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 does Taft fear is dead in Chapter 8?

2. What does Fay ask John at the very beginning of Chapter 9?

3. What is Carl doing for the first time in the Taft section of Chapter 8?

4. What does John teach Carl in Chapter 7?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What happens at dinner in Chapter 7.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of Anne Patchett's great gifts in dramatizing the moments between parents and children that typify the beauty of this type of relationship. Three such moments can be seen as pivotal moments in the novel. Write an essay about these three transcendent moment in the novel:

Part 1) Discuss the evening visit between Taft and Fay at the lumber yard. Why does Fay decide to interrupt her date to visit her father? In what respect is it a gift he desperately needs? How does this visit change his feelings about his relationship with his daughter?

Part 2) Discuss the moment in Chapter 11 that leaves John Nickel glowing. What does Franklin say he remembers about John, and why does this surprise John? How does it shift his thoughts regarding whether or not to reunite with Marion?

Part 3) Discuss the final passage of "Taft". How does is signify the perfect relationship between father and child? What is being taught by the parent, and how does the child receive the knowledge? What does this say about the joys and fears of parenthood?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the dark worldview that exists in the novel. Citing specific examples from the text, discuss in what respect the world of Taft is dangerous, particularly to children. How are the innocent in danger throughout the novel, and what misfortunes befall them? Focusing on Fay and Carl Taft, chart the way naïve figures face the world's challenges. How do these experiences reflect on the prospect of Franklin growing up without a father?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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