Short Story Test for English 10
Terms in this set (65)
Masque of the Red Death
"There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the air and from the sympathy of his fellow men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.
The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the "Red Death.
"It was a voluptuous scene, that masquerade. But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held, There were seven-an imperial suite.
"Here the case was very different: as might have been expected from the duke's love of the bizarre"
"To the right and left, in the middle of each wall, a tall and narrow Gothic window looked out upon a closed corridor which pursued the windings of the suite".
"in blue--and vividly blue were its windows. The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple. The 3rd was green throughout and so were the casements. The 4th was furnished and lighted with orange, the 5th with white, the sixth with violet. The 7th apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue. But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet--a deep blood color.
It was in this apartment also that there stood against the western wall a gigantic clock of ebony.
"At each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause, momentarily, in their performance, to hearken to the sound; and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions; and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company and while the chimes of the clock yet rant. It was observed that the giddiest grew pale and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused reverie or meditation.
But now there were 12 strokes to be sounded by the bell of the clock, and thus it happened perhaps that more of thought crept, with more of time, into the meditations of the thoughtful among those who reveled
"who had found leisure to become aware of the presence of a masked figure which had arrested the attention of no single individual before"
"The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat. And yet all this might have been endured, if not approved, by the mad revelers around. But the mummer had gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death. His vesture was dabbled in blood and his broad brow, with all the features of the face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror.
"Seize him and unmask him--that we may know whom we have to hang at sunrise, from the battlements"
"from the centers of the rooms to the walls, he made his way uninterruptedly, but with the same solemn and measured step which had distinguished him from the first, through the blue chamber to the purple-through the purple to the green--through the green to the orange--through this again to the white--and even thence to the violet, ere a decided movement had been made to arrest him. It was then, however, that the Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice rushed hurriedly through the 6 chambers, while none followed him on account of a deadly terror that had seized upon all. He bore aloft a drawn dagger."
"turned and suddenly and confronted his pursuer"
"gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave cerements and corpselike mask which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form.
"And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. An d the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all"
ALLEGORY--It features a set of recognizable symbols whose meanings combine to convey a message.
The Red Death--Death
No matter how rich, how beautiful, how luxurious--nobody can escape death
Colors of the rooms are supposed to represent the stages of ones life.
Clock--reminder of death's final judgement
Edgar Allan Poe
first to make famous gothic horror story
THEME--YOU can't escape death, can't outrun death.
The Masque of Red Death by
Edgar Allan Poe
A disease known as the Red Death plagues the fictional country where this tale is set, and it causes its victims to die quickly and gruesomely. Even though this disease is spreading rampantly, the prince, Prospero, feels happy and hopeful. He decides to lock the gates of his palace in order to fend off the plague, ignoring the illness ravaging the land. After several months, he throws a fancy masquerade ball.
For this celebration, he decorates the rooms of his house in single colors. The easternmost room is decorated in blue, with blue stained-glass windows. The next room is purple with the same stained-glass window pattern. The rooms continue westward, according to this design, in the following color arrangement: green, orange, white, and violet.
The seventh room is black, with red windows. Also in this room stands an ebony clock. When the clock rings each hour, its sound is so loud and distracting that everyone stops talking and the orchestra stops playing.
When the clock is not sounding, though, the rooms are so beautiful and strange that they seem to be filled with dreams, swirling among the revelers. Most guests, however, avoid the final, black-and-red room because it contains both the clock and an ominous ambience.
At midnight, a new guest appears, dressed more ghoulishly than his counterparts. His mask looks like the face of a corpse, his garments resemble a funeral shroud, and his face reveals spots of blood suggesting that he is a victim of the Red Death.
Prospero becomes angry that someone with so little humor and levity would join his party. The other guests, however, are so afraid of this masked man that they fail to prevent him from walking through each room.
Prospero finally catches up to the new guest in the black-and-red room. As soon as he confronts the figure, Prospero dies. When other party-goers enter the room to attack the cloaked man, they find that there is nobody beneath the costume. Everyone then dies, for the Red Death has infiltrated the castle. "Darkness and Decay and the Red Death" have at last triumphed
Like the Sun Summary
Sekhar, a teacher, is thinking about truth. He feels that truth is like the sun—you cannot look at it directly.
He believes that people spend their lives avoiding truth. Sekhar decides to spend one day telling only the
truth. That morning, he tells his wife that the breakfast she has made is not good. At school, one of the
teachers tells him that someone they know has died.
Sekhar replies that the man was selfish and mean.
Then the headmaster invites Sekhar to his house. He knows that Sekhar has good taste in music, and he
wants Sekhar to listen to his singing. In return, the headmaster tells Sekhar that he can have extra time to
grade some test papers.
Sekhar listens to the headmaster sing. The singing is terrible. Sekhar is afraid that
he will lose his job if he tells the truth about the headmaster's singing. Sekhar tells the headmaster that his singing is not good. The headmaster thanks him for being honest and says that now he does not have to
continue paying the music teacher but he tell Sekhar that he has to finish checking the 100 papers before
Even though the headmaster appreciated the honesty, he no longer let Sekhar have the extra week to grade the papers. He said that the papers must be graded by tomorrow and they must be done really well.
THEME: Telling the truth has consequences for one's self and others.
A small town in India, mid-20th century
R.K. Narayan is from India
his father was a teacher
he studied music
Truth, Sekhar reflected, is like the sun. I suppose no human being can ever look it straight in the face without blinking or being dazed.
changing to make more suitable usually by mixing with something
Third Form A
British style school--an advanced class (8th grade in America)
acting in a way to gain his favor
a classical Indian music
Indian folk song
revered composer of Indian devotional songs
"Now come out with your opinion. Can't I give it tomorrow, sir? Sekhar asked tentatively. No I want it immediately--your frank opinion. Was it good? No, sir, Sekhar replied. Oh--is there any use continuing my lessons? Absolutely none, sir. Sekhar said with his voice trembling. He felt very unhappy that he could not speak more soothingly.
salary increase and job security
legendary Hindu king who was the subject of many Indian stories whose name has come to symbolize truth and integrity,
You suggestion was useful. I have paid off the music master. No one would tell me the truth about my music all these days. Why such antics at my age! Thank you. By the way, what about those test papers.
Yes, sir, Selchar said feeling that sitting up all night with a hundred test papers was a small price to pay for the luxury of practicing TRUTH.
How Much Land Does A Man Need
by Leo Tolstoy
This is a story about a man who lusts so much for land that he ends up losing everything
2 sisters are visiting over tea and begin to discuss the differences in city life vs. country life. Pakhom listened to them argue over the differences of peasant life vs. being a tradesman.
The protagonist of the story is a peasant named Pakhom.
In the beginning he is complaining that he does not own enough land to satisfy himself. He states that "if I had plenty of land, I shouldn't fear the Devil himself!"
He doesn't realize that Satan is sitting behind the stove and listening to what he said. Satan accepts his challenge & says that he would give Pakhom more land and then snatch everything from him. A short time later, a landlady in the village decides to sell her estate, & the peasants of the village buy as much of that land as they can. Pakhom purchases some land, & by working off the extra land is able to repay his debts & live a more comfortable life.
Pakhom becomes very possessive of his land and argues with his neighbors. "Threats to burn his building began to be uttered." He moves to a larger area of land at another Commune where he can grow even more crops & have a small fortune, but he has to grow the crops on rented land which irritates him. After buying & selling a lot of fertile & good land, he is introduced to the Bashkirs & is told that they are simple-minded people who own a huge amount of land.
Pakhóm negotiates as low a price as he can. Their offer is very ODD-- for 1000 rubles, Pahóm can walk around as large an area as he wants, starting at daybreak & mark his route with a spade along the way. If he reaches his starting point by sunset that day, the entire area of land that his route encloses will be his, but if he does not reach his starting point he will lose his money & receive no land.
He is delighted as he believes that he can cover a great distance & has chanced upon the bargain of a lifetime. That night, Pahóm experiences a surreal dream in which he sees himself lying dead by the feet of the Devil, who is laughing. In his dream he sees his own death.
He stays out as late as possible, marking out land until just before the sun sets. Toward the end, he realizes he is far from the starting point & runs back as fast as he can to the waiting Bashkirs. He finally arrives at the starting point just as the sun sets.
The Bashkirs cheer his good fortune, but exhausted from the run, Pahóm drops dead. His servant buries him in an ordinary grave only 6 feet long, thus ironically answering the question posed in the title of the story.
Through the story we are shown that human nature pushes us to want more and more. We are never content with our lives, no matter how well off we may be, and , while trying to better out standard of living, we put ourselves in danger of ending up with nothing.
"You know the proverb, Loss and gain are brothers twain. It often happens that people who're wealthy one day are begging their bread the next.
piqued--irritate, offend, and so resentful
"Of course our work is rough and hard. But on the other hand, it's sure, and we need not bow to anyone. But you, in your towns are surrounded by temptations, today all may be right, but tomorrow the Evil One may tempt your husband with cards, wine, or women, and all will go to ruin. Don't such things happen often enough?
"Our only trouble is that we haven't hand enough. If I had plenty of land, I shouldn't fear the Devil himself.
"But the Devil had been sitting behind the stove and had heard all that had been said. He was pleased that the peasant's wife had led her husband into boasting and that he had said that if he had plenty of land he would not fear the Devil himself".
forbore-prevented oneself from doing something, refrained from
ruble--basic Russian currency
"I can't go on overlooking it, or they'll destroy all I have. They must be taught a lesson. So he had them up, gave them one lesson and then another and 2 or 3 of the peasants were fined. After a time Pahom's neighbors began to bear him a grudge for this and would now and then let their cattle onto his land on purpose. One peasant even got into Pahom's wood at night and cut down five young lime trees for their bark. Pahom, passing through the wood one day, noticed something white. he came nearer and saw the stripped trunks lying on the ground and close by stood the stumps where the trees had been. Pahom was furious.
aggrieved--wronged, suffering grief or injury
Volga--the major river in Western Russia
sheaf--a bundle of grain
freehold land--land that the owner can lease to other's for a fee
arable--land that is suitable for farming
Bashkirs--nomadic people who live in the plains of southwestern Russia
"Pahom took out his money and put it on the cap. Then he took off his outer coat, remaining in his sleeveless undercoat. He unfastened his girdle and tied it tight below his stomach, put a little bag of bread into the breast of his coat, and tying a flask of water to his girdle, he drew up the tops of his boots, took the spade from his man, and stood ready to start. He considered for some moments which way he had better go--it was tempting everywhere.
no matter, he concluded, I'll go toward the rising sun. he turned his face to the east, stretched himself, and waited for the sun to appear about the rim. I must lose no time, he thought and its easier walking while its' still cool.
"Still he went on, thinking: An hour to suffer, a lifetime to live" (foreshadowing--irony to come)
"Oh Lord, he thought, if only I have not blundered trying for too much. What if I am too late? (foreshadowing)
His servant picked up the spade and dug a grave long enough for Pahom to lie in and buried him in it. Six feet from his head to his toes was all he needed.
Civil Peace by Chinua Achebe
took place after the Biafran War
Theme of optimism
Jonathan Iwegbu, the protagonist of "Civil Peace", is the optimistic nucleus of the entire narrative. Despite the recent devastation of the Biafran War, Jonathan exhibits a happy tone in the face of death. Jonathan's optimism is first demonstrated in the first paragraph when he exclaims how happy he is for his life and then continues to explain "He had come out of the war with five inestimable blessings --- his head, his wife Maria's head, and the heads of three out of their four children."
The protagonist is happy because he can now enjoy the company of those alive, instead of being sad for the one who died. Jonathan's optimism continues to prevail when he sees his house for the first time which, was slightly damaged "But what was that?" and then continues to explain that he had enough time left in the day to forage for materials "... before thousands more came out of their forest holes looking for the same things." further emphasizing his optimism and its benefits.
Later in the story, Jonathan opens a bar, creating new employment as opposed to dwelling in the fact that his former job, mining coal, is no longer an option. Jonathan's optimism remains unshakable through to the end of the story even when some of his money is stolen by thieves. Jonathan's neighbors sympathize with him and he continues to move on with his normal daily activities.
"Jonathan Iwegbu counted himself extraordinarily lucky. Happy survival meant so much more to him than just a current fashion of greeting old friends in the first hazy days of peace. it went deep to his heart. He had come out of the war with 5 inestimable blessings--his head, his wife Maria's head, and the heads of out of 4 children. As a bonus he also had his old bicycle--a miracle two but naturally not to be compared to the safety of 5 human heads.
biro--ballpoint pen (British expression)
Biafran--the rebellious southeastern region of Nigeria which declared itself the independent nation of Biafra in the Civil War of 1967
fortnight--British term for 2 weeks
"With his family earnings he took his bicycle to the villages around and bought fresh palm wine which he mixed generously in his rooms with the water which had recently started running again in the public tap down the road and opened up a bar for soldiers and other lucky people with good money.
"But nothing puzzles God"
Let's not have a war about this let's just have peace
""Awrighto. Now make we talk business. We no be bad tief. We no like for make trouble. Trouble done finish. War done finish and all the katakata wey de for inside. No Civil War again. This time na Civil Peace. No be so?
At the first sign of light as neighbors and others assembled to commiserate with him he was already strapping his 5-gallon demijohn to his bicycle carrier and his wife, sweating in the open fire, was turning over akara balls in a wide clay bowl of boiling oil. In the corner his eldest son was rinsing out dregs of yesterday's palm wine from old beer bottles. I count it as nothing he told his sympathizers his eyes on the rope he was tying. What is egg-rasher? Did I depend on it last week? Or is it greater than other things that went with the war? I say, let egg rasher perish in the flames! Let it go where everything else has gone. Nothing puzzles God.
The Censors by Luisa Valenzuela
Background--She is from Argentina which had a history of censorship and other human rights violations. 1970's--military regime took power and brutally hunted down any political foes and censored news and mail.
"Poor Juan! One day they caught him with his guard down before he could even realize that what he had taken as a stroke of luck was really one of fate's dirty tricks".
"all this time, the freedom, maybe even the life, of both sender and receiver is in jeopardy. And that's why Juan's so troubled: thinking that something might happen to Mariana because of his letters".
"This was Juan's sound plan when he, like many others, applied for a censor's job--not because he had a calling or needed a job: no, he applied simply to intercept his own letter, a consoling albeit unoriginal idea".
staidness--a state of being settled, calm
irreproachable--above criticism, blameless
ulterior--further, beyond what is openly stated or implied
Section K--where envelopes are very carefully screened for explosives.
Section F--where letters are carefully checked for poison dust
"but Juan didn't join in; after thinking it over, he reported the man to his superiors and thus got promoted".
"By working hard, he quickly reached Section E where the job became more interesting, for he could now read and analyze the letters' contents".
"his instincts were so sharp that he found behind a simple "the weather's unsettled" or "prices continue to soar" the wavering hand of someone secretly scheming to overthrow the Government."
"Very few letters reached him in Section B--only a handful passed the other hurdles--so he read them over and over again".
"His basket for censored letters became the best fed as well as the most cunning basket in the whole Censorship Division. He was about to congratulate himself for having finally discovered his true mission, when his letter to Mariana reached his hands. Naturally, he censored it without regret. And just as naturally, he couldn't stop them from executing him the following morning, another victim of his devotion to his work".
Juan is the protagonist
He carelessly sends a letter to Mariana and then becomes a censor in order to find the letter he wrote and get rid of it before it is discovered.
situational irony--Juan is AGAINST the censors yet he becomes a censor.
dramatic irony--Juan censors letters because of simple and innocent phrases (such as the weather) He is brainwashed to look too hard and becomes delusional that everyone is an enemy of the government. He is actually doing a GREAT job as a censor, but the reader knows that he is actually censoring letters of innocent people by reading things into what they are writing.
Theme--sometimes you are your own enemy. You can lose sight of what is important when fear is your motivation. Your priorities change when you have different expectations.
People who are so focused on getting ahead or their goal that they may compromise their own beliefs and happiness.
Irony--Juan becomes so obsessed with his job that he ends up censoring his own letter, thereby incriminating himself and causing his own execution.
Summary--Juan joined the Censorship Division to get a hold of his letter to a girl who escaped so they wouldn't be executed--he became so addicted to his work and ended up being executed because he censored his own letter.
Ultimately, the author informs, and also warns the reader not to let your true feelings or goals get strayed away from your original intentions.
What is satire?
Writing that uses humor or wit to ridicule the vices or follies of people or societies
What happens at the end of the story?
A. Juan intercepts the letter, turns it in and is killed.
B. Juan intercepts the letter, turns it in and is fired.
C. Juan intercepts the letter, destroys it and quits his job.
D. Juan intercepts the letter, destroys it and moves to Paris.
Why does Juan apply to be a censor?
A. The job pays very well and he needs the money.
B. It is the only job he can do.
C. He wants to try and intercept a letter that he wrote.
D. His mother makes him take the job.
What is ironic about Juan's sharpened instincts for subversive messages in letter?
A. He thinks he is finding threats where there really isn't any
B. His instincts really aren't any more sharp.
C. His interpretations are dead on.
D. He is doing important work
Explain Valenzuela's use of dark humor to offer a powerful satire of government censorship.
The reader knows information that the characters do not (audience or reader is aware of something important that the character doesn't know) (when Juliet appears to be dead--the audience knows she is only temporarily dead but Romeo BELIEVES she is dead)
The outcome of a situation is the opposite of a character's expectations (what happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate) Ex. After you saved up for 4 months to buy a copy of COD and go buy it--your friends get you 2 copies for your birthday.
speaker says one thing and means the opposite (your point is clear as mud)
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