The Memory of Old Jack Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. As the book opens, what does Jack remember about mules as he stands on the porch listening to Mat call the cows?

Jack remembers a time when the wagons were drawn by mules and the first team of mules that he bought soon after he started running his family's farm. He was proud of the mules. They were expensive, but they were a kind of a gift to himself.

2. What is Jack's relationship with Ben?

Ben married Jack's sister, Nancy. Ben acted as a surrogate father to Jack.

3. What is Jack's relationship with Nancy?

Jack is Nancy's brother. When Jack was five years old, his mother died. Nancy acted as a surrogate mother to him.

4. What part of Jack's memory at the beginning of the novel involves Mat?

Mat was five years old as Jack is reminiscing on the porch. He was with his dad, Ben, at Jack's farm on the day after buying the new mules. After they look at the mule, Jack, Ben, and Mat all went for a ride in the countryside.

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