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Reading Assessment V. RESTORATION prose

DIRECTIONSCarefully read the following passage. Use context clues to help define any words with which you are unfamiliar. Pay close attention to the use of figurative language, argument, and tone. Then, on a separate sheet of paper, answer the questions that follow.

from “The Battle of the Books” by Jonathan Swift

                              [U]pon the highest corner of a large window there dwelt a certain spider, swollen up to the first magnitude by the destruction of infinite numbers of flies, whose spoils lay scattered before the gates of his palace, like human bones before the cave of some giant. … In this mansion he had for some time dwelt in peace and plenty, without danger to his person by swallows from above, or to his palace by brooms from below: when it was the pleasure of fortune to conduct thither a wandering bee, to whose curiosity a broken pane in the glass had discovered itself, and in he went; where … he at last happened to alight upon one of the outward walls of the spider’s citadel; which, yielding to the unequal weight, sunk down to the very foundation. Thrice he endeavored to force his passage, and thrice the center shook. The spider within, feeling the terrible convulsion, supposed at first that nature was approaching to her final dissolution; or else, that Beelzebub, with all his legions, was come to revenge the death of many thousands of his subjects whom his enemy had slain and devoured. However, he at length valiantly resolved to issue forth and meet his fate. Meanwhile the bee had acquitted himself of his toils, and, posted securely at some distance, was employed in cleansing his wings, and disengaging them from the ragged remnants of the cobweb. By this time the spider was adventured out, when, beholding the chasms, the ruins, and dilapidations of his fortress, he was very near his wits’ end; he stormed and swore like a madman, and swelled till he was ready to burst. … ”A plague split you,” said he … “is it you, with a vengeance, that have made this litter here? … ” “Good words, friend,” said the bee having now pruned himself, and being disposed to droll. … ”Sirrah,” replied the spider, “if it were not for breaking an old custom in our family, never to stir abroad against an enemy, I should come and teach you better manners.” “I pray have patience,” said the bee, “or you’ll spend your substance, and, for aught I see, you may stand in need of it all, toward the repair of your house.” “Rogue, rogue,” replied the spider, “yet methinks you should have more respect to a person whom all the world allows to be so much your betters. “ … At this the spider, having swelled himself into the size and posture of a disputant, began his argument in the true spirit of controversy. … “Not to disparage myself,” said he, “by the comparison with such a rascal, what art thou but a vagabond without house or home, without stock or inheritance? born to no possession of your own, but a pair of wings and a drone-pipe. Your livelihood is a universal plunder upon nature. … ” “I am glad,” answered the bee, “to hear you grant at least that I am come honestly by my wings and my voice; for then, it seems, I am obliged to Heaven alone for my flights and my music. … I visit indeed all the flowers and blossoms of the field and garden; but whatever I collect thence enriches myself, without the least injury to their beauty, their smell, or their taste. … [O]ne insect furnishes you with a share of poison to destroy another … producing nothing at all but flybane and a cobweb.”


Directions Answer these questions about the extract

1.Which of the following literary elements is Jonathan Swift using in the phrase the destruction of infinite numbers of flies, in line 2?

A allusion

B metaphor

C simile

D hyperbole

E motif

2.Which of the following literary elements is Swift using in the phrase like human bones before the cave of some giant, in line 3?

A conceit

B hyperbole

C simile

D metaphor

E aside

3.At first what does the spider assume is happening as the bee attempts to free itself?

A The world is ending.

B A sparrow has come to eat him.

C A broom is sweeping away his web.

D A fly has landed in his web.

E A bee has landed in his web.

4.Which of the following literary elements is Swift using in the phrase Beelzebub, with all his legions, was come to revenge the death of many thousands of his subjects, in lines 11–12?

A allusion

B metaphor

C simile

D hyperbole

E motif

5.From the context, what do you conclude that the word acquitted, in line 14, means?

A exonerated

B explained

C freed

D imprisoned

E prosecuted

6.Which of the following literary elements is Swift using in the phrase he stormed and swore like a madman, in line 18?

A allusion

B metaphor

C simile

D hyperbole

E motif

7.Which of the following literary elements is Swift using in the phrase swelled till he was ready to burst, in line 18?

A allusion

B metaphor

C simile

D hyperbole

E motif

8.Why does the spider claim to be unable to attack the bee?

A The spider is afraid of the bee.

B The spider has been wounded.

C The spider must rebuild his web.

D There is no time for the spider to attack.

E A family tradition prevents the spider.

9.From the context, what do you conclude that the word substance, in line 23, means?

A basis

B matter

C theme

D thought

E understanding

10.What does the spider fear that he will do by comparing himself to the bee?

A cause controversy

B disparage himself

C lose his inheritance

D become a vagabond

E become a disputant

11.How does the bee counter the assertion that he is a universal plunder upon nature, in lines 31–32?

A The bee says that heaven gave it its flights and music.

B The bee says that the spider is more wicked.

C The bee says that it can fly and sing, and the spider cannot.

D The bee says that the spider cannot create anything.

E The bee says that it does not destroy what it collects.

12.From the context, what do you conclude that the word furnishes, in line 37, means?

A supplies

B removes

C confiscates

D undermines

E collects

13.Which of the following is the most prominent literary element in this passage?

A repetition

B symbol

C allegory

D apostrophe

E personification

14.According to your reading of this passage, what do you conclude that the overall tone of this piece is?

A angry

B humorous

C skeptical

D sinister

E knowing

15.From your reading of this selection, what do you think the author’s main purpose is?

A to persuade

B to instruct

C to inform

D to entertain

E to describe

DIRECTIONSCarefully read the following passage. Use context clues to help define any words with which you are unfamiliar. Pay close attention to the use of figurative language, argument, and tone. Then, on a separate sheet of paper, answer the questions that follow.

from “The Poor and Their Betters” by Henry Fielding

                                                Of all the oppressions which the rich are guilty of, there seems to be none more impudent and unjust than their endeavor to rob the poor of a title which is most clearly the property of the latter. Not contented with all the honorables, worshipfuls, reverends, and a thousand other proud epithets which they exact of the poor, and for which they give in return nothing but dirt, scrub, mob, and such like, they have laid violent hands on a word to which they have not the least pretense or shadow of any title. The word I mean is the comparative of the adjective good, namely better, or as it is usually expressed in the plural number betters. An appellation which all the rich usurp to themselves, and most shamefully use when they speak of, or to the poor: for do we not every day hear such phrases as these: Do not be saucy to your betters. Learn to behave yourself before your betters. Pray know your betters, etc. It is possible that the rich have been so long in possession of this, that they now lay a kind of prescriptive claim to the property; but however that be, I doubt not but to make it appear, that if the word better is to be understood as the comparative of good, and is meant to convey an idea of superior goodness, it is with the highest impropriety applied to the rich, in comparison with the poor. And this I the rather undertake, as the usurpation which I would obviate, hath produced a very great mischief in society; for the poor having been deceived into an opinion (for monstrous as it is, such an opinion hath prevailed) that the rich are their betters, have been taught to honor, and of consequence to imitate the examples of those whom they ought to have despised; while the rich on the contrary are misled into a false contempt of what they ought to respect, and by this means lose all the advantage which they might draw from contemplating the exemplary lives of these their real betters. First then let us imagine to ourselves, a person wallowing in wealth, and lolling in his chariot, his mind torn with ambition, avarice, envy, and every other bad passion, and his brain distracted with schemes to deceive and supplant some other man, to cheat his neighbor or perhaps the public, what a glorious use might such a person derive to himself, as he is rolled through the outskirts of the town, by due meditations, on the lives of those who dwell in stalls and cellars! What a noble lesson of true Christian patience and contentment may such a person learn from his betters, who enjoy the highest cheerfulness in their poor condition; their minds being disturbed by no unruly passion, nor their heads by any racking cares! Where again shall we look for an example of temperance? In the stinking kitchens of the rich, or under the humble roofs of the poor? Where for prudence but among those who have the fewest desires? Where for fortitude, but among those who have every natural evil to struggle with? In modesty, I think, there will be little difficulty in knowing where we are to find our betters: for to this virtue there can be nothing more diametrically opposite than pride. Whenever therefore we observe persons stretching up their heads, and looking with an air of contempt on all around them, we may be well assured there is no modesty there. Indeed I never yet heard it enumerated among all the bad qualities of an oyster-woman or a cider-wench, that she had a great deal of pride, and consequently there is at least a possibility that such may have a great deal of modesty, whereas it is absolutely impossible that those to whom much pride belongs, should have any tincture of its opposite virtue. Nor are the pretensions of these same betters less strongly supported in that most exalted virtue of justice, witness the daily examples which they give of it in their own persons. When a man was punished for his crimes the Greeks said that he gave justice. Now this is a gift almost totally confined to the poor, and it is a gift which they very seldom fail of making as often as there is any very pressing occasion. Who can remember to have seen a rich man whipt at the cart’s tail! And how seldom (I am sorry to say it) are such exalted to the pillory, or sentenced to transportation! And as for the most reputable, namely the capital punishments, how rarely do we see them executed on the rich! I do not pretend to say, that the mob have no faults; perhaps they have many. I assert no more than this, that they are in all laudable qualities very greatly superior to those who have hitherto, with much injustice, pretended to look down upon them. In this attempt, I may perhaps have given offense to some of the inferior sort, but I am contented with the assurance of having espoused the cause of truth; and in so doing, I am well convinced I shall please all who are really my betters.



Directions Answer these questions about the extract

1.Fielding’s main purpose in this essay is to

Aexpress his opinions about social class

Bpersuade lawmakers to implement reforms

Cwarn people of the danger of class warfare

Dmotivate readers to help poor people

2.Fielding achieves his purpose and reinforces his views by using

Aa satiric tone

Bdramatic dialogue

Csimple language

Da humorous subject

3.What problem does Fielding identify in this essay?

Athe deterioration of the English language

Ba lack of respect for poor people

Cthe government’s indifference to people

Da breakdown of the accepted social order

4.What can you conclude about Fielding’s attitude toward the poor?

AHe hopes that poor people can learn to coexist with the rich.

BHe wants the poor to be rewarded for their suffering.

CHe predicts that one day the poor will rise up against the rich.

DHe thinks that poor people are more virtuous than the rich.

5.Fielding probably titled his essay “The Poor and Their Betters” in order to

Amake poor people angry

Bpresent an opinion he will refute

Cjustify economic and social inequality

Demphasize the problems of poverty

6.In lines 5–6, Fielding uses the phrase “dirt, scrub, mob, and such like” to support his claim that

Aalthough poor people can be rude and unruly, they deserve respect

Bsome people respond better to praise than to criticism

Crich people use many unflattering words to describe the poor

Dname-calling is not a good way to solve social problems

7.Which statement summarizes the opposing viewpoint presented in lines 12–13?

AThe wealth and privilege of the rich entitle them to a superior status.

BOnly the rich understand the true meaning of the term betters.

CIn calling themselves betters, the rich are upholding a long-standing custom.

DPoor people don’t want to be placed above the rich.

8.Fielding counters the viewpoint expressed in lines 12–13 by arguing that

Athe poor have been tricked into thinking that they are not as good as the rich

Bit is not fair to compare the rich and the poor because their lives and circumstances are different

Cbecause better means “higher in quality,” the term should not be used to compare the rich to the poor

Dthere is no evidence to prove that one social class is better or worse than another

9.You can conclude from the image in lines 24–29 that Fielding views wealthy people as





10.To support his claim that poor people have great patience, Fielding notes in lines 31–32 that they

Aare eager to learn from others

Bchoose to live in harsh conditions

Crefuse to worry about anything important

Daccept their poverty with good spirits

11.In lines 33–34, Fielding contrasts “the stinking kitchens of the rich” with “the humble roofs of the poor” to support his claim that

Athe rich live extravagantly, while the poor live simply

Bthe rich are not good cooks, and the poor are not good builders

Crich people and poor people both have problems

Dpoor people are happier in life than rich people

12.When Fielding notes in lines 41-42 that the rich look on those around them “with an air of contempt,” he is supporting the claim that

Apoor people don’t have pride

Bwealth is a sign of superiority

Cwealthy people are not modest

Deveryone deserves to live with dignity

13.What might you conclude about justice in 18th c. England from Fielding’s discussion in lines 46–54?

AThe judicial system favored the rich.

BJustice was valued more than other virtues.

CEven minor crimes were punished harshly.

DLaws were passed to protect the poor.

14.In lines 54–56, Fielding counters the view that poor people have flaws by arguing that

Asociety must learn to overlook the shortcomings of poor people

Bdespite their flaws, the poor are more virtuous than the rich

Cif rich people were truly virtuous, they would treat poor people with respect

Drich people should be punished severely for their crimes

15.Reread lines 57–59. Which group of people does Fielding think will be pleased with his essay?

Arich people

Bpoor people

Cproud people

Dinferior people


Short ResponseWrite three or four sentences to answer this question.

16.List three moral failings that Fielding assigns to the wealthy class. Give one example of support that he offers to back up each claim.

Extended ResponseWrite two or three paragraphs to answer this question.

17.Discuss Fielding’s claim in lines 12–13 that by using the term betters to describe themselves, rich people have produced “a very great mischief in society.” Give examples of the support he offers for this claim.

Date: 2016-03-03; view: 3063

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