SAT II Literature : Meaning of Specified Text: Prose

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II Literature

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Example Questions

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Example Question #11 : Meaning Of Specified Text: Prose

Passage adapted from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813)

"Elizabeth listened in silence, but was not convinced ; their behavior at the assembly had not been calculated to please in general ; and with more quickness of observation and less pliancy of temper than her sister, and with a judgement too unassailed by any attention to herself, she was very little disposed to approve them. They were in fact very fine ladies ; not deficient in good humour when they were pleased, nor in the power of being agreeable where they chose it ; but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, were in the habit of spending more than they ought, and of associating with people of rank ; and were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others. They were of a respectable family in the north of England ; a circumstance more deeply impressed on their memories than that their brother’s fortune and their own had been acquired by trade."

The phrase "with more quickness of observation and less pliancy of temper than her sister" the narrator is suggesting that ______________.

Possible Answers:

Elizabeth is incredibly angry with the two sisters

Elizabeth is one to jump to conclusions

Elizabeth generally makes sound judgments

Elizabeth is wholly justified in her opinion of the two sisters

None of these

Correct answer:

Elizabeth is one to jump to conclusions


The answer is that Elizabeth is one to jump to conclusions. With these types of questions it is important to think about the specific language of the phrase given. "More quickness of observation" suggests that Elizabeth has spent less time than she ought to have when casting her opinion on the sisters, and the following phrase "with less pliancy of temper" adds to this suggestion, detailing that Elizabeth's temper, or her state of mind/opinion is  not pliable or static and thus subject to bias and dogmatism -- all of which suggests that Elizabeth is one to jump to conclusions. 

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