SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: The Novel: Introspection to Escapism

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The Novel: Introspection to Escapism

Art is never 1 stagnant, nor is it meant to be. A poem written today looks and sounds vastly different from a poem by Shakespeare, and a modern symphony no longer resembles one by Beethoven. So it is with the novel, that still relatively young member of the literary family (many consider Don Quixote, published in 1605, to be the first). The novel is evolving to reflect the 2 changing world; for better or for worse.

3 A few quotations from acclaimed novelists of the past illustrate how 4 broadly the form was once regarded. G. K. Chesterton said, "A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author." English writer Ford Madox Ford believed the novelist played an important role as a recorder of history. 5 Ford said of his friend Joseph Conrad, "We agreed that the novel is absolutely the only vehicle for the thought of our day."

It's not that over centuries writers of novels shed these ambitions; novels today still address complexities and intricate social dynamics. 6 However, in recent decades, especially the 2000s, popular novels and their film adaptations have driven the novel market in a broader direction. 7 Novels are considered just another entertainment medium, which are now available on digital devices, one that ought to enthrall its passive reader and relieve him or her of the stress and tedium of life. The difficulties, challenges, and triumphs of real life are less 8 often the subject of popular novels; instead, escapist tales of fantastical lands and escapades are more popular. 9

It is rare today for a novelist to attempt to ask "What does it mean?" Instead, 10 we strive to provide the reader with an answer to the question "What happens next?"

"Publishers, readers, booksellers, even critics," critic James Woods wrote, "acclaim the novel that one can deliciously sink into, forget oneself in, the novel that returns us to the innocence of childhood or the dream of the cartoon, the novel of a thousand confections and no unwanted significance. What becomes harder to find, and lonelier to defend, is the idea of 11 the novel as—in Ford Madox Ford's words—a 'medium of profoundly serious investigation into the human case.'''

1.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. sluggish
  • C. static
  • D. similar

2.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. changing world—for better
  • C. changing world: for better
  • D. changing world for better

3. Which choice most effectively establishes the main topic of the paragraph?

  • A. The novel, while well regarded, would never match the poem as the ideal form for conveying the struggles of humanity.
  • B. The novel was once sacred ground, meant to capture and reveal universal truths, to depict society and all its ills, to explore and expound upon the human condition.
  • C. Both poetry and novels enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the early 1900s due to the notoriety of many of the prominent authors of the day.
  • D. By the early 1900s, novels had evolved into something entirely different from the form Cervantes pioneered with Don Quixote.

4.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. loftily
  • C. haughtily
  • D. pretentiously

5. Which choice would improve the sentence?

  • A. Ford said of his friend, the novelist Joseph Conrad,
  • B. Ford said of his great friend, Joseph Conrad,
  • C. Ford said of Joseph Conrad,
  • D. Ford said of his friend, Joseph Conrad, a Pole who moved to Britain,

6.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. However: in recent decades,
  • C. However in recent decades,
  • D. In recent decades however;

7.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. Novels, which are now available on digital devices, are considered just another entertainment medium,
  • C. Novels are considered just another entertainment medium, now available on digital devices,
  • D. Novels, just another entertainment medium which are now available on digital devices

8.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. less often the subject of popular novels instead, escapist tales of fantastical lands and escapades are more popular.
  • C. less often the subject of popular novels, instead, escapist tales of fantastical lands and escapades are more popular.
  • D. less often the subject of popular novels: instead, escapist tales of fantastical lands and escapades are more popular.

9. Which detail would provide the best support for the ideas presented in the paragraph?

  • A. Novels exploring deep social issues remain the most heavily decorated books come literary award season.
  • B. Director James Cameron remarked recently about the inherent difficulty of adapting novels with fantasy themes.
  • C. Writing in the New Yorker magazine in 2014, critic James Woods stated that readers now want novels that, like popcorn, are "easy to consume."
  • D. The slice of life novel remains tremendously popular among books targeting younger readers.

10.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. they strive
  • C. it strives
  • D. he or she strives

11.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. the novel as, in Ford Madox Ford's words—a 'medium of profoundly serious investigation into the human case.'"
  • C. the novel as, in Ford Madox Ford's words: a 'medium of profoundly serious investigation into the human case.'"
  • D. the novel as, in Ford Madox Ford's words; a 'medium of profoundly serious investigation into the human case.'"