SAT Literature Practice Test 10

Directions: This test consists of selections from literary works and questions on their content, form, and style. After each passage or poem, choose the best answer to each question.

1. In the passage, the ripening figs are symbolic of

A. the fruits of labor
B. the maturation of Babette
C. the difficulty of life
D. the enigma of nature
E. the battle between Maman-Nainaine and Babette

2. The phrase “but that is the way Maman-Nainaine was” suggests which of the following about Maman-Nainaine?

A. She was not aware of the seriousness of the situation.
B. She was an overly strict woman.
C. Her actions had their own logic.
D. She doled out punishment for no reason.
E. Figs were her favorite fruit.

3. What is the effect of the disagreement (lines 1-9)?

A. It illustrates Maman-Nainaine’s bad judgment.
B. It serves to illustrate the patience of Maman-Nainaine and the impatience of Babette.
C. It demonstrates a passage of time.
D. It makes Babette appear spoiled and insolent.
E. It shows how argumentative Babette can be.

4. In the passage, Maman-Nainaine’s attitude toward Babette can best be characterized as

A. contemptuous
B. flippant
C. reluctantly accepting
D. joyously optimistic
E. wisely patient

5. All of the following pairs of words illustrate the difference between Maman-Nainaine and Babette EXCEPT

A. patient (line 12) and “restless” (line 13)
B. early (line 30) and “late” (line 33)
C. purple (line 27) and “green” (line 28)
D. danced (line 15) and “sat” (line 22)
E. ripe (line 2) and “bloom” (line 39)

6. Which is the effect of the last sentence of the passage?

A. It shows that Maman-Nainaine is clearly illogical.
B. It serves as ironic counterpoint to the rest of the story.
C. It advances the symbolism introduced with the ripened figs.
D. It introduces a literary allusion.
E. It advances the story beyond its scope.

7. Maman-Nainaine’s peeling of “the very plumpest figs” (line 35) illustrates that Maman-Nainaine

A. is testing their ripeness
B. prefers to cook her own food
C. is superstitious
D. is a refined woman
E. enjoys making fun of Babette

8. The word “though” (line 11) implies which of the following in the context of the sentence?

A. The two women were in disagreement.
B. Patience is a virtue when waiting for something.
C. Figs were not really important.
D. Their patience and impatience had no effect on nature.
E. Maman-Nainaine’s patience was annoying to Babette.

9. The narrative point of view of the passage as a whole is that of

A. a disapproving observer
B. a first-person impartial observer
C. the protagonist
D. an unreliable narrator
E. a third-person objective observer

QuestionCorrect AnswerYour AnswerResultExplanation
1B00This is a good example of a “least worst” answer. There is no labor involved (A). All we see Babette do is “dance” (line 15), so life is not very “difficult” (C). Nature is not “enigmatic” (a mystery) (D). The differences between Maman-Nainaine and Babette can hardly be called a “battle” (E). So by Process of Elimination, the answer must be (B).
2C00Choice (C) is the best answer, because Maman-Nainaine says Babette’s visit depends on the figs, which has nothing to do with the visit. So she must have her own reasons for linking the two—”her own logic.” Babette wants to visit her cousins, so the situation is hardly “serious” (A). She may be “overly strict,” but we don’t have enough information to affirm that (B). Choice (D) cannot be the answer because there is no “punishment.” And nothing suggests that “figs were her favorite fruit” (E).
3B00Choice (B) is the answer because Maman-Nainaine wants Babette to wait to make the visit, but Babette wants to go right now. Maman-Nainaine is patient; Babette is not. Nothing in the passage proves that Maman-Nainaine’s judgment is bad (A). In lines 1–6, the figs have not ripened yet, so there is no passage of time (C). Babette does not talk back to Maman-Nainaine, so there is no insolence (D) or argument (E).
4E00Maman-Nainaine is patient (line 12) (E). Maman-Nainaine does not look down on Babette, so she is not “contemptuous” (A). Nothing she says to Babette is “flippant” (B). She does not give in to Babette’s wishes, so she is not “reluctantly accepting” (C). There is neither joy nor optimism in the passage (D).
5E00“Ripe” and “bloom” both refer to later stages of life—they refer to Maman-Nainaine, not Babette, so the answer is (E). It is true that Maman-Nainaine is “patient” and Babette is “restless,” so (A) is not the answer. Babette is young; she wants to make the visit “early,” while Maman-Nainaine is “late” in life (B). The unripe figs represent Babette—they are “green,” while Maman-Nainaine is like a ripe fig—”purple” (C). Maman-Nainaine is older—she “sat” while Babette is young and “danced” (D). (Note: Remember to circle “EXCEPT” and mark each answer with a “Y” for “yes” or an “N” for “no” to find the odd man out.)
6C00Just as the figs are a symbol of Babette’s maturity, so are the chrysanthemums symbolic (C). It is not illogical of Maman-Nainaine to mention chrysanthemums, as the story shows she measures time by the flowering of nature (A). There is nothing ironic about the statement (B). Literature is not referenced (D). The sentence does not advance the story beyond the boundaries of Maman-Nainaine’s and Babette’s relationship (E).
7A00By taking time to peel the figs, Maman-Nainaine is making sure they’re ripe (A). There is no cooking in the story (B), nor is superstition the reason for Maman-Nainaine’s behavior (C). Although she may be refined, the action is not the illustration of refinement (D). We don’t see Maman-Nainaine mock Babette (E).
8D00The two women are different, yet nature forges on, so (D) is the correct answer. In the context of the sentence the word “though” does not show disagreement (A). No moral is given (B). There is no evidence that the figs were not important (C). Babette is restless, not annoyed (E).
9E00The narration is that of an impartial observer (E). It is not disapproving (A), nor is it first person (B). The protagonist (either Maman-Nainaine or Babette) does not narrate the story (C), nor do we have any evidence that this narrator is unreliable (D).

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