" is a story of two fathers: Levon Taft and John Nickel. Compare these two protagonists in an essay. What flaws does each father have? How does the author make clear to the reader that both Taft and John are, at heart, good men? Which struggles do the men share, and what problems are unique to each? Discuss the way each man's arc is a commentary on the other.

(see the answer keys)

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