CLEP Humanities : Analyzing the Form of Twentieth-Century Fiction

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Analyzing The Form Of Fiction

The difference between a novella and novel is based primarily on __________.

Possible Answers:

setting

subject matter

humor

tone

length

Correct answer:

length

Explanation:

"Novella" is a diminutive of "novel," and authors will often use the term "novella" to describe a story that falls between a short story and a novel in length. An author will usually choose to do so because he or she believes that a story needs development beyond the length of a short story, but cannot be sustained over the full length of a novel.

Example Question #2 : Analyzing The Form Of Fiction

roman à clef is a novel in which __________.

Possible Answers:

a character is shown coming of age

actual events are only lightly fictionalized

a protagonist must go on a quest of discovery

a fictional world is created as the setting of the novel

animals stand in for humans

Correct answer:

actual events are only lightly fictionalized

Explanation:

roman à clef, French for "novel with a key," is a term describing a work of literature that is based on actual events and people who are only lightly fictionalized. A chief concern for a novelist in writing a roman à clef is to tell a real story without having to clear everything. Examples of such novels are Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Example Question #3 : Analyzing The Form Of Fiction

What is the modernist novel that is written in a constructed, idiosyncratic language largely created by its author?

Possible Answers:

The Great Gatsby

A Room of One's Own

Intruder in the Dust

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Finnegans Wake

Correct answer:

Finnegans Wake

Explanation:

The Irish author James Joyce had experimented with various styles and uses of language throughout his career, in books like Ulysses and The Dubliners. Joyce went even a step further with his final book, Finnegans Wake, which was published in 1939 after seventeen years of writing. The book's language is largely constructed by Joyce, and uses odd slang and forms somewhat based around English to tell a story about the Earwicker family. The book is often cited as one of the most difficult books to read.

Example Question #4 : Analyzing The Form Of Fiction

Which of the following novels takes place solely over one day in the life of a man in Dublin?

Possible Answers:

Ulysses

The Brothers Karamazov

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

A Tale of Two Cities

Correct answer:

Ulysses

Explanation:

James Joyce was innovative in his writing on a number of levels, and his early work The Dubliners (1914) was remarkable for showing relatively mundane tales but in innovative, stream of consciousness language. For his next work, Joyce used many of the same techniques to tell the story of one day in the life of Dublin native Leo Bloom, and called it Ulysses (1922). Ulysses was considered a significant break from previous novels, which were generally sweeping epics that traced families, communities, or entire lives.

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is by Charles Dickens, The Brothers Karamazov (1880) is by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) is by Victor Hugo, and Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) is by Thomas Hardy.

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