Friday, December 15, 2017

I Believe!

Read the second half of this poem by Ogden Nash, "The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus"

The children wept all Christmas Eve And Jabez chortled up his sleeve. No infant dared to hang up his stocking For fear of Jabez' ribald mocking. He sprawled on his untidy bed, Fresh malice dancing in his head, When presently with scalp a-tingling, Jabez heard a distant jingling; He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof Crisply alighting on the roof.

What good to rise and bar the door? A shower of soot was on the floor. What was beheld by Jabez Dawes? The fireplace full of Santa Claus! Then Jabez fell upon his knees With cries of "Don't," and "Pretty please." He howled, "I don't know where you read it, But anyhow, I never said it!"

"Jabez," replied the angry saint, "It isn't I, it's you that ain't. Although there is a Santa Claus, There isn't any Jabez Dawes!" Said Jabez with impudent vim, "Oh, yes there is; and I am him! Your magic don't scare me, it doesn't"--- And suddenly he found he wasn't!

From grimy feet to grimy locks, Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box, An ugly toy with springs unsprung, Forever sticking out his tongue. The neighbors heard his mournful squeal; They searched for him, but not with zealNo trace was found of Jabez Dawes, Which led to thunderous applause, And people drank a loving cup And went and hung their stockings up.

All you who sneer at Santa Claus, Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes, The saucy boy who mocked the saint. Donder and Blitzen licked off his paint.

Based on the poem above, what word could substitute for "zeal" (assuming we were not worried about rhyme or meter):

a. excitement
b. luck
c. sadness
d. dancing

Scroll down for the answer.

While it is not an exact match, the best answer from the choices given is a. excitement

Do you believe?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Would you look up in a box? Would you with a fox?

Read the following passage from We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach:

And then there was the setting, crepuscular and shadowy, everything about it perfectly calibrated for creativity, from the sultry red glow of the darkroom lights to the still and shallow pool in which her prints rested like dead leaves on the surface of a pond.

Based on the above passage, which of the following words is the best synonym for crepuscular?

a. Luminous
b. Cheerful
c. Lugubrious
d. Darkened

Scroll down for the answer.

Answer: d. darkened. Crepuscular means "of, relating to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct." Since the author is discussing a photography dark room, darkened is the best synonym. The best wrong answer is c. lugubrious, because some do associate a gloomy quality with twilight.

Thanks for the question, Ms. Parsons!  Now about that book cover.  For some reason, on the Internet, there are several book covers of other famous books with this title and author.  I'm not sure why.  If anyone knows, leave a comment!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My Pretty Rose Tree

Read the following poem by William Blake:

My Pretty Rose Tree

A flower was offered to me,
Such a flower as May never bore;
But I said, 'I've a pretty rose tree,'
And I passed the sweet flower o'er.

Then I went to my pretty rose tree,
To tend her by day and by night;
But my rose turned away with jealousy,
And her thorns were my only delight.

Why is the speaker's "only delight" the thorns of the rose tree?

a. the speaker is not fond of flowers, which is why he passed over the flower offered him
b. the speaker's girlfriend/wife is upset with him because of another woman is hitting on him
c. the speaker is a bitter old man with nothing but memories of better days
d. the speaker should have taken the rose offered
e. who the heck knows?


Scroll down for the answer.

In this poem, the rose is symbolic of a woman.  One woman offered herself to him and he refused because he is faithful to his wife/girlfriend.  However, his wife/girlfriend is jealous and this causes problems in their relationship.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Sweet Christmas!

Look at this panel from an early Luke Cage comic:

What literary term is Cage using to express his anger?

a. alliteration
b. metaphor
c. allusion
d. verbal irony

Scroll down for the answer.

The answer is C. Allusion.  Luke makes a reference to Pinocchio and a reference to another story is called an allusion.  

Friday, December 1, 2017

Zombie! Part 1

Read this page from a Menace comic book (Marvel comics 1953):

What point of view is this comic told in?

a. 1st person point of view
b. 1st person point of view with an unreliable narrator
c. 2nd person point of view
d. 3rd person limited point of view
e. 3rd person omniscient point of view

Scroll down for the answer.

Since the pronoun for the narration of this story is "you", the story is told in c. 2nd person point of view

That was too easy.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Beat the Heat

Look at the ad below:

What literary term is being used to grab attention?

a. situational irony
b. pun
c. rhetorical device
d. metaphor

Scroll down for the answer.

b. pun is the answer (pun is on the word 'heat')

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Somebody Saaaaaaaaave Me

Read this panel from Amazing Spider-Man #162

In this issue, what literary device was writer Len Wein using for (what he thought) was a humorous effect?

a. onomatopoeia
b. visual imagery
c. graphic contrast
d. allusion

Scroll down for the answer.

a., b., and c. are incorrect.  While all three of these literary devices are used in this panel, none of them drive the humor.
d. is correct since it is a take off on the old Superman cartoons where he would often say, this looks like a job for....(take of glasses, rip off shirt, and say in a deeper voice) SUPERMAN!
Bonus points to anyone who knows what the title is an allusion to.