SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 98: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 98

7. Toni Cade Bambara's novels are engrossing because the protagonists, in striving to achieve goals, are not simply ------- characters.

A. passive
B. tangible
C. abandoned
D. autonomous
E. redundant

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer A :

Choice (A) is correct. "Passive" means inactive. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Toni Cade Bambara's novels are engrossing because the protagonists, in striving to achieve goals, are not simply passive characters." This sentence makes sense because inactive characters would not strive to achieve goals and would thus be less "engrossing," or interesting to read about.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Tangible" refers to something truly real, something capable of being physically handled or grasped. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Toni Cade Bambara's novels are engrossing because the protagonists, in striving to achieve goals, are not simply tangible characters." An author can create characters who seem real, but it is impossible to make a character in a book physically real.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :

Choice (C) is incorrect. "Abandoned" means left behind. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Toni Cade Bambara's novels are engrossing because the protagonists, in striving to achieve goals, are not simply abandoned characters." Characters who have been left behind might be "engrossing," or interesting to read about, but such characters would not necessarily be trying hard to achieve goals.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. An "autonomous" character is self-directing or independent. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Toni Cade Bambara's novels are engrossing because the protagonists, in striving to achieve goals, are not simply autonomous characters." It is unclear why "striving to achieve goals" would show a character to be not independent.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Redundant" means unnecessary. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Toni Cade Bambara's novels are engrossing because the protagonists, in striving to achieve goals, are not simply redundant characters." There is no logical connection between "redundant" characters and characters who try hard to achieve goals.

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