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SAT阅读经典例题剖析

经典例题之一

OG Test6-Section7-19 (P727)

The Left is afraid of the environmental good news because it undercuts stylish pessimism; the Right is afraid of the good news because it shows that government regulations might occasionally amount to something other than wickedness incarnate, and actually produce benefit at an affordable cost. The phrase “wickedness incarnate” (line 84) is used to

(A) cast aspersions in bureaucratic ineptitude
(B) parody the language used by people with certain political leanings
(C) convey humorously a deep longing of the author
(D) rail against blatant polluters of the environment
(E) suggest the quasi-religious underpinnings of environmentalism

以上这道题是考生们在练习SAT阅读中普遍出错较多的。其实,只要我们平时在复习过程中注意积累一些常考词、关注常考考点,这道题并非看上去那么难。首先通过行号定位,把原文句子理解全,80-85行的意思是:左派害怕好消息,因为那会削弱现行的悲观情绪;右派害怕好消息,因为它表明政府调控有时也是有意义的,并非只是“邪恶的化身”,能够在可负担的花费下创造利益。“wickedness incarnate”暗指具有某些政治倾向的人,在调侃、讽刺政府时会用到的用语,作者此处对该用语进行模仿。这道题考中了SAT阅读复习的要害之一:“讽刺”。

进行过相应数量的SAT文章练习后,细心的同学们可以发现,“讽刺”一词在阅读中几乎是随处可见。例如,OG P460、P521、P606、P792、P922、P975,真题2006年5月、2008年10月、2009年10月,2010年5月、2012年5月、2013年5月(北美),“讽刺”的用法无数次出现在文章和题目当中。可见,“讽刺”这一写作手法是SAT阅读出题偏爱的知识点之一,那么同学在备考过程中,就应该有意识地对该类词汇和语境进行归纳和总结。

在本题选项中,“parody”一词的英文解释为“a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule”(Merriam-Webster),简单说来,parody一词本身就具有“通过模仿进行讽刺”的意思。那么接下来,我们为同学们总结了SAT阅读考试中,出现过的表达“讽刺、嘲讽、诙谐”含义的词语。例如:ironic, scorn, sarcasm, sardonic, satire, scoff, mock, parody, derision, humorous, facetious, wry, witty, jeer, gibe, ridiculous, ludicrous......同学们在考前几天里,一定要花时间,把以上这些词汇背熟,并结合相应题目,进行练习,遇到难题也做到处变不惊。

类似题目举例:

(1) OG P460 Q19:

“...The dam at Aintry has already been started, and when it’s finished next spring the river will back up first. This whole valley will be under water. But right now it’s wild. And I mean wild; it looks like something up in Alaska. We really ought to go up there before the real estate people get hold of it and make it over into one of their heavens.”

Lewis’ use of the word “heavens” is best characterized as (E)

(A) appreciative
(B) deceitful
(C) tentative
(D) defensive
(E) ironic

(2) OG P922 Q15

Doctors, architects, executives, consultants, receptionists, and lawyers all manage to survive economically without "owning" their cognition. I take further comfort in the fact that the human species managed to produce pretty decent creative work during the 5,000 years that preceded 1710, when the Statute of Anne, the world's first modern copyright law, passed the British parliament. Sophocles, Dante, da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Newton, Cervantes, Bach—55 all found reasons to get out of bed in the morning without expecting to own the works they created.

The use of the phrase "pretty decent" in Passage 2 conveys (C)

(A) solemn detachment
(B) cheerful celebration
(C) ironic understatement
(D) lingering doubt
(E) reluctant approval

(3) 2009.10 Section8 Q12

Even when the young Great Artist was not fortunate enough to come equipped with a flock of sheep, his talent always seems to have manifested itself very early and independent of any external encouragement.

The author uses the phrase "equipped with a flock of sheep" to (E)

(A) satirize the conditions of rural life
(B) downplay the importance of artistic instruction
(C) evoke the pleasures of a bygone age
(D) jeer at Cimabue's discovery
(E) mock conventional biographies of artists

经典例题之二:

2008.05-S4-Q8

Benjamin Franklin called rattlesnakes "Felons...from the Beginning of the World," but several Revolutionary War flags carried rattlers, including the famous Gadsden flag with its "Don't Tread on Me" warning to Great Britain.

In line 22, "carried" most nearly means (E)

(A) supported
(B) transmitted
(C) extended
(D) expressed
(E) bore

以上这道词汇题也是同学们在学习中经常有疑问的“难题”。

现在我们进行一下解读。细心的同学仔细观察后会发现,五个选项中,前四个选项都是动词过去式,因此,让无数学生误以为的E选项“bore”——“令人厌倦”,其实在这里不再是“厌烦”这个词了,它的动词原型是“bear”。那么对“bear”有了解的考生,在应对这道题时,便可以很轻易地选出carry在原文中的意思。根据语境,“carry”一词在此表达的意思是“携带...”,也可以理解为“印有...”,原文的意思是“一些独立战争的旗帜上印有响尾蛇”;选项中表示“印有...”的词语,只有bear。类似表达还有:bear a scar,身上有疤痕。

词汇题对于大多数考生来说,已经是一个再熟悉不过的题型了。在SAT阅读中,重复考到同一个词的频率并不高,然而仔细分析后我们发现,bear一词其实已经考过不只一次了。例如,2011年5月Section3的一篇小说中,出现这样一道词汇题:

Washington: every fortunate Philadelphia schoolgirl’s field trip, but it has taken Delia until twenty to see the point of visiting. She heads out of the station and bears southwest. She nods toward Howard University...

In line 10, “bears” most nearly means (D)

(A) conducts
(B) escorts
(C) assumes
(D) proceeds
(E) offers

那么根据原文,heads out of与bears是动作上的顺承关系,其次,原文表方向的副词southwest对bears进行修饰,不难看出,bears在此表“朝着某方向前进”的意思,直接对应选项proceeds。

需要指出的是,词汇题考察的是考生对原文措辞的准确理解和判定,需要考生稳、准、狠地判断出一个词汇在特定语境下所表达的特定意思。而很多时候,对同学做题造成瓶颈的,除了对原文句意的理解,往往是学生本身词汇量的积累,这直接影响到同学们做题时对选项的把握。拿“bear”来讲,该词本身具有的意思就包括:忍受,支撑,举止,印有,携带,生育,行使(职权),朝向,压迫......等等,很多个意思。因此,平时在复习词汇题时,同学们一定要注意多观察,把每道词汇题中不认识的选项,不熟悉打词都积累下来,通过查字典,把握每个词不同的意思,之后在应对熟词辟义时,一定会更加得心应手。

类似题目举例:

2006.5-S8-Q19

With its sizeable free-ranging population now confined to Namibia, the cheetah is being pitched as a uniquely Namibian cat and thus a source of national pride. More than an ideal genetic profile, the cheetah needs a bit of panting room and all the public relations its noble bearing can buy.

In line 80, "bearing" most nearly means (D)

    (A) relationship or interconnection
    (B) the power of producing offspring
    (C) something that supports weight
    (D) demeanor or presence
    (E) awareness of a situation


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