Reading Drama Practice Exercises: GED Language Arts, Reading
The study guide for these practice questions can be found at:
Read the following passages and answer the related questions.
The following extract is from The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. The play takes place during the early years of World War II, and the characters are Jews who are hiding from the Nazis. The audience is aware that Anne and her family will die in concentration camps.
ANNE: I'm a terrible coward. I'm so disappointed in myself. I think I've conquered my fear… I think I'm really grown up… and then something happens… and I run to you like a baby… I love you, Father. I don't love anyone but you.
MR. FRANK: [reproachfully] Anneke!
ANNE: It's true. I've been thinking about it for a long time. You're the only one I love.
MR. FRANK: It's fine to hear you tell me that you love me. But I'd be happier if you said you loved your mother as well… She needs your help so much… your love…
ANNE: We have nothing in common. She doesn't understand me. Whenever I try to explain my views on life to her she asks me if I'm constipated.
MR. FRANK: You hurt her very much just now. She's crying. She's in there crying.
ANNE: I can't help it. I only told the truth. I didn't want her here… [Then, with sudden change] Oh, Pim, I was horrible, wasn't I? And the worst of it is, I can stand off and look at myself doing it and know it's cruel and yet I can't stop doing it. What's the matter with me? Tell me. Don't say it's just a phase. Help me!
MR. FRANK: There is so little that we parents can do to help our children. We can only try to set a good example… point the way. The rest you must do yourself. You must build your own character.
ANNE: I'm trying. Really I am. Every night I think back over all of the things I did that day that were wrong… like putting the wet mop in Mr. Dussel's bed… and this thing now with Mother. I say to myself, that was wrong. I make up my mind, I'm never going to do that again. Never! Of course I may do something worse… but at least I'll never do that again!… I have a nice side, Father… a sweeter, nicer side. But I'm scared to show it. I'm afraid that people are going to laugh at me if I'm serious. So the mean Anne comes to the outside and the good Anne stays on the inside, and I keep on trying to switch them around and have the good Anne outside and the bad Anne inside and be what I'd like to be… and might be… if only… only…
[She is asleep. MR. FRANK watches her for a moment and then turns off the light, and starts out. The lights dim out. The curtain falls on the scene. ANNE'S VOICE is heard dimly at first, and then with growing strength.]
ANNE'S VOICE:… The air raids are getting worse. They come over day and night. The noise is terrifying. Pim says it should be music to our ears. The more planes, the sooner will come the end of the war. Mrs. Van Daan pretends to be a fatalist. What will be, will be. But when the planes come over, who is the most frightened? No one else but Petronella!… Monday, the ninth of November, nineteen-forty-two. Wonderful news! The Allies have landed in Africa. Pim says that we can look for an early finish to the war. Just for fun he asked each of us what was the first thing we wanted to do when we got out of here. Mrs. Van Daan longs to be home with her own things, her needle-point chairs, the Beckstein piano that her father gave her… the best that money could buy. Peter would like to go to a movie. Mr. Dussel wants to get back to his dentist drill. He's afraid that he's losing his touch. For myself, there are so many things… to ride a bike again… to laugh till my belly aches… to have new clothes from the skin out… to have a hot tub and fill it to overflowing and wallow in it for hours… to be back in school with my friends…
[As the last lines are being said, the curtain rises on the scene. The lights dim as ANNE'S VOICE fades away.]
- What is the probable setting of this play?
- North Africa, 1988
- Europe, 1942
- a New York City apartment
- the mountains of Tennessee
- Mars, 2112
- Anne's attitude in this passage might be described as
- Anne's desires for what she'll do when she gets free reveal her to be
- frightened about the future.
- angry toward the world.
- a bit unusual.
- a normal teenaged girl.
- highly intellectual.
- The passages marked ANNE'S VOICE are examples of
- dramatic tension.
- One character says that we can look for an early finish to the war. This might be an example of
- dramatic irony.
- stage direction.
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