GED Language Arts (RLA) : Generalizations Based on Evidence

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Using Evidence

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,

  Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,

  Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,

  Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.

  Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean     (5)

  Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.


What is the purpose of lines 1-2 in the passage?

Possible Answers:

To introduce a brief personification that includes only the trees

To begin to personify the natural world

To emphasize the eeriness of the setting

To destabilize the narrator’s voice

To foreshadow line 6

Correct answer:

To begin to personify the natural world


Lines 1-2 introduces the poet’s lengthy, detailed personification of the forest and its trees. By saying that the pines are “murmuring” and the hemlocks are “bearded with moss, and in garments green,” the author ascribes human actions and attributes to inanimate objects. Since this personification continues to the end of the excerpt and also includes the ocean, the best choice is “To begin to personify the natural world.”

Passage adapted from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Evangeline.” (1847)

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