Selection Test Reading and Literature Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket Jack Finney

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Unit 1: Collection 1

Selection Test Reading and Literature

Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket Jack Finney

Comprehension Circle the letter of the best answer to each of the following items.

1. The two settings of this story are—

A) a living room and a ledge

B) a bedroom and a living room

C) an apartment and a movie theater

D) a window and a ledge

2. Tom is spending his free time working on an idea that he hopes will—

A) surprise and delight his wife

B) convince his boss to give him a raise

C) change the way groceries are advertised

D) help him climb the corporate ladder

3. Tom’s major conflict in this story is to—

A) get his work done on time

B) retrieve a crucial paper without being killed

C) save his troubled marriage

D) persuade his wife that his new idea is a good one

4. Which event early in the story creates Tom’s internal conflict?

A) His wife wants to go to the movies.

B) He smashes the window with his fist.

C) The yellow sheet flies out the window.

D) He and his wife move to Lexington Avenue.

5. Which tactic does Tom use to try to draw attention to himself?

A) Smashing glass

B) Throwing his shoes

C) Shouting to passersby

D) Knocking on neighbors’ windows

Unit 1: Collection 1, Selection Test continued

Vocabulary Development Match the definition on the left with the vocabulary word on the right. On the line provided, write the letter of the correct vocabulary word.


6. bounced back

7. something breathed out

8. slight; almost unnoticeable

9. not relating to the point or situation

10. something that juts out from a surface

A) imperceptibly

B) rebounded

C) exhalation

D) projection

E) irrelevantly




Vocabulary Skill Match the definition on the right with the prefix in each of the following words from the selection. You will use one definition two times.



11. irrelevantly

12. imperceptibly

13. rebounded

14. exhalation

15. projection

A) forward

B) no, not

C) again


D) away from, out

Literary Focus Circle the letter of the best answer to each of the following items.

16. Which of the following events occurs first in the chronological order of the story?

A) Clare leaves for the movie.

B) Tom is careful to not look down.

C) Tom opens the living room window.

D) Tom takes a tweed jacket from the closet.

17. Which of the following is an example of a complication that occurs in the plot?

A) Tom grabs the window and causes it to close.

B) Tom takes research notes on yellow paper.

C) The blow by Tom’s fist breaks the glass.

D) Clare goes to the movies alone.

Unit 1: Collection 1, Selection Test continued

18. Which of the following statements is the best example of chronological order in the story?

A) “Then, from the short hallway at this back, he heard the muffled clang of wire coat hangers . . .”

B) “Turning, he saw a sheet of white paper drifting to the floor in a series of

arcs . . .”

C) “On a sudden impulse, he got to his feet, walked to the front closet, and took out an old tweed jacket . . .”

D) “He glanced at his watch; Clare had been gone eight minutes.”

19. Which of the following is the best summary of the plot of this story?

A) The main character faces a broken marriage.

B) The main character risks his life for a promotion.

C) The main character overcomes his fear of heights.

D) The main character faces an obstacle that changes his priorities.



Reading Focus Circle the letter of the best answer to each of the following items.

20. What effects result from Tom’s decision to go after the yellow paper?

A) He conquers his fear of heights and realizes that seeing a movie is more important than work.

B) He drops all the change in his pocket and can’t afford to meet his wife at the movie.

C) He realizes that life is fragile and not worth risking over a possible job promotion.

D) He comes to the conclusion that he has been neglecting his wife.

21. Which cause-and-effect chain is true?

A) Tom drive for recognition at work leads to his overcoming his fear of heights.

B) Tom’s extra work earns him a promotion at work.

C) Tom breaks the window and falls into the living room, relieved that he was able to save the yellow paper.

D) Tom steps out on the building ledge and recognizes the choices he has recently made.
The Leap Louise Erdrich

Comprehension Circle the letter of the best answer to each of the following items.

22. What was the mother’s job when she was married to her first husband?

A) Nurse

B) Seamstress

C) Journalist

D) Trapeze artist

23. When the narrator says that her mother “has never . . . bumped into a closet door left carelessly open,” the narrator is referring to the fact that—

A) the narrator’s mother is unable to walk

B) the narrator’s closet doors are always closed

C) the narrator’s mother is blind but moves confidently

D) the narrator’s father liked to play practical jokes

24. Why has the narrator returned to her mother’s house?

A) The narrator’s mother needs someone to read to her.

B) The narrator’s marriage has recently broken up.

C) The narrator has not been able to earn a living.

D) The narrator’s mother needs help going up and down the stairs.

25. “I owe her my existence three times,” the narrator says. Which of the following is one of those three times?

A) The time that her mother saved her from drowning

B) The time that her mother and the Avalons toured Europe

C) The time that her mother rescued her from a fire

D) The time that the narrator’s sister died

26. The narrator’s mother deals with the past by—

A) keeping old photographs, posters, and clippings in her house

B) often telling highly exaggerated stories about her youth

C) hardly talking about it and keeping very few souvenirs

D) still seeming to think she is living in the time she was young

Unit 1: Collection 1, Selection Test continued


Vocabulary Development Circle the letter of the best answer to each of the following questions.


27. Which word is similar in meaning to constricting?


A) widening

B) releasing

C) expanding

D) tightening
28. Which word is similar in meaning to extricating?


A) entangling

B) freeing

C) hindering

D) hampering
29. Which word is similar in meaning to tentative?


A) decisive

B) definite

C) certain

D) hesitant
30. Which word means the opposite of complied?

A) disregarded


B) adhered

C) abided

D) consented
31. Which word is similar in meaning to generate?


A) find

B) enlarge

C) create

D) purchase

Literary Focus Circle the letter of the best answer to each of the following items.

32. Which statement contributes to the suspense of the story?

A) “There was time, before the storm, for three acts.”

B) “She walks slowly through her house . . .”

C) “This is the debt we take for granted since none of us asks for life.”

D) “The child, however, is buried around the corner . . .”

33. Which event in the story is told as a flashback?

A) The fire in the narrator’s house

B) The narrator’s visiting her half-sister’s grave

C) The narrator sewing in her childhood bedroom

D) The mother walking in her house

34. What is revealed about the narrator’s mother through the flashback of the accident under the tent?

A) The narrator’s mother was planning to end her career.

B) The narrator’s mother sensed that a storm was coming.

C) The narrator’s mother broke her arm when she fell.

D) The narrator’s mother was in love with her first husband.

Unit 1: Collection 1, Selection Test continued

35. Which statement foreshadows an event that occurs immediately after the statement?

A) “Outside my mother stood below my dark window . . .”

B) “. . . my mother asked him to unzip her dress.”

C) “When her hands did not meet her husband’s . . .”

D) “. . . as long as I can remember, my mother has never been without a book.”

36. What do you learn about the narrator from the flashback of the night of the fire?

A) The narrator was afraid of fire.

B) The narrator was a brave child.

C) The narrator was embarrassed by her mother’s past.

D) The narrator wished her father had saved her.


Reading Focus Circle the letter of the best answer to each of the following items.

37. During the accident, the narrator’s mother acted to save herself and her unborn child rather than reaching for her husband. What might you predict from this?

A) She will lose her baby after the accident.

B) She will eventually go blind.

C) She will choose to live in the town where the accident occurred.

D) She will later act to save the narrator from danger.

38. What hints help you predict the way the narrator’s mother saves the narrator from the house fire?

A) The mother’s time in the hospital

B) The mother’s experience with emergencies

C) The mother’s habit of climbing trees

D) The mother’s knowledge of high-wire acts

39. Which of the following helps you predict the accident under the tent?

A) “I have lived in the West, where you can see the weather coming for miles”

B) “In the town square, a replica tent pole, cracked and splintered, now stands”

C) “I hear the crackle, catch a whiff of smoke from the stove downstairs”

D) “They made a romantic pair all right, especially in the blindfold sequence.”




Original content Copyright © by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Additions and changes to the original content are the responsibility of the instructor.

Unit 1 Resources




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