ENGLISH

Question 30 (Multiple Choice Worth 5 points)

[LC]

Fall of the House of Usher, excerpt
By Edgar Allan Poe

Upon my entrance, Usher rose from a sofa on which he had been lying at full length, and greeted me with a vivacious warmth which had much in it, I at first thought, of an overdone cordiality—of the constrained effort of the ennuyé1 man of the world. A glance, however, at his countenance convinced me of his perfect sincerity. We sat down; and for some moments, while he spoke not, I gazed upon him with a feeling half of pity, half of awe. Surely, man had never before so terribly altered, in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher! It was with difficulty that I could bring myself to admit the identity of the wan being before me with the companion of my early boyhood. Yet the character of his face had been at all times remarkable. A cadaverousness of complexion; an eye large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison; lips somewhat thin and very pallid, but of a surpassingly beautiful curve; a nose of a delicate Hebrew model, but with a breadth of nostril unusual in similar formations; a finely moulded chin, speaking, in its want of prominence, of a want of moral energy; hair of a more than web-like softness and tenuity;—these features, with an inordinate expansion above the regions of the temple, made up altogether a countenance not easily to be forgotten. And now in the mere exaggeration of the prevailing character of these features, and of the expression they were wont to convey, lay so much of change that I doubted to whom I spoke. The now ghastly pallor of the skin, and the now miraculous lustre of the eye, above all things startled and even awed me. The silken hair, too, had been suffered to grow all unheeded, and as, in its wild gossamer texture, it floated rather than fell about the face, I could not, even with effort, connect its Arabesque expression with any idea of simple humanity.
1Bored

Read this line from the text:

It was with difficulty that I could bring myself to admit the identity of the wan being before me with the companion of my early boyhood.

What does the wording of this sentence convey to the reader?


 

Question 31 (Essay Worth 20 points)

[Honors Seg 1, 01 MC]

“I didn’t want any more loitering in the shade, and I made haste towards
the station. When near the buildings I met a white man, in such an
unexpected elegance of get-up that in the first moment I took him for
a sort of vision. I saw a high starched collar, white cuffs, a light
alpaca jacket, snowy trousers, a clear necktie, and varnished boots. No
hat. Hair parted, brushed, oiled, under a green-lined parasol held in a
big white hand. He was amazing, and had a penholder behind his ear.”

Describe the use of characterization in this excerpt from The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, and use evidence from the excerpt to explain the author’s view of the British Empire.


 

Question 32 (Essay Worth 20 points)

[Honors Seg 1, 01 MC]

“Black shapes crouched, lay, sat between the trees, leaning against the
trunks, clinging to the earth, half coming out, half effaced within
the dim light, in all the attitudes of pain, abandonment, and despair.
Another mine on the cliff went off, followed by a slight shudder of the
soil under my feet. The work was going on. The work! And this was the
place where some of the helpers had withdrawn to die.

Identify the theme of this excerpt from The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad, and explain the author’s interpretation of the British Empire.


 

Question 33 (Essay Worth 20 points)

[Honors Seg 1, 06 MC]

“I shook hands with this miracle, and I learned he was the Company’s chief accountant, and that all the bookkeeping was done at this station. He had come out for a moment, he said, ‘to get a breath of fresh air.’ The expression sounded wonderfully odd, with its suggestion of sedentary desk-life. I wouldn’t have mentioned the fellow to you at all, only it was from his lips that I first heard the name of the man who is
so indissolubly connected with the memories of that time.”

Identify and explain Joseph Conrad’s formal or informal writing style in this passage from The Heart of Darkness, citing specific examples from the text.

 

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