ACT reading practice test 33

DIRECTIONS: Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.


Humanities

This passage is adapted from the essay "My Father's Suitcase" by Orhan Pamuk (©2006 Orhan Pamuk).

Two years before my father died, he gave me a
small suitcase filled with his manuscripts and notebooks.
Assuming his usual jocular, mocking air, he told me
that he wanted me to read them after he was gone, by
05 which he meant after his death.
Just take a look, he said, slightly embarrassed. "See
if there's anything in there that you can use. Maybe
after I'm gone you can make a selection and publish it."
We were in my study, surrounded by books. My father
10was searching for a place to set down the suitcase,
wandering around like a man who wished to rid himself
of a painful burden. In the end, he deposited
it quietly, unobtrusively, in a corner.
For several days after that, I walked back and forth
15 past the suitcase without ever actually touching it.
I knew what was inside some of the notebooks it held.
I had seen my father writing in them. In his youth, he
had wanted to be an Istanbul poet, but he had not wanted
to live the sort of life that came with writing poetry in
20 a poor country where there were few readers.
The first thing that kept me away from my father's
suitcase was, of course, a fear that I might not like what
I read. Because my father understood this, he had taken
the precaution of acting as if he did not take the contents
25 of the case seriously. By this time, I had been working
as a writer for twenty-five years, and his failure to take
literature seriously pained me. But my real fear-the crucial
thing that I did not wish to discover-was that my father
might be a good writer. If great literature emerged
30 from my father's suitcase, I would have to acknowledge
that inside my father there existed a man entirely
different from the one I knew. This was a frightening
possibility. Even at my advanced age, I wanted my father
to be my father and my father only-not a writer.
35 A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying
to discover the second being inside him, and the world
that makes him who he is. To write is to transform that
inward gaze into words, to study the worlds into which
we pass when we retire into ourselves, and to do
40 so with patience, obstinacy, and joy. As I sit at my
table, for days, months, years, slowly adding words to
empty pages, I feel as if I were bringing into being that
other person inside me, in the same way that one might
build a bridge or a dome, stone by stone.
45 I was afraid of opening my father's suitcase and
reading his notebooks because I knew that he would never
have tolerated the difficulties that I had tolerated,
that it was not solitude he loved but mixing with friends,
crowds, company. I would have to remember that my
50 father enjoyed being alone with his books and his
thoughts-and not pay too much attention to the literary
quality of his writing. But as I gazed so anxiously at
the suitcase he had bequeathed to me I also felt that
this was the very thing I would not be able to do.
55 In fact, I was angry at my father because he had
not led a life like mine-because he had never quarreled
with his life, and had spent it happily laughing with his
friends and his loved ones. But part of me also knew
that I was not so much "angry" as "jealous," and this,
60 too, made me uneasy. What is happiness? Is happiness
believing that you live a deep life in your lonely room?
Or is happiness leading a comfortable life in society,
believing in the same things as everyone else, or, at
least, acting as if you did Is it happiness or unhappiness
65 to go through life writing in secret, while seeming
to be in harmony with all that surrounds you?
On some deeper level, I was able to become a writer
because my father, in his youth, had also wished to
be one. I would have to read him with tolerance-to
70 seek to understand what he had written in those hotel
rooms. It was with these hopeful thoughts that I walked
over to the suitcase, which was still sitting where my
father had left it. Using all my will power, I read
through a few manuscripts and notebooks. What had my
75 father written about I recall a few views from
the windows of Paris hotels, a few poems, paradoxes,
analyses…
A week after he left me his suitcase, my father paid
me another visit; as always, he brought me a bar of
80 chocolate (he had forgotten that I was forty-eight
years old). As always, we chatted and laughed about life,
politics, and family gossip. A moment arrived when my
father's gaze drifted to the corner where he had left
his suitcase, and he saw that I had moved it. We looked
85 each other in the eye. There followed a pressing
silence. I did not tell him that I had opened the suitcase
and tried to read its contents; instead, I looked away.
But he understood. Just as I understood that he had
understood. Because my father was a happy, easygoing
90 man who had faith in himself, he smiled at me
the way he always did. And, as he left the house,
he repeated all the lovely and encouraging things
he always said to me, like a father.
As always, I watched him leave, envying his happiness,
95 his carefree and unflappable temperament. But I
remember that on that day there was also a flash of joy
inside me that made me ashamed. It was prompted by the
thought that maybe I wasn't as comfortable in life as
he was, maybe I had not led as happy or footloose a life
100 as he had, but at least I had devoted mine to writing.
I was ashamed to be thinking such things at my father's
expense-of all people, my father, who had never been
a source of pain to me, who had left me free. All this
should remind us that writing and literature are intimately
105 linked to a void at the center of our lives, to
our feelings of happiness and guilt.

1. The author of the passage would most strongly agree with which of the following statements?

A. Happiness can only be found through others.
B. The paths that children take can be predicted by anyone who knows their parents well.
C. Good writing is actually the opposite of what has traditionally been viewed as great literature.
D. Writing is largely a solitary endeavor.

2. All of the following are reasons why the author is afraid to open the suitcase and read its contents EXCEPT:

F. he fears that he will come to see his father as a writer, rather than as just his father.
G. he suspects that the notebooks might contain painful secrets about his parents' relationship.
H. he suspects that his father's writing will force him to examine his own ideas about happiness.
J. he is afraid that his father's writing will not be very good.

3. In the context of the passage, the statement "he had forgotten that I was forty-eight years old" (lines 80-81) suggests that the:

A. author's father is becoming absent-minded in his old age.
B. author's father was absent for most of his childhood.
C. author's father still treats him like a child in some small ways.
D. author may have been adopted.

4. When the author says that his father "would never have tolerated the difficulties that I had tolerated" (lines 46-47), he means that his father:

F. prioritized making money when he was a younger man.
G. could not have endured the solitude that real writing demands.
H. tended toward orthodoxy in his political and religious opinions.
J. fled their native country rather than trying to improve it from within.

5. As it is used in lines 12, unobtrusively most nearly means:

A. inconspicuously.
B. rudely.
C. painfully.
D. ashamedly.

6. The author mentions feeling all of the following emotions concerning his father EXCEPT:

F. anger.
G. joy.
H. jealousy.
J. suspicion.

7. The main point of paragraph 7 (lines 55-66) is that:

A. the author is jealous of his father for being able to make friends so easily wherever he goes.
B. happiness means being in harmony with all that surrounds you.
C. it is unclear whether the author's approach to life or his father's is ultimately more satisfying.
D. there is really no such thing as true happiness.

8. Writing, according to the author, is a lifelong process of discovering:

F. an alternate version of oneself.
G. one's relationship to one's native country.
H. one's true feelings about one's family.
J. the true nature of happiness.

9. When the author's father was young, he aspired to write:

A. novels.
B. poetry.
C. plays.
D. comedy.

10. The point of the last paragraph (lines 94-106) is that:

F. the author did not realize until that day that his father truly loved him.
G. the author is ashamed of his father.
H. writing draws on negative emotions as well as positive ones.
J. the author has finally decided to have children of his own.