Taft Test | Final Test - Hard

Ann Patchett
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following characters does not become romantically involved with John in the novel?

2. What did Carl hit in his crash?

3. What does Carl thank John for at the beginning of Chapter 8?

4. In Chapter 8, What does Fay pointedly ask John?

5. In Chapter 7, why does John think the crowd is larger than normal?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Write an essay about the tenuous relationship between John and Marion in the novel. How did they discover each other, and what was the root of their infatuation? Discuss how the birth of Franklin forever changes the nature of this relationship? Throughout the plot of the novel, what do Marion and John want from each other and what obstacles prevent their relationship from flourishing or forever fading away?

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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