SSAT Upper Level Reading : Determining Authorial Attitude in Argumentative Social Science Passages

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

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #33 : History Passages

Adapted from The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln (1863)

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

“It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this” most nearly reflects the author's __________.

Possible Answers:

counterpoint 

ambivalence 

frustration 

confidence 

point of view

Correct answer:

point of view

Explanation:

The author of this passage states that “We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.” These two sentences most neatly summarize the author’s point of view. There is no frustration, confidence or ambivalence (uncertainty) introduced. Indeed these two sentences are almost without tone. The use of the words “fitting” (appropriate) and “should” help to clue you in that the author is describing related to his opinion or point of view.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

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