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The following passage is adapted from Henry David Thoreau's Walden, a mid-19th-century philosophical and personal reflection on the writer's experience living in nature and simplicity. This excerpt is from the chapter titled "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For."
It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudesand labors of men. Morning is when I am awakeand there is a dawn in me. Moral reform is theeffort to throw off sleep. Why is it that men give so05poor an account of their day if they have not beenslumbering? They are not such poor calculators. Ifthey had not been overcome with drowsiness, theywould have performed something. The millions areawake enough for physical labor; but only one in10a million is awake enough for effective intellectualexertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poeticor divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I havenever yet met a man who was quite awake. Howcould I have looked him in the face?15We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselvesawake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infiniteexpectation of the dawn, which does not forsake usin our soundest sleep. I know of no more encourag-ing fact than the unquestionable ability of man to20elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is some-thing to be able to paint a particular picture, or tocarve a statue, and so to make a few objects beauti-ful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint thevery atmosphere and medium through which we25look, which morally we can do. To affect the qualityof the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man istasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy ofthe contemplation of his most elevated and criticalhour. If we refused, or rather used up, such paltry30information as we get, the oracles would distinctlyinform us how this might be done.I went to the woods because I wished to livedeliberately, to front only the essential facts oflife, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,35and not, when I came to die, discover that I hadnot lived. I did not wish to live what was not life,living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resigna-tion, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to livedeep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so40sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all thatwas not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close,to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowestterms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to getthe whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish45its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, toknow it by experience, and be able to give a trueaccount of it in my next excursion. For most men,it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty aboutit, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have50somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief endof man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fabletells us that we were long ago changed into men;like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon55error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue hasfor its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretch-edness. Our life is frittered away by detail.An honest man has hardly need to count morethan his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add60his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplic-ity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two orthree, and not a hundred or a thousand; insteadof a million count half a dozen, and keep youraccounts on your thumb-nail. In the midst of this65chopping sea of civilized life, such are the cloudsand storms and quicksands and thousand-and-oneitems to be allowed for, that a man has to live, ifhe would not founder and go to the bottom andnot make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he70must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds.Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, ifit be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundreddishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion.
1. The activities described in lines 20-25 ("It is something … morally we can do") explain how people can
2. As used in lines 37-38, "resignation" most nearly means
3. The first paragraph of the passage most strongly suggests that which of the following is true of the author?
4. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
5. Based on details in the passage, what central idea does the author express about our society as a whole?
6. What does the passage most strongly suggest about the author's views on religion?
7. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
8. As used in line 40, "Spartan-like" most nearly means
9. The author uses such words as "meanly" and "wretchedness" in lines 52-57 in order to imply that
10. Which of the following describes an approach to life that is similar to the one Thoreau promotes in this passage?
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