AP English Literature and Composition Practice Test 9

Questions 1-11 refer to the following information.

The very old couple, of whom everyone at
the beach is so highly aware, seem themselves
to notice no one else at all. Tall and thin, she
almost as tall as he, they are probably somewhere
05in their eighties. They walk rather slowly,
and can be seen, from time to time, to stop and
rest, staring out to sea, or to some private distance
of their own. Their postures, always, are
arrestingly, regally erect; it is this that catches
10so much attention, as well as their general air
of distinction, and of what is either disdain or a
total lack of interest in other people.
Their clothes are the whitest at the beach;
in the ferocious Mexican sun of that resort
15they both wear large hats, hers lacy, his a classic
They look like movie stars, or even royalty,
and for all anyone knows they are, deposed
monarchs from one of the smaller European
20countries, world-wanderers.
Because there is not much to do at that
resort, almost nothing but walking and swimming,
reading or whatever social activities one
can devise, most people stay for fairly short
25periods of time. Also, it is relatively expensive.
The Chicago people, who have come
as a group, will be there for exactly ten days.
The couple who have the room just next door
to that of the distinguished couple will be
30there for only a week—a week literally stolen,
since he is married to someone else, in Santa
Barbara, and is supposed to be at a sales conference,
in Puerto Rico.
But the old people seem to have been there
35forever, and the others imagine that they will
stay on and on, at least for the length of the
And while everyone else can be seen, from
time to time, to wonder what to do next—the
40Chicago people, apparently committed to
unity of action, were heard arguing in the dining
room over whether, or when, to rent a boat
for deep-sea fishing—the two old people have
a clear, unwavering schedule of their own. After
45breakfast, to which they come quite late, as they
do to all meals, they sit out on their small porch
for a couple of hours. The girl in the room next
door, who is named Amanda Evers, is passionately
curious about them, and she tries to look
50through the filagree1 of concrete that separates
the two porches. But she discovers nothing.
(She is in fact too curious about too many people;
her lover, Richard Paxon, has told her so.
Curiosity contributes to the general confusion
55of her life.) The old man reads his newspapers,
a Mexico City News that he has delivered to his
table each morning, at breakfast, and sometimes
he seems to be writing letters—or perhaps
he keeps a journal? The woman does not
60read the paper; she seems to be doing nothing
at all—a thing Amanda, who is restlessly
energetic, cannot imagine. (Amanda manages
a travel agency, in Santa Cruz, California; she
often considers other careers.)
65The arrival of the elderly couple, down at
the beach, at almost precisely noon each day,
is much noticed; it is when they look, perhaps,
most splendid. In trim dark bathing
suits, over which they both wear white shirts,
70in their hats and large dark glasses, advancing
on their ancient legs, they are as elegant
as tropical birds—and a striking contrast to
everyone else on the beach, many of whom
wear bright colors. One such woman in the
75Chicago group has a pea-green caftan2 that
literally hurts Amanda's eyes.
The old people sit each day under the same
small thatched shelter, a little apart from the
others, at the end of the line. After a while they
80will rise and begin one of their long, deliberate
walks, the length of the beach and back. Then,
returned to their shelter, in a slow and careful
way they divest themselves of the shirts, the
hats and glasses; they walk down to the edge of
85the water, and slowly, majestically, they enter
the lapping small green waves. After a not quite
total immersion, they return to the shelter, to
rest. Even in such apparent repose, however,
they both have a look of attentiveness. They
90seem highly conscious of each moment, and
very likely they are.

1 web-like design
2a loose ankle-length garment

1. The narrator's attitude toward the old couple is chiefly one of

2. The narrator's use of the phrase "private distance of their own" (lines 7–8) does which of the following?

3. In context, the word "arrestingly" (line 9) is best interpreted to mean

4. At the beginning of the passage (lines 1–20), the old couple are characterized mainly by the speaker's description of

5. The shift in the narrator's rhetorical stance that occurs from the third paragraph (lines 17–20) to the next paragraph (lines 21–33) can best be described as one from

6. The structure of the sentence in lines 38–44 does which of the following?

7. The parenthetical comment in lines 52–55 can be considered ironical for which of the following reasons?

8. The narrator of the passage can best be described as a person who

9. In context, the narrator's simile "as elegant as tropical birds" (lines 71–72) serves primarily to

10. Amanda most likely serves as the narrator's source of information based on all of the following facts EXCEPT

11. The last two sentences of the passage ("Even . . . they are") suggest that the narrator