GED Language Arts (RLA) : Other Passage Content

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Language Arts (RLA)

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

← Previous 1

Example Question #12 : Conclusions About The Passage

Adapted from As You Like It by William Shakespeare (1623)

 

[This is a monologue by the character Jacques]

 

All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;

Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like a snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,

His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion;

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

What is meant by the end of the "strange eventful history" mentioned in the passage?

Possible Answers:

The history of the world surprisingly is parallel to the life of an individual—though you would not think so at first.

Life is quite dismal, without meaning, and without any overall plan.

The events of history will almost always play out with a regularity that will strike and confuse you if you do not carefully watch and consider it.

The history of man is quite strange, particularly given that in aging the old man's voice becomes like that of a child.

Life ends in a state of unknowing and old age after its many ages with so many different characteristics.

Correct answer:

Life ends in a state of unknowing and old age after its many ages with so many different characteristics.

Explanation:

The strangeness spoken of here is the strange experience of a human life, one that passes through many ages. In so many of the seven ages discussed, the human person is actively engaged and lively—the lover, the justice, the soldier.  However, at the end of life, things sink into oblivion again. There is little left at the end even though there had been such life and vibrancy for so much of the life.

Example Question #1 : Other Passage Content

From Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, III.ii.13-33 (1599)

[This is a speech by Brutus to a crowd at Caesar’s funeral.]  

 

Romans, countrymen, and lovers! Hear me for my

cause, and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me

for mine honor, and have respect to mine honor, that

you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom, and

awake your senses, that you may the better judge.

If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of

Caesar's, to him I say that Brutus' love to Caesar

was no less than his. If then that friend demand

why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer:

Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved

Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and

die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead to live

all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;

as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was

valiant, I honor him; but as he was ambitious, I

slew him. There is tears for his love, joy for his

fortune, honor for his valor, and death for his

ambition. Who is here so base that would be a

bondman? If any, speak, for him have I offended.

Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If

any, speak, for him have I offended. Who is here so

vile that will not love his country? If any, speak,

for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.

What is Brutus' purpose in the underlined sentence?

Possible Answers:

To admit that Brutus loved Caesar less than others—hence, leading to his murder

To question the love of others for Caesar

To state that Brutus loved Caesar no less than anyone else

To raise a doubt regarding Caesar's affection for the crowd

To question whether or not Caesar was loved well by others

Correct answer:

To state that Brutus loved Caesar no less than anyone else

Explanation:

Focus on the main clause of the sentence: "to him [i.e. any dear friend of Caesar's] I say that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his [i.e. that friend]." The point that Brutus is making is that even if a random person were selected and that person were Caesar's dear friend, even such a person would not have loved Caesar more than Brutus himself did. That is, Brutus' love would have been no less—it would have at least been equal.

Example Question #2 : Other Passage Content

On the 24th of February, 1815, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.

As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and rounding the Chateau d'If, got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and Rion island.

Immediately, and according to custom, the ramparts of Fort Saint-Jean were covered with spectators; it is always an event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like the Pharaon, has been built, rigged, and laden at the old Phocee docks, and belongs to an owner of the city.

The ship drew on and had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic shock has made between the Calasareigne and Jaros islands; had doubled Pomegue, and approached the harbor under topsails, jib, and spanker, but so slowly and sedately that the idlers, with that instinct which is the forerunner of evil, asked one another what misfortune could have happened on board. However, those experienced in navigation saw plainly that if any accident had occurred, it was not to the vessel herself, for she bore down with all the evidence of being skilfully handled, the anchor a-cockbill, the jib-boom guys already eased off, and standing by the side of the pilot, who was steering the Pharaon towards the narrow entrance of the inner port, was a young man, who, with activity and vigilant eye, watched every motion of the ship, and repeated each direction of the pilot.

The vague disquietude which prevailed among the spectators had so much affected one of the crowd that he did not await the arrival of the vessel in harbor, but jumping into a small skiff, desired to be pulled alongside the Pharaon, which he reached as she rounded into La Reserve basin.

When the young man on board saw this person approach, he left his station by the pilot, and, hat in hand, leaned over the ship's bulwarks.

He was a fine, tall, slim young fellow of eighteen or twenty, with black eyes, and hair as dark as a raven's wing; and his whole appearance bespoke that calmness and resolution peculiar to men accustomed from their cradle to contend with danger.

"Ah, is it you, Dantes?" cried the man in the skiff. "What's the matter? and why have you such an air of sadness aboard?"

"A great misfortune, M. Morrel," replied the young man,—"a great misfortune, for me especially! Off Civita Vecchia we lost our brave Captain Leclere."

Passage adapted from Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)

What is the “Pharaon”?

Possible Answers:

The main character

 A ship

The captain

The first mate

Correct answer:

 A ship

Explanation:

“A ship” is the correct answer. This was a very simple question as “ship” is the only answer that makes sense in this passage. Indeed, the passage even says “especially when this ship, like the Pharaon . . .” Thus, “ship” is the correct answer.

Example Question #15 : Conclusions About The Passage

On the 24th of February, 1815, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.

As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and rounding the Chateau d'If, got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and Rion island.

Immediately, and according to custom, the ramparts of Fort Saint-Jean were covered with spectators; it is always an event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like the Pharaon, has been built, rigged, and laden at the old Phocee docks, and belongs to an owner of the city.

The ship drew on and had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic shock has made between the Calasareigne and Jaros islands; had doubled Pomegue, and approached the harbor under topsails, jib, and spanker, but so slowly and sedately that the idlers, with that instinct which is the forerunner of evil, asked one another what misfortune could have happened on board. However, those experienced in navigation saw plainly that if any accident had occurred, it was not to the vessel herself, for she bore down with all the evidence of being skilfully handled, the anchor a-cockbill, the jib-boom guys already eased off, and standing by the side of the pilot, who was steering the Pharaon towards the narrow entrance of the inner port, was a young man, who, with activity and vigilant eye, watched every motion of the ship, and repeated each direction of the pilot.

The vague disquietude which prevailed among the spectators had so much affected one of the crowd that he did not await the arrival of the vessel in harbor, but jumping into a small skiff, desired to be pulled alongside the Pharaon, which he reached as she rounded into La Reserve basin.

When the young man on board saw this person approach, he left his station by the pilot, and, hat in hand, leaned over the ship's bulwarks.

He was a fine, tall, slim young fellow of eighteen or twenty, with black eyes, and hair as dark as a raven's wing; and his whole appearance bespoke that calmness and resolution peculiar to men accustomed from their cradle to contend with danger.

"Ah, is it you, Dantes?" cried the man in the skiff. "What's the matter? and why have you such an air of sadness aboard?"

"A great misfortune, M. Morrel," replied the young man,—"a great misfortune, for me especially! Off Civita Vecchia we lost our brave Captain Leclere."

Passage adapted from Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)

What color is the young man’s hair?

Possible Answers:

Blonde

Brown

Gray

Black

Correct answer:

Black

Explanation:

“Black” is the correct answer. This was a relatively simple question that tested your ability to understand similes given context clues. Even if you were unaware that ravens have black wings, the surrounding description should have led you to the conclusion that “black” is the correct answer. Specifically, the passage notes that he has “black” eyes; thus, that, along with the simile, should have alerted you to the correct answer (“black”).

Example Question #16 : Conclusions About The Passage

"God forgive me," said the young man, "for rejoicing at happiness derived from the misery of others, but, Heaven knows, I did not seek this good fortune; it has happened, and I really cannot pretend to lament it. The good Captain Leclere is dead, father, and it is probable that, with the aid of M. Morrel, I shall have his place. Do you understand, father? Only imagine me a captain at twenty, with a hundred louis pay, and a share in the profits! Is this not more than a poor sailor like me could have hoped for?"

"Yes, my dear boy," replied the old man, "it is very fortunate."

"Well, then, with the first money I touch, I mean you to have a small house, with a garden in which to plant clematis, nasturtiums, and honeysuckle. But what ails you, father? Are you not well?"

"'Tis nothing, nothing; it will soon pass away"—and as he said so the old man's strength failed him, and he fell backwards.

"Come, come," said the young man, "a glass of wine, father, will revive you. Where do you keep your wine?"

"No, no; thanks. You need not look for it; I do not want it," said the old man.

"Yes, yes, father, tell me where it is," and he opened two or three cupboards.

"It is no use," said the old man, "there is no wine."

"What, no wine?" said Dantes, turning pale, and looking alternately at the hollow cheeks of the old man and the empty cupboards. "What, no wine? Have you wanted money, father?"

"I want nothing now that I have you," said the old man.

"Yet," stammered Dantes, wiping the perspiration from his brow,—"yet I gave you two hundred francs when I left, three months ago."

"Yes, yes, Edmond, that is true, but you forgot at that time a little debt to our neighbor, Caderousse. He reminded me of it, telling me if I did not pay for you, he would be paid by M. Morrel; and so, you see, lest he might do you an injury"—

"Well?"

"Why, I paid him."

"But," cried Dantes, "it was a hundred and forty francs I owed Caderousse."

"Yes," stammered the old man.

"And you paid him out of the two hundred francs I left you?"

The old man nodded.

"So that you have lived for three months on sixty francs," muttered Edmond.

"You know how little I require," said the old man.

"Heaven pardon me," cried Edmond, falling on his knees before his father.

"What are you doing?"

"You have wounded me to the heart."

"Never mind it, for I see you once more," said the old man; "and now it's all over—everything is all right again."

What does Dantes mean by the underlined phrase?

Possible Answers:

Dantes is telling his father to buy his own house

 Dantes is alluding to the fact that M. Morell will buy Dantes a house

M. Morell is asking Dantes to buy him a house

Dantes is going to buy his dad a small house with the money that he makes as a captain

Correct answer:

Dantes is going to buy his dad a small house with the money that he makes as a captain

Explanation:

“Dantes is going to buy his dad a small house with the money that he makes as a captain” is the correct answer. This is a very simple question that asks you to draw an inference from the language of the passage. Dantes says that he “means” for his father to have a small house “with the first money [he] touch[es].” “Dantes is going to buy his dad a small house” makes the most sense out of all of the answers provided.

Passage adapted from Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)

Example Question #3 : Other Passage Content

"God forgive me," said the young man, "for rejoicing at happiness derived from the misery of others, but, Heaven knows, I did not seek this good fortune; it has happened, and I really cannot pretend to lament it. The good Captain Leclere is dead, father, and it is probable that, with the aid of M. Morrel, I shall have his place. Do you understand, father? Only imagine me a captain at twenty, with a hundred louis pay, and a share in the profits! Is this not more than a poor sailor like me could have hoped for?"

"Yes, my dear boy," replied the old man, "it is very fortunate."

"Well, then, with the first money I touch, I mean you to have a small house, with a garden in which to plant clematis, nasturtiums, and honeysuckle. But what ails you, father? Are you not well?"

"'Tis nothing, nothing; it will soon pass away"—and as he said so the old man's strength failed him, and he fell backwards.

"Come, come," said the young man, "a glass of wine, father, will revive you. Where do you keep your wine?"

"No, no; thanks. You need not look for it; I do not want it," said the old man.

"Yes, yes, father, tell me where it is," and he opened two or three cupboards.

"It is no use," said the old man, "there is no wine."

"What, no wine?" said Dantes, turning pale, and looking alternately at the hollow cheeks of the old man and the empty cupboards. "What, no wine? Have you wanted money, father?"

"I want nothing now that I have you," said the old man.

"Yet," stammered Dantes, wiping the perspiration from his brow,—"yet I gave you two hundred francs when I left, three months ago."

"Yes, yes, Edmond, that is true, but you forgot at that time a little debt to our neighbor, Caderousse. He reminded me of it, telling me if I did not pay for you, he would be paid by M. Morrel; and so, you see, lest he might do you an injury"—

"Well?"

"Why, I paid him."

"But," cried Dantes, "it was a hundred and forty francs I owed Caderousse."

"Yes," stammered the old man.

"And you paid him out of the two hundred francs I left you?"

The old man nodded.

"So that you have lived for three months on sixty francs," muttered Edmond.

"You know how little I require," said the old man.

"Heaven pardon me," cried Edmond, falling on his knees before his father.

"What are you doing?"

"You have wounded me to the heart."

"Never mind it, for I see you once more," said the old man; "and now it's all over—everything is all right again."

If Dantes’ father refused to repay Caderousse (the next door neighbor), what was Caderousse going to do?

Possible Answers:

Inform the president, and seek an arrest warrant

Hire thugs to beat up Dantes upon his arrival

Tell M. Morrel and request repayment from him

Tell the gendarmes and request repayment from them

Correct answer:

Tell M. Morrel and request repayment from him

Explanation:

“Tell M. Morrel and request repayment from him” is the correct answer. This is a relatively simple question that asks you to piece together a conclusion from the context clues of the sentence. Here, Dantes’ father explains that Cadarousse (the neighbor) requested repayment from him (Dantes’ father) and that Cadarousse “would be paid buy M. Morrel” if Dantes’ father did not pay first.

Passage adapted from Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)

Example Question #18 : Conclusions About The Passage

What dire offence from amorous causes springs, 

What mighty contests rise from trivial things, 

I sing — This verse to Caryl, Muse! is due: 

This, even Belinda may vouchsafe to view: 

Slight is the subject, but not so the praise,    (5)

If She inspire, and He approve my lays. 

 

… Sol thro’ white curtains shot a tim’rous ray,

And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day.

Now lapdogs give themselves the rousing shake,

And sleepless lovers just at twelve awake:(10)

Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock’d the ground,

And the press’d watch return’d a silver sound.

Belinda still her downy pillow prest,

Her guardian Sylph prolong’d the balmy rest.

When the poet says “those eyes that must eclipse the day” (line 8), what idea is he trying to convey?

Possible Answers:

The character is obliged to be vigilant throughout the day and into the night

The beauty of the character’s eyes surpasses that of the morning

When the character opens her eyes, it will no longer be day

The character’s eyes will not watch the sun over the course of the day

None of these

Correct answer:

The beauty of the character’s eyes surpasses that of the morning

Explanation:

A few lines earlier, the poem notes that “Slight is the subject, but not so the praise” (line 5) in reference to the main character, Belinda. This indicates that the poem’s descriptions of Belinda, including her eyes, will be favorable. Based on this clue and on the phrasing of line 8 itself, it should be clear that the poet is attempting to pay Belinda a compliment about the quality of her eyes.

Passage adapted from The Rape of the Lock (1712) by Alexander Pope.

Example Question #4 : Other Passage Content

What dire offence from amorous causes springs, 

What mighty contests rise from trivial things, 

I sing — This verse to Caryl, Muse! is due: 

This, even Belinda may vouchsafe to view: 

Slight is the subject, but not so the praise,    (5)

If She inspire, and He approve my lays. 

 

… Sol thro’ white curtains shot a tim’rous ray,

And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day.

Now lapdogs give themselves the rousing shake,

And sleepless lovers just at twelve awake:(10)

Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock’d the ground,

And the press’d watch return’d a silver sound.

Belinda still her downy pillow prest,

Her guardian Sylph prolong’d the balmy rest.

In lines 13-14, with what is Belinda occupied?

Possible Answers:

Answering the doorbell

Just waking up

Being asleep

Watching her silver jewelry

Going about her morning routines

Correct answer:

Being asleep

Explanation:

Lines 13-14 clarify that, while the other characters in the poem are waking up, Belinda is still asleep: “Belinda still her downy pillow prest, / Her guardian Sylph prolong’d the balmy rest.”

Passage adapted from The Rape of the Lock (1712) by Alexander Pope.

Example Question #5 : Other Passage Content

1 I am a rather elderly man. 2 The nature of my avocations for the last thirty years has brought me into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men, of whom as yet nothing that I know of has ever been written:—I mean the law-copyists or scriveners. 3 I have known very many of them, professionally and privately, and if I pleased, could relate divers histories, at which good-natured gentlemen might smile, and sentimental souls might weep. 

4 … I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best. 5 Hence, though I belong to a profession proverbially energetic and nervous, even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort have I ever suffered to invade my peace. 6 I am one of those unambitious lawyers who never addresses a jury, or in any way draws down public applause; but in the cool tranquility of a snug retreat, do a snug business among rich men's bonds and mortgages and title-deeds. 7 All who know me, consider me an eminently safe man. 8 The late John Jacob Astor, a personage little given to poetic enthusiasm, had no hesitation in pronouncing my first grand point to be prudence; my next, method. 9 I do not speak it in vanity, but simply record the fact, that I was not unemployed in my profession by the late John Jacob Astor; a name which, I admit, I love to repeat, for it hath a rounded and orbicular sound to it, and rings like unto bullion. 10 I will freely add, that I was not insensible to the late John Jacob Astor's good opinion.

11 Some time prior to the period at which this little history begins, my avocations had been largely increased. 12 The good old office, now extinct in the State of New York, of a Master in Chancery, had been conferred upon me. It was not a very arduous office, but very pleasantly remunerative.

In Sentence 8, why does the speaker note that John Jacob Astor was “a personage little given to poetic enthusiasm”?

Possible Answers:

To advance the beliefs of his critics

To question the reader’s preconceptions

To undermine the strength of Astor’s compliment

To counter the claims of his critics

To give more weight to Astor’s compliment

Correct answer:

To give more weight to Astor’s compliment

Explanation:

If Astor is a person who rarely speaks poetically, a poetic remark or compliment from him carries all the more weight. That is the implication of Sentence 8. All of the other choices lack contextual evidence.

Passage adapted from Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” (1853)

Example Question #6 : Other Passage Content

1 I am a rather elderly man. 2 The nature of my avocations for the last thirty years has brought me into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men, of whom as yet nothing that I know of has ever been written:—I mean the law-copyists or scriveners. 3 I have known very many of them, professionally and privately, and if I pleased, could relate divers histories, at which good-natured gentlemen might smile, and sentimental souls might weep. 

4 … I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best. 5 Hence, though I belong to a profession proverbially energetic and nervous, even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort have I ever suffered to invade my peace. 6 I am one of those unambitious lawyers who never addresses a jury, or in any way draws down public applause; but in the cool tranquility of a snug retreat, do a snug business among rich men's bonds and mortgages and title-deeds. 7 All who know me, consider me an eminently safe man. 8 The late John Jacob Astor, a personage little given to poetic enthusiasm, had no hesitation in pronouncing my first grand point to be prudence; my next, method. 9 I do not speak it in vanity, but simply record the fact, that I was not unemployed in my profession by the late John Jacob Astor; a name which, I admit, I love to repeat, for it hath a rounded and orbicular sound to it, and rings like unto bullion. 10 I will freely add, that I was not insensible to the late John Jacob Astor's good opinion.

11 Some time prior to the period at which this little history begins, my avocations had been largely increased. 12 The good old office, now extinct in the State of New York, of a Master in Chancery, had been conferred upon me. It was not a very arduous office, but very pleasantly remunerative.

Why does the speaker claim to enjoy saying John Jacob Astor’s name?

Possible Answers:

It silences the speaker’s critics

It has a pleasant, rich sound

It reminds the speaker of another familiar name

It evokes another era

It thrills his audience

Correct answer:

It has a pleasant, rich sound

Explanation:

Sentence 9 gives us the following words: “a name which… I love to repeat, for it hath a rounded and orbicular sound to it, and rings like unto bullion.” In other word, the mellifluous quality of the man’s name makes the speaker enjoy pronouncing it aloud. The speaker likes this name for purely sonic reasons and nothing more.

Passage adapted from Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” (1853)

← Previous 1
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: