The Arrival After months of treacherous travel, dangerous encounters, and depleted supplies, our exhausted party finally reached its destination. On the other side of a hill was a vast valley that resembled an enormous, vibrant garden. Fertile black soil gave rise to trees and plants of every variety; small brooks cut through and fed the lush vegetation. The land was unspoiled and pure, an authentic paradise, created by the bold sun and soaking summer rains, untouched by humans. Among the trees of the valley was one that was especially magnificent. Its crown rose above the rest, spreading widely to claim a position of majesty in the forest canopy. Its leaves were the darkest green in this pastoral landscape, and from every branch hung fist-size globes of red and yellow fruit that resembled nothing we had seen before. Having gone so long without even a glimpse of vegetation, the sudden appearance of vibrant greenery seemed too good to be true. However, we couldn’t resist the tempting fruit. In a moment, all of us were running toward the protection and nourishment the tree seemed to provide. How does the allusion to the biblical Garden of Eden affect the story? It hints that the tree will become a source of pain for the travelers. It means that the story will present a moral lesson in the end. It suggests that the travelers are aware of the valley’s dangers. It implies that the travelers will be safe once they enter the valley.
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1In 1948, American artist Andrew Wyeth unveiled his painting Christina’s World. The painting shows a woman in a field. Her face is turned away from the artist, and she is crawling across the pasture. She is making her way toward an old farmhouse, which is visible in the distance. 2Wyeth created the scene using tempera. Tempera is an Italian word with Latin origins. It comes from the Latin temperare, which means “to mix.” Tempera is paint made by mixing dye and a binding material. Egg yolks are commonly used as a binder in tempera paint. The image was painted on a flat panel covered with gesso. Gesso is a powdered, chalk-like substance that artists mix with glue. They often use it as a first coat of paint before they apply tempera paints. The word gesso comes from the Italian word for “chalk.” 3The woman shown in Christina’s World appears rather young, but in real life, the subject was a middle-aged woman. Wyeth, who lived in the Maine countryside, looked out his window one day and saw his neighbor crawling across the pasture. Many think that the woman suffered from a disease called polio, but no one knows for sure. Whether she was or was not ill, she was unable move her body from the waist down, which is why she had to pull herself across the field by her arms. Similarly, the woman pictured in Wyeth’s painting has some sort of illness that has affected her muscles. 4Most of the colors used to create Christina’s World are earth tones. The field is a shade of gold, the farmhouse is dark gray, and the sky is cloudy ash gray. The subject’s dress is very light pink and is the brightest spot in the whole scene. This splash of color shows how bold and strong the woman in the field is even though her world seems rather lonely and difficult. 5Christina’s World is a very moving work of art. The painting of a lone figure in a barren field presents an image of great struggle. The woman appears to be making her way to the farmhouse on the horizon, which lies at a distance from where she is. Though the house is far away, the woman looks toward it as her goal. Having her face focused on the destination in front of her suggests her great determination. While the painting shows a struggle, it also reveals the courage and strength all people possess. The author of this passage is considering changing the first sentence of the fourth paragraph from its current sentence to the following one: “The painting is worth more than $100,000 and currently hangs in the New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.” Would this sentence work effectively as a transition from paragraph 3 to paragraph 4? A) No, because the sentence properly belongs at the end of the last paragraph of the essay. B) Yes, because the sentence provides information that would be of interest to the general reader. C) No, because the fourth paragraph is primarily about the colors of the painting–not its current value or location. Eliminate D) Yes, because the sentence provides information that looks outward from the painting to its importance in the real world.