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Literature and Literacy Criticism Critical Reading Practice Exercises Set 3 (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 27, 2011

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  1. c.   The women refer to each other as "Mrs.", and their conversation reveals that they don't know much about each other. Mrs. Hale, for example, asks Mrs. Peters if she knew Mr. Wright line 46) and if she were raised round here (line 58).
  2. a.   Mrs. Peters says It would be lonesome for me sitting here alone (lines 27–28)—to which Mrs. Hale replies, It would, wouldn't it? and then expresses her wish that she'd come to see Mrs. Wright. She says it's a lonesome place and always was in line 37 and then says I can see now—(lines 38–39) suggesting that she can understand now how Mrs. Wright must have felt.
  3. d.   Mrs. Hale describes Mr. Wright as a hard man who was like a raw wind that gets to the bone (lines 51–52). Mrs. Wright's loneliness would be deepened by living with a man who was quiet and cold.
  4. b.   The punctuation here—the dashes between each word—suggest that Mrs. Wright changed from the sweet, fluttery woman she was to a bitter, unhappy person over the years. The emphasis on her loneliness and the dead husband and bird add to this impression.
  5. d.   The women decide to take the quilt to Mrs. Wright to keep her busy; it would give her something to do, something familiar and comforting
  6. c.   Because her house was so lonely, Mrs. Wright would have wanted the company of a pet—and a pet that shared some qualities with her (or with her younger self) would have been particularly appealing. She would have liked the bird's singing to ease the quiet in the house, and she also used to sing real pretty herself (line 10) and would have felt a real connection with the bird.
  7. b.   The clues in the passage—the violently broken bird cage, the dead bird lovingly wrapped in silk and put in a pretty box, the description of John Wright as a hard and cold man—suggest that he killed the bird and that Mrs. Wright in turn killed him for destroying her companion.
  8. d.   The fact that Mrs. Hale slips box under quilt pieces suggests that she will not share her discovery with the men.
  9. c.   Frankenstein asks his listener to [l]earn from me [ . . . ] how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge (lines 6–8). He is telling his tale as a warning and does not want to lead his listener into the same kind of destruction and infallible misery (line 6).
  10. a.   The context reveals that Frankenstein was prepared for a multitude of reverses or setbacks that would hinder his operations.
  11. e.   Frankenstein describes himself as pursuing his undertaking with unremitting ardour and that his cheek had grown pale with study, and [his] person had become emaciated with confinement (lines 45–47). He also says that a resistless, and almost frantic, impulse urged me forward; I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit (lines 56–58). These are the marks of a man obsessed.
  12. b.   Moreau states in lines 22–24 that this extraordinary branch of knowledge has never been sought as an end, [ . . . ] until I took it up!, and in lines 28–30, he states that he was the first man to take up this question armed with antiseptic surgery, and with a really scientific knowledge of the laws of growth. This, and the detail with which he explains the background of his investigations, reveal that he is a calculating and systematic scientist. (Although he confesses that he chose the human form by chance (line 45), it is likely that Moreau did not just happen upon this choice but that he found the human form, as he later states, more appealing to the artistic turn of mind [ . . . ] than any animal shape (lines 48–49).
  13. d.   Right after he says these things, the narrator says these animals to clarify that he is referring to the creatures that Moreau created. An additional context clue is provided by Moreau's response, in which he explains how animals may be educated so that they may talk.
  14. b.   The narrator asks Moreau to justify all this pain (line 54), implying that he has inflicted great pain on the animals he has used in his experiments.
  15. c.   Both men make remarkable discoveries in their fields; in the other aspects the men are different. Dr. Moreau uses live animals to change their form, and there is no evidence in the passage that he wants his creatures to worship him or that he has kept his experiment a secret (though these facts are evident in other passages in the book). Passage 2 also suggests that Moreau did not have a specific application or justification for his work; he responds to the narrator's request for a justification by philosophizing about pain.
  16. a.   Frankenstein confesses that he was horrified by the torture of living animals that that he trembled just remembering the pain he inflicted (lines 52–55). He also characterizes himself as having lost all soul or sensation (line 57) in his quest. In addition, he is telling this tale as a warning. Thus it is likely that he would be most offended by Moreau's indifference to the suffering of other creatures.
  17. b.   In lines 29–35, Frankenstein cites specific goals for his pursuit of knowledge: he wanted to pour a torrent of light into our dark world by making important new discoveries; he wanted to create a new species that would bless [him] as its creator and source; and he wanted to renew life. Moreau, on the other hand, does not offer any application or justification; he seems motivated only by the acquisition of knowledge. He states that he has devoted his life to the study of the plasticity of living forms (lines 2–3) and seems more interested in what science has to teach (lines 65–66) than in what can be done with that knowledge. This is reinforced by the fact that he does not offer a justification for his experiments.

For more practice on literature and literacy critical reading questions, review:

 

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