1. Which of the following BEST describes how Nick feels during dinner with the Buchanans?
a. Captivated and curious
b. Uncomfortable and overwhelmed
c. Jealous and skeptical
d. Enthralled and excited

2. Which piece of textual evidence BEST supports the answer to the above question?
a. “They [Daisy and Miss Baker] were here, and they accepted Tom and me, making only polite pleasant effort to entertain or be entertained. They knew that presently dinner would be over and a little later the evening, too, would be over and casually put away.”
b. “I am not even faintly like a rose. She [Daisy] was only extemporizing, but a stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words.”
c. “The telephone rang inside, startlingly...I was conscious of wanting to look squarely at every one, and yet to avoid all eyes...To a certain temperament the situation might have seemed intriguing--my own instinct was to telephone immediately for the police.”
d. “Daisy took her face in her hands as if feeling its lovely shape, and her eyes moved gradually out into the velvet dusk. I saw that turbulent emotions possessed her, so I asked what I thought would be some sedative questions about her little girl.”

3. Read the following excerpt describing the Valley of Ashes:

About half way between West Egg and New York the motor-road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes—a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens, where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud which screens their obscure operations from your sight. But above the grey land and the spasm of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their retinas are one yard high … his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground. The valley of ashes is bounded on one side by a small foul river, and when the drawbridge is up to let barges through, the passenger on waiting trains can stare at the dismal scene for as long as half an hour. There is always a halt there of at least a minute and it was because of this that I first met Tom Buchanan’s mistress.

Which of the following BEST describes the mood of this excerpt?
a. Serious and somber
b. Frightening and mysterious
c. Dreary and depressing
d. Transcendent and obscure

1 Answer

  • Answer:

    1-b. Nick is decidedly uncomfortable during the dinner and gives several indications of his awkward discomfort in the passage. First, he mentions the evening being over sooner than later. Then, the wringing of the telephone prompts in Nick a desire to phone the police. Finally, he is overwhelmed and uncomfortable by the presence of Daisy.

    2-c. provides the best piece of textual evidence as it alludes to being both uncomfortable and overwhelmed.

    3-c The excerpt is overwhelmingly dreary as everything is described in tones of grey and as a derivative of ashes. The only touch of color mentioned in the passage are the eyes of the doctor.

    The mood is very depressing as even the smallest tasks are describes as arduous labors. Words that contribute to the bleak and dreary landscape are: ash-grey, desolate, grotesque, crumbling, ghastly, leaden, impenetrable cloud, obscure, and bleak.