AP English Literature and Composition Practice Test 19

Questions 1-9 refer to the following information.

RAMSDEN [very deliberately] Mr. Tanner: you
are the most impudent person I have ever met.
TANNER [seriously] I know it, Ramsden. Yet
even I cannot wholly conquer shame. We live
05in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed
of everything that is real about us; ashamed of
ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of
our accents, of our opinions, of our experience,
just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.
10Good Lord, my dear Ramsden, we are ashamed
to walk, ashamed to ride in an omnibus,
ashamed to hire a hansom instead of keeping a
carriage, ashamed of keeping one horse instead
of two and a groom-gardener instead of a
15coachman and footman. The more things a
man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.
Why, you're ashamed to buy my book, ashamed
to read it: the only thing you're not ashamed of
is to judge me for it without having read it; and
20even that only means that you're ashamed to
have heterodox opinions. Look at the effect I
produce because my fairy godmother withheld
from me this gift of shame. I have every possible
virtue that a man can have except—
25RAMSDEN. I am glad you think so well of
yourself.

TANNER. All you mean by that is that you
think I ought to be ashamed of talking about
my virtues. You don't mean that I haven't got
30them: you know perfectly well that I am as
sober and honest a citizen as yourself, as
truthful personally, and much more truthful
politically and morally.

RAMSDEN [touched on his most sensitive
35point
] I deny that. I will not allow you or any
man to treat me as if I were a mere member of
the British public. I detest its prejudices; I scorn
its narrowness; I demand the right to think for
myself. You pose as an advanced man. Let me
40tell you that I was an advanced man before you
were born.

TANNER. I knew it was a long time ago.

RAMSDEN. I am as advanced as ever I was. I
defy you to prove that I have ever hauled down
45the flag. I am more advanced than ever I was. I
grow more advanced every day.

TANNER. More advanced in years, Polonius.1

RAMSDEN. Polonius! So you are Hamlet, I
suppose.

50TANNER. No: I am only the most impudent
person you've ever met. That's your notion of
a thoroughly bad character. When you want to
give me a piece of your mind, you ask yourself,
as a just and upright man, what is the worst
55you can fairly say to me. Thief, liar, forger,
adulterer, perjurer, glutton, drunkard? Not one
of these names fits me. You have to fall back on
my deficiency in shame. Well, I admit it. I even
congratulate myself; for if I were ashamed of
60my real self, I should cut as stupid a figure as
any of the rest of you. Cultivate a little impudence,
Ramsden; and you will become quite a
remarkable man.

RAMSDEN. I have no—

65TANNER. You have no desire for that sort of
notoriety. Bless you, I knew that answer would
come as well as I know that a box of matches
will come out of an automatic machine when I
put a penny in the slot: you would be ashamed
70to say anything else.

1 A character in Hamlet known for verbosity and deviousness

1. Which of the following adjectives best describes the tone of the conversation?

2. Ramsden's characterization of Tanner in lines 1–2 is borne out in the remainder of the dialogue by

3. The sentiment expressed in lines 15–16, "The more things . . . is," is an example of which of the following?

4. The repeated use of "ashamed" in lines 4–23 indicates that Tanner

5. Tanner's allusion to "my fairy godmother" (line 22) serves to

6. Ramsden's reference to "a mere member of the British public" (lines 36–37) does which of the following?

7. In lines 43–46 "advanced" is used in the sense of

8. The metaphor in lines 44–45, "hauled down the flag," is best interpreted to mean

9. By comparing Ramsden to an "automatic machine" (line 68), Tanner suggests Ramsden's