Senior Literature Final Exam
Read the two pieces below by R. Lee Walters, and then answer the question.
Garden Walks Chicanery
Blossoms, without a garden See it invade the earth like a child
walks and walls, rainfall comes Blunders into conversation.
and earthen touches becalm The acorn grows, a fist into soil,
my thoughts of you. Opening the hand like the palm
Of the flat-bladed trowel. In dreams
In every hand, the petals cup It casts its net into the loam,
vagrant droplets, floral pails from A fisherman tossing nets into the sea.
a well of reflection. In each, Its fingers barely scratching bedrock.
a luminescent portrait. Do not be fooled by charlatan ways,
The leaves, the cherry blossoms,
To pluck a stem to keep would tip The amber, dripping sap.
the bowl thus spill the semblance
and fill the ground beneath with
deep and thoughtful loss.
1. The theme of these two poems is one of
by R. Lee Walters
Neptune’s fire sprouts an island.
We watch the sea give way to earth,
First liquid then red marble,
And burning like a sky on fire.
I have never seen such a mob,
Such a rush of earthly violence.
The torrent of rocks over the cliff
Like porous lemmings.
The molten Mother plunges under
The Pacific, to hiss, to smolder
As we can never be, both beautiful
And terrible, like angels rising.
We do nothing but gawk,
Speechless, then wait to tread
Across the ash, the new ground,
And go forth in the footprints.
2. Which statement is true about the overall theme of this poem?
3. Which lines most contribute to the theme of rebirth in this poem?
Death, be not proud (Holy Sonnet 10)
by John Donne
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so:
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.
From Rest and Sleep, which but thy picture be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go—
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery!
Thou'rt slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!
4. Which statement best describes the theme of this poem?
The storm clouds crept in like a teenager who was breaking curfew. Gilda, who found
herself stuck in the middle of the torrential downpour, had not smelled the rain coming in. It
was kind of odd, she thought to herself, she always smelled the rain coming in.
She figured she was probably out of practice. After all, Broken Bow was stuck in the
worst drought Gilda had ever witnessed. It was even worse than the time when it did not
rain for seven months and Governor Murray asked for water to be trucked in from Texas.
She was not comfortable taking things from Texans. In her eighty-seven years, that is the
only time she did.
She watched as the ground greedily drank up every drop of rain that fell. She wanted to
tell it not to be greedy, that there was no telling when it would rain again, but she knew the
ground would not listen.
Streaks of lightning stretched across the sky, chased by concussive explosions that
rocked Gilda’s body. She knew it was time to head inside. She was soaked to the bone and
needed to change into something dry. As she neared the house, she heard the phone ringing.
She did not hurry to get it. She knew that whoever it was would call back.
5. Based on the context, what does the phrase "crept in like a teenager who was
breaking curfew" tell the reader about the storm?
6. The phrase "the ground greedily drank up every drop of rain that fell" means that the
7. The "concussive explosions" that chase the lightning in the final paragraph are
8. In paragraph four, when the author tells you that Gilda was "soaked to the bone" he
The Chicago Cubs are a baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The team has a longer
history than most other professional teams—including basketball, football, and hockey.
What most sets them apart from other professional sports franchises, however, is that the
Chicago Cubs have had the longest championship drought of any franchise in all
professional sports. In fact, the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series was in 1908.
They are often referred to as The Cubbies or as The Lovable Losers by their significant
national fan following, despite 99 years without winning a World Series Championship.
9. What is the purpose of the encyclopedia article above?
Surprising Events at Wednesday's Bake-Off
Lake Shore Daily News
At Wednesday’s Third Annual Lake Shore Bake-Off, apprentice pastry chef Julie
Romanova made quite a splash with her life-sized cake statue of Edgar Allan Poe. When the
judges attempted to slice Romanova’s cake for a taste test, however, they encountered an
“I accidentally brought the wrong cake to the Bake-Off,” Romanova sheepishly admitted.
“The statue made of actual cake is still in the kitchen of the bakery where I work. I was in
such a rush that I brought my practice statue, which is just cardboard and glue covered with
a cake frosting called fondant.”
The judges were forced to disqualify Romanova from the contest, although unofficially
they praised her creativity and skill.
“Personally, I hate to give the first place prize to a run-of-the-mill cake like this one,”
said judge Dmitri Wainwright in reference to the Bake-Off winner, a cake shaped like a
giant hamburger, complete with pickles and lettuce. “We see cakes shaped like food every
year, and it gets boring. Ms. Romanova surprised and delighted us, and I hope she will
return next year with an equally impressive entry.”
Julie Romanova began creating elaborate cakes two years ago after leaving her job in
data entry. She is currently working as an apprentice with Maurice and Ralston’s Bakery in
downtown Lake Shore. When asked about next year’s competition, she was adamant about
“Next year, I promise not to feed the judges a dead poet made of cardboard!” she said
with a smile.
10. What is the main purpose of this article?
11. Which statement best describes the fourth paragraph of this article?
12. Why does the designer of this magazine excerpt include a statement from a
professional baseball player?
Nobody’s Story (excerpt)
by Charles Dickens
He lived on the bank of a mighty river, broad and deep, which was always silently rolling on to a vast undiscovered
ocean. It had rolled on, ever since the world began. It had changed its course sometimes, and turned into new channels,
leaving its old ways dry and barren; but it had ever been upon the flow, and ever was to flow until Time should be no
more. Against its strong, unfathomable stream, nothing made head. No living creature, no flower, no leaf, no particle of
animate or inanimate existence, ever strayed back from the undiscovered ocean. The tide of the river set resistlessly
towards it; and the tide never stopped, any more than the earth stops in its circling round the sun.
He lived in a busy place, and he worked very hard to live. He had no hope of ever being rich enough to live a month
without hard work, but he was quite content, God knows, to labour with a cheerful will. He was one of an immense
family, all of whose sons and daughters gained their daily bread by daily work, prolonged from their rising up betimes
until their lying down at night. Beyond this destiny he had no prospect, and he sought none.
There was over-much drumming, trumpeting, and speech-making, in the neighbourhood where he dwelt; but he had
nothing to do with that. Such clash and uproar came from the Bigwig family, at the unaccountable proceedings of which
race, he marvelled much. They set up the strangest statues, in iron, marble, bronze, and brass, before his door; and
darkened his house with the legs and tails of uncouth images of horses. He wondered what it all meant, smiled in a rough
good-humoured way he had, and kept at his hard work.
The Bigwig family (composed of all the stateliest people thereabouts, and all the noisiest) had undertaken to save him
the trouble of thinking for himself, and to manage him and his affairs. "Why truly," said he, "I have little time upon my
hands; and if you will be so good as to take care of me, in return for the money I pay over"—for the Bigwig family were
not above his money—"I shall be relieved and much obliged, considering that you know best." Hence the drumming,
trumpeting, and speech-making, and the ugly images of horses which he was expected to fall down and worship.
"I don’t understand all this," said he, rubbing his furrowed brow confusedly. "But it HAS a meaning, maybe, if I
could find it out."
"It means," returned the Bigwig family, suspecting something of what he said, "honour and glory in the highest, to the
"Oh!" said he. And he was glad to hear that.
But, when he looked among the images in iron, marble, bronze, and brass, he failed to find a rather meritorious
countryman of his, once the son of a Warwickshire wool-dealer, or any single countryman whomsoever of that kind. He
could find none of the men whose knowledge had rescued him and his children from terrific and disfiguring disease,
whose boldness had raised his forefathers from the condition of serfs, whose wise fancy had opened a new and high
existence to the humblest, whose skill had filled the working man's world with accumulated wonders. Whereas, he did
find others whom he knew no good of, and even others whom he knew much ill of.
"Humph!" said he. "I don’t quite understand it."
So, he went home, and sat down by his fireside to get it out of his mind.
13. What best describes the theme of this excerpt?
14. Why did the author begin the story by describing the setting?
15. What best describes the main character?
16. What best describes the Bigwig family?
17. From which point of view is the passage written?
18. What is the best meaning of the word ill in the following excerpt?
Whereas, he did find others whom he knew no good of, and even others whom he
knew much ill of.
19. What mood does the first paragraph convey?
20. Why does the author repeat the phrase: "drumming, trumpeting and speech-making"?
21. How do the Bigwigs answer the main character's question about the statues?
22. What did the main character look for in the statues?
23. What is the author's purpose for writing the story?
24. What does the word uncouth mean in the following excerpt from the story?
They set up the strangest statues, in iron, marble, bronze, and brass, before his door;
and darkened his house with the legs and tails of uncouth images of horses.
by Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
25. What does the poet mean in the following line from the poem?
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
26. Why does the speaker most likely say the following line from the poem?
Spring is the mischief in me
27. Why does the speaker repeat the following two lines?
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
"Good fences make good neighbors."
28. Why does the speaker say, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall"?
29. What is one characteristic that makes this a blank verse poem?
30. From the speaker's reaction to the wall, the reader can conclude that
Mario is working for a TV station, and his boss has asked him to write a rejection letter to
someone who applied for an announcer position but did not get the job. Read the following
introductory paragraphs and answer the question.
Thank you for interviewing for the announcer position at KRPM-TV. Mr. Ames was
impressed with your skills and experience. However, he is seeking someone with an
advanced degree, and he recommends that you look into a Masters in Broadcasting program
at a local college or university. Once you have a Masters in the field, he would be happy to
speak with you again. Good luck to you.
Hi. Thanks for stopping by. Mr. Ames said to tell you to get some more education and
then maybe apply again. Nice résumé, though—very spiffy. Wish mine looked like that.
Anyway, it's too bad you didn't get the job. Better luck next time!
Announcing has all the perks you could want in a broadcasting job. You sure picked the
right field; I can tell you that from personal experience. And the staff here is great. They
treat you like a real human being. I'm just an intern, but I get to sit in on staff meetings and
watch tapings and everything. But I'm sorry to say, you didn't get the job. Mr. Ames says to
say we're sorry. Hang in there, though.
Yo, dude, Ames said "no can do." You ain't got the schooling to back you up. Yeah, you
look great on paper, but he needs someone who knows what's shakin'. Know what I mean?
So go back to school and get the degree. Then come back and check us out.
31. Which of the opening paragraphs exhibits the most appropriate style and tone for
such a letter?
32. Andrea has been named valedictorian, and she will graduate at the top of her class.
The principal of the school has asked Andrea to speak at the commencement
Which of the following would be the most appropriate opening for her speech?
33. Elliot has been asked to write a formal proposal requesting that two giant pandas that
are being offered for adoption from China be placed in the Outback Zoo where he
works. Which of the following would be the most appropriate to include in Elliott's
34. Steve purchased a baseball mitt from an online company, and the mitt that arrived
was clearly scuffed and used and not the brand-new mitt that was advertised. Steve
wants the company to replace the mitt with a new one.
Which choice indicates Steve's best course of action?
Joe wants to sell his old 10-speed so he can buy a better bike. He does not have a lot of
money to spend on advertising, so he decides to put up hand-made flyers around the
neighborhood. Read the following flyers and answer the question.
I am interested in selling my 10-speed Schwinn boy's bicycle. I purchased it several years
ago and have since worn out the brake pads slightly. These will need to be replaced. I hope
to part with the bicycle for $150. The number to call if you would like to view the item is
234-4758. Please ask to speak to Joe.
Hey, you've probably seen my blue Schwinn bike around. If you have, you know it's a
beauty. Brake pads are shot, but it's an old bike, so that's no big news. $150 is a sweet deal,
and for that it can be yours. 234-4758 is the number to call. You can ask for Joe, but if you
get my mom, you can talk to her about the bike, too. She knows the scoop.
Magnificent, sky-blue Schwinn boy's bike for sale. The brake pads are beginning to wear
thin from years of pedaling, but that is to be expected, even for a bicycle of this caliber.
Please be prepared to pay $150 for this worthy specimen, should you find your interest is
piqued. Please call 234-4758 and ask for Mr. Joseph Mason.
10-speed Schwinn boy's bike for sale. Needs new brake pads, but overall in good condition.
Asking $150. Call Joe at 234-4758 if interested.
35. Based on the information provided, which choice would be the most appropriate text
for the flyer?