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Evaluate/Extend Meaning

These questions help determine if you can demonstrate critical understanding by making predictions, distinguishing between fact and opinion, transferring ideas to other situations, and judging the author's purpose.

Reading Passage: 

An Appointment in Samarra
(as retold by W. Somerset Maugham)


There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

Making Predictions 
1. What will happen to the servant in Samarra when he arrives?
    A. He will be safe from Death
    B. He will realize his fear was unfounded
    C. He will meet his fate and die
    D. He will send his master's horse back to him

Distinguishing between fact and opinion
2. Based on the information in the story, which of the following statements would be considered an opinion?
    A. A merchant lived in Bagdad.
    B. Death made a threatening gesture.
    C. The servant borrowed his Master's horse.
    D.  Death had an appointment in Samarra.

Transferring ideas to other situations
3. Which of the following would be similar to the what the servant experienced?
    A. Dreaming of winning the lottery and then actually win.
    B. Falling off a cliff.
    C. Soaking feet in a cool stream.
    D. Running away from a stranger.

Judging the author's purpose.
4. What point is the author trying to make about fate?
    A. Fate is inescapable.
    B. Fate can be changed by a person's behavior.
    C. Fate is random.
    D. Fate means death.

    1. C
    2. B
    3. A
    4. A