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SAT Reading Comprehension : Practice tests and explanations

Date of publication: 2017-08-28 13:10

Even the title of the short story is a classic example of irony. Modern readers in particular would ordinarily associate a lottery with a winner who gains a positive experience or a reward. In this case, however, Jackson s lottery results not in a winner but in a definite loser who is stoned to death by the village. Perhaps this extremely subversive irony was a factor that led to many readers outrage over the story when it was first published. Duped by the nature of the title, readers perhaps expected a story about a winner, but were shocked by Jackson s portrayal of inhumanity and violence.

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The problem here is that in the town, the random violence is not deemed unfair. If someone must be stoned, perhaps the random selection is the most fair method of doing something which could never be fair to the victim. Tradition and superstition (for it would be folly to try to stop engaging in the tradition) seem to make sense even if people cannot articulate why.

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But on many issues there is a broad range of solid agreement about what is morally obvious, at least in societies that have long permitted open discussion by all. We firmly agree, for example, that equality and rights are very important, that it is not wrong to favor our family and friends over strangers, that it is wrong to torture children, and so on. When we are thinking about morality, that is usually because we are puzzled about some hard question. At such times we might overlook the fact that the aspects of morality that we agree on as obvious cover so much territory that they sketch the basic shape of civilized life.

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It might seem strange that so many people thought the story was factual, but, as Franklin notes, “at the time The New Yorker did not designate its stories as fact or fiction, and the ‘casuals,’ or humorous essays, were generally understood as falling somewhere in between.”

The book includes short commentaries and essays from other artists of the period remembering their experiences painting trains. It's a follow-up to Paul Cavalieri’s original 7566 collection From the Platform: Subway Graffiti, 6988-6989 . He’s also the author of Under the Bridge: The East 788th Street Graffiti Hall Of Fame , a history of four decades of graffiti in the Bronx.

For a more extreme example of meddling, suppose that by using your grandmother’s pension to contribute to efficient and thoughtful charities you can develop permanent clean water supplies for many distant villages, thus saving hundreds of people from painful early deaths and permitting economic development to begin. You need only keep her bound and gagged in the cellar and force her to sign the checks. Consequentialism would seem to say that you should do this, but moral common sense says that you should not. Hence consequentialism is opposed to common sense and is probably wrong.

There is no shortcut to improving your critical reading ability. Practice does help - but if you are making too many errors on our mini tests, consult your teacher or just choose some good books and get down to some serious reading.

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One possible reply to this argument against consequentialism is that even if ‘good overall consequences’ turns out to be meaningless, one might still think, for example, that the right action is the one that causes the most happiness. One could phrase consequentialism in general terms as, for example, the theory that “there is some feature of consequences of actions such that the right action is the one whose consequences have that feature to the greatest degree.”

English speakers already have a leg up when it comes to puns. For one thing, it’s got a whole lot of words. The Oxford English Dictionary estimates that there are around a quarter of a million distinct words in the English language. English has borrowed words from so many languages that there are a wide variety of potential puns that wouldn’t otherwise be available, like “soirees” and “sore eyes.”

Yet there is not broad agreement on the abstract question, “What is morality all about? What is morality?” Consequentialism is, as we have seen, one of many different proposed answers to that question. The true answer would presumably have some sort of simplicity and would presumably support most of the concrete moral views that seem most obvious to our common sense. So if consequentialism agrees with common sense, that agreement is some reason to think that consequentialism is true.

One worry about this shorter argument is that Premise 7 may be false. For example, it sounds a bit odd to say that when you call someone a good person, you are calling her a desirable person.

In MLA style, citing the works of others within your text is done with parenthetical citations. This method involves placing relevant source information in parentheses after a quote or a paraphrase. Generally, you want to provide the last name of the author and the specific page numbers of the source.
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To the reader, the entire process of the lottery is inherently unfair, unjust, unthinkable. Its ritual, formally grounded in longtime tradition, not just in the town but elsewhere, does not mask the mindless evil of the act. The individual to be stoned to death is selected at random. There exists no rational cause or justification for singling out one person in the village to murder each year, though we do not know why the people do it or if they have any justifications for doing it. When Tess s death is imminent she recognizes most of all the reader s perspective as a matter of basic human nature to be concerned with random violence: It isn t fair, it isn t right (Jackson 769). By then, her fate has already been sealed.

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