Monday, May 20, 2019

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.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Haiku (Bless you)

Read this haiku from Basho:

Sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
these desolate moors

This poem is about:

a. traveling
b. death
c. birth
d. being sick on vacation

Scroll down for the answer.

The answer here lies with understanding that traveling is often symbolizes life's journey.  In this case, the author is approaching the end of his life's journey and sadly thinks that only his dreams will live on.  The correct answer is B.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Houston, We Have a Problem

Read the following very short story:
“Houston, We Have a Problem” by J. Matthew Zoss

I’m sorry, but there’s not enough air in here for everyone. I’ll tell them you were a hero.

From the story, we can assume:

a. their spacecraft must have been hit by a comet
b. they are locked in a bank vault and running out of air
c. one person is going to kill the other person
d. both characters are going to die in a sunken submarine

Scroll down for the answer.

a. is incorrect.  From the title you can guess that it involves space travel, but nothing to suggest a comet strike.  This is the best wrong answer.
b. is incorrect.  From the story you can tell that they are running out of air, but nothing to suggest that it is in a bank vault.
c. is correct.  One will kill the other so that he can breath longer.
d. is incorrect.  Nothing to suggest either inference in this answer.  This is the worst answer choice.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Polar Night

Read the following passage from "Polar Night" by Norah Burke. The story is about a female polar bear who is getting ready for winter. At this point in the story, she has just killed a seal and heard a noise. She hid and this is what happens next:

Presently she saw upright seals coming along the shore. They were rather rare creatures, these, and dangerous for all they were so weak. The places they lived had light and noise, and smelled of good food. The she-bear often drew near the places, attracted by those smells. She hunted these land-seals too, and ate them when she could. They were not like the sea-seals, though. They wore seal fur, and their skins were rubbed with seal blubber, but there was a different taste inside.

Based on this passage, the term "land-seal" probably means:

a. sea lions
b. leopard seals
c. some unknown animals
d. humans

Scroll down for the answer...


The correct answer is d. humans.  We get this because these creatures have lights and are dangerous.  The only creatures to create light that can also be a threat to polar bears are humans.  The fact that they are referred to as "seals" in any capacity comes from the fact that the perspective is from a bear who does not understand everything.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

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.

Monday, May 13, 2019


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. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Incredible Journey

Watch this ad that was pulled from the Superbowl 2015:

What literary term is driving the humor and impact of this ad?

a. paradox
b. metaphor
c. situational irony
d. archetype

Scroll down for the answer.

c. is the correct answer.  Situational irony is when the unexpected happens.  Since we expect this be a heart warming feel good ad the sudden twist at the end leaves it memorable.  The other thing driving this ad is allusion since it is playing off of a similar ad that played the year before for a different company.