10 Reading Answer Questions

Question Description

1.

(03.10)

Read the epitaphs of Mr. and Mrs. Purkapile from the Spoon River Anthology and answer the question that follows.

Mrs. Purkapile
HE ran away and was gone for a year.
When he came home he told me the silly story
Of being kidnapped by pirates on Lake Michigan
And kept in chains so he could not write me.
I pretended to believe it, though I knew very well
What he was doing, and that he met
The milliner, Mrs. Williams, now and then
When she went to the city to buy goods, as she said.
But a promise is a promise
And marriage is marriage,
And out of respect for my own character
I refused to be drawn into a divorce
By the scheme of a husband who had merely grown tired
Of his marital vow and duty.

Mr. Purkapile
SHE loved me.
Oh! how she loved me I never had a chance to escape
From the day she first saw me.
But then after we were married I thought
She might prove her mortality and let me out,
Or she might divorce me. But few die, none resign.
Then I ran away and was gone a year on a lark.
But she never complained. She said all would be well
That I would return. And I did return.
I told her that while taking a row in a boat
I had been captured near Van Buren Street
By pirates on Lake Michigan,
And kept in chains, so I could not write her.
She cried and kissed me, and said it was cruel,
Outrageous, inhuman! I then concluded our marriage
Was a divine dispensation
And could not be dissolved,
Except by death.
I was right.

Which best describes Mr. Purkapile’s attitude toward his wife? (10 points)

Maddened—he wanted a divorce, and she would not agree to it.

Tender—he was glad to be greeted by her kisses upon his return.

Controlling—he expected her to wait for him while he was gone.

Dedicated—he vowed to survive his ordeal and return to her.

2.

(03.10)

Read the epitaphs of Mr. and Mrs. Purkapile from the Spoon River Anthology and answer the question that follows.

Mrs. Purkapile
HE ran away and was gone for a year.
When he came home he told me the silly story
Of being kidnapped by pirates on Lake Michigan
And kept in chains so he could not write me.
I pretended to believe it, though I knew very well
What he was doing, and that he met
The milliner, Mrs. Williams, now and then
When she went to the city to buy goods, as she said.
But a promise is a promise
And marriage is marriage,
And out of respect for my own character
I refused to be drawn into a divorce
By the scheme of a husband who had merely grown tired
Of his marital vow and duty.

Mr. Purkapile
SHE loved me.
Oh! how she loved me I never had a chance to escape
From the day she first saw me.
But then after we were married I thought
She might prove her mortality and let me out,
Or she might divorce me. But few die, none resign.
Then I ran away and was gone a year on a lark.
But she never complained. She said all would be well
That I would return. And I did return.
I told her that while taking a row in a boat
I had been captured near Van Buren Street
By pirates on Lake Michigan,
And kept in chains, so I could not write her.
She cried and kissed me, and said it was cruel,
Outrageous, inhuman! I then concluded our marriage
Was a divine dispensation
And could not be dissolved,
Except by death.
I was right.

Which of these lines from the epitaph directly names Mr. Purkapile’s attempt to end the marriage? (10 points)

SHE loved me./Oh! how she loved me I never had a chance to escape

I then concluded our marriage/Was a divine dispensation

She might prove her mortality and let me out

Then I ran away and was gone a year on a lark.

3.

(03.10)

Read the epitaphs of Mr. and Mrs. Purkapile from the Spoon River Anthology and answer the question that follows.

Mrs. Purkapile
HE ran away and was gone for a year.
When he came home he told me the silly story
Of being kidnapped by pirates on Lake Michigan
And kept in chains so he could not write me.
I pretended to believe it, though I knew very well
What he was doing, and that he met
The milliner, Mrs. Williams, now and then
When she went to the city to buy goods, as she said.
But a promise is a promise
And marriage is marriage,
And out of respect for my own character
I refused to be drawn into a divorce
By the scheme of a husband who had merely grown tired
Of his marital vow and duty.

Mr. Purkapile
SHE loved me.
Oh! how she loved me I never had a chance to escape
From the day she first saw me.
But then after we were married I thought
She might prove her mortality and let me out,
Or she might divorce me. But few die, none resign.
Then I ran away and was gone a year on a lark.
But she never complained. She said all would be well
That I would return. And I did return.
I told her that while taking a row in a boat
I had been captured near Van Buren Street
By pirates on Lake Michigan,
And kept in chains, so I could not write her.
She cried and kissed me, and said it was cruel,
Outrageous, inhuman! I then concluded our marriage
Was a divine dispensation
And could not be dissolved,
Except by death.
I was right.

How is Mrs. Purkapile like her Spoon River neighbor, Mr. McGee?

Answer in at least three complete sentences using supporting details from the epitaphs. (15 points)

4.

(03.10)

Which of these lines from “The Story of an Hour” describes the change in Mrs. Mallard after her initial realization of her husband’s death? (10 points)

Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.

But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky.

Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms.

5.

(03.10)

The following line from “The Story of an Hour” describes Mrs. Mallard:
“She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her.”

Why might she consider her joy monstrous? (10 points)

Because it was brought about by tragedy

Because she had not planned for it

Because she was afraid to be happy

Because it made her sister angry

6.

(03.10)

Benjamin Franklin said, “Be assured, a Woman’s Power, as well as Happiness, has no other Foundation but her Husband’s Esteem and Love.”

Based on her thinking before learning of her husband’s death, how would Mrs. Mallard in “The Story of an Hour” have responded to Franklin’s idea?

Use evidence from the story to support your conclusion. (15 points)

7.

(03.10)

In “A Jury of Her Peers” there is a moment when, “the eyes of the two women [Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters] met—this time clung together in a look of dawning comprehension, of growing horror.”

Which line from the story explains this reaction? (10 points)

“They wonder whether she was going to quilt it or just knot it!”

“A person gets discouraged—and loses heart.”

“Asking for an apron, and her little shawl. Worryin’ about her fruit.”

“Somebody wrung its neck,” said she, in a voice that was slow and deep.

8.

(03.10)

Which of these best describes Mrs. Wright in “A Jury of Her Peers?” (10 points)

She hated to see things half done.

She had eyes that looked as if they could see a long way into things.

She was real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and—fluttery.

She used to wear pretty clothes and be lively.

9.

(03.10)

Throughout “A Jury of Her Peers” Mrs. Hale mentions that the Wright’s home, “never seemed a very cheerful place.” What evidence from the story lets the reader know Mrs. Hale’s impression of the Wright’s home is accurate? (15 points)

10.

(03.10)

Use evidence from the Spoon River Anthology epitaphs and “The Story of an Hour” to explain how literature of the time reflected some women’s feelings of being trapped and oppressed by their husbands. (20 points)

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