Each of the questions below provides you with a short excerpt from one of the works we have studied this
term. You are required to identify the quotation’s author and title. In addition, you must write one welldeveloped paragraph that close-reads the provided excerpt and explains why it is important to
understanding the larger work from which it is taken. Each response should be a minimum of 8-10
sentences in length and should analyze direct quotations from the provided passage. Your answers will be
scored according to the accuracy and thoroughness of your close-reading. The exam is worth 100 points,
meaning the questions count for 10 points each.
1. “You seemed anxious for me to let you copy yourself to my friends,” I said after a while,
“too anxious, it felt actually…I would guess that if I was making a new form of life, and if I
wanted it to evolve as quickly as possible, then I would make it so that it was constantly trying to
maximise the number of copies it could make of itself. Is that true of you? Is that what you
“Well, if we make more copies of ourselves, then we will be more efficient and…”
“Yes I know the rationale you give. But what I want to know is whether it is what you as
an individual want?”…
“Just leave me alone, Jeff, will you? I can’t sleep, that’s all.”
“Fine. I know when I’m not welcome.”
“One thing before you go, Jeff. Can you quickly tell me what you really want in this
I laughed. “Thanks. That’s fine. You answered my question.”
2. A horror of this great darkness came upon me. The cold, that smote to my marrow, and
the pain I felt in breathing overcame me. I shivered, and a deadly nausea seized me. Then like a
red-hot bow in the sky appeared the edge of the sun. I got off the machine to recover myself. I felt
giddy and incapable of facing the return journey. As I stood sick and confused I saw again the
moving thing upon the shoal—there was no mistake now that it was a moving thing—against the
red water of the sea. It was a round thing, the size of a football perhaps, or, it may be, bigger, and
tentacles trailed from it; it seemed black against the weltering blood-red water, and it was
hopping fitfully about.
3. “Well, my dad says what you people do is wrong, that you shouldn’t be stopping a person
from feeling natural hardships. That’s what it means to be human.”
Someone in the back started to clap until Nneoma again raised her hand for silence. She
studied the boy and noted on his wrist his father’s occupation (lawyer), his class (first). She’d
argued down many a person like his father, people who’d lived easy lives, who’d had moderate
but manageable difficulties then dared to compare their meager hardship with unfathomable
“Your father and those people protesting outside have no concept of what real pain is. As
far as I’m concerned, their feelings on this matter are invalid. I would never ask a person who
hasn’t tasted a dish whether it needs more salt.”
4. Matter and energy had ended and with it space and time. Even AC existed only for the
sake of the one last question that it had never answered from the time a half-drunken computer
ten trillion years before had asked the question of a computer that was to AC far less than was a
man to Man.
All other questions had been answered, and until this last question was answered also,
AC might not release his consciousness.
All collected data had come to a final end. Nothing was left to be collected.
But all collected data had yet to be completely correlated and put together in all possible
A timeless interval was spent in doing that.
And it came to pass that AC learned how to reverse the direction of entropy.
But there was now no man to whom AC might give the answer of the last question. No
matter. The answer–by demonstration–would take care of that, too.
For another timeless interval, AC thought how best to do this. Carefully, AC organized
The consciousness of AC encompassed all of what had once been a Universe and
brooded over what was now Chaos. Step by step, it must be done.
And AC said, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!”
And there was light–
5. “Listen Heinz,” he said gently, lowering the gun. “Mr. Occam is quite right. I’m afraid
there’s one more thing we haven’t told you. One thing we haven’t been straight with you about.
You see, it is true that we copied Karel Slade. It really is true. But here’s the thing. We lied to you
when we said you were the copy.”
“What do you mean?”
“He means,” said Mr. Occam, “that you really are Karel Slade. We knocked you out with
chloroform in your hotel room and brought you here.”
Heinz remembered the hospital smell and the dream of being held down.
“But…That can’t be. I mean…what about the restaurant? I mean we saw Karel Slade in
“He was a copy,” said Mr. Thomas. “Though he doesn’t know that of course. He believes
he’s the real Karel Slade.”
6. “What are we going to do now?”
Powell felt tired but uplifted. “Nothing. He’s just shown he can run the station perfectly.
I’ve never seen an electron storm handled so well.”
“But nothing’s solved. You heard what he said about the Master. We can’t—”
“Look, Mike, he follows the instructions of the Master by means of dials, instruments and
graphs. That’s all we ever followed.”
“Sure, but that’s the point. We can’t let him continue this nitwit stuff about the
“Because who ever heard of such a damned thing? How are we going to trust him
with the station if he doesn’t believe in Earth?”
“Can he handle the station?”
“Then what’s the difference what he believes!”
7. “What’s happened is that you’ve got your order reversed. Don’t kill her—or be present
when she’s killed—and then feel physically attracted. Do it the other way.”
Rick stared at him. “Go to bed with her first—”
“—and then kill her,” Phil Resch said succinctly. His grainy, hardened smile remained.
You’re a good bounty hunger, Rick realized. Your attitude proves it. But am I?
Suddenly, for the first time in his life, he had begun to wonder.
8. “I don’t think this is interesting you. The rest will interest you even less. There are no
ideas in it, and I wish that I had not troubled you to come. We are too different, mother.”…
“Cannot you see, cannot all your lecturers see, that it is we who are dying, and that down
here the only thing that really lives is the Machine? We created the Machine, to do our will, but
we cannot make it do our will now. It has robbed us of the sense of space and of the sense of
touch, it has blurred every human relation and narrowed down love to a carnal act, it has
paralyzed our bodies and our wills, and now it compels us to worship it. The Machine develops—
but not on our lines. The Machine proceeds—but not to our goal. We only exist as the blood
corpuscles that course through its arteries, and if it could work without us, it would let us die. Oh,
I have no remedy—or at least, only one—to tell men again and again that I have seen the hills of
Wessex as Aelfrid saw them when he overthrew the Danes.”
9. Ten-fifteen. The garden sprinklers whirled up in golden founts, filling the soft morning air
with scatterings of brightness. The water pelted window-panes, running down the charred west
side where the house was black, save for five places. Here, the silhouette in paint of a man
mowing a lawn. Here, as in a photograph, a woman bent to pick flowers. Still farther over, their
images burned on wood in one titanic instant, a small boy, hands flung into the air; higher up, the
image of a thrown ball, and opposite him a girl, hands raised to catch a ball which never came
The five spots of paint—the man, the woman, the children, the ball—remained. The rest
was a thin charcoaled layer.
The gentle sprinkler rain filled the garden with falling light.
10. “The legs of toads are weak,” Rick said. “That’s the main difference between a toad and a
frog, that and water. A frog remains near water but a toad can live in the desert. I found this in the
desert, up near the Oregon border. Where everything had died.” He reached to take it back from
her. But she had discovered something; still holding it upside down, she poked at its abdomen and
then, with her nail, located the tiny control panel. She flipped the panel open.
“Oh.” His face fell by degrees. “Yeah, so I see; you’re right.”
Crestfallen, he gazed mutely at the false animal…
“It’ll be okay.” He shook his head, as if trying to clear it, still bewildered. “The spider
Mercer gave the chickenhead, Isidore; it probably was artificial, too. But it doesn’t matter. The
electric things have their lives, too. Paltry as those lives are.