GRE Subject Test: Literature in English : Identification of British Prose

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All GRE Subject Test: Literature in English Resources

1 Diagnostic Test 158 Practice Tests Question of the Day Flashcards Learn by Concept

Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Identification Of British Prose 1660–1925

“May she wake in torment!" he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. "Why, she's a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—May she wake in torment!" he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. "Why, she's a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!” 

Identify the author of the excerpt.

Possible Answers:

Kate Chopin

George Eliot

Emily Bronte

Virginia Woolf

Jane Austen

Correct answer:

Emily Bronte

Explanation:

The passage is from Emily Bronte's 1846 novel, Wuthering Heights. If the dramatic style of the monologue wasn't enough to help you figure out the source of the quotation, note that it mentions one of the novel's characters by her full name: "Catherine Earnshaw."

Example Question #1 : Identification Of British Prose 1660–1925

The following line is the opening of which literary work?

“A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment.”

Possible Answers:

“Bartleby the Scrivener"

A Passage to India

Bleak House

The Return of the Native

The Turn of the Screw

Correct answer:

The Return of the Native

Explanation:

The excerpt is the opening lines of Thomas Hardy's 1878 novel, The Return of the Native.

Example Question #9 : Identification Of British Prose 1660–1925

I was yet enjoying the calm prospect and pleasant fresh air, yet listening with delight to the cawing of the rooks, yet surveying the wide, hoary front of the hall, and thinking what a great place it was for one lonely little dame like Mrs. Fairfax to inhabit, when that lady appeared at the door.

“What! out already?” said she. “I see you are an early riser.” I went up to her, and was received with an affable kiss and shake of the hand.

“How do you like Thornfield?” she asked. I told her I liked it very much.

“Yes,” she said, “it is a pretty place; but I fear it will be getting out of order, unless Mr. Rochester should take it into his head to come and reside here permanently; or, at least, visit it rather oftener: great houses and fine grounds require the presence of the proprietor.”

“Mr. Rochester!” I exclaimed. “Who is he?”

Who wrote this novel?

Possible Answers:

Christina Rossetti

Ann Radcliffe

Charlotte Brontë

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Jane Austen

Correct answer:

Charlotte Brontë

Explanation:

This passage is from the novel Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Brontë.

Passage adapted from Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Charlotte Brontë (1847; ed. 1897, Townsend)

Example Question #2 : Identification Of British Prose 1660–1925

I was yet enjoying the calm prospect and pleasant fresh air, yet listening with delight to the cawing of the rooks, yet surveying the wide, hoary front of the hall, and thinking what a great place it was for one lonely little dame like Mrs. Fairfax to inhabit, when that lady appeared at the door.

“What! out already?” said she. “I see you are an early riser.” I went up to her, and was received with an affable kiss and shake of the hand.

“How do you like Thornfield?” she asked. I told her I liked it very much.

“Yes,” she said, “it is a pretty place; but I fear it will be getting out of order, unless Mr. Rochester should take it into his head to come and reside here permanently; or, at least, visit it rather oftener: great houses and fine grounds require the presence of the proprietor.”

“Mr. Rochester!” I exclaimed. “Who is he?”

This author’s relative wrote which of the following novels?

Possible Answers:

Pride and Prejudice

Wuthering Heights

Mansfield Park

Little Dorrit

Frankenstein

Correct answer:

Wuthering Heights

Explanation:

Charlotte Brontë’s sister, Emily Brontë, published Wuthering Heights in 1847. She sometimes wrote under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, and this was her only novel.

Passage adapted from Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Charlotte Brontë (1847; ed. 1897, Townsend)

Example Question #11 : Identification Of British Prose 1660–1925

I was yet enjoying the calm prospect and pleasant fresh air, yet listening with delight to the cawing of the rooks, yet surveying the wide, hoary front of the hall, and thinking what a great place it was for one lonely little dame like Mrs. Fairfax to inhabit, when that lady appeared at the door.

“What! out already?” said she. “I see you are an early riser.” I went up to her, and was received with an affable kiss and shake of the hand.

“How do you like Thornfield?” she asked. I told her I liked it very much.

“Yes,” she said, “it is a pretty place; but I fear it will be getting out of order, unless Mr. Rochester should take it into his head to come and reside here permanently; or, at least, visit it rather oftener: great houses and fine grounds require the presence of the proprietor.”

“Mr. Rochester!” I exclaimed. “Who is he?”

In which decade was this novel published?

Possible Answers:

1830s

1850s

1820s

1840s

1860s

Correct answer:

1840s

Explanation:

The novel was published by London’s Smith, Elder & Co. in 1847, the same year as Wuthering Heights.

Passage adapted from Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Charlotte Brontë (1847; ed. 1897, Townsend)

Example Question #11 : Identification Of British Prose 1660–1925

I was yet enjoying the calm prospect and pleasant fresh air, yet listening with delight to the cawing of the rooks, yet surveying the wide, hoary front of the hall, and thinking what a great place it was for one lonely little dame like Mrs. Fairfax to inhabit, when that lady appeared at the door.

“What! out already?” said she. “I see you are an early riser.” I went up to her, and was received with an affable kiss and shake of the hand.

“How do you like Thornfield?” she asked. I told her I liked it very much.

“Yes,” she said, “it is a pretty place; but I fear it will be getting out of order, unless Mr. Rochester should take it into his head to come and reside here permanently; or, at least, visit it rather oftener: great houses and fine grounds require the presence of the proprietor.”

“Mr. Rochester!” I exclaimed. “Who is he?”

To which genre does this novel belong?

Possible Answers:

Sturm und Drang

Roman à clef

Comedy of manners

Travelogue

Bildungsroman

Correct answer:

Bildungsroman

Explanation:

This is primarily a bildungsroman, or coming-of-age novel. The plot follows the eponymous female protagonist as she grows from a child to an adolescent to an adult, takes a governess position at Thornfield Hall, and gradually falls in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester.

Passage adapted from Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Charlotte Brontë (1847; ed. 1897, Townsend)

Example Question #11 : Identification Of British Prose 1660–1925

I was yet enjoying the calm prospect and pleasant fresh air, yet listening with delight to the cawing of the rooks, yet surveying the wide, hoary front of the hall, and thinking what a great place it was for one lonely little dame like Mrs. Fairfax to inhabit, when that lady appeared at the door.

“What! out already?” said she. “I see you are an early riser.” I went up to her, and was received with an affable kiss and shake of the hand.

“How do you like Thornfield?” she asked. I told her I liked it very much.

“Yes,” she said, “it is a pretty place; but I fear it will be getting out of order, unless Mr. Rochester should take it into his head to come and reside here permanently; or, at least, visit it rather oftener: great houses and fine grounds require the presence of the proprietor.”

“Mr. Rochester!” I exclaimed. “Who is he?”

Which of the following postcolonial novels is based on a madwoman in this novel and serves as a prequel to it?

Possible Answers:

A House for Mr. Biswas

The God of Small Things

Heart of Darkness

Wide Sargasso Sea

Disgrace

Correct answer:

Wide Sargasso Sea

Explanation:

Jean Rhys’ 1966 novel Wide Sargasso Sea, a postcolonial and feminist work, explores the Caribbean childhood of Bertha, the mad wife of Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester.

Passage adapted from Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Charlotte Brontë (1847; ed. 1897, Townsend)

Example Question #11 : Identification Of British Prose 1660–1925

I was yet enjoying the calm prospect and pleasant fresh air, yet listening with delight to the cawing of the rooks, yet surveying the wide, hoary front of the hall, and thinking what a great place it was for one lonely little dame like Mrs. Fairfax to inhabit, when that lady appeared at the door.

“What! out already?” said she. “I see you are an early riser.” I went up to her, and was received with an affable kiss and shake of the hand.

“How do you like Thornfield?” she asked. I told her I liked it very much.

“Yes,” she said, “it is a pretty place; but I fear it will be getting out of order, unless Mr. Rochester should take it into his head to come and reside here permanently; or, at least, visit it rather oftener: great houses and fine grounds require the presence of the proprietor.”

“Mr. Rochester!” I exclaimed. “Who is he?”

The Mr. Rochester mentioned in this passage is which kind of literary character?

Possible Answers:

Epic hero

Byronic hero

Classic hero

Antihero

Villain

Correct answer:

Byronic hero

Explanation:

Mr. Rochester is a well-known Byronic hero, which is a character type based on the poet Lord Byron and a precursor to the modern antihero. The Byronic hero archetype is categorized as charismatic, moody, and unhappy, someone who is deeply passionate and proud and who often does not fit into his society.

Passage adapted from Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Charlotte Brontë (1847; ed. 1897, Townsend)

Example Question #171 : Gre Subject Test: Literature In English

Manfred, Prince of Otranto, had one son and one daughter: the latter, a most beautiful virgin, aged eighteen, was called Matilda. Conrad, the son, was three years younger, a homely youth, sickly, and of no promising disposition; yet he was the darling of his father, who never showed any symptoms of affection to Matilda. Manfred had contracted a marriage for his son with the Marquis of Vicenza’s daughter, Isabella; and she had already been delivered by her guardians into the hands of Manfred, that he might celebrate the wedding as soon as Conrad’s infirm state of health would permit.

Manfred’s impatience for this ceremonial was remarked by his family and neighbours. The former, indeed, apprehending the severity of their Prince’s disposition, did not dare to utter their surmises on this precipitation. Hippolita, his wife, an amiable lady, did sometimes venture to represent the danger of marrying their only son so early, considering his great youth, and greater infirmities; but she never received any other answer than reflections on her own sterility, who had given him but one heir. His tenants and subjects were less cautious in their discourses. They attributed this hasty wedding to the Prince’s dread of seeing accomplished an ancient prophecy, which was said to have pronounced that the castle and lordship of Otranto “should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it.” It was difficult to make any sense of this prophecy; and still less easy to conceive what it had to do with the marriage in question.

Who wrote this novel?

Possible Answers:

Jane Austen

Horace Walpole

Charles Dickens

Emily Brontë

Laurence Sterne

Correct answer:

Horace Walpole

Explanation:

This passage is adapted from Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, A Story. Translated by William Marshal, Gent. From the Original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto (usually referred to simply as The Castle of Otranto). The storyline involves a noble family that is supposedly cursed, with a son dying in an accident on his wedding day, a father who tries to divorce his wife and marry his deceased son’s intended bride, helpful peasants and friars, battle with foreign knights, and an accidental murder.

Adapted from The Castle of Otranto, A Story. Translated by William Marshal, Gent. From the Original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto by Horace Walpole (1764; ed. 1901)

Example Question #171 : Gre Subject Test: Literature In English

Manfred, Prince of Otranto, had one son and one daughter: the latter, a most beautiful virgin, aged eighteen, was called Matilda. Conrad, the son, was three years younger, a homely youth, sickly, and of no promising disposition; yet he was the darling of his father, who never showed any symptoms of affection to Matilda. Manfred had contracted a marriage for his son with the Marquis of Vicenza’s daughter, Isabella; and she had already been delivered by her guardians into the hands of Manfred, that he might celebrate the wedding as soon as Conrad’s infirm state of health would permit.

Manfred’s impatience for this ceremonial was remarked by his family and neighbours. The former, indeed, apprehending the severity of their Prince’s disposition, did not dare to utter their surmises on this precipitation. Hippolita, his wife, an amiable lady, did sometimes venture to represent the danger of marrying their only son so early, considering his great youth, and greater infirmities; but she never received any other answer than reflections on her own sterility, who had given him but one heir. His tenants and subjects were less cautious in their discourses. They attributed this hasty wedding to the Prince’s dread of seeing accomplished an ancient prophecy, which was said to have pronounced that the castle and lordship of Otranto “should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it.” It was difficult to make any sense of this prophecy; and still less easy to conceive what it had to do with the marriage in question.

In what decade was this novel published?

Possible Answers:

1560s

1660s

1760s

1860s

Correct answer:

1760s

Explanation:

The novel was published in 1764.

Adapted from The Castle of Otranto, A Story. Translated by William Marshal, Gent. From the Original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto by Horace Walpole (1764; ed. 1901)

All GRE Subject Test: Literature in English Resources

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