Common Core: 9th Grade English Language Arts : Analyze How a Work Uses and Transforms Source Material: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.9

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Example Question #1 : Analyze How A Work Uses And Transforms Source Material: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Rl.9 10.9

Adapted from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it, and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile, and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnized it with an undoubted bargain.

The mention of Marley's funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet's father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot—say Saint Paul's Churchyard for instance—literally to astonish his son's weak mind.

The author foreshadows that what will happen over the course of this story?

Possible Answers:

Marley's ghost will make an appearance to a character.

Marley faked his own death.

Marley isn't actually dead at this point in the story.

Most of the story will take place during the time in which Marley was still alive.

Correct answer:

Marley's ghost will make an appearance to a character.

Explanation:

Consider the last paragraph of the passage, during which the author compares Marley to Hamlet's Father at length:

The mention of Marley's funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet's Father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot—say Saint Paul's Churchyard for instance—literally to astonish his son's weak mind.

The author suggests that just like the shock of seeing Hamlet's Father appear in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark after the character is known to be dead, it's important to understand that Marley is dead—presumably because he is going to play a part in the story in some supernatural, or as the author says, "wonderful," fashion. Only one answer choice involves a supernatural event—Marley's ghost making an appearance to a character. This is the correct answer and indeed what occurs later in the story from which this passage is excerpted.

Example Question #2 : Analyze How A Work Uses And Transforms Source Material: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Rl.9 10.9

Adapted from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it, and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile, and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnized it with an undoubted bargain.

The mention of Marley's funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet's father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot—say Saint Paul's Churchyard for instance—literally to astonish his son's weak mind.

At one point in this passage, the author alludes to a famous literary work. To which work does he allude?

Possible Answers:

The Odyssey by Homer

Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Beowulf

Correct answer:

Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Explanation:

The author alludes to a famous literary work in the last paragraph of the passage:

The mention of Marley's funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet's father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot—say Saint Paul's Churchyard for instance—literally to astonish his son's weak mind.

Here, the author insists that Marley is dead, and suggests that this information will be crucial to the story he's about to tell. He draws a comparison between Marley and "Hamlet's Father," who "died before the play began," saying that if this weren't the case, "there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts . . . literally to astonish his son's weak mind." This is a reference to Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Even if you don't aren't familiar with the story this play tells, it's enough for you to notice that the author specifically mentions "Hamlet's Father" to make this connection. At one point in Shakespeare's play, the main character, Hamlet, sees his father's ghost walking on the ramparts of their castle. Hamlet is shocked, and the two have a conversation. The author is alluding to this scene to compare Marley to Hamlet's Father in the sense that we can expect his ghost to show up later in the story.

All Common Core: 9th Grade English Language Arts Resources

1 Diagnostic Test 19 Practice Tests Question of the Day Flashcards Learn by Concept
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