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. In Chapter 8, Wallace says that Muddy's is developing a reputation as a what?

2. Who is Carl involved with as of Chapter 8?

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

4. In Chapter 8, Wallace reveal Carl to be what?

5. What is Tommy Lawson's son selling when he knocks on Taft's door in Chapter 10?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Describe John and Fay's interaction in Chapter 7.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 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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