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2014-02-08 15:35:54
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  1. The legendary songwriter was regarded as an ------- the romanticized heartland, although some feel that he exaggerated his countrified roots to enhance his -------.

    (A) insignia of . . harmony
    (B) icon of . . credibility
    (C) adversary of . . fortune
    (D) opportunist in . . repertoire
    (E) imposter from . . renown
    Choice (B) is correct. In this context, an “icon” is a person so noteworthy that he or she is regarded as a symbol of something. “Credibility” is the quality of being believable or trustworthy. Because he is described as “legendary,” it makes sense to suggest that the songwriter “was regarded as an icon of the romanticized heartland”—that he was viewed as a symbol of idealized rural life. It also makes sense to suggest that even though some see him as an icon of the heartland, others think the songwriter might have “exaggerated his countrified roots to enhance his credibility.” In other words, some might think that the songwriter overstated his connection to the country in order to increase his trustworthiness as a representative of the heartland.
  2. Describing the link between Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches and social change as ------- is absurd: the speeches were profoundly influential.

    (A) liberating
    (B) egalitarian
    (C) protracted
    (D) tenuous
    (E) draconian
    Choice (D) is correct. “Tenuous” means flimsy or weak. The sentence indicates that because “the speeches were profoundly influential,” it is “absurd” to describe “the link between Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches and social change” in a certain way. If the speeches were influential, they likely brought about social changes, so the link between the speeches and social change would be a strong one. Therefore, it would be wrong to describe the link between the speeches and social change as tenuous, or weak.
  3. The critic’s review of Hollister’s latest novel was quite -------, predicting that the book would prove to be ------- for even the most devoted of Hollister’s fans.

    (A) laudatory . . an ordeal
    (B) vindictive . . a lark
    (C) scathing . . a banquet
    (D) caustic . . a trial
    (E) insolent . . a repast
    Choice (D) is correct. In this context, “caustic” means harsh and scathingly sarcastic, and “a trial” is something that tests a person’s endurance or patience through suffering. The sentence discusses a critic’s review of a novel. A critic certainly might write a harsh and scathing review of a novel, so the term “caustic” makes sense in the first blank. And if the critic strongly disliked the novel, he or she certainly might think “that the book would prove to be a trial for even the most devoted of Hollister’s fans”—that is, that even people who are enthusiastic about the author’s work will find it difficult to endure the latest novel.
  4. Since Chen was not ------- person, she recognized immediately that the dubious investment scheme must be a scam.

    (A) an ingratiating
    (B) a gregarious
    (C) a petulant
    (D) an irresolute
    (E) a credulous
    Choice (E) is correct. “Credulous” means having too great a readiness to believe things. The sentence indicates that because Chen was not a certain kind of person, “she recognized immediately that the dubious investment scheme must be a scam,” or fraud. If Chen were “not a credulous person,” she would not be too quick to believe things; therefore, it is very likely that she would suspect that a questionable scheme was actually a scam.
  5. She knew that anything done ------- rather than openly was likely to arouse the suspicions of her superiors.

    (A) ingenuously
    (B) surreptitiously
    (C) obstreperously
    (D) scrupulously
    (E) habitually
    Choice (B) is correct. The structure of the sentence indicates that the missing term will be the opposite of “openly.” The term “surreptitiously” fits the blank perfectly. It makes sense to suggest that she believed her superiors would be suspicious of things done surreptitiously, or in a concealed or secretive way, rather than openly, or in an open manner without concealment. Something done surreptitiously certainly might arouse suspicion.
  6. Since she was unaccustomed to playing ------- role at school board meetings, Marge did not ------- when asked to take the microphone and voice parents’ concerns.

    (A) a submissive . . acquiesce
    (B) a confrontational . . reciprocate
    (C) an auxiliary . . exult
    (D) a passive . . balk
    (E) a public . . demur
    Choice (D) is correct. In this context, “passive” means tending not to take an active or dominant part. To “balk” is to refuse abruptly. The sentence indicates that because Marge “was unaccustomed to,” or not used to, taking on a certain role at meetings, she did not do something “when asked to take the microphone and voice parents’ concerns.” If Marge was not used to “playing a passive role” at meetings—that is, if she often did take an active and dominant part in meetings—then it makes sense to suggest that she did not balk, or refuse, when asked to speak on behalf of the concerned parents.
  7. Line 1   When reading the biographies of the later Roman emperors, the fourteenth-century poet Francis Petrarch one day came across the statement that Gordian the Younger (who ruled A.D. 238-244) had been a man
    Line 5   of handsome features. “If this is true,” he wrote in the margin of his copy of the Historia Augusta, “he employed a feeble sculptor.” This apparently trivial comment constitutes a milestone in the development of historical thought, for Petrarch is here not only
    Line 10   giving almost equal weight to a visual and a literary source, but recognizing that they are not in agreement.QuestionThe discussion of Petrarch chiefly serves to

    (A) challenge a line of inquiry that is still pursued by modern historians

    (B) demonstrate how Petrarch was inspired by historical figures such as Gordian the Younger

    (C) advocate an ancient model of historical investigation into the visual arts

    (D) describe an artistic debate that engaged the attention of writers in Petrarch’s day

    (E) cite a precedent for the comparative study of literary texts and the visual arts
    Choice (E) is correct. The passage chiefly serves to cite a precedent for, or an early example of, the comparative study of literary texts and the visual arts. Petrarch’s observation in the margin of the Historia Augusta refers to the discrepancy between “the statement that Gordian the Younger . . . had been a man of handsome features” and a sculpture of Gordian the Younger, which seems not to portray him as a handsome man. As the author explains, this observation is “a milestone in the development of historical thought” because Petrarch is “not only giving almost equal weight to a visual and a literary source”—a sculpture and a biography—“but recognizing that they are not in agreement.” In other words, Petrarch’s comment is an early example of a comparison between a literary text and a piece of visual art.
  8. Line 1       At its heart, a genuine food culture is an affinity between people and the land that feeds them. Our family set out to find ourselves a real culture of food by deliberately eating food produced in the same place where
    Line 5     we worked, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air. It’s not at all necessary to live on a food- producing farm to participate in this culture. But it is necessary to know such farms exist, understand something of what they do, and consider oneself basically in their
    Line 10     court.        Will our single-family decision to eat only food that does not need to travel thousands of miles give a big black eye to the petroleum-hungry behemoth? Similar choices have been made by many other families. A lot of people at
    Line 15     once are waking up to a troublesome truth about cheap fossil fuels: we are going to run out of them. Our jet-age dependence on petroleum to feed our faces is a limited- time-only proposition. Dozens or even hundreds of fossil- fuel calories are needed to supply every food calorie we
    Line 20     presently eat. By the time my children are my age, that version of dinnertime will surely be an unthinkable extravagance.        I enjoy denial as much as the next person, but this isn’t rocket science: our kids will eventually have to make food
    Line 25     differently. They could be assisted by some familiarity with how vegetables grow from seeds, how animals grow on pasture, and how whole ingredients can be made into meals, gee whiz, right in our kitchen. My husband and I decided our children would not grow up without knowing
    Line 30     a potato has a plant part. We would take a food sabbatical, getting our hands dirty in some of the actual dying arts of food production. We hoped to prove—at least to ourselves —that a family living on or near green land need not depend for its life on food produced on a massive scale. We
    Line 35     also hoped that a year away from such food would taste so good, we might actually enjoy it. Doing the right thing, in this case, is not about throwing out bread, tightening your belt, or dragging around feeling righteous and gloomy. Food is the rare moral arena in which the ethical choice
    Line 40     is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure.

    Passage 2        As a society, we should resist the urge to panic over our dislocation from agricultural life. Consider, for example, the stock eulogy for the wholesome farming life: the claim
    Line 45     that legions of modern children have never seen a cow. In a typical example, Illinois Congresswoman Ruth Hanna McCormick noisily donated one of her cattle to the Chicago Zoo, saying, “It’s for the kids who have never seen one. Thousands . . . have seen a rhinoceros and a giraffe but
    Line 50     have never seen a cow.” That was in 1929. In perhaps a more accurate survey, a recent chat group on the Internet asked, “Who’s never seen a cow in real life?” The mostly young, urban, and technologically astute members alternately rolled their eyes or expressed horror at the
    Line 55     question. “That is such a weird concept,” wrote Becca G. “Are there really people out there who have never seen a cow?”    Yet there is a reality behind the anxiety. The United States has lost two-thirds of its farms since 1920;
    Line 60     industrialization accounts for one-half of the farms lost. And the nature of farming has changed just as radically. Commercial fertilizer use has more than doubled since World War II. The use of pesticides and herbicides has increased dramatically. Where once North America’s farms
    Line 65     were home to traditional barnyard animals, few are today. The change is quantifiable: for example, just four percent of American farms today keep chickens. “The early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of bird song,” wrote Rachel Carson in
    Line 70     1962, of wild songbirds. On the modern farm, the strange silence is dawn without the rooster’s crow.    What made us drift away? In 1920 the rural and urban populations of both the United States and Canada were evenly split. Movement toward the cities rapidly
    Line 75     accelerated with the boom after World War II. The rural customs—self-sufficiency, buying products from people you know, shopping catalogs for a few trusted products— could not hold. In the cities, hundreds of brands competed with powerful advertising, while emerging chain stores
    Line 80     deployed tactics like selling certain items at a loss to break shoppers’ old loyalties. There was no going back to the farm. Last year, a United Nations commission reported that half of the world’s 6.5 billion people will live in cities in 2007. Most of them, I suspect, will still have seen a cow.
    Line 85   Fewer and fewer, however, will have touched one, cared for one, watched one give birth, or seen a cow give milk for our sustenance.

    The author of Passage 1 would probably consider which aspect of the shopping patterns described in lines 76-77, Passage 2 (“self-sufficiency . . . products”), as most significant?
    (A) They involved minimal transportation across large distances.

    (B) They worked equally well for urban and rural populations.

    (C) They included most family members in purchasing decisions.

    (D) They limited opportunities for changes in products.

    (E) They discouraged farmers from expanding their businesses.
    Choice (A) is correct. The author of Passage 1 is concerned primarily with the fact that a lot of food travels “thousands of miles,” using scarce “fossil fuels,” before arriving at our local supermarkets. This author explains that her family has made a decision to “eat only food that does not need to travel.” Given that concern, if the author of Passage 1 were to read the description in Passage 2 of “rural customs” such as “self-sufficiency, buying products from people you know,” and “shopping catalogs for a few trusted products,” she would probably focus on the relative lack of transportation involved. Clearly, if people were to grow their own food or purchase it from local farmers and limit their orders of non-local products, they would not be as dependent on petroleum and other fossil fuels required to carry food long distances. It is for this very reason that the author of Passage 1 takes her “food sabbatical”—because, in her opinion, “we are going to run out of” fossil fuels and will need to return to locally grown food.
  9. Line 1   While henna body art, or mehndi, as it is called in India, is a tradition that reaches back to ancient Egypt, it is reassuring to know that as an art form it is temporary, usually lasting about a week or two. The intricate designs
    Line 5     are part of the celebration of life’s transformations: puberty, marriage, childbirth, and so on. Some women think of mehndi like a force field during times when they are particularly vulnerable. Despite its transience, mehndi is a deeply connective and intimate art not only in its physical
    Line 10    application but also in the exchanges that occur between women as they celebrate each new stage of life by decorating one another.Passage 2    Recently, Hollywood celebrities have been wearing mehndi. It appeals as a way of altering and staining the
    Line 15    body without the long-term effect of tattoos. The temporary nature of this art form suits Hollywood’s momentary obsessions. The purposeful disassociation of mehndi from its history, culture, and ethnicity makes its appropriation easier, less anxious, for those who mark their bodies using
    Line 20    this method of beautification. Such a detaching functions to wash and leach away the very traditions in which mehndi is steeped. Its “discovery” by pop culture icons has simplified its meaning, glamorizing its aesthetic qualities above all others.

    Compared with the overall tone of Passage 1, the overall tone of Passage 2 is more

    (A) celebratory
    (B) satisfied
    (C) indifferent
    (D) critical
    (E) pompous
    Choice (D) is correct. The author of Passage 1 discusses the tradition of mehndi,praising it as “a deeply connective and intimate art” that allows for “exchanges . . . between women.” The author of Passage 2 also discusses mehndi, but he or she focuses on “pop culture icons” who emphasize only one aspect of mehndi: its “aesthetic qualities.” Compared with the tone of Passage 1, the overall tone of Passage 2 is more critical; instead of speaking only positively, the author of Passage 2 criticizes those who disassociate mehndi “from its history, culture, and ethnicity.”
  10. Line 1   When he was younger, Mr. Hosokawa saw the great advantage of languages. When he was older he wished he had made the commitment to learn them. The translators! They were ever changing, some good, some full of
    Line 5    schoolboy stiffness, some utterly, hopelessly stupid. Some could hardly speak their native Japanese and continually halted conversations to look up a word in the dictionary. There were those who could perform their job well enough but were not the sort of people one wished to travel with.
    Line 10     Some would abandon him the moment the final sentence of a meeting was completed, leaving him stranded and speechless if further negotiations were necessary. Others were dependent, wanting to stay with him through every meal, wanting to accompany him on his walks and recount
    Line 15     for him every moment of their own lusterless childhoods. What he went through just for a mouthful of French, a few clear sentences of English. What he went through before Gen.    Gen Watanabe had been assigned to him at a
    Line 20     conference in Greece on the worldwide distribution of goods. Normally, Mr. Hosokawa tried to avoid the surprise element local translators so often provided, but his secretary had been unable to locate a Greek translator who could travel on short notice. During the plane ride to
    Line 25     Athens, Mr. Hosokawa did not talk with the two senior vice presidents and three sales managers who accompanied him on the trip. Instead, he listened to Maria Callas sing a collection of Greek songs on his headset, thinking philosophically if the meeting was unintelligible to him
    Line 30     at least he would have seen the country she considered her home. After waiting in line to have his passport stamped and his luggage rifled through, Mr. Hosokawa saw a young man holding a sign, Hosokawa, neatly lettered. The young man was Japanese, which, frankly, was a relief. It was easier
    Line 35     to deal with a countryman who knew a little Greek than a Greek who knew a little Japanese. This translator was tall. His hair was heavy and long in the front and it brushed across the top rims of his small round glasses even as he tried to keep it parted to one side. He appeared to be quite
    Line 40    young. It was the hair. The hair denoted to Mr. Hosokawa a lack of seriousness, or perhaps it was just the fact that the young man was in Athens rather than Tokyo that made him seem less serious. Mr. Hosokawa approached him, gave the slightest bow of acknowledgment that only
    Line 45     included his neck and upper shoulders, a gesture that said, You have found me.    The young man reached forward and took Mr. Hosokawa’s briefcase, bowing as he did so to the waist. He bowed seriously, though somewhat less deeply, to both of the vice
    Line 50     presidents and the three sales managers. He introduced himself as the translator, inquired after the comfort of the flight, gave the estimated driving time to the hotel and the starting time of the first meeting. Mr. Hosokawa heard something in this young man’s voice, something familiar and soothing. It was
    Line 55    not a musical voice, and yet it affected him like music. Speak again. . . .    Over the next two days, everything Gen touched became a smooth surface. He typed up Mr. Hosokawa’s handwritten notes, took care of scheduling, found tickets to an opera
    Line 60     that had been sold out for six weeks. At the conference he spoke in Greek for Mr. Hosokawa and his associates, spoke in Japanese to them, and was, in all matters, intelligent, quick, and professional. But it was not his presence that Mr. Hosokawa was drawn to; it was his lack of presence.
    Line 65     Gen was an extension, an invisible self that was constantly anticipating his needs. He felt Gen would remember whatever had been forgotten. One afternoon during a private meeting concerning shipping interests, as Gen translated into Greek what he had just that moment said
    Line 70     himself, Mr. Hosokawa finally recognized the voice. Something so familiar, that’s what he had thought. It was his own voice.

    In line 55, the narrator refers to “music” in order to
    (A) praise the mellow tones of Gen’s voice

    (B) convey the nature of Mr. Hosokawa’s reaction

    (C) note the shared interests of two characters

    (D) evoke Mr. Hosokawa’s experience on the flight

    (E) characterize Gen’s determination to be pleasant
    Choice (B) is correct. In the third paragraph, after describing Mr. Hosokawa’s initial encounter with Gen, the narrator explains that “Mr. Hosokawa heard something in this young man’s voice, something familiar and soothing. It was not a musical voice, and yet it affected him like music.” The narrator refers to music in order to convey the nature of Mr. Hosokawa’s reaction to Gen. He or she is describing how Mr. Hosokawa feels when he hears Gen speak: it is as though Mr. Hosokawa is listening to music.