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Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

The following sample questions do not appear on an actual CLEP examination. They are intended to give potential test-takers an indication of the format and difficulty level of the examination and provide content for practice and review. For more sample questions and information about the test, see the CLEP Official Study Guide.

Question 1 of 10

(SIR PEER:)    When an old bachelor marries a young wife, what is 
he to expect? ’Tis now six months since Lady Teazle made 
me the happiest of men—and I have been the most ; 
miserable dog ever since! We tift a little going to churchLine
and fairly quarrelled before the bells had done ringing. I5
was more than once nearly choked with gall during the 
honeymoon, and had lost all comfort in life before my 
friends had done wishing me joy. Yet I chose with 
caution—a girl bred wholly in the country, who never 
knew luxury beyond one silk gown, nor dissipation above10
the annual gala of a race ball. Yet she now plays her part in 
all the extravagant fopperies of fashion and the town, with 
as ready a grace as if she never had seen a bush or a 
grass¬plot out of Grosvenor Square!*- I am sneered at by 
all my acquaintance and paragraphed in the newspapers.15
She dissipates my fortune, and contradicts all my humors; 
yet the worst of it is, I doubt I love her, or I should never 
bear all this. However, I’ll never be weak enough to own it. 

*a fashionable section of London

In lines 3-4, the phrases “the happiest of men” and “the most miserable dog” are best described as

  • A.

    metaphors characterizing Sir Peter’s conflicted state of mind

  • B.

    allusions to literary characters famed for their good and bad marriages

  • C.

    clichés illustrating the contrast between Sir Peter’s previous hopes and present reality

  • D.

    stock attitudes about marriage based upon popular myth

  • E.

    euphemisms describing Sir Peter’s transition from a devoted bridegroom to an adulterous husband

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