Study S1 English English - Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) - Geniebook

Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text)

In this article, we will be learning about Comprehension (Narrative Text) in detail. At the secondary level, you have 3 texts that you have to tackle - visual text, narrative text and factual text. The narrative text is a piece of fiction, and the factual text is a journal or newspaper article. Usually, students find the narrative text more difficult than the factual one as the narrative text tends to use a lot of figurative language.

 

In this article, we will be looking into the following in detail below:

  • Direct Questions
    • Hybrids
    • IYOW (In Your Own Words)
  • Flow Charts
    • Using direct questions to help you identify the general tone

 

The Hobbit: Introduction

The Hobbit is a movie, but originally it was a book written by J. R. R. Tolkien. Let's look at some of the characters from "The Hobbit" and some excerpts from the book.

 

This passage describes Bilbo Baggins (right), who was lost and met Gollum (left), a demented creature who was once also a hobbit but had evolved into a subterranean creature, having lived too long under the mountains.

 

ee-snapshot ee-snapshot (1)

Example 1

Excerpt: 

Deep down here by the dark water lived old Gollum. No one knows where he came from, nor who or what he was. He was Gollum — as dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes. He lived on a slimy island of rock in the middle of the lake. He had a boat, and he rowed on a lake that was wide and deep and deadly cold. He paddled it with large feet dangling over the side, but never a ripple did he make. He was looking out of his pale lamp-like eyes for blind fish, which he grabbed with his long fingers as quick as lightning.

Which sentence does the author use to portray Gollum as an ugly and evil character?

 

Answer:

The author portrays Gollum as an ugly and evil character in the second sentence - "He was Gollum — as dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes”.

 

Practice Questions

 

Excerpt 1: 

Very few people came down here, for they had a feeling that something unpleasant was lurking down there, down at the bowels of the mountain. Gollum was watching Bilbo now from the distance with his pale eyes like telescopes. Gollum got into his boat and shot off from the island, and was suddenly next to Bilbo, whispering and hissing: "It's a choice feast; at least a tasty morsel it'd make us, Gollum!" And when he said 'Gollum', he made a horrible swallowing noise in his throat.

 

Question: 

Identify a simile, and explain what the simile suggests about Gollum’s capabilities. [2]

 

  1. The simile is “down at the bowels of the mountain”. The simile suggests that Gollum is good at scaling mountains.
  2. The simile is “pale eyes like telescopes”. Just as a telescope allows us to see distant objects, Gollum is able to see much farther than other creatures.

 

Answer:

option (2)

Explanation: 

The correct answer to this question is option (2). A simile needs 2 words - "as" or "like", any of which is not present in the first option. Also, if someone needs you to explain what a simile suggests, you need to explain it in terms of what is literal. In option (2), you first need to explain what a telescope is and then explain in the context of how Gollum's eyes are like a telescope.

 

 

Excerpt 2: 

Very few people came down here, for they had a feeling that something unpleasant was lurking down there, down at the bowels of the mountain. Gollum was watching Bilbo now from the distance with his pale eyes like telescopes. Gollum got into his boat and shot off from the island, and was suddenly next to Bilbo, whispering and hissing: "It's a choice feast; at least a tasty morsel it'd make us, Gollum!" And when he said 'Gollum', he made a horrible swallowing noise in his throat.

[Flow Chart Qn]

Question: 

Choose one phrase that best describes Gollum’s main thoughts presented in this section of the text.

 

  1. Seething rage
  2. Sizing his prey
  3. Wrenching grief
  4. Dawning realisation

 

Answer:

option (2)

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - "sizing his prey". In the second last sentence, Gollum is looking at Bilbo and whispering to himself that it will make a tasty morsel. So, he is sizing his prey to how good a feast it would be if he attacked and ate Bilbo.

 

 

Excerpt 3: 

Soon though, a thought struck Gollum and he whispered to himself, “He wants my precious!” That one thing that kept him amused and often in bountiful meals. “That's what he wants now, yes, he wants it!” He wanted it because it was a ring of power, and if you slipped that ring on your finger, you were invisible; only in the full sunlight could you be seen, and then only by your shadow, and that would be shaky and faint.

 

Question: 

Explain, in your own words, why the ring was known as a “ring of power”. [1] 

Which of the following answers does not answer the question above?

 

  1. It allows the wearer to be hidden from sight.
  2. It allows the wearer to remain undetected.
  3. It allows the wearer to escape detection.
  4. The wearer will be visible by their shadow only in the brightest daylight

 

Answer:

option (4)

Explanation: The power of the ring is that it allows the wearer to be invisible and can be seen only in full sunlight. The correct answer to this question is option (4) - “the wearer will be visible by their shadow only in the brightest daylight". Option (4) states the weakness of the ring, not the power. The power of the ring is being invisible and not being visible in full sunlight.

 

 

Excerpt 4: 

Soon though, a thought struck Gollum and he whispered to himself, “He wants my precious!” That one thing that kept him amused and often in bountiful meals. “That's what he wants now, yes, he wants it!” He wanted it because it was a ring of power, and if you slipped that ring on your finger, you were invisible; only in the full sunlight could you be seen, and then only by your shadow, and that would be shaky and faint.

 

[Flow Chart Qn]

Choose one phrase that best describes Gollum’s main thoughts presented in this section of the text.

 

  1. Seething rage
  2. In deep remorse
  3. Wrenching grief
  4. Dawning realisation

 

Answer:

option (4)

Explanation: The correct answer to this question is option (4) - “dawning realisation”. “Dawning realisation” means “realising something suddenly”. Gollum realises in the excerpt that Bilbo wants the ring now.

 

 

Excerpt 5: 

“Where is it? Where is it?” Bilbo heard him crying. “Lost it is, my precious, lost, lost!” Now the light in Gollum's eyes had become a green fire, suddenly suspicious of Bilbo and it was coming swiftly nearer. Gollum was in his boat again, paddling wildly back to the dark shore; and such a rage of loss and suspicion was in his heart that no sword had any more terror for him. His fury was menacing in its intensity.

 

[Flow Chart Qn]

Question:

Choose one phrase that best describes Gollum’s main thoughts presented in this section of the text.

 

  1. Wrenching grief
  2. In deep remorse
  3. Seething rage
  4. Feigned courtesy

 

Answer:

option (3)

Explanation: 

The correct answer to this question is option (3) - "seething rage". The clue in the excerpt is the second last sentence where it is written, "such a rage of loss and suspicion was in his heart that no sword had any more terror for him. His fury was menacing in its intensity”.

 

 

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

 

Excerpt 1: 

“What's he got in his hands?” said Gollum, looking at the sword, which he did not quite like. “A sword, a blade which came out of Gondolin!” Gollum became quite polite. “Perhaps we sit here and chat a bit.” He was anxious to appear friendly until he found out more about the sword and the hobbit, whether he was really alone.

 

Question:

In your own words, explain why Gollum “became polite” and “was anxious to appear friendly”. [2]

 

  1. He became quite polite because he was wary of Bilbo’s sword and did not wish to provoke him. He wanted to uncover more information about the sword and the hobbit as well as his intentions.
  2. Gollum became quite polite because a blade which came out of Gondolin was in Bilbo’s hands. He was anxious to appear friendly and wanted to find out more about the sword and the hobbit.

 

 

Excerpt 2: 

“What's he got in his hands?” said Gollum, looking at the sword, which he did not quite like. “A sword, a blade which came out of Gondolin!” Gollum became quite polite. “Perhaps we sit here and chat a bit.” He was anxious to appear friendly until he found out more about the sword and the hobbit, whether he was really alone.

 

[Flow Chart Qn]

Question:

Choose one phrase that best describes Gollum’s main thoughts presented in this section of the text.

 

  1. Feigned courtesy
  2. In deep remorse
  3. Wrenching grief
  4. Dawning realisation

 

 

Excerpt 3: 

Now the light in Gollum's eyes had become a green fire, suddenly suspicious of Bilbo and it was coming swiftly nearer. Gollum was in his boat again, paddling wildly back to the dark shore; and such a rage of loss and suspicion was in his heart that no sword had any more terror for him. His fury was menacing in its intensity.

Explain how the language used shows Gollum to be threatening. Support your answer with three details from the paragraph. [3]

 

Question: 

Which of these options does not answer the question above?

 

  1. “Now the light in Gollum’s eyes had become a green fire” suggests that he was in great rage and was ready to attack Bilbo.
  2. “His fury was menacing in its intensity” suggests that his anger was threatening and terribly frightening.
  3. “no sword had any more terror for him” suggests that Gollum was no longer wary of his sword.
  4. “paddling wildly across the dark shore” suggests that Gollum was consumed by anger and was about to seek revenge.


 

Continue Learning
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Comprehension Skills (Inferential Questions)
Continuous Writing: Personal Recount Continuous Writing - Expository
Comprehension Skills (IYOW Questions) Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Dialogue Questions
Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Summary Writing Skills Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) - Flowchart Questions
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Unusual & Effective Questions Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions
Editing Comprehension Skills - Referencing Questions
Comprehension Skills - Direct Recall Of Relevant Material, Paraphrasing Text 2 Skills: Literacy Devices
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices Irony
Summary Writing Situational Writing - Formal Letter of Complaint
Comprehension Skills - Language Arts Comprehension Skills - Vocabulary-based Questions
Comprehension Skills - Identifying Relevant Linguistic Expression Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Technique-Based Questions
Academic Topics
Primary
Primary 1
Primary 2
Primary 3
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Primary 5
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Secondary
Secondary 1
English
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text)
Comprehension Skills (Inferential Questions)
Continuous Writing: Personal Recount
Continuous Writing - Expository
Comprehension Skills (IYOW Questions)
Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Dialogue Questions
Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Summary Writing Skills
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) - Flowchart Questions
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Unusual & Effective Questions
Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions
Editing
Comprehension Skills - Referencing Questions
Comprehension Skills - Direct Recall Of Relevant Material, Paraphrasing
Text 2 Skills: Literacy Devices
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices
Irony
Summary Writing
Situational Writing - Formal Letter of Complaint
Comprehension Skills - Language Arts
Comprehension Skills - Vocabulary-based Questions
Comprehension Skills - Identifying Relevant Linguistic Expression
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Technique-Based Questions
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