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Finding Meaning in Literature Help (page 4)

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Updated on Sep 21, 2011

Answers

  1. The best choice is b, "The universe is indifferent to humanity." This idea is conveyed in part by the action of the poem: what the man says to the universe and the universe's reply. But the universe's indifference is also reflected in the language of the poem.
  2. c. The words of this poem—especially sir, fact, and sense of obligation—are cold, formal words that reflect the way the universe feels about humans: indifferent. There is no sense of intimacy, no relationship, no warmth in these words. The poet's diction and style help to reveal the theme of the poem.

Summary

Reading poetry wasn't so bad after all, was it? If you are an active reader who is sensitive to the language used by the poet, you can use the clues the poet gives you to help you enjoy the pictures and emotions created through words and understand the poem's theme. And if you can do this for poems, you can certainly do it for stories, novels, and plays as well.

TIP: One way to become a skilled reader is to learn how to react to a text in an interactive manner. You are an active and participatory reader if you:

  1. Read carefully and pay attention to important organizational and content clues, such as titles.
  2. Grant yourself the freedom to question the author's theories and/or motivations.
  3. Allow yourself to be impressed or moved by what you have read.
  4. Spend the time it takes to fully absorb the text. Some texts can be read in a single sitting, while more challenging subjects or texts might require a lengthier, closer reading or multiple readings.

Practice exercises for this concept can be found at Reading and Drawing Conclusions Practice Test.

Test your knowledge at Reading Comprehension Final Practice Test.

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