AP English Language and Composition Practice Test 20

Questions 1-10 refer to the following information.

This passage is taken from a book written in the late 20th century.

Gary infuriated his fianc¨?e, Ellen, because even though he was intelligent, thoughtful,
and a successful surgeon, Gary was emotionally flat, completely unresponsive
to any and all shows of feeling. While Gary could speak brilliantly of science and art,
when it came to his feelings-even for Ellen-he fell silent. Try as she might to elicit
5some passion from him, Gary was impassive, oblivious. "I don't naturally express my
feelings," Gary told the therapist he saw at Ellen's insistence. When it came to emotional
life, he added, "I don't know what to talk about; I have no strong feelings, either positive or negative."
Ellen was not alone in being frustrated by Gary's aloofness; as he confided to his
10therapist, he was unable to speak openly about his feelings with anyone in his life.
The reason: He did not know what he felt in the first place. So far as he could tell he
had no angers, no sadness, no joys.1
As his own therapist observes, this emotional blankness makes Gary and others like
him colorless, bland: "They bore everybody. That's why their wives send them into
15treatment." Gary's emotional flatness exemplifies what psychiatrists call alexithymia,
from the Greek a for "lack," lexis for "word," and thymos for "emotion." Such people
lack words for their feelings. Indeed, they seem to lack feelings altogether, although
this may actually be because of their inability to express emotion rather than from an
absence of emotion altogether. Such people were first noticed by psychoanalysts puzzled
20by a class of patients who were untreatable by that method because they reported
no feelings, no fantasies, and colorless dreams-in short, no inner emotional life to
talk about at all.2 The clinical features that mark alexithymics include having difficulty
describing feelings-their own or anyone else's-and a sharply limited emotional
vocabulary.3 What's more, they have trouble discriminating among emotions as well
25as between emotions and bodily sensation, so that they might tell of having butterflies
in the stomach, palpitations, sweating, and dizziness-but they would not know they
are feeling anxious.
"They give the impression of being different, alien beings, having come from an
entirely different world, living in the midst of a society which is dominated by feelings,"
30is the description given by Dr. Peter Sifneos, the Harvard psychiatrist who
in 1972 coined the term alexithymia.4 Alexithymics rarely cry, for example, but if
they do their tears are copious. Still, they are bewildered if asked what the tears
are all about. One patient with alexithymia was so upset after seeing a movie about
a woman with eight children who was dying of cancer that she cried herself to
35sleep. When her therapist suggested that perhaps she was upset because the movie
reminded her of her own mother, who was in actuality dying of cancer, the woman
sat motionless, bewildered, and silent. When her therapist then asked her how she
felt at that moment, she said she felt "awful," but couldn't clarify her feelings beyond
that. And, she added, from time to time she found herself crying, but never knew
40exactly what she was crying about.5

1 Larry Cahill et al., "Beta-adrenergic activations and memory for emotional events," Nature (Oct. 20, 1994).

2 Psychoanalytic theory and brain maturation: the most detailed discussion of the early years and the emotional consequences of brain development is by Allan Schore, Affect Regulation and the Origin of Self (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994).

3 Dangerous, even if you don't know what it is; Joseph LeDoux, quoted in "How Scary Things Got That Way," Science (Nov. 6, 1992), p. 887.

4 Much of this speculation about the fine-tuning of emotional response by the neocortex comes from Ned Kalin, M.D., Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, prepared for the MacArthur Affective Neuroscience Meeting, Nov., 1992.

5 See Ned Kalin, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, "Aspects of Emotion Conserved Across Species," an unpublished manuscript presented at the MacArthur Affective Neuroscience Meeting, Nov., 1992; and Alan Schore, Affect Regulation and the Origin of Self (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1994).

1. Which of the following best states the main subject of the passage?

2. Which of the following best explains the function of the passage's first sentence?

3. The structure of the footnoted paragraph (lines 9–12) can best be described as

4. Which of the following best explains why the word express in line 18 is italicized?

5. In context, the word "colorless" (line 21) is best interpreted to mean

6. The primary purpose of footnote 3 (line 24) is to inform readers that

7. The author includes footnote 4 (line 31) in the text of the passage mainly to

8. Which of the following is an inference that can be drawn based on information in footnote 5 (line 40)?

9. The development of the passage can best be described as

10. The attitude of the author toward people suffering from alexithymia is primarily one of