English Reading Comprehension with Detailed Explanation – IBPS, SSC Exam (Day-10)

English Reading Comprehension with Detailed Explanation – IBPS, SSC Exams (Day-10):

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Direction (1-10): Read the passage below and answer the following questions.

North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street, except at the hour when the Christian Bothers School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two storey stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbors in a square ground. The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.

The former tenant of our house, a priest, had died in the back drawing room. Air, musty from having been long enclosed hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless papers. Among these, I found a few papers-covered books, the pages of which were curried and damp: The Abbot, by Walter Scoot, The Devout Communicant, and the Memoirs of Vidocq. I liked the last best because its leaves were yellow. The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple tree and a few straggling bushes, under one of which I found the late tenant’s rusty bicycle pump. He had been a very charitable priest; in his will he had left all his money to institutions and the furniture of his house to his sister.

When the short days of winter came, dusk fell before we had well eaten our dinners. When we met in the street, the houses had grown sombre. The space of sky above us was the colour of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed. Our shouts echoed in the silent street. The career of our play brought us through the dark muddy lanes behind the houses, where we ran the gauntlet of the rough tribes from the cottages, to the back doors of the dark dripping gardens where odours arose from the ashpits, to the dark odorous stables where a coachman smoothed and combed the horse or shook music from the buckled harness. When we returned to the street, light came from the kitchen windows had filled the areas. If my uncle was seen turning the corner, we hid in the shadow until we had seen him safely housed. Or if Mangan’s sister came out on the doorstep to call her brother in to his tea, we watched her from our shadow peer up and down the street. We waited to see whether she would remain or go in and, if she remained, we left our shadow and walked up to Mangan’s steps resignedly. She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door. Her brother always teased her before he obeyed, and I stood by the railings looking at her. Her dress swung as she moved her body, and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.

Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlour watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books and followed her. I kept her brown figure always in my eye and, when we came near the point at which our ways diverged, I quickened my pace and passed her. This happened morning after morning. I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.

Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance. On Saturday evenings when my aunt went marketing, I had to go to carry some of the parcels. We walked through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop-boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs’ cheeks, the nasal chanting of street-singers, who sang a come-all-you about O’Denovan Rossa, or a ballad about the troubles in our native land. These noises converged in a single sensation of life for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand. My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into the bosom. I thought little of the future. I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.

One evening I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring; ‘O love! O love!’ many times.

  1. What is so significant about the author’s description of the buildings that dot North Richmond Street?
  1. Most of the houses are drab and they indicate the financial condition of the inhabitants.
  2. The houses have been described metaphorically to create an image of isolation and uncertainty which surround the uninhabited house.
  3. The author’s description is actually intended to highlight the financial disparity among the inhabitants of the locality.
  4. The houses were noisy.
  5. None of the above.
  1. From the reading of the passage, what do you think could be the probable meaning of the expression ‘ran the gauntlet’?
  1. To deal with people who were hostile.
  2. To agree to compete with the adversity.
  3. To wear thick gloves for protection.
  4. To skirt the tribal villages.
  5. None of these
  1. ‘I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes’. What does this sentence indicate about the author’s attitude to love?
  1. Love is a big responsibility, which has bogged him down.
  2. The whole world around him is his enemy who wants to destroy his love before it has bloomed fully.
  3. His love is as sacred as religion and he has to pursue it in the face of great odds.
  4. His love is as delicate as a cup, which he has to carry safely.
  5. None of these
  1. Which of the following best replaces the word’ imperturbable’ as used in the passage?
  1. Withered
  2. Edgy
  3. Aloof
  4. Ruffled
  5. None of these
  1. What could be a suitable title for the passage?
  1. Love’s Labour Lost
  2. Love Amidst Dreariness
  3. The Wonders of Love
  4. Ephemeral Love
  5. None of these
  1. What is the importance of the recurring reference to the ‘dead priest’?
  1. It heightens the religious undertone of the passage.
  2. It adds an element of the supernatural.
  3. It hints at the untimely death of his love.
  4. It is a passing reference without ant importance.
  5. None of these
  1. What can be the synonym of the word ‘diverged’ as used in the context of the passage?
  1. Gain
  2. Coincide
  3. Split
  4. Meet
  5. Cross
  1. What can be the synonym of the word ‘sombre’ as used in the context of the passage?
  1. Dazzling
  2. Dull
  3. Bright
  4. Intense
  5. Flamboyant
  1. What can be the most opposite in meaning to the word ‘feeble’ as used in the context of the passage?
  1. Faint
  2. Dull
  3. Indistinct
  4. Vague
  5. Powerful
  1. What can be the most opposite in meaning to the word ‘impinge’ as used in the context of the passage?
  1. Bounce
  2. Press
  3. Collide
  4. Slam
  5. Hit

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