AP English Literature and Composition 1.5 Passage Drill 7
AP English Literature and Composition 1.5 Passage Drill 7. In lines 34 through 37, what technique does the author use to describe the family's desperate situation?
|AP English Literature and Composition||Passage Drill|
Passage Drill 7
Voice and Tone
|English||Voice and Tone|
|Imagery and Figurative Language||Identifying uses of figurative language|
|Product Type||AP English Literature|
|Reading Literature||Analyze a case of satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement|
We've got another "technique" question on our hands here...
...which means we're going to need to know the meaning of terms like "paradox," "personification,"
"hyperbole," "metaphor" and "understatement."
If we don't, we're going to be in more trouble than a traitor caught delivering government secrets to the enemy.
Let's check out the portion of the passage in question...
..."impressed with the necessity of making some provision for his family, was seriously
revolving in his mind a little commercial speculation of insuring his life next quarter-day,
and then falling from the top of the Monument by accident."
A paradox is a statement that contradicts itself, but is still kinda true—that doesn't
It's also not a personification of the Monument as a killer. It would be Mr. Nickleby doing
the killing, as he'd be throwing himself off the Monument.
You're not going to arrest Brutus' knife for the murder of Caesar, are you?
It's not a hyperbolic statement about the necessity of life insurance...
...life insurance is mentioned but it isn't the focus here.
It's the Nickleby's dire financial situation that's the star of the show.
And it's not a metaphor, because there's nothing here that stands for something else.
So it's got to be E, an understatement about committing suicide.
By comparing the casual consideration of committing suicide for insurance money to any other commercial speculation...
...the author is making an understatement about the gravity of such ponderings.
However, it's nothing compared to the gravity involved in throwing yourself off a monument.