MC Answers and Review (Short Fiction I)

7 min readapril 18, 2023

AP English Literature 📚

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Answers and Review for Multiple Choice Practice on Short Fiction I


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STOP ⛔ Before you look at the answers, make sure you gave this practice quiz a try so you can assess your understanding of the concepts covered in the unit on Short Fiction. Click here for the practice questions: AP English Lit Short Fiction I Multiple Choice Questions.
Facts about the test: The AP English Lit exam has 55 multiple-choice questions and you will be given 1 hour to complete the section. That means it should take you around 10 minutes to complete 9 questions.
The following questions were not written by CollegeBoard and although they cover information outlined in the AP English Literature and Composition Course and Exam Description the formatting on the exam may be different.

(1) What emphasis does this syntax offer?
"Just you, without a name. Attaching a name attaches you to the world of fact, which is riskier, more hazardous: who knows what the chances are out there, of survival, yours? I will say you, you, like an old love song. You can mean more than one." (The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood)
(A) Emphasizes words like "risk" and "hazard"
(B) "One" is lonely
(C) "Song" represent something pleasant
(D) "You" is a really important word because it is repeated
Answer: All answers are accurate, but the focus is on emphasis

(2) What importance does this diction offer?
"There is a difference between being put out and being put outdoors. If you are put out, you go somewhere else; if you are outdoors, there is no place to go." (The Bluest Eye, Morrison)
(A) "Out" is bad
(B) "Out" is celebratory
(C) "Outdoors" implies the narrator's loneliness
(D) "Outdoors" means engaging with nature
Answer: Focus on the next level to which a line pushes understanding

(3) What context do these details offer?
"The Carraways are something of a clan, and we have a tradition that we’re descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the actual founder of my line was my grandfather’s brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on to-day." (The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald)
(A) Lumber is important to the story
(B) The narrator has a distant relationship with his father
(C) The narrator is a coward
(D) Wars have taken place and the family is privileged enough to avoid them
Answer: There is time period that is being outlined

(4) Which thesis is most sophisticated?
(A) Gatsby represents the dangers of desire
(B) Montag is one hope for salvation in an ambiguously defined time period where books become taboo, but he is able to rebel by memorizing them and keeping their knowledge alive
(C) Okonkwo's stubbornness is an example of patriarchy's shortcomings
(D) Pecola's constant desire for more appealing features reflects not only her own struggles with dysphoria, but the ways in which the society around her introduces and fosters those standards of beauty
Answer: Not strictly length, but analysis and layers

(5) What mood does this imagery evoke?
"But the year had gone mad. Rain fell as it had never fallen before. For days and nights together it poured down in violent torrents, and washed away the yam heaps. Trees were uprooted and deep gorges appeared everywhere. Then the rain became less violent. But it went from day to day without a pause. The spell of sunshine which always came in the middle of the wet season did not appear. The yams put on luxuriant green leaves, but every farmer knew that without sunshine the tubers would not grow." (Things Fall Apart, Achebe)
(A) Abundance
(B) Dismal
(C) Melancholy
(D) Misfortune
Answer: Some layer of fortune, but ultimately failure

(6) What emphasis does this syntax offer?
"Polly knew that she was being watched, but still her mother’s persistent silence could not be misunderstood." (The Dubliners, Joyce)
(A) Her mother's dominance
(B) Polly's fear
(C) Polly is respectful
(D) There is a double negative
Answer: The double negative puts emphasis on the dominance
📄 Study: AP English Lit: Diction and Syntax

(7) "What importance does this diction offer?
Duncan: 'Welcome hither. / I have begun to plant thee and will labor / To make thee full of growing.—Noble Banquo, / That hast no less deserved nor must be known / No less to have done so, let me enfold thee / And hold thee to my heart.' /
Banquo: There, if I grow, / The harvest is your own. (Macbeth, Shakespeare)
(A) Banquo is indebted to Duncan
(B) Duncan admires Banquo
(C) Duncan and Banquo are equals
(D) Duncan begins a metaphor about planting and Banquo continues it
Answer: "Plant" "growing" "harvest"
📄 Study: AP English Lit: Diction and Syntax

(8) What context do these details offer?
"ROSE: 'They got a lot of colored baseball players now. Jackie Robinson was the first. Folks had to wait for Jackie Robinson.'" (Fences, Wilson)
(A) Jackie Robinson was expected
(B) People were excited to see Jackie Robinson
(C) Rose is ignorant of race relations
(D) There has been past movement on race relations
Answer: Gives a sense of timing

(9) What best describes this language?
"Then came the war, old sport. It was a great relief, and I tried very hard to die, but I seemed to bear an enchanted life." (The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald)
(A) Colloquial and morose
(B) Disenchanted and formal
(C) Inviting and nostalgic
(D) Pensive and friendly
Answer: "Bear" implies a burden, but the conversation is friendly

(10) What mood does this imagery evoke?
"The water had turned a deep golden color, and then red, purple, and finally black. The sky had darkened and red lantern lights started to glow all over the lake. I could hear people talking and laughing, some voices from the front of our boat, some from other boats next to us. And then I heard the wooden kitchen door banging open and shut and the air filled with good rich smells. The voices from the pavilion cried in happy disbelief, "Ai! Look at this! And this!" I was hungry to be there." (The Joy Luck Club, Tan)
(A) Blessed, but waning
(B) Dark and frightened
(C) Foreboding and evil
(D) Tranquil and favored
Answer: The darkness is joyful

(11) What emphasis does this syntax offer?
"So, with lightsome hearts, and the happy consciousness of being usefully employed,—in their own behalf, at least, if not for our beloved country,—these good old gentlemen went through the various formalities of office." (The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne)
(A) A mundane workplace
(B) A sense of fraternity and patriotism
(C) Duty to a job
(D) Pleasure of spirit
Answer: There is offset joy from the work done for one's country
📄 Study: AP English Lit: Diction and Syntax

(12) What importance does this diction offer?
"It's warm for the time of year. Houses like this heat up in the sun, there's not enough insulation. Around me the air is stagnant, despite the little current, the breath coming in past the curtains. I'd like to be able to open the window as wide as it could go. Soon we'll be allowed to change into the summer dresses." (The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood)
(A) A conceit of breathlessness
(B) Anticipation of freedom in the summer
(C) It suggests claustrophobia
(D) Uncomfortable warmth
Answer: The word choice is based on air and breath
📄 Study: AP English Lit: Diction and Syntax

(13) What context do these details offer?
"That is when I began to understand the stories Popo taught me, the lessons I had to learn for my mother. "When you lose your face, An-mei," Popo often said, "it is like dropping your necklace down a well. The only way you can get it back is to fall in after it." (The Joy Luck Club, Tan)
(A) It is a place full of fear
(B) It is a place of traditions
(C) It is a place where lessons come from folktales
(D) The narrator's relationship with her grandmother is fearful
Answer: Examples through stories

(14) What best describes this language?
"For the first time in many years Okonkwo had a feeling that was akin to happiness. The times which had altered so unaccountably during his exile seemed to be coming round again. The clan which had turned false on him appeared to be making amends." (Things Fall Apart, Achebe)
(A) Casual
(B) Disregarded
(C) Esteemed
(D) Formal
Answer: Respect and mid-high-level diction

(15) What mood does this imagery evoke?
"Her dress was white and it whispered. He almost thought he heard the motion of her hands as she walked, and the infinitely small sound now, the white stir of her face turning when she discovered she was a moment away from a man who stood in the middle of the pavement waiting." (Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury)
(A) Ghostly
(B) Peaceful
(C) Warm
(D) Welcoming
Answer: The airy and white language

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🤔Exam Skills
🌱Unit 1 – Intro to Short Fiction
Unit 2 – Intro to Poetry
🎭Unit 3 – Intro to Longer Fiction & Drama
⚔️Unit 4 – Character, Conflict, & Storytelling in Short Fiction
🌈Unit 5 – Structure & Figurative Language in Poetry
🛠️Unit 6 – Literary Techniques in Longer Works
🏛️Unit 7 – Societal & Historical Context in Short Fiction
🤾🏾‍♀️Unit 8 – Advanced Techniques in Poetry
🚣🏾Unit 9 – Nuanced Analysis in Longer Works

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