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San Pasqual Academy

Your
Points: English 9 and 10 - Ms. Priester
___/144 “Notes from a Bottle” Test

Reading Comprehension (7 points each)


1. What seemingly important information does the narrator of this story fail to provide at
the beginning?
a. how high the water will go
b. what year the story is set in
c. why there is a flood in the first place
d. what time of day it is

2. What structural elements in the text tell you these notes are a kind of diary?
a. the story is set in first-person
b. dates and times are recorded before each entry
c. the story is set in the present tense
d. the writer concentrates on everyday details

3. What device does Stevenson use to frame the entire story?


a. The story is supposed to be notes found in a bottle.
b. The story begins with the flood at the second floor and ends at the ninth floor.
c. People go from a state of chaos to a state of calm.
d. The story is told as if from one friend to another.

4. What reason does the writer give for the lack of phones, garbage pick-up, and other
services?
a. The flood has destroyed them.
b. They mayor has suspended all services.
c. Nobody has the need for them anymore.
d. The workers are on strike.

5. The shift in the mood of the people might be best described as changing from –
a. sad to delighted
b. carefree to grim
c. pessimistic (negative) to optimistic (positive)
d. self-centered to spiritual

6. What item in the story gets moved from the fourth floor to the sixth floor?
a. a pile of newspapers
b. a bag of flour
c. a piano
d. a refrigerator of food

7. Who moves into the Wenker’s apartment?


a. the narrator
b. the Carsons
c. Martin, the doorman
d. Ed Shea

8. Which of the following actions is not a prank played by the characters in the story?
a. skipping LP records through the air
b. dropping bags filled with flour
c. throwing burning paper out of the windows
d. setting buckets of water above doors

9. Which of the following statements explains why people probably slip out of the
narrator’s apartment during the party?

N.Priester Page 1 of 3
12/3/2009
From: Holt Literature and Language Arts: Third Course
a. Another party is going on down the hall.
b. They see that the water is rising to his floor.
c. They realize they don’t like him very much.
d. They food had run out.

10.Langford probably moves to the tallest TV antenna, because –


a. he thinks it is something he can lean on
b. he wants to tie on a distress signal
c. he hopes to survive from that position
d. the antenna is his property
(___/70)

Focus on Irony (10 points each)


11.What is ambiguous about the flood?
a. There is no clear cause given.
b. The water keeps rising.
c. The cause was an atomic explosion.
d. It happens in a major city.

12.Which of the following events is not an example of ambiguity in “Notes from a Bottle”?
a. The people are celebrating for no clear reason.
b. Services have ended not because of the flood but because of strikes.
c. Boats cruise by, but no one tries to escape.
d. Water eventually covers the narrator’s floor.

13.The reasons for the celebration at the beginning of the story are ambiguous. What
mood does this create?
a. dark humor
b. stark (complete) terror
c. cold formality
d. everyday reality
(___/30)

Story Vocabulary – 4 points each


Next to each definition, write the word from the list that best matches the meaning. Remember to spell
the words correctly.
portable recede speculation presumably submerged
14.thought: guesswork ______________________________________
15.covered with water ______________________________________
16.move back or away ______________________________________
17. able to be carried ______________________________________
(___/16)

Warning! If you do not attempt to answer most of the written section, your entire test will
not be graded.
Written Response to the Standard - points are indicated within the prompt
In “Notes from a Bottle” the mood shifts from the beginning to the end of the story. Write a complete
paragraph that:
-explain how the author’s use of ambiguity creates a change in mood (___/4)
-define ambiguity (___/8)
-describe the mood at the beginning of the story & support it with at least one example
(___/4)
-describe the mood at the ending of the story & support it with at least one example (___/4)
-explain the use of ambiguity affects the reader (___/4)
-use grade-level writing skills – simple answers will earn simple scores (___/4)

N.Priester Page 2 of 3
12/3/2009
From: Holt Literature and Language Arts: Third Course
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N.Priester Page 3 of 3
12/3/2009
From: Holt Literature and Language Arts: Third Course

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