GED Language Arts (RLA) : Topic Transitions

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Topic Transitions

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 the purpose of the two underlined lines?

Possible Answers:

To underscore the fact that human life is futile, passing from one stage to the next with little to no connection

To recapitulate the theme of stage acting as the single paradigm for the moral life

To transition by showing that even each person has plays many roles in life, as though he were many actors

To transition from the introduction into the main body of the argument

To show that even individuals are playwrights of their own lives

Correct answer:

To transition by showing that even each person has plays many roles in life, as though he were many actors

Explanation:

The first sentence—"They have their exits and their entrances;"—closes out the initial metaphor about all the world being made up of "players" (actors) on the stage of life. The general acting metaphor will not be abandoned, however. The author now transitions to the main image of the passage—though this is not the same as transitioning into a main argument. Indeed, the author is not even making an argument so much as drawing out images of how a single life has many roles within it. This is the point of this transition—one that links us with the first metaphor, though now focusing on the many roles that are found within even a single, given life.

Example Question #2 : Topic Transitions

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.

How does the underlined "toward childish treble" help to develop the author's closing point?

Possible Answers:

It distracts the reader's attention from the discussion of the "justice," which was a bit long and could overawe the reader.

It prepares the reader for the final assertion, in which the author will state that at the end of life man returns to childhood, often being as powerless as a newborn.

It strengthens the paradox of the situation in life found in the arrogance of the "justice."

It plays no explicit role and is merely descriptive.

It shocks the reader with an untrue assertion, for many men do not end up having high voices in late life.

Correct answer:

It prepares the reader for the final assertion, in which the author will state that at the end of life man returns to childhood, often being as powerless as a newborn.

Explanation:

The passage ends by talking about how life ends in a "second childishness." This is a statement about what senility is like and how the physical and mental states of late life are quite like childhood. It is only in the "sixth act" that we start to see how this is going to end. After the "fifth act" of the "justice," life begins to shrink and become less vibrant. Man becomes more like a child. This theme reaches its climax at the end of the passage, in the description of the "second childishness and mere oblivion" of the end of life.

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