AP English Literature and Composition 1.6 Passage Drill 7
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AP English Literature and Composition 1.6 Passage Drill 7. What is the function of the parenthetical phrase in lines 42 through 43?
|AP English Literature and Composition||Diction and Syntax|
Passage Drill 7
|Diction and Syntax||Identifying grammatical elements|
|English||Diction and Syntax|
|Form and Structure||Identifying functions and effects of certain parts of the structure|
|Product Type||AP English Literature|
Okay, so this question wants us to look at the parenthetical phrase in lines 42 through 43:
That's the stuff between the parentheses.
and determine why it's there.
Other than, you know, to meet Dickens' desired word count. He must have had his publisher
breathing down his neck...
Here are lines 42 through 43:
"As the deceased had taken no further notice of his nephew in his lifetime, than sending
to his eldest boy (who had been christened after him, on desperate speculation) a silver
spoon in a morocco case."
So, what are we talking about here?
"Christened after him," meaning that his eldest boy was named after him.
"On desperate speculation"
Well, speculation can mean a few different things, but in this case we're talking about monetary speculation.
In other words, the boy was named after a wealthy relative in hopes that relative would
appreciate the gesture so much, that he might throw a few hundred pounds their way.
Okay, now which answer choice says as much?
The silver spoon is nice, but doesn't do you much good if you have nothing to put on it.
So B is no good.
The Nickleby's might be poor, but that isn't what this parenthetical is about, so we can nix C.
There's no mention of silver, so D is an easy out,
nor of Ralph Nickleby's generous nature. E is out, as well.
Which leaves A: "to emphasize the gamble Mr. and Mrs. Nickleby took in naming their child."
Well, sure. They named him purely on the off-chance that Uncle Moneybags would feel so honored
he'd start emptying his money bags.
Probably not the best reason for settling on a baby name. Although, if there are any
Shmoop Smiths being born out there, we'd be mighty flattered.