Friday, May 25, 2018


Which of the following quotes taken from a movie is an example of an idiom?

a. from: The Avengers
Loki: I am a god, dull creature, and I will NOT be bullied by a ...

b. from: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Kirk: If we play our cards right, we may be able to find out when those whales are being released.
Spock: How will playing cards help?

c. from: Clash of the Titans
Perseus: If I do this, I do it as a man.
Draco: But you are NOT just a man.

d. from: Taken
Bryan: I have a daughter who wants to be a singer. I was wondering if you have any tips for her.
Sheerah: Yeah, I do. Tell her pick another career.

Scroll down for the answer.

To get this question right, you need to know the definition of idiom:
The term refers to a set expression or a phrase comprising two or more words. An interesting fact regarding the device is that the expression is not interpreted literally. The phrase is understood as to mean something quite different from what individual words of the phrase would imply. Alternatively, it can be said that the phrase is interpreted in a figurative sense. Further, idioms vary in different cultures and countries.

For all of these, the only one that has a set expression is when Kirk is talking to Spock and says, "play our cards right," so the correct answer is b. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Burn Baby Burn

Read the following excerpt from Fahrenheit 451.  This is a book written in the 1950s that takes place in our future.

The little mosquito-delicate dancing hum in the air, the electrical murmur of a hidden wasp snug in its special pink warm nest. The music was almost loud enough so he could follow the tune.

Without turning on the light he imagined how this room would look. His wife stretched on the bed, uncovered and cold, like a body displayed on the lid of the tomb, her eyes fixed in the ceiling by invisible threads of steel, immovable. And in her ears the little Seashells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, of music and talk and music and talk coming in, coming in on the shore of her unsleeping mind. The room was indeed empty. Every night the waves came in and bore her off on their great tides of sound, floating her, wide-eyed, toward morning. There had been no night in the last two years that Mildred had not swum that sea, had not gladly gone down in it for the third time.

What is the purpose of the metaphor in this passage?

a. to explain how Mildred drowned
b. to show that Mildred cannot swim
c. to explain how Mildred listens to music
d. to show Mildred's unique fashion sense

Scroll down for the answer.

This is a typical NCFinal three part question. Part one, do you know what a metaphor is?  Part two, can you find the metaphor?  Part three do you understand what the metaphor means?  

The ocean is a metaphor showing how distant Mildred is when she uses the "seashell" radio.  Basically Ray Bradbury is envisioning ear buds way back in the 1950s.  Know that you know that, the other metaphor, the mosquito, makes more sense as well and adds to the understanding.  
C. is the correct answer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Flowers for Algernon

In the short story, "Flowers for Algernon," by Daniel Keyes, Charlie, a man with cognative disabilities, is being experimented on by some scientists to see if they can make him smart. At this point in the story, Charlie is telling us about his friends:

"Sometimes somebody will say hey look at Joe or Frank or George he really pulled a Charlie Gordon. I dont know why they say that but they always laff. This morning Amos Borg who is the 4 man at Donnegans used my name when he shouted at Ernie the office boy. Ernie lost a packige. He said Ernie for godsake what are you to be a Charlie Gordon. I dont understand why he said that.
"Their really my friends and they like me."

This is an example of:
a. verbal irony
b. dialect
c. unreliable narrator
d. 2nd person point of view

Scroll down for the answer


a. is incorrect - although Charlie says many things that he doesn't understand, he does mean everything he says. Verbal irony is saying one thing but meaning something else.
b. is incorrect - there are several misspellings, but this is not to show how he is pronouncing them, he just doesn't know how to spell very well.
c. is correct - Charlie is unreliable because he doesn't realize that he is not correct. These guys are making fun of him and are not his friends, but he doesn't understand this.
d. is incorrect - 2nd person point of view uses "you" as the narrator and is rarely seen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Read this very short story:

“The Moores are having a baby.”

I glanced up from the table, surprised. “They got the okay?”

My husband nodded. “The paperwork came in today, so I heard.” He lowered his eyes in sorrow. “Poor Joanna.”

“She’s only 53,” I breathed.

A bead of sweat dripped down my brow, landing on the cool, concrete floor of the bunker. I tried to remind myself to be thankful for this place, this concrete tomb, but it grew more difficult each day. Perpetuum Technologies, the company that sprung up just in time for the largest nuclear war the world had ever seen, had designed the vault to sustain one thousand people for as long as it took the surface to be inhabitable again.

Exactly one thousand people.

Poor Joanna indeed.

From this story, we can infer:

a. Joanna cannot have children
b. Joanna is very sick
c. Joanna is the first name of Mrs. Moore
d. Joanna is the oldest person in the community

Scroll down for the answer.

This question requires two processes to figure out.  The first is to understand that Perpetuum Technologies will only sustain 1000 people.  This means that if a new baby comes in, that will push the number over 1000 - so the solution would be to get rid of one person to make room for the baby.  Why Joanna?  The key to that is in the statement that she is only 53.  Since the characters are focused on her age, we can assume that the person selected to be gotten rid of to make room for the baby must be selected on age.  Therefore, the correct answer is D.

Spookily enough, there is a real world Perpetuum Technologies.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Crazy about a . . .

Watch the commercial:

Based on the allusion presented in the commercial, we can assume that a rival for Mercedes is:

a. Mercury
b. BMW
c. Lexus
d. Cadillac

Scroll down for the answer.

a. is the correct answer.  This should be pretty easy allusion to get.  The state test will often shy away from allusions because it relies on you knowing something outside of the text.  However, allusions to mythology are fair game, as it is expected that everyone is familiar with basic classical mythology.

Friday, May 18, 2018

One who loved not wisely, but too well.

Look at the Othello poster below:

Based in the poster above, one of the themes of Othello is:

a. jealousy
b. hatred
c. fidelity
d. love

Scroll down for the answer.

All of the answers are basic themes in Othello, but only one of them can be inferred from the poster.  The question clearly states "Based on the poster...."  With that in mind, we can see the green eye of the man in the poster and since green eyes are symbolic of jealousy, the correct answer is a.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

“I mean, maybe I am crazy. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don't want to be sane.”

Read this passage from Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and answer the question.

"It's a bit small," said the woman.

"Compact," corrected the camel-hair coat, smoothly. "Easy to take care of."

Based on context clues provided in the passage, which word best describes the meaning of the word compact?

a. spacious
b. decorous
c. tight
d. abundant

Scroll down for the answer.


Correct Answer: C. 

Thanks to Ms. Parsons for this question!  I have it on good authority from one of her students whose first name starts with the letter S that Ms. Parsons is the best teacher in all of East Duplin High!