But when they reached the shelters Simon was not to be seen. Ralph put his head in
the hole, withdrew it, and turned to Jack.
“He’s buzzed off.”
“Got fed up,” said Jack, “and gone for a bathe.”
“He’s queer. He’s funny.”
Jack nodded, as much for the sake of agreeing as anything, and by tacit consent they
left the shelter and went toward the bathing pool.
“And then,” said Jack, “when I’ve had a bathe and something to eat, I’ll just trek over to the other side of the mountain and see if I can see any traces. Coming?”
“But the sun’s nearly set!”
“I might have time…”
They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate.
“If I could only get a pig!”
“I’ll come back and go on with the shelter.”
They looked at each other baffled, in love and hate. All the warm salt water of the bathing pool and the shouting and splashing and laughing were only just sufficient to bring them together again.
Simon was now in the bathing pool as they had expected. When the other two had trotted down the beach to look back at the mountain he had followed them for a few yards and then stopped. He had stood frowning down at a pile of sand on the beach where somebody had been trying to build a little house or hut. Then he turned his back on this and walked into the forest with an air of purpose. He was a small, skinny boy, his chin pointed, and his eyes so bright they had deceived Ralph into thinking him delightfully gay and wicked. The coarse mop of black hair was long and swung down, almost concealing a low, broad forehead. He wore the remains of shorts and his feet were bare like Jack’s. Always darkish in color, Simon was burned by the sun to a deep tan that glistened with heat.
He picked his way up the scar, passed the great rock where Ralph had climbed on the first morning, then turned off to his right among the trees. He walked with an accustomed tread through the acres of fruit trees, where the least energetic could find an easy if unsatisfying meal. Flower and fruit grew together on the same tree and everywhere was the scene of ripeness and the booming of a million bees at pasture. Here the littluns who had run after him caught up with him. They talked, cried out unintelligibly, lugging him toward the trees. Then, amid the roar of bees in the afternoon sunlight, Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless, outstretched hands. When he had satisfied them he paused and looked round. The littluns watched him inscrutably over double handfuls of ripe fruit.
Simon turned away from them and went where the just perceptible path led him. Soon high jungle closed in. Tall trunks bore unexpected pale flowers all the way up to the dark canopy where lift went on clamorously. The air here was dark too, and the creepers dropped their ropes like the rigging of foundered ships. His leg left prints in the soft soil and the creepers shivered throughout their lengths when he bumped them. He came at last to a place where more sunshine fell. Since they had not so far to go for light the creepers had woven a great mat that hung at the side of an open space in the jungle; for here a patch of rock came close to the surface and would not allow more than little plants and ferns to grow. The whole space was walled with dark aromatic bushes, and was a bowl of heat and light. A great tree, fallen across one corner, leaned against the trees that still stood and a rapid climber flaunted red and yellow sprays right on the top.
38. The line beginning after the first paragraph – “People don’t help much” – and ending
“Simon’s always about” -- reveal that Ralph is
39. Jack’s offer to help Ralph is
40. The lines beginning --“And then,” said Jack” -- and ending -- “I’ll come back and go on with the shelter” -- imply that
A. Ralph and Jack have the same goals
B. Ralph and Jack both fear the night
C. Jack prefers the beach to the jungle
D. both boys enjoy eating and swimming
41. The metaphor in the sentence “They walked along, two continents of experience and feeling, unable to communicate” is used to
A. emphasize the extent of division between Ralph and Jack
B. demonstrate the depth of Ralph’s and Jack’s friendship
C. highlight the boys’ mutual feelings
D. stress the boys’ dependence on emotions rather than words
42. The second half of the paragraph beginning “He picked his way up the scar…” reveals Simon’s
A. appreciation of nature’s beauty
B. compassion for the littluns
C. loneliness and isolation
D. lack of fear of the bees
From Chapter 9: “A View to a Death”
“Going to be a storm,” said Ralph, “and you’ll have rain like when we dropped here. Who’s clever now? Where are your shelters? What are you going to do about that?”
The hunters were looking uneasily at the sky, flinching from the stroke of the drops. A wave of restlessness set the boys swaying and moving aimlessly. The flickering light became brighter and the blows of the thunders were only just bearable. The littluns began to run about, screaming.
Jack lept on the sand.
“Do our dance! Come on! Dance!”
He ran stumbling through the thick sand to the open space of rock beyond the fire. Between the flashes of lightning the air was dark and terrible; and the boys followed him, clamorously. Roger became the pig, grunting, and charging at Jack, who side-stepped. The hunters took their spears, the cooks took spits, and the rest clubs of firewood. A circling movement developed and a chant. While Roger mimed the terror of the pig, the littluns ran and jumped on the outside of the circle. Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society. They were glad to touch the brown backs of the fence that hemmed in the terror and made it governable.
“Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!”
The movement became regular while the charge lost its first superficial excitement and began to beat like a steady pulse. Roger ceased to be a pig and became a hunter, so that the center of the ring yawned emptily. Some of the littluns started a ring on their own; and the complementary circles went round and round as though repetition would achieve safety of itself. There was the throb and stamp of a single organism.
The dark sky was shattered by a blue-white scar. An instant later the noise was on them like the blow of a gigantic whip. The chant rose a tone in agony.
“Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood.”
Now out of the terror rose another desire, thick, urgent, blind.
“Kill the beats! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!”
Again the blue-white scar jagged above them and the sulphurous explosion beat down. The littluns screamed and blundered about, fleeing from the edge of the forest, and one of them broke the ring of biguns in his terror.
The circle became a horseshoe. A thing was crawling out of the forest. It came darkly, uncertainly. The shrill screaming that rose before the beat was like a pain. The beast stumbled into the horse shoe.
“Kill the beats! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!”
The blue-white scar was constant, the noise unendurable. Simon was crying out something about a dead man on a hill.
“Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Do him in!”
The sticks fell and the mouth of the new circle crunched and screamed. The beast was on its knees in the center, its arms folded over its face. It was crying out against the abominable noise something about a body on the hill. The beast struggled forward, broke the ring and fell over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.
Then the clouds opened and let down the rain like a waterfall. The water bounded from the mountain-top, tore leaves and branches from the trees, poured like a cold shower over the struggling heap on the sand. Presently the heap broke up and figures staggered away. Only the beast lay still, a few yards from the sea. Even in the rain they could see how small a beast it was; and already its blood was staining the sand.
Now a great wind blew the rain sideways, cascading the water from the forest trees. On the mountain-top the parachute filled and moved; the figure slid, rose to its feet, spun, swayed down through a vastness of wet air and trod with ungainly feet to the tops of the high tress, falling, still falling, it sank toward the beach and the boys rushed screaming into the darkness. The parachute took the figure forward, furrowing the lagoon, and bumped it over the reef and out to sea.
Toward midnight the rain ceased and the clouds drifted away, so that the sky was scattered once more with the incredible lamps of stars. Then the breeze died too and there was no noise save the drip and trickle of water that ran out of clefts and spilled down, leaf by leaf, to the brown earth of the island. The air was cool, moist, and clear; and presently even the sound of the water was still; the beast lay huddled on the pale beach and the stains spread, inch by inch.
43. When Ralph points out Jack’s lack of foresight (first paragraph), Jack’s response is to
B. distract the boys from the issues Ralph has raised
C. welcome the storm since it drowns out Ralph’s voice
D. start a pig hunt to keep the boys occupied.
44. The author implies that the main purpose of the “dance” is to
A. provide entertainment
B. create a sense of frenzy
C. hone hunting skills
D. provide a feeling of safety
45. The author’s description of the weather
A. contrasts with the boys’ deeds
B. foreshadows the boys’ intentions
C. parallels the boys’ actions
D. contradicts the boys’ interactions
46. The dominant image of the dancing boys in the paragraph beginning – “the sticks fell…” -- is that of
47. In the second half of the passage, a distinct shift in setting takes place in the sentence beginning
A. “At last the crowd surged…”
B. “Presently the heap…”
C. “On the mountain-top…”
D. “The parachute took the figure…”
48. A close reading of the passage reveals that the beast that was killed was
A. a piglet
C. a littlun
Short Answer Response
Respond to the question by providing your answer and textual evidence from each selection. How is the human element important in both “There Will Come Soft Rains” and “Inside the Home of the Future”? Support your answer with evidence from both selections.