HiSET: Language Arts - Reading : Analyzing individual words and phrases

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HiSET: Language Arts - Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Analyzing Individual Words And Phrases

Passage adapted from The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud (1900)

It is easy to demonstrate that dreams often have the character of blatant wish-fullfillments; so much so that one wonders why the language of dreams was not understood long ago. For instance, there is a dream that I can experience at will, experimentally, as it were. When I eat sardines, olives, or other strongly salted foods in the evening, I am awakened in the night by thirst. But the awaking is always preceded by a dream with the same content: I gulp the water down; and it tastes delicious to me as only a cool drink can when one is dying of thirst; and then I wake up and really have to drink. The cause of this simple dream is the thirst which I feel when I awaken. This feeling causes the desire to drink, and the dream shows me this desire fulfilled. It thereby serves a function which I can easily guess. I am a good sleeper, unaccustomed to being awakened by any need. If I can slake my thirst by dreaming that I am drinking, I don't need to wake up in order to be satisfied. Thus this is a convenience dream. The dream is substituted for action, as so often in life.

Recently this same dream occurred in a somewhat modified form. I had become thirsty even before sleeping and drained the glass of water which was standing on the nightstand next to my bed. A few hours later during the night I had a new attack of thirst which was more inconvenient. In order to get some water I would have had to get up and take the glass standing on my wife's nightstand. I dreamed therefore that my wife gave me a drink out of a vessel. This vessel was an Etruscan funerary urn which I had brought back from a trip to Italy and had since given away. However, the water in it tasted so salty (plainly because of the ashes) that I had to wake up. It is easy to see how neatly this dream arranged matters; since it its only aim was wish-fulfillment, it could be completely egotistical. A love of convenience is not really compatible with consideration for others. The introduction of the funerary urn is probably another wish-fulfillment; I was sorry that I didn't own the vessel any more--just as the water glass beside my wife was inaccessible. The urn also fit the growing salty taste which I knew would force me to wake up.

Why does Freud describe these dreams as “convenience dreams?”

Possible Answers:

They are not compatible with consideration for others

They are convenient because they satisfy a need that might normally require him waking up to be fulfilled

He can usually pinpoint their cause

He is able to experience them at will

Correct answer:

They are convenient because they satisfy a need that might normally require him waking up to be fulfilled

Explanation:

While the other answer choices are mentioned in the passage, a "convenience dream" is specifically described by Freud: 

"If I can slake my thirst by dreaming that I am drinking, I don't need to wake up in order to be satisfied. Thus this is a convenience dream."

Example Question #2 : Analyzing Individual Words And Phrases

Passage adapted from The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud (1900)

It is easy to demonstrate that dreams often have the character of blatant wish-fullfillments; so much so that one wonders why the language of dreams was not understood long ago. For instance, there is a dream that I can experience at will, experimentally, as it were. When I eat sardines, olives, or other strongly salted foods in the evening, I am awakened in the night by thirst. But the awaking is always preceded by a dream with the same content: I gulp the water down; and it tastes delicious to me as only a cool drink can when one is dying of thirst; and then I wake up and really have to drink. The cause of this simple dream is the thirst which I feel when I awaken. This feeling causes the desire to drink, and the dream shows me this desire fulfilled. It thereby serves a function which I can easily guess. I am a good sleeper, unaccustomed to being awakened by any need. If I can slake my thirst by dreaming that I am drinking, I don't need to wake up in order to be satisfied. Thus this is a convenience dream. The dream is substituted for action, as so often in life.

Recently this same dream occurred in a somewhat modified form. I had become thirsty even before sleeping and drained the glass of water which was standing on the nightstand next to my bed. A few hours later during the night I had a new attack of thirst which was more inconvenient. In order to get some water I would have had to get up and take the glass standing on my wife's nightstand. I dreamed therefore that my wife gave me a drink out of a vessel. This vessel was an Etruscan funerary urn which I had brought back from a trip to Italy and had since given away. However, the water in it tasted so salty (plainly because of the ashes) that I had to wake up. It is easy to see how neatly this dream arranged matters; since it its only aim was wish-fulfillment, it could be completely egotistical. A love of convenience is not really compatible with consideration for others. The introduction of the funerary urn is probably another wish-fulfillment; I was sorry that I didn't own the vessel any more--just as the water glass beside my wife was inaccessible. The urn also fit the growing salty taste which I knew would force me to wake up.

As used in the passage, the word "vessel" means _______________.

Possible Answers:

barrel

boat

standard

container

Correct answer:

container

Explanation:

If you remove the word "vessel" from either sentence and replace it with a blank, then fill in the blank with your own word that would appropriately complete the sentence, "container" would be closest in meaning.

"Boat," "barrel," and "standard" don't describe something a person can easily lift to his lips and drink from.

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