AP English Language and Composition 1.2 Persona, Tone, and Point of View

AP English Language and Composition: Persona, Tone, and Point of View Drill 1, Problem 2. In context, which of the following is the best interpretation of the word "condescension"?

AP English Language and CompositionPersona, Tone, and Point of View
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:12

[ mumbles ]

00:19

[ mumbling continues ] Ugh, that was a mouthful. All right.

00:26

In context, which of the following is the best interpretation of

00:30

the word "condescension" in line ten?

00:33

Here are the potential answers.

00:35

[ mumbles ] Sounds like how we feel when we get our grades.

00:39

All right, so what's this question asking?

00:41

Well, it starts out with "in context,"

00:44

so, yeah, we can't just look up "condescension" in the dictionary.

00:48

Meaning we gotta check out the context in which we read the word, right?

00:51

So we're gonna need to figure out how it applies specifically to this passage.

00:55

All right, well, let's check out the lines in question.

00:58

"...two houses, assuming a tone of conscious superiority,

01:01

replied that they could receive no message from a prince

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who had raised his standard against his parliament,

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and had pronounced their general a traitor.

01:09

Charles (and his condescension may be taken as proof

01:11

of his wish to avoid hostilities)

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offered to withdraw his proclamation, provided they on their part

01:17

would rescind their votes against his adherents." [ chuckles ]

01:20

Good thing we didn't go with the first dictionary definition,

01:23

because it really doesn't fit here.

01:26

No one is condescending to anyone else.

01:28

Not in the way we usually think of it, anyway.

01:30

If someone were being all snooty and talking down to a person

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as if they were dirt on their shoe, well then, A - disdain

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or E - haughtiness might work.

01:37

But it looks like we're dealing with a different version of the word here.

01:39

In this passage, the king is showing condescension because

01:42

he wants to avoid hostilities.

01:44

Okay, so, he's not a super fan of confrontation,

01:46

and he's acting in such a way that he doesn't have to

01:49

whip out the big guns if you know what we mean.

01:51

Then is he degrading people?

01:53

Well, in our experience, degradation isn't the best way to make nice with somebody.

01:57

Is he being humble?

01:58

Well, yeah, sorta. But the key here is that the king is yielding to the houses,

02:03

which takes a certain degree of humility,

02:05

but it's more of an example of acquiescence.

02:08

So, yeah, in this instance, "condescension" implies that someone is

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acquiescing, or giving into another's wishes

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or commands, answer D.

02:17

The king may be bummed that we're calling him out so badly,

02:19

but at least "doormat" wasn't one of the answer choices.

02:22

[ buzzer ]