Ideas for Reports and Papers
1. The white characters are not the only people in the novel who are guilty of prejudice. Discuss the degree to which the following individuals might be described as prejudiced: Cassie, Stacey, Clarence, Sissy, Solomon Bradley, and David Logan.
2. At least one reviewer, Susan Schuller, has suggested that The Road to Memphis is too episodic, that its scenes are only loosely connected. Explore the thematic connections between the various incidents that take place on Cassie's journey to Memphis.
3. Read one of Taylor's other books about the Logans and compare the way the same characters are treated in each. How have the characters grown or changed from their depiction in the earlier novel?
4. Compare and contrast the trip taken in The Road to Memphis with journeys in works such as Homer's Odyssey, Cynthia Voigt's Homecoming, and Taylor's own The Gold Cadillac.
5. At the end of the novel, a number of plot elements remain unresolved, such as whether Cassie will go on to become a lawyer, whether Moe will ever return to Mississippi, and whether Stacey will go off to war and return safely. Write an essay explaining what you think will happen to the characters next. Support your ideas with information from the novel.
6. Automobiles play a major role in Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, The Gold Cadillac, and The Road to Memphis. Discuss the importance of automobiles in these books and what they represent.