ISEE Upper Level Reading : Determining Context-Dependent Word Meanings in Literature Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Upper Level Reading

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Determining Context Dependent Word Meanings In Literature Passages

Adapted from "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses" by Mark Twain (1895)

Cooper's gift in the way of invention was not a rich endowment; but such as it was he liked to work it, he was pleased with the effects, and indeed he did some quite sweet things with it. In his little box of stage-properties he kept six or eight cunning devices, tricks, artifices for his savages and woodsmen to deceive and circumvent each other with, and he was never so happy as when he was working these innocent things and seeing them go. A favorite one was to make a moccasined person tread in the tracks of a moccasined enemy, and thus hide his own trail. Cooper wore out barrels and barrels of moccasins in working that trick. Another stage-property that he pulled out of his box pretty frequently was the broken twig. He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects, and worked it the hardest. It is a restful chapter in any book of his when somebody doesn't step on a dry twig and alarm all the Indians and whites for two hundred yards around. Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he is sure to step on a dry twig. There may be a hundred other handier things to step on, but that wouldn't satisfy Cooper. Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can't do it, go and borrow one. In fact, the Leatherstocking Series ought to have been called the Broken Twig Series.

I am sorry that there is not room to put in a few dozen instances of the delicate art of the forest, as practiced by Natty Bumppo and some of the other Cooperian experts. Perhaps we may venture two or three samples. Cooper was a sailor—a naval officer; yet he gravely tells us how a vessel, driving toward a lee shore in a gale, is steered for a particular spot by her skipper because he knows of an undertow there which will hold her back against the gale and save her. For just pure woodcraft, or sailorcraft, or whatever it is, isn't that neat? For several years, Cooper was daily in the society of artillery, and he ought to have noticed that when a cannon-ball strikes the ground it either buries itself or skips a hundred feet or so; skips again a hundred feet or so—and so on, till finally it gets tired and rolls. Now in one place he loses some "females"—as he always calls women—in the edge of a wood near a plain at night in a fog, on purpose to give Bumppo a chance to show off the delicate art of the forest before the reader. These mislaid people are hunting for a fort. They hear a cannon-blast, and a cannon-ball presently comes rolling into the wood and stops at their feet. To the females this suggests nothing. The case is very different with the admirable Bumppo. I wish I may never know peace again if he doesn't strike out promptly and follow the track of that cannon-ball across the plain in the dense fog and find the fort. Isn't it a daisy? If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook (pronounced Chicago, I think), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed the way to find it. It was very different with Chicago. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases—no, even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader.

The phrase "Isn't it a daisy?" most likely means __________.

Possible Answers:

Isn't that unbelievable?

Isn't that a flower?

Isn't that impressive?

Isn't that the truth?

Correct answer:

Isn't that impressive?

Explanation:

Twain is satirically saying that Bumppo's tracking of the canonball is impressive, mainly because there's no way it could ever happen in real life.

Example Question #1 : Determining Context Dependent Word Meanings In Literature Passages

Adapted from “Our Amateur Poets, No. III. — William Ellery Channing” in The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. XI: Literary Criticism by Edgar Allan Poe (1843, ed. 1902)

In speaking of Mr. William Ellery Channing, who has just published a very neat little volume of poems, we feel the necessity of employing the indefinite rather than the definite article. He is a, and by no means the, William Ellery Channing. He is only the son of the great essayist deceased. He is just such a person, in despite of his clarum et venerabile nomen, as Pindar would have designated by the significant term τις. It may be said in his favor that nobody ever heard of him. His book contains about sixty-three things, which he calls poems, and which he no doubt seriously supposes so to be. They are full of all kinds of mistakes, of which the most important is that of their having been printed at all. They are not precisely English; perhaps they are Channingese. We may convey some general idea of them by two foreign terms not in common use—the Italian pavoneggiarsi, “to strut like a peacock,” and the German word for “sky-rocketing,” schwarmerei. They are more preposterous, in a word, than any poems except those of the author of “Sam Patch;” for we presume we are right (are we not?) in taking it for granted that the author of “Sam Patch” is the very worst of all the wretched poets that ever existed upon earth.

In spite, however, of the customary phrase about a man’s “making a fool of himself,” we doubt if any one was ever a fool of his own free will and accord. A poet, therefore, should not always be taken too strictly to task. He should be treated with leniency, and, even when damned, should be damned with respect. Nobility of descent, too, should be allowed its privileges not more in social life than in letters. The son of a great author cannot be handled too tenderly by the critical Jack Ketch. Mr. Channing must be hung, that’s true. He must be hung in terrorem—and for this there is no help under the sun; but then we shall do him all manner of justice, and observe every species of decorum, and be especially careful of his feelings, and hang him gingerly and gracefully, with a silken cord, as the Spaniards hang their grandees of the blue blood, their nobles of the sangre azula.

Poe says that Pindar would've referred to Channing using the Greek term τις. Given the context, this Greek term most likely means __________.

Possible Answers:

somebody

a well-known name

a famous person

anybody

Correct answer:

anybody

Explanation:

Given these choices, the one that comes closes to the Greek term (and is actually a direct translation of it) is "anybody," again expanding on Poe's theme that Channing is a person of no fame at all.

Example Question #2 : Determining Context Dependent Word Meanings In Literature Passages

The following is a letter by T. Thatcher, published in The Publishers Circular on September 27th, 1902.

September 27th, 1902

A PLEA FOR A LONG WALK

SIR—In these days of increasing rapid artificial locomotion, may I be permitted to say a word in favour of a very worthy and valuable old friend of mine, Mr. Long-Walk?

I am afraid that this good gentleman is in danger of getting neglected, if not forgotten.  We live in days of water trips and land trips, excursions by sea, road, and rail—bicycles and tricycles, tram cars and motor cars, hansom cabs and ugly cabs; but in my humble opinion good honest walking exercise for health beats all other kinds of locomotion into a cocked hat.  In rapid travelling all the finer nerves, senses, and vessels are ‘rush’ and unduly excited, but in walking every particle of the human frame, and even the moral faculties, are evenly and naturally brought into exercise.  It is the best discipline and physical mental tonic in the world.  Limbs, body, muscles, lungs, chest, heart, digestion, breathing, are healthily brought into normal operation, while. especially in the long distance walk, the exercise of patience, perseverance, industry, energy, perception, and reflection—and, indeed, all the senses and moral faculties—are elevated and cultivated healthfully and naturally.  Many never know the beauty of it because they never go far enough: exercise and hard work should never be relinquished at any age or by either sex.  Heart disease, faintness, and sudden death, and even crime, are far more due to the absence of wholesome normal exercise and taste than to anything else, to enervating luxuries rather than to hill climbing.

I usually give myself a holiday on a birthday, and as I lately reached my 63rd I determined to give myself a day with my old friend Mr. Long-Walk, and decided to tramp to the city of Wells and back for my birthday holiday—a distance of about forty-two miles.  Fortune favours the brave, and, thanks to a mosquito that pitched on my nose and was just commencing operations, I woke very early in the morning.  It is an ill wind that blows no one any good.  Mosquitoes are early birds, but I stole a march on them.  But to my journey.

I started at about 5 A.M., and proceeding viá Dundry and Chow Stoke, reached Wells soon after 10 A.M.  After attending the Cathedral, I pursued my walk homeward by a different route, viá Chewton Mendip, Farrington, Temple Cloud, Clutton, and Pensford.

To make a walk successful, mind and body should be free of burden.  I never carry a stick on a long walk, but prefer to be perfectly free, giving Nature’s balancing poles—the pendulum arms—complete swing and absolute liberty.  Walking exercises, together with a well-educated palate, are the greatest physicians in the world: no disease can withstand them.  I returned from my forty-two miles tramp with birthday honours and reward.  I had no headache on the following morning, but was up early in good form, fresh and ready for work.  Forty-two miles may be too strong a dose for many, but I cannot too strongly recommend for a day’s companionship the society of my old and well-tried friend, Mr. Long-Walk.

Faithfully yours,

T. Thatcher

44 College Green, Bristol.

What does the author mean when he says that he prefers to be “perfectly free?”

Possible Answers:

Neither of these answers

Both of these answers

He wishes to be free of mental burdens, like everyday worries.

He wishes to be free of physical burdens, like walking sticks.

Correct answer:

Both of these answers

Explanation:

He says that both "mind and body should be free of burden," so both walking sticks and everyday worries are burdens that he wishes to be perfectly free of.

Example Question #2 : Determining Context Dependent Word Meanings In Literature Passages

The following is a letter by T. Thatcher, published in The Publishers Circular on September 27th, 1902.

September 27th, 1902

A PLEA FOR A LONG WALK

SIR—In these days of increasing rapid artificial locomotion, may I be permitted to say a word in favour of a very worthy and valuable old friend of mine, Mr. Long-Walk?

I am afraid that this good gentleman is in danger of getting neglected, if not forgotten.  We live in days of water trips and land trips, excursions by sea, road, and rail—bicycles and tricycles, tram cars and motor cars, hansom cabs and ugly cabs; but in my humble opinion good honest walking exercise for health beats all other kinds of locomotion into a cocked hat.  In rapid travelling all the finer nerves, senses, and vessels are ‘rush’ and unduly excited, but in walking every particle of the human frame, and even the moral faculties, are evenly and naturally brought into exercise.  It is the best discipline and physical mental tonic in the world.  Limbs, body, muscles, lungs, chest, heart, digestion, breathing, are healthily brought into normal operation, while. especially in the long distance walk, the exercise of patience, perseverance, industry, energy, perception, and reflection—and, indeed, all the senses and moral faculties—are elevated and cultivated healthfully and naturally.  Many never know the beauty of it because they never go far enough: exercise and hard work should never be relinquished at any age or by either sex.  Heart disease, faintness, and sudden death, and even crime, are far more due to the absence of wholesome normal exercise and taste than to anything else, to enervating luxuries rather than to hill climbing.

I usually give myself a holiday on a birthday, and as I lately reached my 63rd I determined to give myself a day with my old friend Mr. Long-Walk, and decided to tramp to the city of Wells and back for my birthday holiday—a distance of about forty-two miles.  Fortune favours the brave, and, thanks to a mosquito that pitched on my nose and was just commencing operations, I woke very early in the morning.  It is an ill wind that blows no one any good.  Mosquitoes are early birds, but I stole a march on them.  But to my journey.

I started at about 5 A.M., and proceeding viá Dundry and Chow Stoke, reached Wells soon after 10 A.M.  After attending the Cathedral, I pursued my walk homeward by a different route, viá Chewton Mendip, Farrington, Temple Cloud, Clutton, and Pensford.

To make a walk successful, mind and body should be free of burden.  I never carry a stick on a long walk, but prefer to be perfectly free, giving Nature’s balancing poles—the pendulum arms—complete swing and absolute liberty.  Walking exercises, together with a well-educated palate, are the greatest physicians in the world: no disease can withstand them.  I returned from my forty-two miles tramp with birthday honours and reward.  I had no headache on the following morning, but was up early in good form, fresh and ready for work.  Forty-two miles may be too strong a dose for many, but I cannot too strongly recommend for a day’s companionship the society of my old and well-tried friend, Mr. Long-Walk.

Faithfully yours,

T. Thatcher

44 College Green, Bristol.

As used by the author, what does “enervating” mean?

Possible Answers:

causing one to feel drained of energy

self-indulgent

energizing

expensive

Correct answer:

causing one to feel drained of energy

Explanation:

The definition of "enervating" is causing one to feel drained of energy. You can eliminate the choice "energizing" by noting how the author places "enervating luxuries" in contrast to walking, which he claims gives you healthful energy.

Example Question #3 : Determining Context Dependent Word Meanings In Literature Passages

The following is a letter by T. Thatcher, published in The Publishers Circular on September 27th, 1902.

September 27th, 1902

A PLEA FOR A LONG WALK

SIR—In these days of increasing rapid artificial locomotion, may I be permitted to say a word in favour of a very worthy and valuable old friend of mine, Mr. Long-Walk?

I am afraid that this good gentleman is in danger of getting neglected, if not forgotten.  We live in days of water trips and land trips, excursions by sea, road, and rail—bicycles and tricycles, tram cars and motor cars, hansom cabs and ugly cabs; but in my humble opinion good honest walking exercise for health beats all other kinds of locomotion into a cocked hat.  In rapid travelling all the finer nerves, senses, and vessels are ‘rush’ and unduly excited, but in walking every particle of the human frame, and even the moral faculties, are evenly and naturally brought into exercise.  It is the best discipline and physical mental tonic in the world.  Limbs, body, muscles, lungs, chest, heart, digestion, breathing, are healthily brought into normal operation, while. especially in the long distance walk, the exercise of patience, perseverance, industry, energy, perception, and reflection—and, indeed, all the senses and moral faculties—are elevated and cultivated healthfully and naturally.  Many never know the beauty of it because they never go far enough: exercise and hard work should never be relinquished at any age or by either sex.  Heart disease, faintness, and sudden death, and even crime, are far more due to the absence of wholesome normal exercise and taste than to anything else, to enervating luxuries rather than to hill climbing.

I usually give myself a holiday on a birthday, and as I lately reached my 63rd I determined to give myself a day with my old friend Mr. Long-Walk, and decided to tramp to the city of Wells and back for my birthday holiday—a distance of about forty-two miles.  Fortune favours the brave, and, thanks to a mosquito that pitched on my nose and was just commencing operations, I woke very early in the morning.  It is an ill wind that blows no one any good.  Mosquitoes are early birds, but I stole a march on them.  But to my journey.

I started at about 5 A.M., and proceeding viá Dundry and Chow Stoke, reached Wells soon after 10 A.M.  After attending the Cathedral, I pursued my walk homeward by a different route, viá Chewton Mendip, Farrington, Temple Cloud, Clutton, and Pensford.

To make a walk successful, mind and body should be free of burden.  I never carry a stick on a long walk, but prefer to be perfectly free, giving Nature’s balancing poles—the pendulum arms—complete swing and absolute liberty.  Walking exercises, together with a well-educated palate, are the greatest physicians in the world: no disease can withstand them.  I returned from my forty-two miles tramp with birthday honours and reward.  I had no headache on the following morning, but was up early in good form, fresh and ready for work.  Forty-two miles may be too strong a dose for many, but I cannot too strongly recommend for a day’s companionship the society of my old  and well-tried friend, Mr. Long-Walk.

Faithfully yours,

T. Thatcher

44 College Green, Bristol.

As used by the author, the word “unduly” means __________.

Possible Answers:

excessively

supernaturally

understandably

painfully

Correct answer:

excessively

Explanation:

The definition of "unduly" is excessively or in an undue manner. This can also be figured out by its contrast with the "evenly and naturally" that the author uses to describe walking. Using that logic, "supernaturally" would also be an acceptable answer; however, the author does not mention supernatural elements in the rest of the letter and it would therefore be out of place.

Example Question #5 : Determining Context Dependent Word Meanings In Literature Passages

Adapted from "Breaking into Fast Company" by Zane Grey (1920) 

They may say baseball is the same in the minor leagues that it is in the big leagues, but any old ball player or manager knows better. Where the difference comes in, however, is in the greater excellence and unity of the major players, a speed, a daring, a finish that can be acquired only in competition with one another.

I thought of this when I led my party into Morrisey's private box in the grand stand of the Chicago American League grounds. We had come to see the Rube's break into fast company. My great pitcher, Whittaker Hurtle, the Rube, as we called him, had won the Eastern League Pennant for me that season, and Morrisey, the Chicago magnate, had bought him. Milly, my affianced, was with me, looking as happy as she was pretty, and she was chaperoned by her mother, Mrs. Nelson.

With me, also, were two veterans of my team, McCall and Spears, who lived in Chicago, and who would have traveled a few miles to see the Rube pitch. And the other member of my party was Mrs. Hurtle, the Rube's wife, as saucy and as sparkling-eyed as when she had been Nan Brown. Today she wore a new tailor-made gown, new bonnet, new gloves—she said she had decorated herself in a manner befitting the wife of a major league pitcher.

Morrisey's box was very comfortable, and, as I was pleased to note, so situated that we had a fine view of the field and stands, and yet were comparatively secluded. The bleachers were filling. Some of the Chicago players were on the field tossing and batting balls; the Rube, however, had not yet appeared.

A moment later a metallic sound was heard on the stairs leading up into the box. I knew it for baseball spiked shoes clanking on the wood.

The Rube, looking enormous in his uniform, stalked into the box, knocking over two chairs as he entered. He carried a fielder's glove in one huge freckled hand, and a big black bat in the other.

Nan, with much dignity and a very manifest pride, introduced him to Mrs. Nelson.

There was a little chatting, and then, upon the arrival of Manager Morrisey, we men retired to the back of the box to talk baseball.

What does the underlined word "magnate" mean in its context in the second paragraph?

Possible Answers:

A wealthy person with considerable influence

A meticulous, thoughtful manager

A ruler of a small, provincial town

A highly attractive person

A very generous, thoughtful person

Correct answer:

A wealthy person with considerable influence

Explanation:

"A wealthy person with considerable influence" is the most appropriate answer here because it is the literal definition of the term. Other definitions might result from a micrecognition of the term or confusion of it with words like "magnanimous," "magistrate" or "manager."

Example Question #6 : Determining Context Dependent Word Meanings In Literature Passages

Adapted from "Breaking into Fast Company" by Zane Grey (1920) 

They may say baseball is the same in the minor leagues that it is in the big leagues, but any old ball player or manager knows better. Where the difference comes in, however, is in the greater excellence and unity of the major players, a speed, a daring, a finish that can be acquired only in competition with one another.

I thought of this when I led my party into Morrisey's private box in the grand stand of the Chicago American League grounds. We had come to see the Rube's break into fast company. My great pitcher, Whittaker Hurtle, the Rube, as we called him, had won the Eastern League Pennant for me that season, and Morrisey, the Chicago magnate, had bought him. Milly, my affianced, was with me, looking as happy as she was pretty, and she was chaperoned by her mother, Mrs. Nelson.

With me, also, were two veterans of my team, McCall and Spears, who lived in Chicago, and who would have traveled a few miles to see the Rube pitch. And the other member of my party was Mrs. Hurtle, the Rube's wife, as saucy and as sparkling-eyed as when she had been Nan Brown. Today she wore a new tailor-made gown, new bonnet, new gloves—she said she had decorated herself in a manner befitting the wife of a major league pitcher.

Morrisey's box was very comfortable, and, as I was pleased to note, so situated that we had a fine view of the field and stands, and yet were comparatively secluded. The bleachers were filling. Some of the Chicago players were on the field tossing and batting balls; the Rube, however, had not yet appeared.

A moment later a metallic sound was heard on the stairs leading up into the box. I knew it for baseball spiked shoes clanking on the wood.

The Rube, looking enormous in his uniform, stalked into the box, knocking over two chairs as he entered. He carried a fielder's glove in one huge freckled hand, and a big black bat in the other.

Nan, with much dignity and a very manifest pride, introduced him to Mrs. Nelson.

There was a little chatting, and then, upon the arrival of Manager Morrisey, we men retired to the back of the box to talk baseball.

 

Based on its context, the underlined word "affianced" in paragraph two most likely means __________.

Possible Answers:

Engaged sports spectator

Unfriendly and antagonistic person

Person engaged to be married

Person with strong moral character

Loving and supportive person

Correct answer:

Person engaged to be married

Explanation:

"Person engaged to be married" is the most appropriate answer here, because the narrator goes on to describe her lovingly, implying that she is accompanying him as his betrothed, while many of the other definitions do not fit the context and are not definitions of the term.

Example Question #4 : Determining Context Dependent Word Meanings In Literature Passages

Adapted from "Breaking into Fast Company" by Zane Grey (1920) 

They may say baseball is the same in the minor leagues that it is in the big leagues, but any old ball player or manager knows better. Where the difference comes in, however, is in the greater excellence and unity of the major players, a speed, a daring, a finish that can be acquired only in competition with one another.

I thought of this when I led my party into Morrisey's private box in the grand stand of the Chicago American League grounds. We had come to see the Rube's break into fast company. My great pitcher, Whittaker Hurtle, the Rube, as we called him, had won the Eastern League Pennant for me that season, and Morrisey, the Chicago magnate, had bought him. Milly, my affianced, was with me, looking as happy as she was pretty, and she was chaperoned by her mother, Mrs. Nelson.

With me, also, were two veterans of my team, McCall and Spears, who lived in Chicago, and who would have traveled a few miles to see the Rube pitch. And the other member of my party was Mrs. Hurtle, the Rube's wife, as saucy and as sparkling-eyed as when she had been Nan Brown. Today she wore a new tailor-made gown, new bonnet, new gloves—she said she had decorated herself in a manner befitting the wife of a major league pitcher.

Morrisey's box was very comfortable, and, as I was pleased to note, so situated that we had a fine view of the field and stands, and yet were comparatively secluded. The bleachers were filling. Some of the Chicago players were on the field tossing and batting balls; the Rube, however, had not yet appeared.

A moment later a metallic sound was heard on the stairs leading up into the box. I knew it for baseball spiked shoes clanking on the wood.

The Rube, looking enormous in his uniform, stalked into the box, knocking over two chairs as he entered. He carried a fielder's glove in one huge freckled hand, and a big black bat in the other.

Nan, with much dignity and a very manifest pride, introduced him to Mrs. Nelson.

There was a little chatting, and then, upon the arrival of Manager Morrisey, we men retired to the back of the box to talk baseball.

 

In the final paragraph, the underlined word "manifest" most nearly means __________.

Possible Answers:

apparent or clear

substantiate

exhibit

bring about or show

demonstrate

Correct answer:

apparent or clear

Explanation:

"Apparent or clear" is the most appropriate answer here, because it is the only option that provides a synonym or synonymous phrase that includes an adjective and not a verb. Reading the sentence carefully, one will notice that "manifest" in the context is being used as an adjective, not as a verb.

Example Question #41 : Determining Context Dependent Meanings Of Phrases And Clauses In Humanities Passages

Adapted from "The Philosophy of Composition" by Edgar Allan Poe (1846)

I have often thought how interesting a magazine paper might be written by any author who would—that is to say, who could—detail, step by step, the processes by which any one of his compositions attained its ultimate point of completion. Why such a paper has never been given to the world, I am much at a loss to say—but, perhaps, the autorial vanity has had more to do with the omission than any one other cause. Most writers—poets in especial—prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy—an ecstatic intuition—and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes, at the elaborate and vacillating crudities of thought—at the true purposes seized only at the last moment—at the innumerable glimpses of idea that arrived not at the maturity of full view—at the fully-matured fancies discarded in despair as unmanageable—at the cautious selections and rejections—at the painful erasures and interpolations—in a word, at the wheels and pinions—the tackle for scene-shifting—the step-ladders, and demon-traps—the cock's feathers, the red paint and the black patches, which, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, constitute the properties of the literary histrio.

I am aware, on the other hand, that the case is by no means common, in which an author is at all in condition to retrace the steps by which his conclusions have been attained. In general, suggestions, having arisen pell-mell are pursued and forgotten in a similar manner.

What is Poe referring to with the phrase "a magazine paper"?

Possible Answers:

A theme

An article

An essay

A composition

Correct answer:

An article

Explanation:

Poe's phrase is nearest in meaning to the word "article" since it refers specifically to a short work published in a periodical.

Example Question #78 : Context Dependent Meaning Of Words In Humanities Passages

Adapted from "The Philosophy of Composition" by Edgar Allan Poe (1846)

I have often thought how interesting a magazine paper might be written by any author who would—that is to say, who could—detail, step by step, the processes by which any one of his compositions attained its ultimate point of completion. Why such a paper has never been given to the world, I am much at a loss to say—but, perhaps, the authorial vanity has had more to do with the omission than any one other cause. Most writers—poets in especial—prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy—an ecstatic intuition—and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes, at the elaborate and vacillating crudities of thought—at the true purposes seized only at the last moment—at the innumerable glimpses of idea that arrived not at the maturity of full view—at the fully-matured fancies discarded in despair as unmanageable—at the cautious selections and rejections—at the painful erasures and interpolations—in a word, at the wheels and pinions—the tackle for scene-shifting—the step-ladders, and demon-traps—the cock's feathers, the red paint and the black patches, which, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, constitute the properties of the literary histrio.

I am aware, on the other hand, that the case is by no means common, in which an author is at all in condition to retrace the steps by which his conclusions have been attained. In general, suggestions, having arisen pell-mell are pursued and forgotten in a similar manner.

Another word for the underlined "crudities" in the passage might be __________.

Possible Answers:

sophisicated

uncooked

roughness

harsh

Correct answer:

roughness

Explanation:

Poe refers to the thought process of a writer as being "vacaillating" (ever-changing) and unrefined, which means that "crudities" here refers to "roughness."

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