AP English Language and Composition Practice Test 16

Questions 1-12 refer to the following information.

The passage below is an excerpt from an essay on violence in America, written by a contemporary historian.

On September 26, 1872, three mounted men rode up to the gate of the Kansas City
Fair, which was enjoying a huge crowd of perhaps 10,000 people. The bandits shot
at the ticket seller, hit a small girl in the leg, and made off for the woods with something
less than a thousand dollars. It was highhanded, and it endangered the lives of a whole host of
5holiday-minded people for comparatively little reward.
What makes the robbery and the violence notable is not the crime itself but the
way it was reported in the Kansas City Times by one John N. Edwards. In his front-page
story he branded the robbery "so diabolically daring and so utterly in contempt
of fear that we are bound to admire it and revere its perpetrators."
10Two days later the outlaws were being compared by the Times with knights of
King Arthur's Round Table:
"It was as though three bandits had come to us from storied Odenwald, with the
halo of medieval chivalry upon their garments and shown us how the things were
done that poets sing of. Nowhere else in the United States or in the civilized world,
15probably, could this thing have been done."
Quite likely this deed was perpetrated by the James brothers: Jesse and Frank, and
a confederate. The details really do not matter. What pertains is the attitude of the
innocent toward the uncertainly identified guilty. The act had been perpetrated by
violent, lawless men. If the Times is any indication, a respectable section of people
20approved of their action. No one, of course, thought to ask the little girl with the
shattered leg how she felt about such courage. Nearly 17 months later, Edwards
was quoted in the St. Louis Dispatch as preferring the Western highwayman to the
Eastern, for "he has more qualities that attract admiration and win respect . . . . This
comes from locality . . . which breeds strong, hardy men-men who risk much, who
25have friends in high places, and who go riding over the land, taking all chances that
come in the way." The purpose here is not to belabor one reasonably anonymous
newspaperman of nearly a century ago, but merely to point up a fact-and a problem-of
the American frontier.
The frontier placed a premium on independent action and individual reliance.
30The whole history of the American frontier is a narrative of taking what was there
to be taken. The timid never gathered riches, the polite nearly never. The men
who first carved the wilderness into land claims and town lots were the men who moved
in the face of dangers, gathering as they progressed. The emphasis naturally came to
be placed on gathering and not on procedures. Great tales of gigantic attainments
35abound in this frontier story; equally adventurous tales of creative plundering mark
the march from Jamestown to the Pacific. It was a period peopled by giants, towers
of audacity with insatiable appetites. The heroes are not the men of moderate
attitudes, not the town planners and commercial builders, not the farmers nor the
ministers nor the teachers. The heroes of the period, handed along to us with all the
40luster of a golden baton, are the mighty runners from Mt. Olympus who ran without
looking back, without concern about social values or anywhere they might be going
except onward.
We revere these heroes because they were men of vast imagination and daring.
We have also inherited their blindness and their excesses.

1. It can be inferred that the speaker knows the facts about the incident in Kansas City on September 26, 1872, because he

2. In which of the following ways does the sentence that starts "It was highhanded . . ." (line 4) differ from the other sentences in the paragraph?

I. It is a compound sentence.

II. It expresses the opinion of the speaker.

III. It employs alliterative language.

3. In lines 6–7 "the way it was reported" refers to

4. In lines 6–15, the speaker's attitude toward John N. Edwards and his newspaper can best be described as one of

5. Which of the following rhetorical devices is most in evidence in lines 10–15?

6. Which of the following best describes the rhetorical effect of the sentence beginning "Quite likely . . ." (line 16)?

7. The phrase "such courage" (line 21) can best be described as an example of

8. In the context of the passage, the word "innocent" (line 18) can be interpreted to mean all of the following EXCEPT

9. The quotation from the St. Louis newspaper (lines 23–26) serves the author's purposes in which of the following ways?

10. The author mentions "creative plundering" (line 35) as an example of which of the following?

11. The conclusions drawn in the last paragraph (lines 43–44) contribute to the unity of the passage in which of the following ways?

12. As described in the passage, the bandits, the Knights of the Round Table, and the people of the frontier all share which of the following?