Kaplan Test Prep Question of the Day


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Anna Karenina

The following passage is adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s 1873 novel,Anna Karenina(translated from the original Russian by Constance Garnett). Prior to this excerpt, one of the major characters, Levin, has realized that he is in love with his longtime friend Kitty Shtcherbatsky.

 

At four o’clock, conscious of his throbbing heart,

Levin stepped out of a hired sledge at the Zoological

Gardens, and turned along the path to the frozen

mounds and the skating ground, knowing that he

(5)    would certainly find her there, as he had seen the

Shtcherbatskys’ carriage at the entrance.

It was a bright, frosty day. Rows of carriages,

sledges, drivers, and policemen were standing in the

approach. Crowds of well-dressed people, with hats

(10)    bright in the sun, swarmed about the entrance and

along the well-swept little paths between the little

houses adorned with carving in the Russian style.

The old curly birches of the gardens, all their twigs

laden with snow, looked as though freshly decked in

(15)    sacred vestments.

He walked along the path towards the skating-

ground, and kept saying to himself—“You mustn’t

be excited, you must be calm. What’s the matter

with you? What do you want? Be quiet, stupid,” he

(20)    conjured his heart. And the more he tried to com-

pose himself, the more breathless he found himself.

An acquaintance met him and called him by his

name, but Levin did not even recognize him. He

went towards the mounds, whence came the clank

(25)    of the chains of sledges as they slipped down or

were dragged up, the rumble of the sliding sledges,

and the sounds of merry voices. He walked on a few

steps, and the skating-ground lay open before his

eyes, and at once, amidst all the skaters, he knew her.

(30)    He knew she was there by the rapture and the ter-

ror that seized on his heart. She was standing talking

to a lady at the opposite end of the ground. There

was apparently nothing striking either in her dress

or her attitude. But for Levin she was as easy to find

(35)    in that crowd as a rose among nettles. Everything

was made bright by her. She was the smile that shed

light on all round her. “Is it possible I can go over

there on the ice, go up to her?” he thought. The place

where she stood seemed to him a holy shrine, unap-

(40)    proachable, and there was one moment when he

was almost retreating, so overwhelmed was he with

terror. He had to make an effort to master himself,

and to remind himself that people of all sorts were

moving about her, and that he too might come there

(45)    to skate. He walked down, for a long while avoiding

looking at her as at the sun, but seeing her, as one

does the sun, without looking.

On that day of the week and at that time of day

people of one set, all acquainted with one another,

(50)    used to meet on the ice. There were crack skaters

there, showing off their skill, and learners clinging to

chairs with timid, awkward movements, boys, and

elderly people skating with hygienic motives. They

seemed to Levin an elect band of blissful beings

(55)     because they were here, near her. All the skaters, it

seemed, with perfect self-possession, skated towards

her, skated by her, even spoke to her, and were

happy, quite apart from her, enjoying the capital ice

and the fine weather.

(60)    Nikolay Shtcherbatsky, Kitty’s cousin, in a short

jacket and tight trousers, was sitting on a garden

seat with his skates on. Seeing Levin, he shouted to

him:

“Ah, the first skater in Russia! Been here long?

(65)    First-rate ice—do put your skates on.”

 

The passage most strongly suggests that which of the following is true of how Levin appears to others?

 

  1. A) People think that Levin looks agitated because of the way he is acting.
  2. B) People think that Levin is sick because he seems to be feverish.
  3. C) People think that Levin seems normal because he is doing nothing unusual.
  4. D) People think that Levin is in trouble because he is not protecting himself emotionally.

 

Strategic Advice:Examine the passage to see what other characters do in response to Levin.

Getting to the Answer: The other skaters go about their business. Most take little notice of Levin. Therefore, (C) is the correct answer.

The Correct Answer is C

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