AP English Language : Inference About the Subject

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP English Language

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Example Questions

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Example Question #113 : Author, Tone, And Intent

Adapted from “The Celebration of Intellect” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1861)

I cannot consent to wander from the duties of this day into the fracas of politics. The brute noise of cannon has, I know, a most poetic echo in these days when it is an instrument of freedom and the primal sentiments of humanity. Yet it is but representative and a far-off means and servant; but here in the college we are in the presence of the constituency and the principle itself. Here is, or should be, the majesty of reason and the creative cause, and it were a compounding of all gradation and reverence to suffer the flash of swords and the boyish strife of passion and the feebleness of military strength to intrude on this sanctity and omnipotence of Intellectual Law.

Against the heroism of soldiers I set the heroism of scholars, which consists in ignoring the other. You shall not put up in your Academy the statue of Caesar or Pompey, of Nelson or Wellington, of Washington or Napoleon, of Garibaldi, but of Archimedes, of Milton, of Newton. . . .

For either science and literature is a hypocrisy, or it is not. If it be, then resign your charter to the Legislature, turn your college into barracks and warehouses, and divert the funds of your founders into the stock of a rope-walk or a candle-factory, a tan-yard or some other undoubted conveniency for the surrounding population. But if the intellectual interest be, as I hold, no hypocrisy, but the only reality, then it behooves us to enthrone it, obey it, and give it possession of us and ours; to give, among other possessions, the college into its hand casting down every idol, every pretender, every hoary lie, every dignified blunder that has crept into its administration.

What is implied about the interests of the culture in general during Emerson’s day?

Possible Answers:

It is full of ignorance and idiocy, having no intellectual culture whatsoever.

It risks focusing on militarism and other such things at the expense of intellectual life and endeavors.

It has completely fallen into the barbarism of war.

It has been overcome by demagogues who would lead all peoples into horrible conflicts.

It is looking to close down all academies and universities.

Correct answer:

It risks focusing on militarism and other such things at the expense of intellectual life and endeavors.

Explanation:

The key sentence for this question is, "The brute noise of cannon has, I know, a most poetic echo in these days when it is an instrument of freedom and the primal sentiments of humanity." The idea expressed here is that the use of the canon—an image for military exploits in general—has a positive resonance with many (a "poetic echo"). Indeed, Emerson implicitly acknowledges that these instruments are being used for purposes that he gives positive connotations to in mentioning: the purposes of expanding freedom and the "primal sentiments of humanity." However, throughout this essay, he wishes to emphasize the secondary status of such things. The implication is that the culture is likely to be overcome by the "poetic echo" of the canon, giving it more than its due importance.

Example Question #114 : Author, Tone, And Intent

Adapted from “The Celebration of Intellect” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1861)

At this season, the colleges keep their anniversaries, and in this country where education is a primary interest, every family has a representative in their halls; a son, a brother, or one of our own kindred is there for his training. But even if we had no son or friend therein, yet the college is part of the community, and it is there for us, is training our teachers, civilizers, and inspirers. It is essentially the most radiating and public of agencies, like, but better than, the light-house, or the alarm-bell, or the sentinel who fires a signal-cannon, or the telegraph which speeds the local news over the land. Besides, it deals with a force which it cannot monopolize or confine, cannot give to those who come to it and refuse to those outside. I have no doubt of the force, and for me the only question is whether the force is inside.

This power which it deals is dear to all. If the colleges were better, if they had any monopoly of it, nay, if they really had it, had the power of imparting valuable thought, creative principles, truths which become powers, thoughts which become talents—if they could cause that a mind not profound should become profound—we should all rush to their gates; instead of contriving inducements to draw students, you would need to set police at the gates to keep order in the in-rushing multitude.

These are giddy times, and, you say, the college will be deserted. No, never was it so much needed. But I say, those were the giddy times which went before these, and the new times are the times of arraignment, times of trial, and times of judgment. ‘Tis because the college was false to its trust, because the scholars did not learn and teach, because they were traders and left their altars and libraries and worship of truth and played the sycophant to presidents and generals and members of Congress, and gave degrees and literary and social honors to those whom they ought to have rebuked and exposed, incurring the contempt of those whom they ought to have put in fear; then the college is suicidal, ceases to be a school; power oozes out of it just as fast as truth does, and instead of overawing the strong, and upholding the good, it is a hospital for decayed tutors.

This Integrity over all partial knowledge and skill, homage to truth—how rare! Few men wish to know how the thing really stands, what is the law of it without reference to persons. Other men are victims of their means—sanity consists in not being subdued by your means.

What did people likely think of higher education at the time that Emerson was writing and speaking?

Possible Answers:

It is devoted to truth and integrity of intellect.

Its time is exhausted and coming to an end.

It could use some minor improvements in quality.

It is a venerable institution, much appreciated and much praised.

It is perhaps the one important thing undertaken by society.

Correct answer:

Its time is exhausted and coming to an end.

Explanation:

The key sentence for this question is, "These are giddy times, and, you say, the college will be deserted." The audience listening to Emerson is referred to by the use of the second-person pronoun "you." It seems that people are saying (or at least thinking) that it seems that the college will be deserted—emptied. This implies that people think that the college/university is no longer of use and will be abandoned, coming to the end of its usefulness.

Example Question #1 : Inference About The Subject

Adapted from “The Celebration of Intellect” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1861)

At this season, the colleges keep their anniversaries, and in this country where education is a primary interest, every family has a representative in their halls; a son, a brother, or one of our own kindred is there for his training. But even if we had no son or friend therein, yet the college is part of the community, and it is there for us, is training our teachers, civilizers, and inspirers. It is essentially the most radiating and public of agencies, like, but better than, the light-house, or the alarm-bell, or the sentinel who fires a signal-cannon, or the telegraph which speeds the local news over the land. Besides, it deals with a force which it cannot monopolize or confine, cannot give to those who come to it and refuse to those outside. I have no doubt of the force, and for me the only question is whether the force is inside.

This power which it deals is dear to all. If the colleges were better, if they had any monopoly of it, nay, if they really had it, had the power of imparting valuable thought, creative principles, truths which become powers, thoughts which become talents—if they could cause that a mind not profound should become profound—we should all rush to their gates; instead of contriving inducements to draw students, you would need to set police at the gates to keep order in the in-rushing multitude.

These are giddy times, and, you say, the college will be deserted. No, never was it so much needed. But I say, those were the giddy times which went before these, and the new times are the times of arraignment, times of trial, and times of judgment. ‘Tis because the college was false to its trust, because the scholars did not learn and teach, because they were traders and left their altars and libraries and worship of truth and played the sycophant to presidents and generals and members of Congress, and gave degrees and literary and social honors to those whom they ought to have rebuked and exposed, incurring the contempt of those whom they ought to have put in fear; then the college is suicidal, ceases to be a school; power oozes out of it just as fast as truth does, and instead of overawing the strong, and upholding the good, it is a hospital for decayed tutors.

This Integrity over all partial knowledge and skill, homage to truth—how rare! Few men wish to know how the thing really stands, what is the law of it without reference to persons. Other men are victims of their means—sanity consists in not being subdued by your means.

Based on the passage, which of the following can we infer?

Possible Answers:

The outlook for education in music is quite hopeful in spite of hints to the contrary.

The college has been promoting militarism abroad by means of new programs.

The board of the college has been in the habit of awarding "important people" with honorary degrees.

The college has opened a school of political science in order to curry favor with governmental bureaucrats.

The college was once quite wealthy but has been losing money in recent years.

Correct answer:

The board of the college has been in the habit of awarding "important people" with honorary degrees.

Explanation:

Though he passage speaks of militarism, nothing is said of promoting militarism (at least in any direct way). Likewise, while the college has a troublesome relationship with politicians, we know nothing about the foundation of a school of political science. The other two wrong options are quite baldly unsupported by the passage. The key selection for the correct answer is "gave degrees and literary and social honors to those whom they ought to have rebuked and exposed." This implies that the college is giving out honorary degrees where it should not.

Example Question #1 : Inference About The Subject

Adapted from “The Celebration of Intellect” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1861)

At this season, the colleges keep their anniversaries, and in this country where education is a primary interest, every family has a representative in their halls; a son, a brother, or one of our own kindred is there for his training. But even if we had no son or friend therein, yet the college is part of the community, and it is there for us, is training our teachers, civilizers, and inspirers. It is essentially the most radiating and public of agencies, like, but better than, the light-house, or the alarm-bell, or the sentinel who fires a signal-cannon, or the telegraph which speeds the local news over the land. Besides, it deals with a force which it cannot monopolize or confine, cannot give to those who come to it and refuse to those outside. I have no doubt of the force, and for me the only question is whether the force is inside.

This power which it deals is dear to all. If the colleges were better, if they had any monopoly of it, nay, if they really had it, had the power of imparting valuable thought, creative principles, truths which become powers, thoughts which become talents—if they could cause that a mind not profound should become profound—we should all rush to their gates; instead of contriving inducements to draw students, you would need to set police at the gates to keep order in the in-rushing multitude.

These are giddy times, and, you say, the college will be deserted. No, never was it so much needed. But I say, those were the giddy times which went before these, and the new times are the times of arraignment, times of trial, and times of judgment. ‘Tis because the college was false to its trust, because the scholars did not learn and teach, because they were traders and left their altars and libraries and worship of truth and played the sycophant to presidents and generals and members of Congress, and gave degrees and literary and social honors to those whom they ought to have rebuked and exposed, incurring the contempt of those whom they ought to have put in fear; then the college is suicidal, ceases to be a school; power oozes out of it just as fast as truth does, and instead of overawing the strong, and upholding the good, it is a hospital for decayed tutors.

This Integrity over all partial knowledge and skill, homage to truth—how rare! Few men wish to know how the thing really stands, what is the law of it without reference to persons. Other men are victims of their means—sanity consists in not being subdued by your means.

Which of the following could be inferred from the underlined sentence?

Possible Answers:

The overall character of education was improving in Emerson's day.

Few people cared much for education in Emerson's day.

The opinion of educators was held highly in certain limited social circles in Emerson's day.

Emerson's neighbor likely had a relative in the midst of university studies.

The lecture hall was full for Emerson's talk.

Correct answer:

Emerson's neighbor likely had a relative in the midst of university studies.

Explanation:

Perhaps Emerson is overstating, but he does say, "Every family has a representative in their halls, a son, a brother, or one of our own kindred is there for his training."  This implies that every family has someone attending university. Though it seems rather specific, the correct answer states that it is likely that Emerson's neighbor had a relative in university studies. (The fact that it says "likely" does help to make it less stark of an answer choice.)

Example Question #2 : Inference About The Subject

Adapted from “The Celebration of Intellect” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1861)

At this season, the colleges keep their anniversaries, and in this country where education is a primary interest, every family has a representative in their halls; a son, a brother, or one of our own kindred is there for his training. But even if we had no son or friend therein, yet the college is part of the community, and it is there for us, is training our teachers, civilizers, and inspirers. It is essentially the most radiating and public of agencies, like, but better than, the light-house, or the alarm-bell, or the sentinel who fires a signal-cannon, or the telegraph which speeds the local news over the land. Besides, it deals with a force which it cannot monopolize or confine, cannot give to those who come to it and refuse to those outside. I have no doubt of the force, and for me the only question is whether the force is inside.

This power which it deals is dear to all. If the colleges were better, if they had any monopoly of it, nay, if they really had it, had the power of imparting valuable thought, creative principles, truths which become powers, thoughts which become talents—if they could cause that a mind not profound should become profound—we should all rush to their gates; instead of contriving inducements to draw students, you would need to set police at the gates to keep order in the in-rushing multitude.

These are giddy times, and, you say, the college will be deserted. No, never was it so much needed. But I say, those were the giddy times which went before these, and the new times are the times of arraignment, times of trial, and times of judgment. ‘Tis because the college was false to its trust, because the scholars did not learn and teach, because they were traders and left their altars and libraries and worship of truth and played the sycophant to presidents and generals and members of Congress, and gave degrees and literary and social honors to those whom they ought to have rebuked and exposed, incurring the contempt of those whom they ought to have put in fear; then the college is suicidal, ceases to be a school; power oozes out of it just as fast as truth does, and instead of overawing the strong, and upholding the good, it is a hospital for decayed tutors.

This Integrity over all partial knowledge and skill, homage to truth—how rare! Few men wish to know how the thing really stands, what is the law of it without reference to persons. Other men are victims of their means—sanity consists in not being subdued by your means.

What is implied by the underlined selection?

Possible Answers:

In Emerson's day, it was becoming obvious that sports were being used to draw people to studies instead of academic undertakings.

In Emerson's day, education held a high place in society.

It would soon become much more difficult for funding to be offered to potential undergraduate students.

The student body was growing at a fast pace in Emerson's day.

In Emerson's day, students were less than thrilled about attending school.

Correct answer:

In Emerson's day, students were less than thrilled about attending school.

Explanation:

The underlined sentence almost directly states that schools were needing to induce students to attend university. That is, they had to be convinced to come. This implies that students were not very thrilled about attending the university.

Example Question #123 : Author, Tone, And Intent

Adapted from Volume I of The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell (1906 ed.)

About a year after Mrs. Brontë’s death, an elder sister, as I have before mentioned, came from Penzance to superintend her brother-in-law’s household and look after his children. Miss Branwell was, I believe, a kindly and conscientious woman, with a good deal of character, but with the somewhat narrow ideas natural to one who had spent nearly all her life in the same place. She had strong prejudices, and soon took a distaste to Yorkshire. From Penzance, where plants which we in the north call greenhouse flowers grow in great profusion, and without any shelter even in the winter, and where the soft warm climate allows the inhabitants, if so disposed, to live pretty constantly in the open air, it was a great change for a lady considerably past forty to come and take up her abode in a place where neither flowers nor vegetables would flourish, and where a tree of even moderate dimensions might be hunted for far and wide; where the snow lay long and late on the moors, stretching bleakly and barely far up from the dwelling which was henceforward to be her home; and where often, on autumnal or winter nights, the four winds of heaven seemed to meet and rage together, tearing round the house as if they were wild beasts striving to find an entrance. She missed the small round of cheerful, social visiting perpetually going on in a country town; she missed the friends she had known from her childhood, some of whom had been her parents’ friends before they were hers; she disliked many of the customs of the place, and particularly dreaded the cold damp arising from the flag floors in the passages and parlors of Haworth Parsonage. The stairs, too, I believe, are made of stone; and no wonder, when stone quarries are near, and trees are far to seek. I have heard that Miss Branwell always went about the house in pattens, clicking up and down the stairs, from her dread of catching cold. For the same reason, in the latter years of her life, she passed nearly all her time, and took most of her meals, in her bedroom. The children respected her, and had that sort of affection for her which is generated by esteem; but I do not think they ever freely loved her. It was a severe trial for any one at her time of life to change neighborhood and habitation so entirely as she did; and the greater her merit.

Which of the following best describes the overall purpose of the passage?

Possible Answers:

To persuade the reader of Miss Branwell's ultimate guilt

To characterize daily life in Penzance

To explain the reasons behind Miss Branwell's attitudes and behavior

To expound upon the children's love for Miss Branwell

To put forth an extended metaphor about nature

Correct answer:

To explain the reasons behind Miss Branwell's attitudes and behavior

Explanation:

The author does not attempt to "persuade us of Miss Branwell's ultimate guilt"; in fact, she is fairly complimentary of Miss Branwell. The focus of the passage is not on the children, nor is it on Penzance, which is the town from which Miss Branwell moved. While nature is described, there is no "extended metaphor" surrounding it. The author describes the changes in Miss Branwell's lifestyle and the circumstances of her new home in order to illuminate the reasons why she struggled to adapt to life in Yorkshire.

Example Question #303 : Act Reading

Adapted from "Benares Hindu University Speech" by Mohandas Gandhi (1916)

We have been told during the last two days how necessary it is, if we are to retain our hold upon the simplicity of Indian character, that our hands and feet should move in unison with our hearts. But this is only by way of preface. I wanted to say it is a matter of deep humiliation and shame for us that I am compelled this evening under the shadow of this great college, in this sacred city, to address my countrymen in a language that is foreign to me. I know that if I was appointed an examiner, to examine all those who have been attending during these two days this series of lectures, most of those who might be examined upon these lectures would fail. And why? Because they have not been touched.

I was present at the sessions of the great Congress in the month of December. There was a much vaster audience, and will you believe me when I tell you that the only speeches that touched the huge audience in Bombay were the speeches that were delivered in Hindustani? In Bombay, mind you, not in Benaras where everybody speaks Hindi. But between the vernaculars of the Bombay Presidency on the one hand and Hindi on the other, no such great dividing line exists as there does between English and the sister language of India; and the Congress audience was better able to follow the speakers in Hindi. I am hoping that this University will see to it that the youths who come to it will receive their instruction through the medium of their vernaculars. Our language is the reflection of ourselves, and if you tell me that our languages are too poor to express the best thought, then I say that the sooner we are wiped out of existence the better for us. Is there a man who dreams that English can ever become the national language of India? Why this handicap on the nation? Just consider for one moment what an equal race our lads have to run with every English lad.

I had the privilege of a close conversation with some Poona professors. They assured me that every Indian youth, because he reached his knowledge through the English language, lost at least six precious years of life. Multiply that by the numbers of students turned out by our schools and colleges, and find out for yourselves how many thousand years have been lost to the nation. The charge against us is that we have no initiative. How can we have any, if we are to devote the precious years of our life to the mastery of a foreign tongue? We fail in this attempt also. Was it possible for any speaker yesterday and today to impress his audience as was possible for Mr. Higginbotham? It was not the fault of the previous speakers that they could not engage the audience. They had more than substance enough for us in their addresses. But their addresses could not go home to us. I have heard it said that after all it is English educated India which is leading and which is leading and which is doing all the things for the nation. It would be monstrous if it were otherwise. The only education we receive is English education. Surely we must show something for it. But suppose that we had been receiving during the past fifty years education through our vernaculars, what should we have today? We should have today a free India, we should have our educated men, not as if they were foreigners in their own land but speaking to the heart of the nation; they would be working amongst the poorest of the poor, and whatever they would have gained during these fifty years would be a heritage for the nation. Today even our wives are not the sharers in our best thought. Look at Professor Bose and Professor Ray and their brilliant researches. Is it not a shame that their researches are not the common property of the masses?

Which of these assumptions could NOT be reasonably inferred from the whole of this passage?

Possible Answers:

People in Bombay often speak a language other than English or Hindi.

The English language has only very recently been imposed upon the Indian people.

The author is addressing an Indian University.

The author does not approve of the imposition of the English language in India.

The author is of Indian nationality.

Correct answer:

The English language has only very recently been imposed upon the Indian people.

Explanation:

To solve this question you will need to go by process of elimination. From the statement made by the author that “I wanted to say it is a matter of deep humiliation and shame for us that I am compelled this evening under the shadow of this great college, in this sacred city, to address my countrymen in a language that is foreign to me,” you can infer that the author does not approve of the imposition of the English language and that he is of Indian nationality. You could also reasonably infer that the author is addressing an Indian University; a conclusion confirmed with “I am hoping that this University will see to it . . .” Finally, from the first few sentences of the second paragraph you can infer that people in Bombay must speak a language other than English or Hindi; therefore the only remaining acceptable answer is that you cannot reasonably infer that the English language has only very recently been imposed upon the Indian people; this is because the author makes no reference to the length of time.

Example Question #4 : Inference About The Subject

Adapted from the Advertisement to Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth (1798)

It is the honorable characteristic of Poetry that its materials are to be found in every subject which can interest the human mind. The evidence of this fact is to be sought, not in the writings of Critics, but in those of Poets themselves.

The majority of the following poems are to be considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure. Readers accustomed to the gaudiness and inane phraseology of many modern writers, if they persist in reading this book to its conclusion, will perhaps frequently have to struggle with feelings of strangeness and awkwardness: they will look round for poetry, and will be induced to enquire by what species of courtesy these attempts can be permitted to assume that title. It is desirable that such readers, for their own sakes, should not suffer the solitary word Poetry, a word of very disputed meaning, to stand in the way of their gratification; but that, while they are perusing this book, they should ask themselves if it contains a natural delineation of human passions, human characters, and human incidents; and if the answer be favorable to the author's wishes, that they should consent to be pleased in spite of that most dreadful enemy to our pleasures, our own pre-established codes of decision.

Readers of superior judgement may disapprove of the style in which many of these pieces are executed it must be expected that many lines and phrases will not exactly suit their taste. It will perhaps appear to them, that wishing to avoid the prevalent fault of the day, the author has sometimes descended too low, and that many of his expressions are too familiar, and not of sufficient dignity. It is apprehended, that the more conversant the reader is with our elder writers, and with those in modern times who have been the most successful in painting manners and passions, the fewer complaints of this kind will he have to make.

An accurate taste in poetry, and in all the other arts, Sir Joshua Reynolds has observed, is an acquired talent, which can only be produced by severe thought, and a long continued intercourse with the best models of composition. This is mentioned not with so ridiculous a purpose as to prevent the most inexperienced reader from judging for himself; but merely to temper the rashness of decision, and to suggest that if poetry be a subject on which much time has not been bestowed, the judgement may be erroneous, and that in many cases it necessarily will be so.

Based on the passage, the primary purpose for the poems was __________.

Possible Answers:

to further the career of the author

to show that literary "defects" can be used to a certain extent in the formation of good poetry

to be experimental with the way a poem can be formed

to determine if common conversational language was suited to poetry

to defy critics who have a pompous view of poetry

Correct answer:

to determine if common conversational language was suited to poetry

Explanation:

The answer appears in the second sentence of the third paragraph: “[The poems] were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure.” This is stating that they were written with the purpose of using colloquial language to see if it could be used for “poetic pleasure.” The key word is “chiefly” as it tells us the primary purpose, or intent. We cannot say, from the passage, that the other answers were intended.

Example Question #5 : Making Inferences In Argumentative Humanities Passages

Adapted from The Idea of a University by John Henry Newman (1852)

I have been insisting, in my two preceding Discourses, first, on the cultivation of the intellect, as an end which may reasonably be pursued for its own sake; and next, on the nature of that cultivation, or what that cultivation consists in. Truth of whatever kind is the proper object of the intellect; its cultivation then lies in fitting it to apprehend and contemplate truth. Now the intellect in its present state, with exceptions which need not here be specified, does not discern truth intuitively, or as a whole. We know, not by a direct and simple vision, not at a glance, but, as it were, by piecemeal and accumulation, by a mental process, by going round an object, by the comparison, the combination, the mutual correction, the continual adaptation, of many partial notions, by the employment, concentration, and joint action of many faculties and exercises of mind.

Such a union and concert of the intellectual powers, such an enlargement and development, such a comprehensiveness, is necessarily a matter of training. And again, such a training is a matter of rule. It is not mere application, however exemplary, which introduces the mind to truth, nor the reading many books, nor the getting up many subjects, nor the witnessing many experiments, nor the attending many lectures. All this is short of enough. A man may have done it all, yet be lingering in the vestibule of knowledge. He may not realize what his mouth utters; he may not see with his mental eye what confronts him; he may have no grasp of things as they are, or at least he may have no power at all of advancing one step forward of himself, in consequence of what he has already acquired, no power of discriminating between truth and falsehood, of sifting out the grains of truth from the mass, of arranging things according to their real value, and, if I may use the phrase, of building up ideas. Such a power is the result of a scientific formation of mind; it is an acquired faculty of judgment, of clear-sightedness, of sagacity, of wisdom, of philosophical reach of mind, and of intellectual self-possession and repose—qualities which do not come of mere acquirement. The bodily eye, the organ for apprehending material objects, is provided by nature; the eye of the mind, of which the object is truth, is the work of discipline and habit.

This process of training, by which the intellect, instead of being formed or sacrificed to some particular or accidental purpose, some specific trade or profession, or study or science, is disciplined for its own sake, for the perception of its own proper object, and for its own highest culture, is called Liberal Education; and though there is no one in whom it is carried as far as is conceivable, or whose intellect would be a pattern of what intellects should be made, yet there is scarcely any one but may gain an idea of what real training is, and at least look towards it, and make its true scope and result, not something else, his standard of excellence; and numbers there are who may submit themselves to it, and secure it to themselves in good measure. And to set forth the right standard, and to train according to it, and to help forward all students towards it according to their various capacities, this I conceive to be the business of a University.

Based on the information provided in this passage, which of the following would you expect to be found in the previous chapters of the book from which this passage is drawn?

Possible Answers:

None of the other answer choices

A defense for the use of Newman's particular religious creed in education.

A plea to end all vocational education.

A diatribe against modernity and modern education.

A discussion that included some defense of learning for the sole sake of learning.

Correct answer:

A discussion that included some defense of learning for the sole sake of learning.

Explanation:

The whole topic of this selection is a defense of a general education that is not particular. At the beginning of the selection, Newman explicitly remarks about his previous "discourses." Among the topics there discussed, he apparently included, "The cultivation of the intellect, as an end which may reasonably be pursued for its own sake." Although this does not mean that he completely argued his case for this point, the implication is that he did make some defense for forms of learning that are not immediately useful (but are good in themselves). This does not mean that he necessarily argued against other forms of knowledge. You cannot go this far in your interpretation!

Example Question #4 : Inference About The Subject

Passage adapted from Edmund Morel's King Leopold’s Rule in Africa (1904)

Everywhere [in the Congo] we see the same policy [of forced labor] at work, with the same results. What are the chief symptoms of the effects of that policy upon native life?

Outwardly the most striking effect is depopulation: slaughter, mutilation, emigration, sickness, largely aggravated by cruel and systematic oppression; poverty, and even positive starvation, induced by unlimited taxation in food-stuffs and live stocks; a hopeless despair, and mental depression engendered by ears of grinding tyranny; neglect of children by the general maltreatment of women, one of the most odious and disgraceful features of the system— these are some of the many recorded cases of depopulation which, in certain districts, has assumed gigantic proportions…

What a sum total of human wretchedness does not lie behind that bald word “depopulation”! To my mind, the horror of this curse which has come upon the Congo peoples reaches its maximum of intensity when we force ourselves to consider its everyday concomitants; the crushing weight of perpetual, remorseless oppression; the gradual elimination of everything in the daily life of the natives which makes that life worth living. Under a prevailing system, every village is a penal settlement. Armed soldiers are quartered in every hamlet; the men pass nearly their whole lives in satisfying the ceaseless demands of the “Administration,” or its affiliates the Trusts…

The cumulative effects of depopulation and infantile mortality by dragging women away from their homes for forced labour requisitions— seizing them as “hostages,” and “tying them up,” whether virgins, wives, mothers, or those about to become mothers, in order to bring pressure to bear upon brothers, husbands, and fathers for the adequate supply of rubber or food taxes; flinging them into “prison,” together with their children, often to die of starvation and neglect…

What has come over the civilized people of the globe that they can allow their government to remain inactive and apathetic in the face of incidents which recall in aggravated form the worst horrors of the over-sea slave trade, which surpass the exploits of Arab slave catchers? What could be worse than scenes such as these, which can be culled by the dozen…

The Congo Government boasts that, in stopping the intertribal warfare, it has stopped the selling of tribal prisoners of war into domestic slavery. The condition of the domestic slave under the African system is blissful beyond words, if you compare his lot with that of the degraded serf under the Leopoldian system…

Enough has been said to show that under this system of “moral and material regeneration,” constituting a monstrous invasion of primitive rights which has no parallel in the whole world, the family life and social ties of the people are utterly destroyed…

Why are these people allowed to suffer thus cruelly? What crime have they collectively committed in past ages that they should undergo to-day so terrible an expiation? Are they “groaning and dying” under this murderous system as a great object-lesson to Europe?... Belgium, technically unconcerned, is morally responsible, and Belgium will suffer…  If the Congo Basin were capable of being colonized by the Caucasian race, the policy we condemn and reprobate would still be a crime against humanity, an outrage upon civilization. But the Congo territories can never be a white man’s country; the “Congo State” is naught but a collection of individuals— with one supreme above the all— working for their own selfish ends, caring nothing for posterity, callous of the present, indifferent of the future, as of the past, animated by no fanaticism other than the fanaticism of dividends— and so upon the wickedness of this thing is grafted the fatuous stupidity and inhumanity of the Powers in allowing the extermination of the Congo races to go on unchecked, barely, if at all, reproved.

What does the author imply is the duty of civilized people in the fifth paragraph ("What has come...")?

Possible Answers:

To encourage their government to become involved

To understand that the horrors suffered by the Congolese people are less severe than those perpetuated by Arab slave-traders 

To acknowledge that forced labor is an unfortunate aspect of all intertribal warfare 

To intervene in the Congo personally, even without government support 

Correct answer:

To encourage their government to become involved

Explanation:

The author implies that the duty of all civilized people is to encourage their government to become involved when he notes, "What has come over the civilized people of the globe that they can allow their government to remain inactive and apathetic in the face of incidents which recall in aggravated form the worst horrors of the over-sea slave trade, which surpass the exploits of Arab slave catchers?" This quotation also demonstrates that the author does not view the Arab slave-traders as perpetuating worse horrors than those in the Congo, and the author does not call on readers to understand that forced labor is an unfortunate but inevitable aspect of intertribal warfare. Finally, the author does not at any point encourage the reader to intervene personally in the problems of the Congo.

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