SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 2 - reading 18

Questions 1-11 are based on the following
passage.


This passage is excerpted from Kate Chopin, "The Awakening," originally published in 1899.




"Would you like to hear Mademoiselle Reisz play?"

asked Robert, coming out on the porch where she was. Of

course Edna would like to hear Mademoiselle Reisz play;
but she feared it would be useless to entreat her.
5 "I'll ask her," he said. "I'll tell her that you want to hear

her. She likes you. She will come." He turned and hurried

away to one of the far cottages, where Mademoiselle Reisz

was shuffling away. She was dragging a chair in and out of

her room, and at intervals objecting to the crying of a
10 baby, which a nurse in the adjoining cottage was

endeavoring to put to sleep. She was a disagreeable little

woman, no longer young, who had quarreled with almost

every one, owing to a temper which was self-assertive and a

disposition to trample upon the rights of others. Robert
15 prevailed upon her without any too great difficulty.
She entered the hall with him during a lull in the dance.

She made an awkward, imperious little bow as she went in.

She was a homely woman, with a small weazened face and

body and eyes that glowed. She had absolutely no taste in
20 dress, and wore a batch of rusty black lace with a bunch of

artificial violets pinned to the side of her hair.
"Ask Mrs. Pontellier what she would like to hear me

play," she requested of Robert. She sat perfectly still before

the piano, not touching the keys, while Robert carried her
25 message to Edna at the window. A general air of surprise

and genuine satisfaction fell upon every one as they saw the

pianist enter. There was a settling down, and a prevailing

air of expectancy everywhere. Edna was a trifle

embarrassed at being thus signaled out for the imperious
30 little woman's favor. She would not dare to choose, and

begged that Mademoiselle Reisz would please herself in her

selections
Edna was what she herself called very fond of music.

Musical strains, well rendered, had a way of evoking
35 pictures in her mind. She sometimes liked to sit in the room

of mornings when Madame Ratignolle played or practiced.

One piece which that lady played Edna had entitled

"Solitude." It was a short, plaintive, minor strain. The

name of the piece was something else, but she called it
40 "Solitude." When she heard it there came before her

imagination the figure of a man standing beside a desolate

rock on the seashore. . . His attitude was one of hopeless

resignation as he looked toward a distant bird winging its

flight away from him.
45 Another piece called to her mind a dainty young woman

clad in an Empire gown, taking mincing dancing steps as

she came down a long avenue between tall hedges. Again,

another reminded her of children at play, and still another

of nothing on earth but a demure lady stroking a cat.
50 The very first chords which Mademoiselle Reisz struck

upon the piano sent a keen tremor down Mrs. Pontellier's

spinal column.It was not the first time she had heard an

artist at the piano. Perhaps it was the first time she was

ready, perhaps the first time her being was tempered to
55 take an impress of the abiding truth.
She waited for the material pictures which she thought

would gather and blaze before her imagination. She waited

in vain. She saw no pictures of solitude, of hope, of longing,

or of despair. But the very passions themselves were
60 aroused within her soul, swaying it, lashing it, as the waves

daily beat upon her splendid body. She trembled, she was

choking, and the tears blinded her.
Mademoiselle had finished. She arose, and bowing her

stiff, lofty bow, she went away, stopping for neither thanks
65 nor applause. As she passed along the gallery she patted

Edna upon the shoulder.
"Well, how did you like my music?" she asked. The

young woman was unable to answer; she pressed the hand

of the pianist convulsively. Mademoiselle Reisz perceived
70 her agitation and even her tears. She patted her again upon

the shoulder as she said:
"You are the only one worth playing for. Those others?

Bah!" and she went shuffling and sidling on down the

gallery toward her room.

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Question 1 Over the course of the passage, the main focus shifts from