Directions: The SAT Reading test consists of five passages on a variety of topics. Each passage is followed by a series of eleven questions. Carefully read the passage that is provided and answer the multiple choice questions based on what is stated or implied. The answers and explanations will be provided at the end of the test
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to describe a failure to appreciate Milton’s prose.
to explain how readers can understand what an author intends.
to criticize Pattison for missing the importance Milton’s politics had on his poetry.
to explain the lasting impact and value of Milton prose.
To show that most English teachers are not qualified for their positions.
To explain why Milton is little understood by the general public.
To indicate students rarely complete their homework on poets such as Milton.
To emphasize the incompleteness with which Milton is understood and examined.
having an intricate or exquisite quality.
covering many different topics.
socially engaged in activism.
“Mark Pattison, in his Life of Milton, while fully recognizing the grand features of the prose works as monuments of the English language, undervalues, or rather does not value at all, Milton’s services to the cause of political and religious liberty as a polemic prose writer, and considers it a thing to be much regretted that he engaged at all in the great contest for political, religious, and other forms of liberty.”
The author is contrasting Milton’s admirable prose with the elements of his speech that were more politically and religiously aggressive. A word such as “activist” would be an ideal synonym for this context.
Paragraph 2, Sentence 1 (“Mark…liberty.”)
Paragraph 2, Sentences 2–3 (“This…politician.”)
Paragraph 2, Sentence 4 (“Yet…poems.”)
Paragraph 2, Sentence 5 (“Milton’s…Puritan.”)
“This seems to be the one unacceptable feature of his very able life of the poet. Looking upon the life of Milton the politician merely as a sad and ignominious interlude in the life of Milton the poet, Pattison cannot be expected to entertain the idea that the poem is in any sense the work of the politician.”
The passage states here that there is “one unacceptable feature” to Pattison’s work, and then spends the next sentence covering this feature in more detail.
refute the sentence immediately before it.
change to a new topic before ending the essay.
praise the far-reaching impact of Pattison’s work.
introduce a criticism that has not yet been discussed.
compare Milton’s poetry to his prose works, and emphasize the latent value of the latter.
decry the unwarranted criticism Milton’s prose works have received.
recommend a reevaluation of Milton’s prose works by Pattison and similar scholars.
criticize Pattison’s interpretation of Milton’s motives and emphasize the true value of his prose work.
It does not appreciate Milton’s writing.
It is regrettable and ignominious.
It is notable but inadequate.
It fails to consider both Milton’s poetical and prose contributions.
If you chose (A): the author states that Pattison does not recognize Milton’s “services” in his prose writing, but that Pattison does see the “grand features” of the prose works. This choice is too extreme. If you chose (B): this is how Pattison characterizes Milton’s preoccupation with his activist prose writings. Remember this question asks about the author’s point of view, not Pattison’s. If you chose (D): note that the author praises Pattison for recognizing and considering Milton’s prose writing, but also stresses that Pattison fails to appreciate its impact.
Milton’s polemical writing favored the ideals of the Puritan movement.
Milton’s interest in polemic prose did not influence his poetry.
Milton was actively engaged in the politics of his day.
Milton likely opposed monarchism and totalitarian rule.
Paragraph 2, Sentence 4 (“Yet…poems.”)
Paragraph 3, Sentences 1–2 (“Milton…after.”)
Paragraph 3, Sentences 3–4 (“The restoration…it.”)
Paragraph 3, Sentences 5–6 (“A man…poetry.”)
“Yet we cannot help thinking that the tension and elevation which Milton’s nature had undergone in the mighty struggle, together with the heroic dedication of his faculties to the most serious objects, must have had not a little to do both with the final choice of his subject and with the tone of his poems.”
The phrase “not a little” implies a great deal, indicating that Milton’s prose influenced both the subject and tone of his poetry.
with a repetitive behavioral pattern.
initiated in a particular manner.
with a certain predisposition.
in a position of leadership.
“A man constituted as Milton was could not have kept himself apart from the great conflicts of his time.”
The author means that Milton was inclined to involve himself in current affairs, almost as if he had a genetic predisposition for doing so.