Read the selection and answer the questions that follow.
From “The Most Dangerous Game” – Richard Connell
(In this short story, the protagonist Rainsford (a celebrated hunter) falls overboard from a yacht that is sailing through the Caribbean Sea. He manages to swim to a nearby island where walks to a large mansion and meets General Zaroff, and his servant Ivan, who make a past time of hunting human men on the island. As a game, Zaroff gives each man minimal supplies and the opportunity to evade him for 3 days. If he cannot find and kill the man by the end of the third day, then he allows the man to leave the island. It is the end of the third day and Rainsford has managed so far to evade Zaroff, but now he is closing in on him…)
“At daybreak Rainsford, lying near the swamp, was awakened by the sound that made him know that he had new things to learn about fear. It was a distant sound, faint and wavering, but he knew it. It was the baying of a pack of hounds.
Rainsford knew he could do one of two things. He could stay where he was and wait. That was suicide. He could flee. That was postponing the inevitable. For a moment he stood there, thinking. An idea that held a wild chance came to him, and, tightening his belt, he headed away from the swamp.
The baying of the hounds grew nearer, nearer, ever nearer. On a ridge Rainsford climbed a tree. Down a watercourse, not a quarter of a mile off, he could see the bush moving. Straining his eyes, he saw the lean figure of General Zaroff; just ahead of him, Rainsford made out another figure whose wide shoulders surged through the tall jungle weeds; it was the giant Ivan, and he seemed pulled forward by some unseen force; Rainsford knew that Ivan must be holding the pack in leash.
They would be on him any minute now. His mind worked franctically. He thought of a native trick he had learned in Uganda. He slid down the tree. He caught hold of a springy young sapling, and to it he fastened his hunting knife, with the blade pointing down the trail; with a bit of wild grapevine he tied back the sapling. Then he ran for his life. The hounds raised their voices as they hit the fresh scent. Rainsford knew now how an animal at bay feels.
He had to stop to get his breath. The baying of the hounds stopped abruptly, and Rainsford’s heart stopped, too. They must have reached the knife.
He shinned excitedly up a tree and looked back. His pursuers had stopped. But the hope that was in Rainsford’s brain when he climbed died, for he saw in the shallow valley that General Zaroff was still on his feet. But Ivan was not. The knife, driven by the recoil of the springing tree, had not wholly failed.
Rainsford had hardly tumbled to the ground when the pack took up the cry again.
‘Nerve, nerve, nerve!’ he panted, as he dashed along. A blue gap showed between the trees dead ahead. Ever nearer drew the hounds. Rainsford forced himself on toward that gap. He reached it. It was the shore of the sea. Across the cove he could see the gloomy gray stone of the chateau. Twenty feet below him the sea rumbled and hissed. Rainsford hesitated. He heard the hounds. Then he leaped far out into the sea…
When the general and his pack reached the place by the sea, the Cossack stopped. For some minutes he stood regarding the blue-green expanse of water. He shrugged his shoulders. Then he sat down, took a drink of brandy from a silver flask, lit a perfumed cigarette, and hummed a bit from Madama Butterfly” (Connell 56 – 57).
10. Which line BEST reveals the internal conflict of the narrator?
A. “Rainsford had tumbled to the ground when the pack took up the cry again.”
B. “He thought of a native trick he had learned in Uganda.”
C. “’Nerve, nerve, nerve!’ he panted, as he dashed along.”
D. “The baying of the hounds grew nearer, nearer, ever nearer”
11. Read the following line from the passage:
“Twenty feet below him the sea rumbled and hissed.”
What is the effect of the personification in this line?
It parrallels the hunger knawing away at Rainsford himself.
It reminds us that the sea is also an enemy by giving it predator-like characteristics.
It foreshadows the tragic ending of the story.
It creates a peaceful mood in the story.
12. Read the following line from the passage:
“The baying of the hounds grew nearer, nearer, ever nearer..”
What is the effect of the author using repetition in this line?
It parallels the repetitive nature of the hunt.
It reminds us that this is the climax of the story.
It foreshadows Rainsford’s capture by the hounds.
It creates a sense of panic and urgency in the mood of the story.
13. Which line from the story most strongly suggests that Rainsford thinks clearly under pressure?
He shinned excitedly up a tree and looked back.
They would be on him any minute now. His mind worked franctically. He thought of a native trick he had learned in Uganda.
‘Nerve, nerve, nerve!’ he panted, as he dashed along.
Like many science-fiction stories, “The Hunger Games” portrays a future that we're invited to read as a parable for the present. After the existing nations of North America are destroyed by catastrophe, a civilization named Panem rises from the ruins. It's ruled by a vast, wealthy Capitol inspired by the covers of countless sci-fi magazines and surrounded by 12 “districts” that are powerless satellites.
As the story opens, the annual ritual of the Hunger Games is beginning; each district must supply a “tribute” of a young woman and man, and these 24 finalists must fight to the death in a forested “arena” where hidden cameras capture every move.
This results in a television production that apparently holds the nation spellbound and keeps the citizens content. Mrs. Link, my high school Latin teacher, will be proud that I recall one of her daily phrases, “panem et circenses,” which summarized the Roman formula for creating a docile population: Give them bread and circuses. A vision of present-day America is summoned up, its citizenry glutted with fast food and distracted by reality TV. How is the population expected to accept the violent sacrifice of 24 young lives a year? How many have died in our recent wars?
The story centers on the two tributes from the dirt-poor District 12: Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). The 16-year-old girl hunts deer with bow and arrow to feed her family; he may be hunkier but seems no match in survival skills. They're both clean-cut, All-Panem types, and although one or both are eventually required to be dead, romance is a possibility.
In contrast with these healthy young people, the ruling class in the Capitol are effete decadents. Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), bedecked in gaudy costumery and laden with garish cosmetics, emcees the annual drawing for tributes, and the nation gets to know the finalists on a talk show hosted by Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), who suggests what Donald Trump might do with his hair if he had enough of it.
The executive in charge is the gamemaker, Seneca (Wes Bentley), who has a beard so bizarrely designed that Satan would be envious. At the top of the society is the president (Donald Sutherland), a sagacious graybeard who harbors deep thoughts. In interviews, Sutherland has equated the younger generation with leftists and Occupiers. The old folks in the Capitol are no doubt a right-wing oligarchy. My conservative friends, however, equate the young with the Tea Party and the old with decadent Elitists. “The Hunger Games,” like many parables, will show you exactly what you seek in it.
The scenes set in the Capitol and dealing with its peculiar characters have a completely different tone than the scenes of conflict in the Arena. The ruling class is painted in broad satire and bright colors. Katniss and the other tributes are seen in earth-toned realism; this character could be another manifestation, indeed, of Jennifer Lawrence's Oscar-nominated character Ree in “Winter's Bone.” The plot even explains why she's adept at bow and arrow.
One thing I missed, however, was more self-awareness on the part of the tributes. As their names are being drawn from a fish bowl (!) at the Reaping, the reactions of the chosen seem rather subdued, considering the odds are 23-to-1 that they'll end up dead. Katniss volunteers to take the place of her 12-year-old kid sister, Prim (Willow Shields), but no one explicitly discusses the fairness of deadly combat between girl children and 18-year-old men. Apparently the jaded TV audiences of Panem have developed an appetite for barbarity. Nor do Katniss and Peeta reveal much thoughtfulness about their own peculiar position.
“The Hunger Games” is an effective entertainment, and Jennifer Lawrence is strong and convincing in the central role. But the film leapfrogs obvious questions in its path, and avoids the opportunities sci-fi provides for social criticism; compare its world with the dystopias in “Gattaca” or “The Truman Show.” Director Gary Ross and his writers (including the series' author, Suzanne Collins) obviously think their audience wants to see lots of hunting-and-survival scenes, and has no interest in people talking about how a cruel class system is using them. Well, maybe they're right. But I found the movie too long and deliberate as it negotiated the outskirts of its moral issues.
Ebert, Roger. “The Hunger Games: Reality TV is the Opiate of the Masses.” Chicago Sun Times. 20 MAR 2012. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com
18. The author believes that the characters of Katniss and Peeta are poorly-developed because
A. Little attention was given to matching their looks in the film with their descriptions in the novel
B. Peeta shows few survival skills, while Katniss is too barbaric
C. Neither character reveal much contemplation of their own curious position in the games
D. Both characters are too “clean-cut”
19. The author’s description of his experience in Latin class shows that