Arts and Humanities Critical Reading Practice Exercises Set 2 (page 2)

Updated on Sep 27, 2011


  1. b.   The passage defines panopticon in lines 7–8: a place in which everything is in full view of others. The second paragraph repeats this definition in lines 13–14: every prisoner's cell would be in full view of the guards.
  2. a.   In the third paragraph, the author states that people behave differently when they know they are being watched (lines 20–21)—and that when we are being watched, or even think we are being watched, we will act the way we think we should act when we are being observed by others (lines 24–25). Thus, the panopticon would be a useful tool for social control. If prisoners know they may be being watched by guards, it is logical to conclude that they are less likely to commit any wrongdoings; thus, the panopticon helps maintain order.
  3. c.   The author states in line 27 that the panopticon is already here and then states that surveillance cameras are everywhere and we often don't even know our actions are being recorded (lines 27–29). The rest of the paragraph provides additional examples of how our cyber-whereabouts are observed and recorded.
  4. d.   In Bentham's panopticon, the prisoners would know they were being watched—or rather, they would know that they could be being watched (lines 15–17). However, in our modern panopticon, the author states, we often don't even know our actions are being recorded (lines 28–29).
  5. a.   Although information from our credit card purchases is often recorded and exchanged, the author makes no mention of an increased use of credit card purchases contributing to the erosion of privacy. All of the other options, however, are listed in the fourth and sixth paragraphs.
  6. c.   The paragraph describing the author's experience with identity theft immediately follows the sentence: We can do little to stop the information gathering and exchange and can only hope to be able to control the damage if something goes wrong (lines 43–45) and serves as an example of something going wrong—the misuse of private information.
  7. e.   The example of identity theft makes it clear that in cyberspace, with so much information floating about [….] and so much technology that can record and observe (lines 53–55), our privacy is in jeopardy—it is constantly at risk of being exploited.
  8. d.   Because of the author's personal experience with identity theft, and because the author finds it truly amazing that someone would want to live in a transparent house (lines 56–57), it can be inferred that the author greatly values privacy. The passage also expresses great concern for the lack of control over information in cyberspace (paragraph 4), stating that we can only hope to be able to control the damage if something goes wrong (line 44–45). Thus the author would likely support stricter regulations for information gathering and exchange, especially on the Internet.
  9. e.   In the second sentence the author states that Prometheus is a complex character, and in this and the following sentence, the author lists several specific examples of the rich combination of often-contradictory characteristics of Prometheus.
  10. d.   The passage relates the key episodes in the life of Prometheus. This is the only idea broad enough and relevant enough to be the main idea of the passage.
  11. b.   Prometheus's actions show that he cared for humans more than he cared for Zeus. He gave man knowledge of the arts and sciences although Zeus wanted men to be kept in ignorance (lines 17–18); he tricked Zeus to give mankind the best meat from an ox (line 22); and he stole fire from Mt. Olympus to give mortals the fire that Zeus had denied them (lines 30–31).
  12. a.   Zeus had given Prometheus and his brother the task of creating humans as a reward for their help in defeating the Titans (lines 7–10).
  13. a.   Prometheus helped create mortals and then became their benefactor and protector (line 15). He is thus most like a parent to humans.
  14. e.   The transgression refers back to the previous paragraph, which describes how Prometheus disobeyed Zeus and stole fire from Mount Olympus to give it to man.
  15. b.   The inclusion of Hope in the jar suggests that Zeus had some pity on mankind and that he wanted to send something to help humans battle the numerous evils he unleashed upon them.
  16. c.   The style is neither formal nor informal but an easy-going in between to make the material easily understood and interesting to a lay audience. In addition, the passage does not take for granted that the reader knows basic information about mythology. For example, line 9 states that Zeus was the great ruler of Olympian gods.

For more practice on arts and humanities critical reading questions, review:

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