1) Now and then it occurs to one to reflect upon what slender threads of accident depend the most important circumstances of his life; to look back and shudder, realizing how close to the edge of nothingness his being has come. A young man is walking down the street, quite casually, with an empty mind and no set purpose; he comes to a crossing, and for no reason that he could tell he takes the right hand turn instead of the left; and so it happens that he encounters a blue-eyed girl, who sets his heart to beating. He meets the girl, marries her--and she became your mother. But now, suppose the young man had taken the left hand turn instead of the right, and had never met the blue-eyed girl; where would you be now, and what would have become of those qualities of mind which you consider of importance to the world, and those grave affairs of business to which your time is devoted?
2) Something like that it was which befell Peter Gudge; just such an accident, changing the whole current of his life, and making the series of events with which this story deals. Peter was walking down the street one afternoon, when a woman approached and held out to him a printed leaflet. "Read this, please," she said. And Peter, who was hungry, and at odds with the world, answered gruffly: "I got no money." He thought it was an advertising dodger, and he said: "I can't buy nothin'."
3) "It isn't anything for sale," answered the woman. "It's a message."
4) "Religion?" said Peter. "I just got kicked out of a church."
5) "No, not a church," said the woman. "It's something different; put it in your pocket."
6) She was an elderly woman with gray hair, and she followed along, smiling pleasantly at this frail, poor-looking stranger, but nagging at him. "Read it some time when you've nothing else to do." And so Peter, just to get rid of her, took the leaflet and thrust it into his pocket, and went on, and in a minute or two had forgotten all about it.
7) Peter was thinking--or rather Peter's stomach was thinking for him; for when you have had nothing to eat all day, and nothing on the day before but a cup of coffee and one sandwich, your thought-centers are transferred from the top to the middle of you. Peter was thinking that this was a hell of a life. Who could have foreseen that just because he had stolen one miserable fried doughnut, he would lose his easy job and his chance of rising in the world? Peter's whole being was concentrated on the effort to rise in the world; to get success, which means money, which means ease and pleasure--the magic names which lure all human creatures.
8) But who could have foreseen that Mrs. Smithers would have kept count of those fried doughnuts every time anybody passed thru her pantry? And it was only that one ridiculous circumstance which had brought Peter to his present misery. But for that he might have had his lunch of bread and dried herring and weak tea in the home of the shoe-maker's wife, and might have still been busy with his job of stirring up dissension in the First Apostolic Church, otherwise known as the Holy Rollers, and of getting the Rev. Gamaliel Lunk turned out, and Shoemaker Smithers established at the job of pastor, with Peter Gudge as his right hand man.
9) Always it had been like that, thru Peter's twenty years of life. Time after time he would get his feeble clutch fixed upon the ladder of prosperity, and then something would happen--some wretched thing like the stealing of a fried doughnut--to pry him loose and tumble him down again into the pit of misery.
10) So Peter walked along, with his belt drawn tight, and his restless blue eyes wandering here and there, looking for a place to get a meal. There were jobs to be had, but they were hard jobs, and Peter wanted an easy one. There are people in this world who live by their muscles, and others who live by their wits; Peter belonged to the latter class; and had missed many a meal rather than descend in the social scale.
11) Peter looked into the faces of everyone he passed, searching for a possible opening. Some returned his glance, but never for more than a second, for they saw an insignificant looking man, undersized, undernourished, and with one shoulder higher than the other, a weak chin and mouth, crooked teeth, and a brown moustache too feeble to hold itself up at the corners. Peters' straw hat had many straws missing, his second-hand brown suit was become third-hand, and his shoes were turning over at the sides. In a city where everybody was "hustling," everybody, as they phrased it, "on the make," why should anyone take a second glance at Peter Gudge? Why should anyone care about the restless soul hidden inside him, or dream that Peter was, in his own obscure way, a sort of genius? No one did care; no one did dream.
12) It was about two o'clock of an afternoon in July, and the sun beat down upon the streets of American City. There were crowds upon the streets, and Peter noticed that everywhere were flags and bunting. Once or twice he heard the strains of distant music, and wondered what was "up." Peter had not been reading the newspapers; all his attention bad been taken up by the quarrels of the Smithers faction and the Lunk faction in the First Apostolic Church, otherwise known as the Holy Rollers, and great events that had been happening in the world outside were of no concern to him. Peter knew vaguely that on the other side of the world half a dozen mighty nations were locked together in a grip of death; the whole earth was shaken with their struggles, and Peter had felt a bit of the trembling now and then. But Peter did not know that his own country had anything to do with this European quarrel, and did not know that certain great interests throughout the country had set themselves to rouse the public to action.
III-2 Analyze literary elements
In which paragraph does the reader find out the most about the setting?
II-4 Propaganda; Fact from opinion
2. Which of the following statements in paragraphs 8 and 9 expresses a fact?
And it was only that one ridiculous circumstance which had brought Peter Pete to his present misery.
But for that he might have had his lunch of bread and dried herring and weak tea in the home of the shoe-maker's wife…
…and might have still been busy with his job of stirring up dissension in the First Apostolic Church
Always it had been like that, thru Peter's twenty years of life.
II-4 Propaganda; Fact from opinion
Which phrase BEST describes the author’s purpose for writing this short story?
to inspire and instruct readers to ‘wake up’ and make good decisions
to persuade people not to steal
to entertain readers by explaining Peter’s struggles
to educate readers as to the dangers of conformity
II-1 Identify main idea
What is the main idea of the story?
Peter regrets having made a mistake (stealing the doughnut) because he forfeited many of the opportunities he might have otherwise had.
Peter Gudge can no longer support himself and turns to stealing
There are still people in the world who will help out someone in dire need
A man contemplates theft as a means to survive since he lost his job
II-4 Propaganda; Fact from opinion
Which of the following statements in paragraph 11 expresses an opinion?
Peter looked into the faces of everyone he passed, searching for a possible opening.
Some returned his glance, but never for more than a second
Peters' straw hat had many straws missing, …and his shoes were turning over at the sides
For they saw an insignificant looking man, undersized, undernourished, … and a brown moustache too feeble to hold itself up at the corners.
II-4 Propaganda; Fact from opinion
What is the author’s purpose for including the incident of the stolen fried doughnuts?
To show how hungry Peter constantly was
To convince the reader that Peter was willing to trade his future for something as insignificant as a doughnut.
11. What effect does Peter Gudge’s “accidental” meeting with a stranger have on him?
He became rich.
His entire life changed.
He found a new religion.
Shoemaker Smithers gave him back his job.
III-1 Recognize logic and argument
12. Which of the following is a logical assumption based on the information in the passage?
Peter Gudge wanted to be a pastor.
Peter Gudge believed that serving others was important.
Peter Gudge turned left and met the girl of his dreams.
Peter Gudge did not hold himself responsible for his sad lot in life.
IV-2 Preview, predict
13. Based on the information in the passage, which would most likely be answered in later
A. The changes in the First Apostolic Church
B. The importance of his chance meeting with woman who gave him the leaflet
C. How he became a doughnut shop owner
D. How he ended up in prison
The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether
By: Edgar Allan Poe
1) DURING THE AUTUMN OF 18--, while on a tour through the extreme southern provinces of France, my route led me within a few miles of a certain Maison de Sante or private mad-house, about which I had heard much in Paris from my medical friends. As I had never visited a place of the kind, I thought the opportunity too good to be lost; and so proposed to my traveling companion (a gentleman with whom I had made casual acquaintance a few days before) that we should turn aside, for an hour or so, and look through the establishment. To this he objected- pleading haste in the first place, and, in the second, a very usual horror at the sight of a lunatic. He begged me, however, not to let any mere courtesy towards himself interfere with the gratification of my curiosity, and said that he would ride on leisurely, so that I might overtake him during the day, or, at all events, during the next. As he bade me good-bye, I bethought me that there might be some difficulty in obtaining access to the premises, and mentioned my fears on this point. He replied that, in fact, unless I had personal knowledge of the superintendent, Monsieur Maillard, or some credential in the way of a letter, a difficulty might be found to exist, as the regulations of these private mad-houses were more rigid than the public hospital laws. For himself, he added, he had, some years since, made the acquaintance of Maillard, and would so far assist me as to ride up to the door and introduce me; although his feelings on the subject of lunacy would not permit of his entering the house.
2) I thanked him, and, turning from the main road, we entered a grass-grown by-path, which, in half an hour, nearly lost itself in a dense forest, clothing the base of a mountain. Through this dank and gloomy wood we rode some two miles, when the Maison de Sante came in view. It was a fantastic chateau, much dilapidated, and indeed scarcely tenantable through age and neglect. Its aspect inspired me with absolute dread, and, checking my horse, I half resolved to turn back. I soon, however, grew ashamed of my weakness, and proceeded.
3) As we rode up to the gate-way, I noticed it slightly open, and the visage of a man peering through. In an instant afterward, this man came forth, accosted my companion by name, shook him cordially by the hand, and begged him to alight. It was Monsieur Maillard himself. He was a portly, fine-looking gentleman of the old school, with a polished manner, and a certain air of gravity which was very impressive.
4) My friend, having presented me, mentioned my desire to inspect the establishment, and received Monsieur Maillard's assurance that he would show me all attention, now took leave, and I saw him no more.
5) When he had gone, the superintendent ushered me into a small and exceedingly neat parlor, containing, among other indications of refined taste, many books, drawings, pots of flowers, and musical instruments. A cheerful fire blazed upon the hearth. At a piano, singing an aria from Bellini, sat a young and very beautiful woman, who, at my entrance, paused in her song, and received me with graceful courtesy. Her voice was low, and her whole manner subdued. I thought, too, that I perceived the traces of sorrow in her countenance, which was excessively, although to my taste, not unpleasingly, pale. She was attired in deep mourning, and excited in my bosom a feeling of mingled respect, interest, and admiration.
6) I had heard, at Paris, that the institution of Monsieur Maillard was managed upon what is vulgarly termed the "system of soothing"- that all punishments were avoided- that even confinement was seldom resorted to- that the patients, while secretly watched, were left much apparent liberty, and that most of them were permitted to roam about the house and grounds in the ordinary apparel of persons in right mind.
7) Keeping these impressions in view, I was cautious in what I said before the young lady; for I could not be sure that she was sane; and, in fact, there was a certain restless brilliancy about her eyes which half led me to imagine she was not. I confined my remarks, therefore, to general topics, and to such as I thought would not be displeasing or exciting even to a lunatic. She replied in a perfectly rational manner to all that I said; and even her original observations were marked with the soundest good sense, but a long acquaintance with the metaphysics of mania, had taught me to put no faith in such evidence of sanity, and I continued to practice, throughout the interview, the caution with which I commenced it.
8) Presently a smart footman in livery brought in a tray with fruit, wine, and other refreshments, of which I partook, the lady soon afterward leaving the room. As she departed I turned my eyes in an inquiring manner toward my host.
9) "No," he said, "oh, no- a member of my family- my niece, and a most accomplished woman."
10) "I beg a thousand pardons for the suspicion," I replied, "but of course you will know how to excuse me. The excellent administration of your affairs here is well understood in Paris, and I thought it just possible, you know-
11) "Yes, yes- say no more- or rather it is myself who should thank you for the commendable prudence you have displayed. We seldom find so much of forethought in young men; and, more than once, some unhappy contre-temps has occurred in consequence of thoughtlessness on the part of our visitors. While my former system was in operation, and my patients were permitted the privilege of roaming to and fro at will, they were often aroused to a dangerous frenzy by injudicious persons who called to inspect the house. Hence I was obliged to enforce a rigid system of exclusion; and none obtained access to the premises upon whose discretion I could not rely."
12) "While your former system was in operation!" I said, repeating his words- "do I understand you, then, to say that the 'soothing system' of which I have heard so much is no longer in force?"
13) "It is now," he replied, "several weeks since we have concluded to renounce it forever."
II-5 Recognize summary statements
Which of the following sentences BEST restates the information in the sentence found below from paragraph 2? It was a fantastic chateau, much dilapidated, and indeed scarcely tenantable through age and neglect.
The incredible chateau was fantastic and through the ages had shown no signs of neglect.
The kind of fantastic chateau displayed had scarcely seen beauty anywhere.
The incredible mansion was in such a serious state of disrepair it was barely habitable.
Because of its relatively young age, the house had not had time to suffer much neglect and was therefore incredible.
II-5 Recognize summary statements
After reading paragraph 6 below, consider which sentence BEST summarizes the
speaker’s thoughts in this paragraph. I had heard, a Paris, that the institution of
Monsieur Maillard was managed upon what is vulgarly termed the "system of
soothing"- that all punishments were avoided- that even confinement was
seldom resorted to- that the patients, while secretly watched, were left much
apparent liberty, and that most of them were permitted to roam about the house
and grounds in the ordinary apparel of persons in right mind.
The institution’s ‘system of soothing’ was a system whereby the confinement of such patients admitted to Monsieur Maillard’s grounds were eventually granted their liberty and allowed to leave the institution.
Patients, while they were secretly being watched, were, however, given the liberty to wear what they wanted, but were punished if they even questioned being confined.
Monsieur Maillard himself was considered mentally unstable as evidenced by his cruel punishments, confining his patients to the house or grounds and allowing them the freedom to wear other people’s ordinary clothing.
Monsieur Maillard ran his institution with liberal, loose rules, allowing mental patients to roam in virtual freedom in the normal clothes of the day.