AP English Literature and Composition 1.1 Passage Drill 2
AP® English Literature and Composition Passage Drill 2, Problem 1. What claim does Bacon make that contradicts the maxim "Whatsoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god?"
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says early in the passage.
In order to answer this one correctly, we first have to interpret what the original
maxim is saying...
...and then find the option that basically says... the opposite.
All right, so... "Whatsoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god?"
"Delighted in solitude"... well, we can take that to roughly mean... "enjoying being alone."
So the maxim is saying that, if someone enjoys being alone, they are either a wild beast
or a god.
Okay, now... which statement contradicts that?
We don't have to look too far.
A -- Solitude is not godly but rather "mere and miserable."
He comes flat out and says that solitude is NOT godly...
...so it sure seems like answer A is our horse. "Solitude in holy men is feigned and false?"
No mention of holy men in the maxim, so nothing to contradict there.
"Solitude makes one a heathen, rather than a wild beast."
We might be tempted to go with this one... except that Bacon says on line 3 that the
first half of the maxim is true. Which rules out choice E as well.
And answer D -- "Solitude is desirable for communion with God"... doesn't really have
a thing to do with the maxim. So... this one is clearly wasting our time.
Yup -- the correct answer is A.
On line 14, Bacon says that the second half of the maxim is false because life is pretty
lonely and miserable without friends.
We feel the same way about English literature.
Yeah, yeah... we're dorks, and proud of it.