Answer Key - Reading, Set 2
ReQ1-Answer: The best answer is B. The phrasing of the first sentence is only four words long, and doesn't use words with strong emotional content, so option A is not relevant. For the same reason, option C is not appropriate, as the emotional content and phrasing of the first sentence gives an impression of being delivered in a straightforward, deadpan fashion. While an argument could be made for option D, particularly as "swell" is not commonly used, the context of the continuing passage argues against that, as it depicts a world in which people routinely commit suicide. However, the use of "perfectly swell" to describe a world in which the inhabitants are unhappy, as evidenced by the conversation on lines 38-57, is an example of irony-where words or tone are used to create a meaning which is the opposite of the literal meaning-making option B the correct choice.
ReQ2-Answer: The best answer is C. In the context of the paragraph, it is clear that the list of slang terms all refer to the same institution, later referred to as the Federal Bureau of Termination, so option A would not be appropriate. For the same reason, option D would not be correct, as the terms all refer to a single institution and thus not any other. The terms are all words on their own, borrowed from everyday speech, and not constructed from initials of any other organization of entity, which means they are not acronyms. This means option B is not correct. Since the terms are used in various contexts to refer to the same institution, they would be considered nicknames, and thus option C is correct.
ReQ3-Answer: The best answer is A. The term entendre, taken from the French "to hear," generally refers to using terms to communicate a hidden meaning, which is not the sense that the author is using in this passage, so option B is not relevant. As the exact words in their original context are not being utilized, the author is not quoting from the original play, so option C is not correct. Since the title is not a word that is actually referring to a related term or object, the definition of metonym is not met, so option D is not correct. In arranging the letters and numbers to evoke a famous line from Hamlet, the author is alluding to that previous work and thus creating an allusion, which makes option A the correct choice.
ReQ4-Answer: The best answer is C. The conversation between the orderly and the mural painter explicitly focuses on the depiction of reality, and the painter's assertion that the mural (commissioned by the hospital and/or the Federal Bureau of Termination) is not a true picture of life, which in the painter's expressed opinion is more closely reflected by a dirty, paint-spattered drop cloth. At no time does the painter refer to his compensation-which eliminates option A-or the officials to be placed in the mural at a later time-which eliminates option B. The painter also offers no opinion on his work with respect to its quality, even though the orderly compliments him on his skill, so option D is not correct. Only option C is an accurate representation of the painter's viewpoint, so C would be the correct choice.
ReQ5-Answer: The best answer is D. Lines 19-21 give the best evidence for this, as the passage first states that the painter was about two hundred years old, and then gives an estimate for his age at the time of the cure as being thirty-five or so. Simple subtraction show that the painter has lived roughly 165 years past the time he stopped aging, give or take a few years. Based on the imprecise information given in the passage, option D is the best choice; while any of the answers could be correct, option D is the only choice that comes close to the estimates in the passage within what a reader would likely accept as a margin of error.
ReQ6-Answer: The best answer is C. Line 5 states that the U.S. population in the passage was stable at 40 million people, which is roughly one-seventh of the real U.S. population as of 2007, so overpopulation is not an issue, which means option A can be rejected. Line 2 states that, among other things, disability and poverty had been done away with, so option B is also not applicable. While there is a government department dedicated to assisted suicide, there is much evidence to argue that suicide is not compulsory in any way, such as the fact the painter is 200 years old. Thus, option D is not applicable. Since many things, including war and privation, have been eliminated, and the world as outlined in the passage is bereft of many sources of conflict and engines of change, boredom seems the most likely cause, and thus option C is correct.
ReQ7-Answer: The best answer is A. In the context of the sentence-the author gives the character's age as being 56, which is far below the population's average age of 129-the term "stripling" most clearly refers to age. Since the character is far below average age, the implication is that "stripling" refers to a young person. While options B and C do appear to describe the character, as demonstrated in later sections of the passage-and option D might also describe his physical attributes, although there is no particular sense of his physical nature yet-there is no usage of those concepts in that particular sentence; it only deals with age. Thus, option A is the correct choice.
ReQ8-Answer: The best answer is B. While there is no direct reference to employees of the FBT in this passage, there are two indirect references to them. In line 24, the mural is described as having people in purple uniforms weeding, keeping the garden neat and tossing out the trash, all of which are direct metaphoric references to the FBT in the mural, symbolically named "The Happy Garden of Life." Also, in line 32, the lyrics of the popular song the orderly sings references seeing a lady in purple, and then saying goodbye to the world. Since there is no mention of badges, insignia or green uniforms anywhere in this passage, these indirect references are the only substantive evidence within the passage for FBT operatives, so option B is the correct choice.
ReQ9-Answer: The best answer is D. Lines 6-8 state explicitly that births are not a daily event anymore, which is why the redecoration of the waiting room is going on; its emotional purpose is being changed from waiting room for births to memorial to someone who had volunteered to die. Because a large metropolitan area like Chicago can reasonably be expected to have several births a day in reality, the reader can easily infer the birth rate has dropped precipitously in the world of the story. Since there are no direct figures listed in the passage, a status of unchanged could not be determined, eliminating option C. For the reasons already listed, options A and B could be eliminated right away, leaving option D as the correct answer.
ReQ10-Answer: The best answer is B. Line 26 explicitly gives medieval Holland and old Japan as exemplars of methods of developing formal, well-tended gardens, to which the author draws comparisons to the garden being featured in the mural. Although the muralist is a resident of the United States, there is no mention of the United States in any gardening capacity or capability, which automatically renders both options C and D irrelevant. Since both nations are mentioned in the passage, and option A only mentions one nation, option A is not suitable. Only option B references both nations mentioned in the passage, and as a result, option B is the correct answer.
Last Updated: 02/23/2013