SSAT Elementary Level Reading : How to Determine and Analyze Theme in Poetry Passages

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : How To Determine And Analyze Theme In Poetry Passages

Adapted from "A Good Boy" by Robert Louis Stevenson (1913)

I woke before the morning, I was happy all the day, 
I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play. 

And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood, 
And I am very happy, for I know that I've been good. 

I know that, till to-morrow I shall see the sun arise, 
No ugly dream shall fright my mind, no ugly sight my eyes. 

But slumber hold me tightly till I waken in the dawn, 
And hear the thrushes singing in the lilacs round the lawn.

Which of the following best describes the narrator's day?

Possible Answers:

Frustrating

Unpredictable

Dreadful

Scary

Enjoyable

Correct answer:

Enjoyable

Explanation:

Through reading the poem, we learn that the main character spent most of his day playing and he was "happy all the day"; even bedtime is a positive occurrence, since "no ugly dream shall fright [his] mind, no ugly sight [his] eyes." So, the best answer choice is "enjoyable."

All of the other answer choices are mostly negative, in contrast to the main character's very positive day.

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