Study S2 English English - Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Inference, Authorial and Literary Technique - Geniebook

Comprehension Skills - Inference, Authorial and Literary Technique

In this chapter, we would be discussing Inference, literary techniques and authorial techniques with regards to Comprehension Skills.

Let’s go through the topics to be covered in this chapter:

  • Text 3 Skills (Non-narrative Text): Sir Richard Branson
  • Inference
  • Literary Techniques 
  • Authorial Techniques
     

Inference

Look for keywords that identify the question as an inference question. When you come upon a question that contains one of the words/phrases (imply, suggest, infer, assume, most likely, probably, seem, predict, indicate, conclude), make a note that you are looking for an inference. This will help you later on as you consider the answer choices by reminding you that you must draw a logical conclusion based on the facts presented in the passage.

 

Literary Techniques

Literary techniques are specific, deliberate constructions of language which an author uses to convey meaning. An author's use of a literary technique usually occurs with a single word or phrase, or a particular group of words or phrases, at one single point in a text.

Examples of literary techniques/devices you are required to understand:

Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Hyperbole, Imagery.

 

Metaphor:

A figurative statement that implies the similarity between things otherwise dissimilar, as when the poet Robert Frost states, “I have been acquainted with the night.” meaning that he has suffered despair. 

 

Personification:

Attributing human qualities to objects, abstractions, or animals: “This beauty calls and glory leads the way”.

 

Repetition:

Repeating the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer.

 

Simile:

A figure of speech, which, like the metaphor, implies a similarity between things otherwise dissimilar. The simile, however, always uses the words like, as or so to introduce the comparison: “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”

 

Tone:

In writing, the tone is the reflection of the writer’s attitude toward the subject and audience. The tone can be personal or impersonal, formal or informal, objective or subjective. Tone may also be expressed by a tone of voice, such as irony, sarcasm, anger, humour, satire, hyperbole, or understatement.

 

Let’s understand the above topics with the help of some examples:

 

 

Question: 

Identify and explain the use of the literary device in the passage

The brain had its own food on which it battened, and the imagination, made grotesque by terror, twisted and distorted as a living thing by pain, danced like some foul puppet on a stand and grinned through moving masks.

 

Answer: 

Literary device: Simile

 

Explanation: 

Imagination is compared to “some foul puppet on a stand”.

This emphasises the disgusting and wild nature of his imagination, as the puppet is dancing and grinning, like a puppet from a horror movie.

 

Author’s Purpose Questions

 
  • Is the author trying to persuade, inform, or entertain the reader?
  • What message does the author want the reader to know?
  • Why did the author use a certain phrase/expression?
  • Is the phrase/expression inherently positive or negative?
  • What does his use of the phrase/expression tell you about his views on the subject?

 

Richard Branson

The following article is on Richard Branson, an English business magnate who founded the Virgin Group which currently controls more than 400 companies.

 

Para 1: 

The 20-something Richard Branson racked up a résumé that would impress no one: high- school dropout with poor reading and math skills. Failed get-rich-quick schemes. Long-haired, barefooted hippie. A struggling business that led to two arrests and a night in jail on suspicion of tax evasion.

  • Identify and evaluate the key idea (impress no one).
  • Highlight the points found in the passage.
  • Underline the key terms to rephrase.


 

Question:

The 20-something Richard Branson racked up a résumé that would impress no one: high- school dropout with poor reading and math skills. Failed get-rich-quick schemes. Long-haired, barefooted hippie. A struggling business that led to two arrests and a night in jail on suspicion of tax evasion.

Identify the ways in which Richard Branson’s resume when he was twenty would “impress no one”. Answer in your own words.

 

  1. His mathematical and reading scores were lacklustre. His business attempts were unsuccessful. He was imprisoned for not paying his taxes.
  2. His mathematical and reading scores were below average. His business attempts were futile. He was incarcerated for not paying his taxes.
  3. His mathematical and reading scores were below uninspiring. His business attempts were chaotic. He was rehabilitated for not paying his taxes.

 

Choose the correct option.

 

  1. I
  2. III
  3. I, II & III
  4. I & II

 

Answer:

D) I & II

 

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (D) i.e. I & II because the last part here rehabilitated is not correct which makes C a wrong option.

 

 

Question:

Branson’s life seems as golden as his locks. Worth about $4.4 billion, he ranked as the 236th richest person in 2008, according to Forbes. Branson has put his Virgin brand on independent businesses in the airline, hospitality, space travel and financial industries, to name a few.

“Branson’s life seems as golden as his locks”. What does the word “golden” suggest about his life?

 

  1. It suggests that he led a successful and wealthy life. 
  2. It indicates that he led a fruitful and extravagant life.
  3. It implies that he led a flourishing and financially accomplished life. 

Choose the correct option.

 

  1. 1 & 3
  2. 3
  3. 1, 2 & 3
  4. 1 & 2

 

Answer:

A) 1 & 3

 

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option No. A i.e. 1 & 3. The word “golden” in the first line  “Branson’s life seems as golden as his locks”, here gives a positive impression which we get from Option A & B but Option No C gives a negative impression.

Hence, Option A is correct.

 

 

Question:

Dyslexia, for instance, made reading and understanding some concepts painfully difficult. Even today, he says he doesn’t trust numbers. “Ironically, I don’t complicate my life with financial reports even though they are the crux in businesses,” he says, laughing.

Explain, in your own words, the irony in Branson’s comment from the lines in bold.

It is expected that Branson would be … 

 

  1. Extremely concerned about financial reports because they are important to the business. However, he does not actually care much about the financial reports. 
  2. Highly concerned about financial reports as they are most important to the business. However, he does not actually bother much about the financial documents. 
  3. Very concerned about financial reports as they are most important to the business. However, he does not disregard the financial dossiers.

 

Choose the correct option.

 

  1. 3
  2. 1, 2 & 3
  3. 1 & 2

 

Answer:

D) 1& 2

 

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option D i.e. 1 & 2.

 

 

Question:

As entrepreneurs struggle in today’s economy to throw off the negativity and rekindle the bold spirit that fuelled their passion in the first place, Branson has this advice: “Obstacles and challenges are healthy for everyone, not just entrepreneurs. They force you to think outside the box.”

 

  1. Obstacles and challenges can drive us to cultivate our creativity.
  2. Obstacles and challenges can drive us to nurture our innovativeness.
  3. Obstacles and challenges can drive us to foster our inventiveness.

 

Choose the correct option.

 

  1. 2 & 3
  2. 3
  3. 1, 2 & 3
  4. 1 & 2

 

Answer: 

C) 1, 2 & 3

 

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option C i.e. 1, 2 & 3. Cultivating our creativity, nurturing our innovativeness, fostering our inventiveness is to think outside the box.

 

 

Question:

In his early years, his Virgin records shop continually experienced cash-flow problems, even despite its brisk sales. To ensure enough money to pay off a bank loan, 20-year-old Branson pretended to buy records for export to escape a tax on sales within Britain. He was arrested and jailed for a night, released only after his mother secured his bail by pledging her home as collateral.

Explain in your own words why Branson was jailed. 

 

  1. Branson wanted to have sufficient money to return the money he borrowed from the bank. In order to do so, he lied that his records were purchased to be sold to other countries to avoid the taxes.
  2. Branson wanted to obtain adequate funds to return the funds he borrowed from the bank. In order to do so, he lied that his records were purchased to be sold to other countries to avoid the taxes.
  3. Branson wanted to have abundant dollars to return the finances he borrowed from the bank. In order to do so, he lied that his records were purchased to be sold to other countries to delay the taxes.

 

Choose the correct option.

 

  1. 2 & 3 
  2. 3
  3. 1, 2 & 3
  4. 1 & 2

 

Answer:

D) 1 & 2

 

Explanation:

The correct answer is option No D i.e. 1 & 2. Option 3 is incorrect as abundant means to have a lot and he did not want to delay the taxes but to pay them. So, abundant and delay are not the correct phrases.

 

 

Question:

“Avoiding prison was the most persuasive incentive I’ve ever had,” said Branson, and the next two years were a crash course in money management. After that incident, Branson realised there were some rules he would heed in the future.

Why does Branson say that the next two years after that incident were a ‘crash course’?

 

  1. It was because he was coerced, under such circumstances, to learn plenty about how to manage his money, at a course held at his university.
  2. It was because he was compelled, under such circumstances, to learn a lot about how to manage his money, all within a short span of time.
  3. It was because he was forced, under such circumstances, to learn much about how to manage his money, at an extremely fast pace.

 

Choose the correct option.

 

  1. 2 & 3
  2. 3
  3. 1, 2 & 3
  4. 1 & 2

 

Answer:

A) 2 & 3

 

Explanation:

The correct answer is option A i.e. 2 & 3.


 

Question:

 

“My parents had always drummed into me that all you have in life is your reputation: You may be very rich, but if you lose your good name, then you’ll never be happy.” He paid the fine and, looking back, realised that failure to do so would have ruined his life. “It is unlikely, not to say impossible, that someone with a criminal record would have been allowed to set up an airline.”

Why would failure to pay the fine ruin Branson’s life?

 

Having a criminal record, from failing to pay the fine, would have…

 

  1. Prevented him from founding an airline company.
  2. Prevented him from establishing an airline company.
  3. Prevented him from setting up an airline company.

 

Choose the correct option.

 

  1. 2 & 3
  2. 3
  3. 1, 2 & 3
  4. 1 & 2


 

Answer:

C) 1, 2 & 3

 

Explanation: 

The correct answer is Option C i.e. 1, 2 & 3. 

Hence, having a criminal record, from failing to pay the fine, would have prevented him from founding, establishing and setting up an airline company.

Continue Learning
Comprehension Skills - Vocabulary Questions Summary Writing
Expository Writing Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Flowchart Questions
Comprehension Skills (Non-Narrative Text) IYOW Questions Editing And Visual Text
Situational Writing Narrative Writing - Question Analysis And Building Characters
Comprehension Skills: Direct Questions Comprehension Skills - Unusual Effective Questions
Comprehension Skills - Point Identification and Paraphrasing Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Direct Questions
Comprehension Skills - Language Arts Comprehension Skills - Inference, Authorial and Literary Technique
Expository Writing - Identifying Structures Comprehension Skills - Inference Questions
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Narrative Writing - Question Analysis And Building Characters
Comprehension Skills: Direct Questions
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