The exercise on the next page is a sample exercise. Its purpose is to show how the information you have studied in Parts One and Two is put to use in reading.

A second purpose of the sample exercise is to preview the 30 exercises which appear in Part Four. Reading the sample passage and answering the sample questions will help you get off to a good start.

The answers to all the questions are fully explained. Reasons are given showing why the correct answers are the best answers and where the wrong answers are faulty.

Complete the sample exercise carefully and thoughtfully. Do not go on to Part Four until you are certain that you understand character and how characters are revealed.

Sample Exercise

If I'm able to build myself a house there, I'll take my mama to live with me. I'll divide the house in two and keep her there. That would be a good life, living in the country in Puerto Rico with my wife and with everything that I own here: my TV set, the record player, and all. And with the rest of my family near me. Everyday I wake up with that hope. Although I have doubts, too, now and then. Sometimes I have a dream. I see myself leaving New York and going back to Puerto Rico, but when I get there I find myself friendless and alone.

1. In this paragraph, character is revealed through

  1. actions.
  2. speech.
  3. thoughts.
  4. appearance.

2. The character's enthusiasm changes to sadness because he

  1. expects disappointment.
  2. lacks courage.
  3. enjoys self-pity.
  4. loves pity.

3. This character is

  1. a wanted man.
  2. a loner.
  3. a drifter.
  4. a family man.

4. On the lines below, write two words from the passage which show that the character is uncertain about the future.

Answers and Explanations

1. The best answer to the first question is b, character is revealed through thoughts. The character in the paragraph does nothing but share his thoughts with the reader.

Answers a, c, and d are wrong for these reasons:

Answer a: Character is not revealed through actions since nothing is done. Most probably the character is sitting alone, thinking quietly to himself.

Answer b: Character is not revealed through speech. Although he mentions his wife and family, the character does not speak to anyone.

Answer d: Character is not revealed through appearance since there is no mention of the character's height, weight, or other description.

2. The best answer to the second question is a, the character's enthusiasm changes to sadness because he expects disappointment. In the last sentence the character reveals his disappointment. His happiness will be incomplete if he has no friends to share it with.

Answers b, c, and d are wrong for these reasons:

Answers b and c: There is no evidence which suggests that the character lacks courage or gives in to self-pity.

Answer d: It is obvious that the character loves people; however, the best answer is still a. He is disappointed that his dream does not have a happy ending.

3. The best answer to the third question is d. The character is a family man. Home and family are important to the character since they figure importantly in his future plans.

Answers a, b, and c are wrong for these reasons:

Answers a, b, and c: There is nothing in the paragraph to suggest that the character is a wanted man, a drifter, or a loner.

4. There are at least three words in the paragraph which show that the character is uncertain about the future. These words are if, hope, and doubt. These words all express varying degrees of uncertainty.

If you had difficulty answering these questions correctly, review the paragraph and questions. If, after that, you still do not understand the answers and explanations, check with your instructor before going on.