Vocabulary Kowtow Historically means

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Part 1

  1. Read the passage carefully and answer the questions

    Questions 29-39

    Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers. If you wish to annotate (it’s an important skill to practice!), copy and paste the passage and questions into a document and print.

    Throughout her history China had believed herself the center of civilization, surrounded by barbarians. She was the Middle Kingdom, the center of the universe, whose Emperor was the Son of Heaven, ruling by the Mandate of Heaven. Convinced of their superior values, the Chinese considered that China’s greatness was owed to principles of social order over a harmonious whole. All outsiders whose misfortune was to live beyond her borders were “barbarians” and necessarily inferiors who were expected, and indeed required, to make their approach, if they insisted oncoming, bearing tribute and performing the kowtow in token of humble submission.From the time of Marco Polo to the eighteenth century, visiting Westerners, amazed and admiring, were inclined to take China at her own valuation. Her recorded history began in the third millennium B.C., her bronzes were as old as the pyramids, her classical age was contemporary with that of Greece, her Confucian canon of ethics predated the New Testament if not the Old. She was the inventor of paper, porcelain, silk, gunpowder, the clock and movable type, the builder of the Great Wall, one of the wonders of the world, the creator of fabrics and ceramics of exquisite beauty and of an art of painting that was sophisticated and expressive when Europe’s was still primitive and flat . . . .When at the end of the eighteenth century Western ships and merchants surged against China’s shores, eager for tea and silk and cotton, they found no reciprocal enthusiasm. Enclosed in the isolation of superiority, Imperial China wanted no influx of strangers from primitive islands called Britain or France or Holland who came to live off the riches of the Middle Kingdom bearing only worthless articles for exchange. They had ugly noses and coarse manners and wore ridiculous clothes with constricting sleeves and trousers, tight collars and coats that had tails down the back but failed to close in front. These were not the garments of reasonable men.A past-oriented society, safe only in seclusion, sensed a threat from the importunate West. The Imperial Government raised every barrier possible by refusals, evasions, postponements, and prohibitions to foreign entry or settlement or the opening of formal relations. Splendidly remote in the “Great Within” of the Forbidden City of Peking, the court refused to concern itself with the knocking on its doors. It would admit foreign embassies who came to plead for trade treaties only if they performed the ritual of three genuflections and nine prostrations in approaching the Son of Heaven. British envoys, after surmounting innumerable obstacles to reach Peking, balked at the kowtow and turned back empty-handed.29. The principal contrast employed by the author in the passage is between(A) past and present(B) wisdom and foolishness(C) Imperial China and Europe(D) civilization and barbarism(E) technology and art30. In paragraph two, which of the following rhetorical devices is most in evidence?(A) Appeals to authority(B) The massing of factual information(C) The use of abstract generalizations(D) Impressionistic descriptive writing(E) The use of anecdote31. The primary rhetorical function of the excerpt in paragraph 2 beginning with “admiring, were inclined to take China at her own valuation…” through “…when Europe’s was still primitive and flat…” is to(A) provide support for a thesis supplied in the first two sentences(B) provide evidence to contrast with that supplied in the first paragraph(C) present a thesis that will be challenged in paragraph three(D) introduce a series of generalizations that are supported in the last two paragraphs(E) anticipate objections raised by the ideas presented in the first sentence of paragraph 232. The sentence, “Her recorded history began in the third millennium B.C., her bronzes were as old as the pyramids, her classical age was contemporary with that of Greece, her Confucian canon of ethics predated the New Testament if not the Old” contains which of the following?(A) Elaborate metaphor(B) Parallel syntax(C) A single periodic sentence(D) A compound subject(E) Subordinate clauses33. In the last sentence of paragraph 2 (“She was the inventor of paper, porcelain … was still primitive and flat…”), which of the following words is parallel in function to “inventor”?(A) “clock”(B) “one”(C) “creator”(D) “art”(E) “Europe’s”34. In the sentence “Enclosed in the isolation of superiority, Imperial China wanted no influx of strangers from primitive islands called Britain or France or Holland who came to live off the riches of the Middle Kingdom bearing only worthless articles for exchange,” “bearing” modifies(A) “Imperial China”(B) “strangers”(C) “primitive islands”(D) “riches”(E) “Middle Kingdom”35. The point of view expressed in “They had ugly noses . . . reasonable men” in paragraph 3 is that of(A) the author(B) present-day historians(C) eighteenth-century British merchants(D) eighteenth-century Chinese(E) present-day Chinese36. The word “importunate” in the first sentence of paragraph 4 is reinforced by the author’s later reference to(A) “prohibitions to foreign entry”(B) “formal relations”(C) “knocking on its doors”(D) “the ritual of three genuflections”(E) “empty-handed”37. Which of the following best describes the first sentence of paragraph 4?(A) The author’s interpretation of China’s situation in the late eighteenth century(B) An objective summary of eighteenth-century Europe’s view of China(C) A challenge to the opinions in paragraph 3(D) A restatement of the ideas in paragraph 2(E) A conclusion rebutted by information in paragraph 438. Which of the following characteristics of Imperial China or Britain is most emphasized in paragraph 4?(A) Britain’s adaptability to foreign customs(B) Imperial China’s aloof and insular attitude toward Europeans(C) Imperial China’s wisdom in relying on tradition and ceremony(D) Britain’s desperate need for foreign trade(E) The splendor of the Imperial Chinese court39. The tone of the passage is best described as(A) scornful and unsympathetic(B) reverent and respectful(C) acerbic and cynical(D) serious but faintly condescending(E) irate but carefully judicious

  2. After answering all questions, check your answers. 29 – C
  3. 36 – C30 – B37 – A31 – A38 – B32 – B39 – D33 – C34 – B35 – D
  4. Write a reflection of at least 150 words describing your experience with this practice. How did it compare with your previous multiple-choice practice? Explain which questions you found the most challenging, which ones were the easiest, which answers you guessed, and which words were unfamiliar. Overall, how effective were you on this practice? What strategies could you employ to help you be more successful on your next attempt?

Part 2 – Choose three words from the passage and/or questions 29 through 39 that are unfamiliar. Do the following with your three words:

  1. Write the word and list the part of speech.
  2. Give the definition in your own words, showing that you now understand the word’s meaning.
  3. Write an original sentence, incorporating a context clue to demonstrate your true understanding of the word’s meaning.
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