1.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to identify the main idea of the passage. (E) is correct because the majority of the passage is dedicated to the narrator’s characterization of Percy’s obsessive reading. Percy’s desire to read is described as a “temptation” which overwhelms his intention to go to work, and when his “conscience trie[s] to speak” he comes up with reasons to excuse his lying and other poor behavior. (A) is incorrect because “dangerous” is too strong a word to describe the narrator’s characterization of books and magazines, as Percy doesn’t face any serious harm as a product of his bibliophilia. (B) is incorrect because nothing in the passage indicates that Percy Dunn is an intellectual; he eventually persuades himself that he’s enriching his mind, as a rationalization for reading, but he most prefers the illustrated papers, and the characterization of print “hold[ing] his eyes” rather than . (C) is incorrect because while the passage shows that Percy has a compulsive reading habit, it doesn’t characterize the habit as a risk inherent to recreational reading. (D) is incorrect because although Percy made very little on door-to-door sales, he only performed the work for one day.

2.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to recognize several named literary devices in the passage. (C) is correct because a euphemism is a polite phrase that takes the place of something rude or unpleasant, and there is no such phrase in the first paragraph. (A) is incorrect because “pathetic fallacy” is the attribution of human motives or feelings to things that can’t have such motives or feelings; “his weary legs were traitorous” is an instance of pathetic fallacy. (B) is incorrect because “It was like the sight of a public-house to the habitual drinker” is a simile (a comparison using “like” or “as”). (D) is incorrect because “The reading-room ... drugged his conscience” is a metaphor; the reading-room didn’t literally “drug” Percy or his conscience. (E) is incorrect because “Dunn was heroically determined” is hyperbole, as revealed by the very next sentence: “One whole day he spent in house-to-house visitation of a likely suburb.” A single day’s work doesn’t really suggest a “heroic” level of determination, so that phrase was an exaggeration for humorous effect.

3.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question requires you to analyze a portion of the passage and identify its implications. (D) is correct because Percy’s “aching legs” imply that he was still sore and tired from the previous day’s work, and his “sinking heart” implies that he is pessimistic about the day to come. (A) is incorrect because the sentence has a very negative tone, but enthusiasm is a positive emotion. (B) is incorrect because, while Percy’s eggs “ache,” his muscles could simple be sore from overwork—that doesn’t necessarily imply that he’s injured. (C) is incorrect because “adventure” implies Percy sees his job as exciting, but “sinking heart” means that he is not looking forward to it at all. (E) is incorrect because Percy’s aches can be attributed to his previous day’s work rather than illness.

4.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to interpret figurative language. (B) is correct because, literally, a traitor is someone who betrays his or her side and helps the other side win. A common example would be a soldier who gives information to the opposing army. In this context, Percy’s legs are “traitorous” because they work against him: he wants to go to work, but his legs refuse to follow his instructions and lead him into the library. (This is, of course, a metaphor—Percy really is in control of his legs!—but seeing things this way allows Percy to blame his legs instead of himself.) (A) is incorrect because, although Percy is tired and sore because of his previous day’s sales calls, “traitorous” does not mean “exhausted.” (C) is incorrect because there is no indication in the passage that Percy has any interest in running. (D) is incorrect because his legs do not help him perform his duties as a door-to-door salesman: instead, they lead him into a library. If his legs had followed his instructions and taken him to work, they would have been “loyal”—the opposite of “traitorous.” (E) is incorrect because Percy is the one described as “heroically determined” in his attempt to stay out of the library; his legs are “traitorous” because they work against that determination and lead him in anyway.

5.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to analyze a portion of the passage and identify its implications. (A) is correct because “After this” refers back to Percy entering the library and staying there “until nightfall” (line 17). The library was his temptation; entering it was succumbing to this temptation. The rest of the paragraph describes Percy reading obsessively: this is his “vice,” or unhealthy behavior, which he “yield[s] to utterly” in that he stops even trying to resist temptation. (B) and (D) are incorrect because, although drinking and gambling are commonly called “vices,” nothing in this passage suggests that Percy drinks or gambles. The library is compared to a public-house in line 12, but only because it attracts Percy the way that bars attract drinkers. (C) is incorrect because Percy is characterized as wanting to work but being unable to resist his temptation to read. (E) is incorrect because public libraries, like those in which Percy read, do not stock illicit (in other words, illegal) books, and while Percy has a specific weakness for reading, the things he reads aren’t characterized as inherently dangerous.

6.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to determine which one of several conventional senses of a word is correct in the specific context of the passage. (B) is correct because “agency,” in this context, refers to Percy’s personal agency; his own labor in making sales. That sense is most closely matched by “effort.” (A) is incorrect because the word describes Percy’s solitary exertions; he hasn’t set up an “organization” in the sense of a group, and this doesn’t refer to the act of planning or organizing but rather to carrying out his plans. (C) is incorrect for similar reasons; Percy is working alone. “Office” can also refer to a position of public trust, but Percy would be deriving income from direct sales—not from a salary associated with some office. (D) is incorrect because while “intercession” denotes action, it denotes intervening on someone else’s behalf, as in a feud or argument. In this context, Percy is working on his own to attain an income for himself. (E) is incorrect because, which “agency” can refer to the capacity or “ability” to effect certain outcomes, in this context it refers to Percy’s actual exertions.

7.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to analyze a portion of the passage and identify its implications. (B) is correct because Percy has a powerful impulse to read, but he does so neither to find work, as “he did not even glance at the advertisements” (line 23), nor out of interest in any particular subject as, “no matter the subject, its display in fresh-smelling print sufficed to interest him, or, at all events, to hold his eyes” (lines 34-36). Further, the lines “or, at all events, to hold his eyes” suggest that he didn’t really even have a general interest in what he was reading—rather, he read for “gratification in the mere act of reading” (lines 37-38). In other words, satisfy an impulse to read. (C) is incorrect because, although Percy’s reading habits are described as frenzied and obsessive, there seems to be no specific focus to his reading, and it is never stated that he reads to learn, only that his “gratification [is] in the mere act of reading” (line 39). (D) is incorrect because there is no indication in the passage that Percy plans on attending college, much less that he plans on becoming a professor. (E) is tempting because Percy’s quick abandonment of his job shows a strong lack of interest in this profession; however, the passage never says that Percy has plans to become “something more” than a door-to-door salesman, only that he wants to avoid this profession.

8.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to consider the relationships between characters in the passage. (E) is correct because Percy is dishonest with his wife: he tells her that he is working hard at his job as a salesman (lines 18-21), even though he spends all day reading for pleasure at the library. He wants to tell her the truth but is afraid that she “would not understand him” (line 49-51), which shows a lack of trust between the two of them (A) is incorrect because all we know about their relationship that they don’t communicate well, as described in (E), and that Maggie is unhappy with Percy’s job as a salesman (lines 4-5). This doesn’t tell us whether or not the couple is devoted, though it does suggest there are tensions between them (B) may be tempting because of Maggie’s unhappiness that Percy has taken a badly-paying job, but this only suggests that she is worried about money. “Keeping up appearances” has to do with how wealthy other people think you are, and we never hear that Mrs. Dunn is worried about the family’s image or reputation. (C) is incorrect because, although Percy and Maggie are communicating poorly and Percy wishes he could tell Maggie the truth, we do not know whether they are trying to learn how to improve their communication. (D) is incorrect because there is no mention of the Dunns’ lifestyle.

9.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to make inferences about the point of view of a character in the passage. (C) is correct because, since Percy keeps his behavior a secret from his wife, he doesn’t need to rationalize it simply to stay out of trouble or explain himself to others; that suggests that he’s trying to assuage his own feelings of guilt and shame. (A) is incorrect because while Percy avoids telling his wife the truth, there is no indication in the passage that he is avoiding her or that their marriage is failing. (B) is incorrect because there is no indication that Percy believes his wife is uneducated or incapable of appreciating the merits of reading. (D) is incorrect Percy does not “even glance at the advertisements” for jobs (lines 23-24), which means he is not actively looking for new opportunities. (E) is incorrect because nothing in the passage indicates that spending the day reading in the library results in any kind of income.

10.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to analyze the purpose of the quoted lines. (B) is correct because, by leaving out Mr. Hersey’s actual words, the narrator shows that they are irrelevant to the story. The story focuses on Sarah Penn’s choice, and she tells Mr. Hersey that “there ain’t no use talkin’.” His words are irrelevant because Sarah Penn is indifferent to them, and by omitting them the narrator emphasizes that point. (A) is incorrect because Sarah’s response in lines 25-29 shows that she can understand him: he is talking about her moving into the new barn, but she thinks “There ain’t no call for nobody else to worry about it.” (C) is incorrect because, even though Mr. Hersey’s responding “helplessly” (line 32) shows that he is intimidated by Sarah, this does not mean that he is intimidated by women in general. (D) is incorrect because the passage only refers to historical figures starting in line 38. As well, leaving out the exact words a character uses does not necessarily mean that character is soft-spoken. (E) is incorrect because the narrator does not provide an illustration of Adoniram Penn and his behavior in this passage. All we know is that Adoniram’s wife, Sarah, has moved to the barn. We cannot therefore contrast Mr. Hersey with Adoniram Penn.

11.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question requires you to analyze a portion of the passage and identify its implications. (D) is correct because, as we know from the previous sentence, the young hired man “had spread the story of Adoniram Penn’s wife moving into the new barn all over the village” (lines 4-6). Next, we hear both that the men “assembled in the store and talked it over” (lines 6-7) and that the women scuttled into each other’s houses. We can infer that the women, like the men, are gossiping about Sarah Penn moving into the barn. (A) is incorrect because the women heard the news from the hired man who spread the story all over the village. (B) is incorrect because these lines refer to the women gossiping during work hours, which are typically during the day, and not taking cover before nightfall. (C) is incorrect because we cannot generalize from this one occasion that the townswomen “rarely” complete a day’s work. (E) is incorrect because, as explained above, the women are most likely gathering to share gossip; moreover, nothing in the passage suggests that Sarah is planning to visit town.

12.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to interpret figurative language. (B) is correct because, as we know from the previous lines, the townspeople see Sarah’s actions as a “deviation from the ordinary course of life.” She is described as an “independent figure” (lines 11-12) whose behavior is so out of the ordinary that “some held her to be insane; some, of a lawless and rebellious spirit” (lines 11-12). (A) is incorrect, because there is no mention in the text that Sarah has taken a dead-end job. (C) incorrectly associates “the side track” with the common expression “to get side-tracked” or distracted from something one intends to do. This interpretation does not make sense because “the side track” describes Sarah’s behavior, not the distraction it causes in the town. (D) and (E) incorrectly take “the side track” as a physical location in the town. It is never indicated that there are any train tracks nearby, or that there is one particular place is meant for rest and reflection.

13.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to analyze the effect of a portion of the passage. (C) is correct because the first paragraph establishes a tension between Sarah and the rest of the town. By moving to the new barn, she has done something unusual in a town where “any deviation from the normal course of life” (lines 9-10) is so unusual that some people think she is “insane” (line 13). This tension suggests that a clash is imminent: Will the town try to force Sarah to change her mind? Will it punish her if she refuses? (A) is incorrect because we don’t see anything in this paragraph about Adoniram’s decision to marry Sarah. (B) is incorrect because, although some readers may find Sarah’s actions inspiring, the first paragraph doesn’t present them that way: it only says that the townspeople think Sarah is “insane” or “of lawless and rebellious spirit.” The portions of the passage in which Sarah shows inspiring moral conviction and strength of character come later. (D) is incorrect because, even though the narrator describes the townspeople as gossipy and conservative, this is not enough to infer that the narrator dislikes all small towns—and certainly not enough to tell us anything about what the author thinks. (E) is incorrect; it is unclear if Sarah ever maintained a good reputation with her neighbors.

14.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to consider how the narrator reveals aspects of a character through description. (B) is correct because Sarah’s handling the peas “as if they were bullets” (line 22) brings to mind aggressive imagery and compares her to the kind of person who might be handling bullets: someone preparing for conflict. She is also described to have an “angry flush” but go about her work with “dignity.” This all implies that her disposition is aggressive but controlled, in other words one of “thinly-veiled hostility.” (A) is incorrect because while bullets may relate to triumph, Sarah has not yet had any confrontation with the minister; this image suggests a preparation for conflict, not a victory. (C) is incorrect because, although bullets do violence to mind, in this context it is unlikely that Sarah will commit an act of physical violence; this prediction is too strong for the given context. (D) and (E) are also incorrect because these word choices do not reflect the situation. Neither the image of bullets nor the description of Sarah’s demeanor relate to “anxious consideration” or “careful calculation.”

15.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to interpret the effect of figurative language in the passage. Because the image “reinforces” something, you also need to find a related idea expressed or implied elsewhere in the passage. (B) is correct because Sarah has just made the argument that “it’s right jest as much as I think it was right for our forefathers to come over from the old country ‘cause they didn’t have what belonged to ‘em.” In other words, she claims to have as much of a claim to the barn as the revered historical figures who settled the first European colonies in America. The allusion emphasizes that Sarah’s argument isn’t just an intellectual abstraction, but a deeply-felt conviction that shows in her bearing as she stands upon the barn’s threshold. (A) is incorrect because, while Sarah is implicitly compared to people who immigrated to new surroundings, the reason cited is that neither Sarah nor the forefathers “had what belonged to ‘em.” In other words, they moved for justice, not variety. (C) might be tempting because the forefathers Sarah mentioned traveled all the way from “the old country,” the Sarah compares herself to them in terms of the rightness of their actions—not the lengths to which they had to go. (D) is incorrect because if focuses on how the physical characteristics of a rock might match the barn, but there is no description of the barn’s appearance in the passage. (E) is incorrect because Sarah doesn’t compare all of the townspeople to the colonists from “the old country.” She only compares herself to them.

16.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to make inferences about the point of view of a character in the passage. (B) is correct because we know that Sarah’s move into the new barn has caused the townspeople to worry that Sarah might be “insane” (line 13) or “of lawless and rebellious spirit” (line 14). The minister’s visit is described just after these reactions, which suggests a causal link. We also learn that Sarah has been a member of the church for many years, and because the clergy are traditionally responsile for the moral and religious instruction of members of their church, it would make sense for Mr. Hersey to see it as his duty to address the townspeople’s concerns about Sarah’s mental and moral soundness. (A) is incorrect because, while the hired man spreads the story around town, the passage does not say whether he spoke directly to Mr Hersey or not. Further, since the gossip is spreading, Mr. Hersey wouldn’t necessarily need to be personally acquainted with him to hear the gossip. (C) is incorrect because there is no indication that Adoniram specifically asked the minister to come. (D) is incorrect because Sarah decides not to invite the minister in only after he has already come to speak with her. (E) is incorrect because Sarah’s asks about Mrs. Hersey to change the subject. If Mr. Hersey had come to speak about his wife, he might have brought that up, rather than trying to talk about Sarah’s move to the barn.

17.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question requires you to analyze an argument presented in the passage. (D) is correct because Sarah never mentioned children at all, so this isn’t part of the argument she presents. (A) is incorrect because Sarah invokes the idea of the European settlers of emigrating to America: “‘I think it’s right jest as much as I think it was right for our forefathers to come over from the country ‘cause they didn’t have what belonged to ‘em’” (lines 38-39). (B) is incorrect because Sarah references the inappropriateness of interfering in the affairs of others as part of her argument when she says: “‘I don’t doubt you mean well, Mr. Hersey...but there are things people hadn’t ought to interfere with’” (lines 41-43). (C) is incorrect because Sarah refers to her belief that only the Lord can influence her decision-making as part of her argument in lines 47 and 48: “‘nobody but the Lord is goin’ to dictate to me unless I’ve a mind to have him.’” (E) is incorrect because Sarah invokes her ability to think and act independently as part of her argument in lines 45 and 46: “‘I’ve got my own mind an’ my own feet, an’ I’m goin’ to think my own thoughts an’ go my own ways.’”

18.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to analyze the literal meaning of a phrase in the passage. (B) is correct because the narrator contrasts Sarah with all the complex ideas that Mr. Hersey can understand: “He could expound upon the intricacies of every character study in the Scriptures, he was competent to grasp the Pilgrim Father and all historical innovators, but Sarah Penn was beyond him” (lines 53-55). Further, the line follows the conclusion of an argument that Mr. Hersey lost against Sarah, supporting the idea that he couldn’t really understand her. (A) and (C) are tempting because they are both plausible readings of the contrast with Mr. Hersey’s intellectual accomplishments, including his mastery of scripture. However, they focus only on those details of the contrast; there is no support for those interpretations in the broader passage. Indeed, the things Sarah says about the forefathers and her own religious ideas show a strong sense of conviction, but they don’t suggest sophistication. (D) is incorrect because the passage indicates that Mr. Hersey “stood awkward before her” (line 21), not behind her. (E) is incorrect because, while Sarah does indicate that she’s not open to further discussion of personal matters, that doesn’t contrast with the list of Mr. Hersey’s intellectual accomplishments.

19.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question requires you to identify the tone of the poem. “Lovelorn” means “made sorrowful by unrequited love,” and “self-deprecating” means “putting oneself down, often in a humorous way.” The speaker’s love makes him unhappy, since it causes him “pains” (line 8) and “Grief” (line 10). He puts himself down by calling himself a fool throughout the poem. (A) is incorrect because “pessimistic” and “despairing” both relate to hopelessness about the future, and the speaker does not discuss his view of the future. (B) is incorrect because the speaker is neither “ambivalent,” experiencing conflicting feelings, nor “apathetic,” uncaring. (D) is incorrect because the speaker is neither “aggressive,” inclined to violence, nor “unrepentant,” feeling no regret for past actions. In fact, the speaker is full of regret, which is why he calls himself a “fool.” (E) is incorrect because “harsh and resentful” suggests the speaker is upset at someone else and says so in strong, direct language. The speaker in this poem is not upset at anyone, and whatever criticism he makes of himself is drily ironic rather than harsh.

20.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question requires you to identify an argument presented in the poem. (D) is correct because the speaker begins by saying that he is “two fools.” In other words, he is a fool for two reasons: “for loving” and “for saying so / In whining poetry” (lines 2-3). The third reason he is a fool is that he described the effects of “love and grief” in enjoyable poems; when these poems are shared, “love and grief...are increased,” which is the opposite of what he intended (lines 17-19). (A) is incorrect. The speaker never says that he rejects love. (B) is incorrect because the speaker never mentions loving more than one person. (C) is incorrect because the speaker never mentions loving himself more than his partner. (E) is incorrect because the speaker does share his poems: they are set to music by “Some man” (line 13).

21.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to interpret the meaning or effect of an image or symbol in the poem. (B) is correct because “numbers,” in poetry of this period, often refers to meter, since meter dictates how many syllables are allowed in a line. Bringing a subject “to numbers” therefore means writing poetry about it. This parallels the speaker’s attempt in the previous lines to “draw [his] pains / Through rhyme’s vexation.” In other words, the speaker hopes that, by making his sadness follow the rules of poetry, he can impose some discipline on his feelings. (A) is incorrect because “quantifying” something means saying how many of it there is, and grief is not something that can be quantified (except maybe on a scale from 0 to 10, and that isn’t exactly “vivid description”). (C) incorrectly takes “numbers” to mean “multiple copies.” (D) incorrectly takes “numbers” as “number of words” rather than “number of syllables.” (E) incorrectly takes “numbers” to mean “numbers of people.”

22.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to work out the roles of specific words in a complex sentence structure. (A) is correct because “it” refers to “grief,” which is the subject of the sentence: “Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce, for he tames it, that fetters it in verse.” This might be easier to see if we get rid of some phrases that just serve to describe other things in the sentence: “Grief ... cannot be so fierce, for he tames it ...” (B) is incorrect because “it” refers to grief, not love, and because the speaker thinks he can subdue his feelings by expressing them in poetry. (C), (D), and (E) all incorrectly suggest that the speaker is the one being fettered rather than grief.

23.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to interpret the literal meaning of a complex sentence in the poem. (E) is correct because the speaker describes “some man” setting the speaker’s poems to music and singing them for an audience, “delighting many” people. He says that the performance of these songs “frees again / Grief, which verse did restrain.” In other words, although the composition of the poems trapped grief, the performance of the poems releases grief again. (A), (B), (C), and (D) all incorrectly suggest that the speaker is the one singing or performing. However, lines 14-15 say that “Some man”—someone other than the speaker—sets the speaker’s poems to music and sings them.

24.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to determine which one of several conventional senses of a word is correct in the specific context of the passage. (E), “testament,” is correct because “tribute,” in this context, means something like a “respectful commemoration” of love and grief. “Testament” can also mean a record of something’s power. (A), “consideration,” does not match the desired meaning at all. (B), (C), and (D), “adulation,” “eulogy,” and “applause,” all suggest flattery or praise more than respect.

25.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to determine which one of several conventional senses of a word is correct in the specific context of the passage. (E), “testament,” is correct because “tribute,” in this context, means something like a “respectful commemoration” of love and grief. “Testament” can also mean a record of something’s power. (A), “consideration,” does not match the desired meaning at all. (B), (C), and (D), “adulation,” “eulogy,” and “applause,” all suggest flattery or praise more than respect.

26.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to analyze the structure of the passage. At the beginning of the passage, Piscator says “I have yet another” and then says that he has “now” caught several trout, indicating that he has just caught another one. He then says “I will tell you a short tale as we walk to breakfast.” At the end of this tale, he says that they should “fall to breakfast.” As they eat, Piscator asks Venator how he likes their chosen lunch spot, a sycamore-tree, where they have been since they sat down to eat. (A) and (E) are incorrect because they both show Piscator telling a story before catching fish, but the passage beings with Piscator catching a fish. (C) is incorrect because it begins with the two eating breakfast, but they don’t eat breakfast until they’ve caught some fish to eat. (D) is incorrect because it shows the pair arriving at the tree before Piscator tells a story, but Piscator begins his story by saying “I will tell you a short tale as we walk towards our breakfast,” indicating that he tells the story on the way to the tree under which they sit for breakfast—not after arriving.

27.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question requires you to analyze a portion of the passage and identify its implications. The passage begins with the pair fishing, and ends with them sitting under a tree. The most reasonable setting for these events would be a lush natural outdoor space, a “countryside.” (A), (B), (C), and (E) are incorrect because there would be no place to fish or sit under a tree in a desert, manor-house, marketplace, or church.

28.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question requires you to determine the meaning of an unusual word. (D) is correct because, in hunting and fishing, a “brace” is a pair of caught animals. That’s a fairly obscure sense of the word, so you probably won’t find it on many vocab lists. Rather, you need to use context to determine the most likely meaning: in order to catch “three ___ of Trout,” the word in the blank would needs to be something that it makes sense for Piscator to have multiples of, that can be “of trout,” and that Piscator might be satisfied to have three of. A unit of measurement makes sense: you can certainly have three units, you can have units of trout, and if a “brace” is a unit of measurement then it could express a quantity that satisfies Piscator. (A) is incorrect because, while “braces” straighten teeth, they are not “of trout.” (B) may be tempting because one could imagine Piscator hanging fish from his suspenders; however, a person generally only wears one pair of suspenders—not three. (C) is incorrect because this is a verb sense of “brace,” so it doesn’t fit the grammar of the sentence. (E) is incorrect for the same reason as (C). While one could imagine that Piscator might use some kind of clothing or equipment to help him carry his fish, a person would only wear one of this kind of “brace.”

29.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to interpret the meaning or effect of an image or symbol in the passage. In the story, one person lends a sermon to another. The sermon-lender, who wrote the sermon, had delivered it very successfully, but when the sermon-borrower delivered it, “it was utterly disliked” (line 10). As an explanation for this difference, the lender tells the borrower that he lent him his “fiddle” but not his “fiddle-stick.” (E) is correct because the sermon-lender mentions the fiddle-stick when explaining what he has, but the sermon-borrower doesn’t; this, he must be referring to his own skills. (A) is incorrect because the sermon-lender is explaining what the sermon-borrower doesn’t have. (B) and (C) are incorrect because this question is asking about the “fiddle-stick” in the parable, not the analogy Piscator makes between his own situation and the parable. (D) is incorrect because the original parable isn’t about fishing.

30.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to determine which one of several conventional senses of a word is correct in the specific context of the passage. (C) is correct because, if you look ahead at line 23, you’ll see the phrase “skill to know how to carry your hand and line.” The phrase in question, “ill carriage of your line,” looks very similar, so you can deduce that “carriage” must be the noun form of “carry”—we might say “carrying” today. How you “carry” a fishing line sounds like how you hold or “handle” it, so “handling” is a good substitute for “carriage.” (A) and (B) are incorrect because they are both senses of “carriage” that refer to objects, but the sense in context is an action. (D) is incorrect because Piscator proceeds to describe different ways of using the equipment—not proper storage of the equipment. (E) is incorrect because, while “disposal” can refer to how one arranges or positions something, it generally refers to how one places something in a fixed position—but Piscator describes how to use the gear so that it stays in proper and continuous motion.

31.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to interpret the literal meaning of a portion of the passage. Piscator lays out his practical fishing advice in lines 27-33. (E) is correct because he says to use as much lead as “will fit the stream” one chooses to fish in, clarifying by saying one should use “more in a great troublesome stream than in a smaller.” He then explains that the ideal amount of lead is “so much as it will sink the bait to the bottom, and keep it still in motion, and no more” meaning just enough lead weight to keep the bait moving near the bottom of the water. (A) is incorrect because Piscator specifically tells Venator to use enough to achieve a specific goal, not as much as he wants. (B) is incorrect because the bait should be kept the same way regardless of the stream. (C) is incorrect because the bait should be kept near the bottom. (D) is incorrect because Piscator advises Venator to use more in big streams and less in small ones.

32.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to interpret the meaning of a symbol in the passage. (B) is correct because, in both of his analogies, Piscator uses “fiddle” to refer to the equipment necessary for a task and “fiddle-stick” to refer to the skill required to use that equipment. His fishing advice teaches the skill required to fish well, so it’s the “fiddle-stick” in this situation. (A) and (D) are incorrect because the “sermon” and the “fiddle” are both pieces of equipment, not kinds of skill. (C) is incorrect because the “congregation” is the audience for a sermon; perhaps the parallel for fishing would be the fish. (E) is incorrect because the sermon-borrower is analogous to Venator: they both borrow metaphorical fiddles.

33.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to analyze the purpose of a portion of the passage. (A) is correct because Piscator’s story about the preachers shows that you can’t acquire someone else’s skill in speaking just by borrowing his speech. Similarly, you can’t acquire someone else’s skill in fishing just by borrowing his “rod and tacklings” (line 21). (B) is incorrect because he’s just caught a fish and makes no mention of the fish being inactive. (C) is incorrect because the story is not about plagiarism; the sermon-lender gives his sermon away willingly. (D) is incorrect because the story does not particularly praise the preacher, and it more concerns the lending of the sermon than the quality of the preacher’s sermonizing. (E) is incorrect because the story only uses fishing, preaching, and musicianship as analogies for one another; it does not suggest that these three areas of activity are practically related to each other. This answer blurs the lines between them by talking about Venator’s “own voice,” which he might use to write and deliver sermons, as a factor in his “fishing.”

34.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to analyze a portion of the passage and identify its implications. Venator mentions a saying from Lessius where it is said that “that poor men, and those that fast often, have much more pleasure in eating than rich men, and gluttons, that always feed before their stomachs are empty of their last meat and call for more.” The point of this saying is that eating is better when you’re hungry than when you gluttonously eat so much and so often that you’re never hungry. (C) is correct because the implication of comparing this mean to “many very costly dinners” after sharing such a saying is that the simple meal of fresh fish is enjoyable because Venator is hungry. (A) is incorrect because there is no indication that trout is a rare delicacy. (B) is incorrect because Venator does not compare Piscator to any other conversationalists. (D) is incorrect because Venator doesn’t suggest that he’s ever personally been bothered by drunken lords; he quotes Piscator as saying that it’s better to be a temperate, poor fisherman than a drunken lord, which is another sentiment about temperance and gluttony. (E) is incorrect because there is no indication that Venator dislikes fashionable or elaborate meals.

35.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to consider the relationships between characters in the passage. (C) is correct because Piscator spends most of the passage explaining things to Venator. First, he shares a parable and explains its significance. Next, he provides practical advice on how to fish. So, he acts as a teacher towards Venator. (A) and (B) are incorrect because there is no indication that there’s any particular familial or paternal relationship between the two men, only that Piscator is teaching Venator a lesson. (D) is incorrect because, although Piscator tells a story about preachers in lines 3-16, nothing in the passage suggests he is a preacher himself. Preachers usually discuss moral and spiritual topics, whereas Piscator primarily discusses fishing. (E) is incorrect because Piscator does not seem to have any power over Venator other than the knowledge that he’s imparting.

36.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to analyze the structure of the poem in order to identify the purpose of a specific phrase. The correct answer is (B) because the phrase is one of two parallel phrases within a clause describing the sound of the rain: “the rain unceasing beat / Upon the shingled roof like a weird song, / Upon the grass like running children’s feet.” It is part of a simile comparing the rain beating “upon the grass” to “running children’s feet.” A “pitter-patter” is a sound like rapid, light footsteps. (A) may be tempting because this phrase does describe the unceasing beating of the rain, but there are two parallel phrases describing that sound: this one describes what it sounds like “upon the grass,” while the phrase in line 3 describes what it sounds like “upon the shingled roof.” (C) is incorrect because the mist is described later in the poem, and this phrase is part of a simile comparing it to rain beating upon grass. (D) is incorrect because the “miracle at dawn” is that the rain has ended and the sun has come out at last, but this phrase describes the rain. The rain is part of dark and bothersome imagery, and the dawn is miraculous beauty. (E) is incorrect because, while the speaker is unable to sleep, there’s no suggestion that he spends the night pacing.

37.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to interpret figurative language. (A), “personification,” is correct because this line describes two inanimate things as if they were people or animals: it says that the mist “nestled” and that the earth has a “breast.” (B) might be tempting because the imagery of the mist “nestl[ing] against the earth’s wet breast” is somewhat charged and could be the sort of thing that one replaces with a euphemism. However, a euphemism is an innocuous phrase substituted for something sensitive or potentially offensive, not the content that it replaces. (C) is incorrect because “anaphora” is the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive lines, whereas there is no repetition present in this line. (D) is incorrect because “hyperbole” is the us of exaggeration for emphasis or comedic effect, which hardly describes the subdued and simple way the speaker describes mist forming above the earth. (E) is incorrect because a “mythical allusion” is a reference to a mythological figure or story. While the earth is personified in a number of myths, this description of the earth doesn’t specifically refer to any particular mythical earth-figure.

38.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to analyze the structure and tone of the poem. (B) is correct because the speaker initially seems annoyed with the weather. The “unceasing” rain keeps him up with its “weird song.” The natural imagery becomes more strange and beautiful until “there was a miracle at dawn!” The description of the beauty of the world bathed in sunlight makes the speaker seem awestruck; for a moment, the speaker seems filled with wonder at the scene. However, the speaker clarifies that he can’t really appreciate the beauty, because he is “blind with hunger for ... love.” That kind of desire is well-described as “yearning.” (A) is incorrect because at the end of the poem, the speaker is “hungry” for love—the opposite of “fulfilled.” (C) is incorrect because the speaker does not express any optimism at the end of the poem. (D) is incorrect because the speaker does tell us something about his feelings, but not about his behavior, which would be necessary to express an “animated” tone. (E) is incorrect because “introspective,” “pensive,” and “brooding” all mean the same thing.

39.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to determine which one of several conventional senses of a word is correct in the specific context of the passage. (A) is correct because to “transfigure” something is to transform it, usually into something better or more beautiful. In this poem, the break of dawn superficially changes, or “alters,” the landscape from something disturbing into a scene of “radiant beauty” (line 14). (B) is incorrect in this context because “overhauled” connotes repairs to damaged things. The night is dark and unpleasant, but it’s not broken, so this sense doesn’t fit. (C) is incorrect because “rearranged” means to move an object into a different position, while nothing is said to be physically relocated in this poem. (D) is incorrect because “mutated” has an inappropriate tone. The word is distinctly biological, and often negative or menacing. (E), “converted,” might make sense if the speaker said what things were converted into, but does not make sense on its own.

40.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to make inferences about the poem’s intended audience. (E) is correct because “blind with hunger for your love” (line 16) suggests a kind of passionate desire that is most typical of romantic relationships. It can also be inferred that this lover is “absent” from the line “For you, more woeful, were far away” (line 15). (A), (C), and (D) are all incorrect because “blind with hunger for your love” expresses a yearning, passionate love, that would not usually be directed towards family members, children, or communities. (B) is incorrect because, although the addressee is never named, the intensity of “I was blind with hunger for your love” shows that the speaker has someone specific in mind.

41.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to recognize a variety of literary devices and identify the one that is NOT used in the indicated lines of a poem. (E) is correct because “identical rhyme” is the rhyming of a word with itself. No words are repeated in these lines to make an identical rhyme. If you eliminated this choice, you might have confused it with “perfect rhyme,” in which either homonyms (words that are different but are pronounced the same, like “seam” and “seem”) are rhymed, or words with identical ending vowel and consonant sounds but different initial sounds (like “bale” and “pale”) are rhymed. (A) is incorrect because sibilance is the repetition of consonants that make hissing sounds, like the “s” sounds in “Slid slowly, silently, the wraith-like mist” (line 7). (B) is incorrect because consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in any part of words, like the “k” and hard “c” in “dark cloud kissed” (line 5. (C) is incorrect because alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words, and the lines quoted above for sibilance and consonance also show alliteration. (D) is incorrect because assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds, like the repetition of a short “e” sound in “… nestled soft against the earth’s wet breast” (line 8).

42.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to interpret figurative language. (A) is correct because the speaker claims to be “blind” to the beauty of the day, saying that its “radiant beauty could not move” him emotionally. The speaker then explains that he is blind because of “hunger for your love,” expressing a desperate, passionate desire for the addressee of the poem. (B) is incorrect because the speaker is merely using metaphorical hunger to explain his figurative blindness, and not referring to actual physical senses such as sight or hunger. (C) is incorrect because the speaking is using blindness figuratively, not literally. (D) is incorrect the speaker uses blindness to express his current state; he’s not bargaining his sight to gain his love, he’s “blind” to the beauty around him at the moment he is speaking. (E) is may be tempting because it’s another way of expressing a powerful yearning, but it doesn’t specifically express the idea that his yearning has made him insensitive to other kinds of beauty.

43.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to identify a theme explored in a portion of the poem. (A) is correct because these lines describe the speaker’s experience of a rain storm and a sun rise, both natural phenomena. The storm is powerful enough to keep the speaker awake (line 2), while the sunrise is “a miracle” that transforms the appearance of the landscape.(B) is incorrect because the theme of longing only appears in the poem’s last two lines when the speaker directly addresses someone for whom he is “blind with hunger.” (C) and (D) may be tempting because children and music are mentioned in lines 3 and 4, but both only show up once and only as things that the rain storm, the focus of this poem, is compared to. (E) may be tempting because night and day are often used as metaphors for death and life, but there’s nothing in this particular poem to support that interpretation. Further, the other images in the lines are vivacious, active, sensual, and maternal. It’s not impossible that a poet would combine such imagery with imagery of death, but those images do not support the reading of these lines as being about death.

44.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to identify the genre of the poem. (E) is correct because an ode is addressed to someone or something specific and reveals the speaker’s feelings about that person or thing. We learn in the last three lines that the whole poem has been addressed to a specific person the speaker calls “you,” and that the speaker only described the rainstorm and the sunrise as part of his explanation of how much he misses this “you.” (A) is incorrect because doggerel is comic poetry written in irregular verse. It is also sometimes used as a derogatory term for very poorly-written poetry. This poem doesn’t have a comic tone, and it’s neatly composed in iambic pentameter (B) is incorrect because an elegy praises someone or something that is dead or lost; the speaker is mourning the absence of his beloved in this poem, but she is only “far away,” not necessarily dead or lost. Further, while the speaker expresses yearning for her, he does not offer any specific praise. (C) is incorrect because an allegory is a poem or story whose characters stand for abstract concepts, and we have no reason to think the rainstorm or the sunrise represent anything other than themselves. Their power in this poem doesn’t come from their symbolizing anything so much as the vivid detail in which they are described. (D) is incorrect because an extended metaphor compares two unlike things throughout a poem. This poem uses several different metaphors and a number of similes. However, it doesn’t draw any one metaphor out across the length of the poem.

45.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to analyze how the author of the poem achieves a specific effect. (B) is correct because lines 9-13 describe in great detail the gorgeousness of the day. However, at the end of that description, the speaker begins line 14 with “But” and says that this “radiant beauty could not move” him because he was “blind with hunger for your love.” The more beautiful something is, the more it would take to distract someone from it; for the speaker to be blind to such a beautiful day, his “hunger” for the addressee must be completely overwhelming. Further, the abrupt transition from beautiful descriptions of nature to the speaker’s blindness and hunger creates a sudden emotional fall for the reader, and the withdrawal of pleasant, enjoyable imagery creates an absence that parallels the absence of the speaker’s beloved. (A) is incorrect because, although this comparison does emphasize the addressee’s beauty, it does not specifically support the speaker’s claim that he is hungry for the addressee’s love (C) is incorrect because the speaker never uses blindingly bright imagery; he does compare sun on the grass to “a sheet of gold,” which implies a certain shininess, but he never suggests that that this sunlight blinds him. (D) is incorrect because, although the sudden introduction of “you” and “your” in the last few lines is surprising, it does not specifically emphasize that the speaker is “blind with hunger” for the addressee’s love. (E) is incorrect because the speaker never alludes to feelings of anger or agitation. He does suggest that the rain kept him awake (lines 1-2), which could be annoying. However, the overall tone of the poem is gentle, as shown by images like “the...mist / ... nestled soft against the earth’s wet breast” (line 8) “the still air stirred at the touch of the faint breeze,” (line 10). The phrase “I was blind” is dramatic but not inherently angry.

46.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to analyze the argument of the poem. (A) is correct because the speaker, having quoted the words of his friend, emphasizes that the passage of “Time” can only “make her beauty over again” (8). She even has qualities now that she did not in her youth (11): “The fire that stirs about her ... / Burns ... more clearly” (10-11). This means that the friend has no reason to try to comfort the speaker; his “well beloved” is more beautiful than ever. (B) is incorrect because the emphasis on patience comes from the friend and is rejected by the speaker. (C) is incorrect because the poem doesn’t specifically engage with “all things that live.” (D) is incorrect because the speaker’s exhortation, “O heart! O heart!” (line 13) strongly implies that passion has remained. (E) is incorrect because the speaker does not see passion and the acceptance of age as two opposed things: he feels passion for his beloved because of her age, not despite it.

47.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to identify the form of the poem. (B) is correct because a sonnet is a 14-line poem with a regular meter and a rhyme scheme. This poem has 14 lines in a regular meter (iambic pentameter) and a rhyme scheme (rhyming couplets, aabbcc, etc.). If you eliminated this answer, it might have been because it doesn’t have the rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet (abab cdcd efef gg). Shakespearean sonnets are often the major examples of sonnets used in high school classrooms, but the rhyme schemes of sonnets can vary. (A) is incorrect because an ode is poem of praise addressed to the person or thing it’s praising. This poem offers praise to the speaker’s beloved, but it’s addressed to his own heart. (C) is incorrect because an extended metaphor is, as its name suggests, a conceit that can carry over the whole length of a poem. In this poem, the metaphors at play are more local and short. (D) is incorrect because an elegy is a poem that looks backwards in time, and is usually about the dead. The lover described in this poem is still alive (and more beautiful than ever). (E) is incorrect because an allegory is a narrative that stands for something else; there’s no reason to doubt that the events described in the story of this poem (the speaker’s friend speaking to him and the speaker rejecting the advice because it’s superfluous) are intended to represent something else.

48.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to consider relationship between the speaker and a character mentioned in the poem. The speaker introduces the quoted person as “one who is ever kind.” This person addresses the speaker as “friend” (line 6). It therefore makes the most sense to call this person a friend. (A) is incorrect because the lover does not speak in this poem. (B) is incorrect because the quoted portion doesn’t echo any well-known sayings. (D) is incorrect because there’s no mention of childhood advice, and the person quoted said these words only “yesterday” (line 1). (E) is incorrect because rivals are never mentioned.

49.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to analyze the implications of an argument presented in the poem. The friend begins by observing signs of aging in the speaker’s beloved. His statements in lines 4-5 are a little bit easier to understand (and still mean the same thing) if we rearrange the order a little bit: “it’s hard” (line 5) but “time” makes it “easier to be wise / till trouble is at an end.” (lines 5-6). In other words, it’s hard to see your beloved grow old and lose her youthful beauty, but time will make it easier “to be wise.” The implication of contrasting wisdom with hardship is that wisdom is a comfort against hardship. To be “patient” is to be calm or stoical in the face of suffering or while waiting for something. So, again, the implication is that the speaker will suffer less if he’s patient. This fits best with (E). (A), (B), and (C) are incorrect because the friend’s comments only discuss beauty insofar as he implies that it must be hard for the speaker to see his beloved losing her youthful beauty. He doesn’t compare beauty to other virtues; he only suggests that it will get easier to deal with the loss beauty in time. (D) is incorrect because the speaker, not his friend, says that “time can but make her beauty over again” (line 8).

50.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to identify the tone of the poem. (B) is correct because the speaker’s emphasis on his beloved’s beauty and great nobleness, his use of powerful imagery like “the fire that stirs about her,” and the exclamation, “O heart! O heart!” all contribute to a “passionate” tone. (A) is incorrect because “pessimism” suggests a hopelessness that is not present; it’s true that it’s “folly” to try to comfort the speaker, but that’s not because he doesn’t see any hope: it’s because his beloved can only become more beautiful. (C) is incorrect because “wistful” implies a kind of backwards-looking longing that doesn’t fit here; the speaker embraces the present, and implies that his beloved will be yet more beautiful in the future. (D) is incorrect because an “apathetic” tone would show no strong feelings or interest. The speaker isn’t interesting in being comforted, but that’s because his feelings for his beloved are very powerful and passionate. (E) is incorrect because to be “ambivalent” means to be divided or unsure; this speaker has a very firm opinion that his beloved has a “great nobleness” that burns brighter with time.

51.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to determine which one of several conventional senses of a word is correct in the specific context of the passage. (A) is correct because “senselessness” conveys the idea that there is no purpose to being comforted when the ostensible source of hardship isn’t real; in other words, it doesn’t make sense to be comforted about something that isn’t true. (B) is incorrect because “madness” suggests irrationality so extreme that it might cast doubt on one’s sanity. That’s too extreme for this context. (C) is incorrect because “irresponsibility” suggests that the speaker would be rejecting some practical obligation by being comforted, but this is about the wisdom of adopting a certain perspective or attitude—not about taking or neglecting any practical action. (D) is incorrect because “recklessness” suggests risky behavior. The speaker doesn’t seem to argue that being comforted would be risky—only that there’s no point in it, and that it’s better to see his beloved’s nobleness and beauty. (E) is incorrect because “indiscretion” is tactless behavior that’s socially embarrassing or hurtful because it reveals something that should be kept secret. It would certain be an indiscretion for the speaker to tell his beloved that he is comforted by the idea that time will bring him the wisdom to cope with her loss of beauty—because that would be hurtful and insulting. However, only a private feeling is being discussed, and those can never be indiscreet.

52.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to work out the relationships between specific words in a complex structure. (E) is correct because the word “wise” is only used by the speaker’s friend, who first uses it in a general sense, suggesting that time makes it easier for any of us to be wise, and then advises the speaker to be wise. The word is never used to describe the lover as such. (A) is incorrect because the word “grey” is used to describe her hair in line 2. (B) is incorrect because “beauty” is ascribed to the speaker’s beloved in line 8. (C) is incorrect because “nobleness” is ascribed to the speaker’s beloved in line 9. (D) is incorrect because the friend says that “shadows” are around her eyes in line 3.

53.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to interpret the meaning of a phrase in the passage. (E) is incorrect because it offers reasonable interpretations of both “glibly” and “reminiscently,” and makes sense with the rest of the passage. To speak “glibly” is to speak smoothly, but also to be a bit slippery (it comes from a word meaning “jelly”). “Reminiscently” could mean that he’s speaking in a way that suggests he’s lost in memory; however, “reminiscently” can also mean that one thing strongly resembles another. This phrase suggests that Amory could speak on the topics in which his mother educated him with a smooth confidence, but in a way that only superficially resembled having real knowledge and opinions because he was limited to echoing his mother’s opinions. (A) is incorrect because the phrase describes the way Amory talked, not the way he learned, and while it describes him as a child he is already talking “reminiscently” as a child—not reminiscing as an adult about childhood. (B), and (D) offer interpretations based on a misreading of the word “reminiscently” as meaning that Amory was “reminiscing” (or pretending to reminisce) about being personally acquainted with the composers, but this sentence is merely describing his cultural education. (C) is incorrect because “glib” doesn’t mean something like “vivid.” Glibness connotes a slick attitude, and possibly deceit or superficiality. This answer also suggests that “reminiscently” must mean that Amory is reminiscing about a personal experience, which isn’t necessarily true and isn’t supported by any experience described in the passage.

54.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to identify information explicitly stated in the passage. The narrator states that “he [Amory] sampled his mother’s apricot cordial” “when left alone in the hotel at Hot Springs.” (B), (C), (D), and (E) are all incorrect because it is explicitly stated that Amory drank the apricot cordial in Hot Springs, not any of the places these options name.

55.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to consider how a character in the passage is characterized and make an about her motives. (E) is correct because Beatrice “sink[s] her voice to a whisper” to the story about the cordial, which she knows is scandalous, drawing her audience in (literally, as they would most likely have to stand closer to her in order to hear her lowered voice) and creating “conspiratorial intimacy” by suggesting that she is inviting these listeners to be co-conspirators in the minor indiscretion of enjoying a scandalous story that is not for everyone to hear. (A) is incorrect because while Beatrice was “horrified” at the time of the incident, she is now amused, and she repeats this story so often that it becomes “her line” (line 11), making it unlikely that she feels “stern disapproval” towards Amory’s actions. Instead, Beatrice takes an understanding stance in lines 14-15, when she excuses Amory’s “vulgar, plebeian reaction” by characterizing him as “delicate” and stating that “we’re all delicate.” (B) and (C) are incorrect because the scene in which this phrase appears depicts Beatrice sharing the story with a “room full of awestruck, admiring women” (line 13), and it’s unlikely that she share a truly shameful or embarrassing story with a large and adoring audience—especially since Beatrice seems to hold herself above these women, who she says “pick up old, moth-eaten London accents” to “impress” her. (D) is incorrect because Beatrice herself has repeated this story so many times that it is “termed her “line”“ (line 11), so it’s not a “secret story” at all.

56.

The Correct Answer is (C) — The first part of the sentence, “They rejoiced, for she [Beatrice] was a brave raconteuse” describes the women’s delight at Beatrice’s excellent story-telling, while the second part describes “keys turned in sideboard locks that night”; since a “sideboard” can be used to store alcohol, and the later part of the sentence claims these sideboards are being locked “against the possible defection of little Bobby or Barbara,” this means alcohol is being locked up so children won’t steal it. (A) incorrectly takes “defection” in its sense of “leaving one country or team for another.” However, even if children were thinking of leaving home, locking the sideboard wouldn’t stop them because a sideboard is just a cupboard. More importantly, “defection” is being used in a different sense here: it can describe abandoning one’s duty by behaving badly, as children would be doing if they stole their parents’ liquor. (B) is incorrect because the locks in which “the keys turned” in this phrase refer to a sideboard, which is a piece of furniture usually used for dishes and linens, or in this instance liquor. (D) is not correct because the women who “rejoiced” in this sentence are locking their “sideboard locks [...] against the possible defection of little Bobby or Barbara.” The adjective “little” suggests that “Bobby or Barbara” are generic names being used for little boys and girls—not burglars. (E) is not correct because this sentence only suggests that women were locking their liquor cabinets to keep their children from stealing alcohol, which does not imply any suspicion about Beatrice or her drinking habits.

57.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to interpret figurative language. (A) is correct because Beatrice sees her stories as things to “be thrown off,” that is, gotten rid of, by telling them to acquaintances. “Nerves” in this context describes Beatrice’s mental state, so it would make sense that she would want to get rid of stories if she thought they would “strain” (that is, press on them, cause stress) her nerves. (B), (C), and (D) are incorrect because they interpret the language somewhat too literally. “Nerves” is being used figuratively in the sense of “mental state.” It doesn’t literally refer to physical nerves, so these words, which on the sense of “lay[ing] siege to” as to physically blocking off entry and exit from a place, are too concrete. (E) may be tempting because it does refer to an emotional state. However, “nerves” specifically connotes a spectrum of feelings from calm or brave to anxious or fearful, not happy or sad. Just think of phrases like “nerves of steel,” “a bundle of nerves,” “a nervous wreck,” or “a lot of nerve.”

58.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to interpret the cumulative effect of a series of phrases in the passage. (C) is correct because all of these expressions in some way put down the people around the Blaines. The phrase “enough relatives to serve in place of friends” implies that the Blaines are part of an old family of sufficient distinction that they don’t need to form strong relationships beyond the clan and aren’t particularly interested in doing so. And while the Blaines themselves are attached to no city, Beatrice speaks contemptuously of the detachment of “floating ex-westermers” by insulting their non-regional accents, implying that their “floating” is a flaw. That Beatrice’s audience is described as a room full of “awestruck, admiring women” in the context of Beatrice’s lack of interest in making friends outside of her distinguished family and her active disdain for people who are unattached to any particular region in a way that’s somehow worse than her lack of attachment to any particular city shows that she enjoys and expects one-sided affection, which affirms her sense of superiority. (A) is incorrect because, while Beatrice thrives on attention, the Blaines don’t appear to “rely” on people like the “awestruck, admiring women” that Beatrice enjoys entertaining with her stories. (B) and (E) are incorrect because it is never implied that Beatrice or Amory are lonely or isolated. In fact, the phrase “quite enough relatives to serve in place of friends” means the opposite: Beatrice has plenty of relatives to spend time with and has actively chosen not to make any other friends. (D) is incorrect because, while Beatrice might regard her own lack of attachment to any particular place as enriching, she is contemptuous of the habits picked up by “the floating populations of ex-Westerners.”

59.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to interpret the tone of a specific line in the passage. (E) is correct because Beatrice, who is speaking, is describing accents affected by westerners feel they have become “prosperous enough” to have an accent, but she uses the harshly negative descriptions “old, moth-eaten” and “down on their luck” to express her critical and disapproving opinion of these “accents” she is describing, mocking the affectations of people she regards as inferior. (A) is incorrect because, while Beatrice’s opinions might cause an argument if she said them to the people she is criticizing, she does not suggest that there is anything sad about these people or their accents. (B) is not correct because to express something “emphatically” means to do so clearly and with great force, whereas Beatrice is described as “dreamy” and “almost incoherent.” (C) is incorrect because, while Beatrice may in some sense be offended by how fake these ex-Westerners’ accents are, she is not “personally” offended; the accents do not attack or insult her specifically. In fact, she seems to take some pleasure in the idea that they affect the accents to impress her. (D) is not correct because Beatrice does not show any kindness or compassion in these lines; she is making fun of the people she is talking about, not being sympathetic to them. There is something ironic about Beatrice, who is attached to no city and has an emotional need to share her stories with adoring audiences, demeaning others for their lack of regional attachments and for affecting habits to impress others—but Beatrice doesn’t seem aware of that, and the irony is in the situation, not the line.

60.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to identify the best description of a character based on information in the passage. (E) is correct because Beatrice always sees herself as the most important person in a situation, which makes her “self-absorbed.” For example, she thinks that the ex-Westerners put on fake accents specifically to impress her (lines 33-43). We also know that she is “emotionally fragile” because she feels a compulsion to repeat certain personal stories lest they “sweep in and lay siege to her nerves” (line 30). (A) is incorrect because the final paragraph shows Beatrice making fun of the accents of travelling American women, which is not the way a caring and considerate person speaks. (B) is not correct because Beatrice comes from a very wealthy family: the Blaines enjoy an “enviable standing from Pasadena to Cape Cod” (lines 23-24), i.e. from one side of the USA to the other. The women around her are “awestruck” and “admiring” as they listen to her (line 13), and Beatrice certainly sees herself as superior to them: she thinks that they “try to impress” her with fake European accents. (C) is incorrect because, even though Beatrice appears to be at a party in the second paragraph, it is not clear whether she is a guest or the hostess, and it is never revealed how Beatrice might have acted as a houseguest in the past or future. (D) is incorrect because the story of Amory and the apricot cordial proves that Beatrice is not a conspicuously attentive mother, as it was a result of Beatrice having “left [Amory] alone in the hotel at Hot Springs,” (lines 4-5). Her interactions with Amory seem more about satisfying her own vanity than attending to his needs, as when he overhears her tell a potentially embarrassing story about him getting into her cordial and getting sick to a room full of people so that she can enjoy their attention, or she rambles on to him about how Western women need to impress her.

61.

The Correct Answer is (E) — This question requires you to analyze the relationships between characters in the passage. (E) is correct because Beatrice is speaking ill of other adults, which would be more typical when an adult is addressing a fellow adult instead of a child. This builds on other evidence that Beatrice doesn’t recognize Amory’s childlike needs and limitations, as when she leaves him alone in the hotel room in Hot Springs. (A) is not correct because while Beatrice suspects American women of the affecting fake accents, she never tells Amory that they can’t be trusted. (B) is incorrect because there is no evidence to support the idea that Beatrice is motivated to criticize American women by being a “jealous mother.” That is, she doesn’t seem to fear that if she doesn’t criticize Western women, Amory might like them better than her. Rather, she seems motivated by a more general sense of vanity. (C) is incorrect because, while there are pauses in her speech, as indicated by em-dashes, Beatrice does not seem to be pausing between words to speak more slowly and comprehensibly, or to explain obvious points. Rather, her attention simply seems to be drifting. (D) is incorrect because Beatrice is insulting ex-Westerners in this paragraph, so it is unlikely that her manner of speaking, though slow and “dreamy,” is intended to express affection for her son.