Sample Final Exam Answer to Question 2

Sample Practice Final Exam and Answer
Introduction to College English (603-101)
Submitted by Ron Curtis
Activity’s Purpose
To help prepare students for the 101 final by providing them with an example of the types of
questions they will be answering and by modeling for them what a good answer might look like.
The complete 101 final exam has two parts: Part 1 is an editing test paragraph component and
Part 2 is the analysis paragraph answer component presented in this sample. Students complete
both practice editing test paragraphs and practice analysis paragraph answers prior to the final exam.
1. Hand-out the sample final exam one or two classes before the final exam.
2. Students can be asked to work on the exam individually or in groups. The teacher might first
ask students whether they have questions about the test itself. Students should then try to
brainstorm answers to question 2 (since the model answer will be handed out to them
3. Students share their answers with the class. The teacher notes key ideas and examples on
the board.
4. The class is encouraged to discuss the answer, and asked whether it could be improved.
5. The teacher then reads the sample exam answer and asks students why it is a good answer.
Sample Final Exam
Respond to the four sets of questions below in four well developed paragraphs of at least 150 words
each. You must write one paragraph for each set of questions, and thus four paragraphs in all to
complete this part of the exam. Write only on the lined paper provided. Be sure to clearly identify
which question you are writing on. Write clearly and double-space if necessary, and write your
paragraphs in pen. You may use your course module, a dictionary and thesaurus for this part of the
1. How does Robin Wood’s essay on Psycho help the reader understand the theme of “the
dominance of the past over the present” (1.32) in this film? What is one specific example
from the film which relates to and develops this theme?
2. How does Doris Lessing’s use of Jerry’s blood in this story function as a symbol to help the
reader understand the theme of coming of age through a rite of passage in “Through the
3. Why does Louis Valdez refer to the Johnny Pachuco “model” as a scapegoat in his short
play “Los Vendidos?” Why is the reference to the LAPD ironic? How does Valdez use the
Johnny model to satirically critique American society’s stereotypes regarding Mexicans and
Mexican Americans?
4. In the film Stranger than Fiction Professor Hilbert explains to Harold the fundamental
difference between comedy and tragedy. What is this difference? Why is this difference so
important to Harold? How does the conclusion of the film illustrate the significance of this
Your paragraphs will be evaluated on a) the clarity, precision, accuracy and development of your
response to each of the questions; and b) correct use of standard written English.
Sample Final Exam Answer to Question 2
The Symbolism of Blood in “Through the Tunnel”
In “Through the Tunnel,” Doris Lessing uses Jerry’s blood to symbolize the pain he is now
ready to endure to complete his ordeal of swimming through the underwater tunnel. Jerry’s first
training sessions cause his nose to bleed and symbolize his pain and discomfort. Even though his
nose has bled badly, he still does not follow his mother to the “safe beach,” symbolizing his growing
maturity in pursuing his own objectives and independence. Bleeding is a characteristic trait of many
rite of passage rituals, so Jerry’s bloodshed symbolizes the transformation he is currently trying to
achieve. The increasing severity of his nose bleeds also symbolically reinforces the idea that Jerry is
enduring increasing amounts of pain in order to complete the rite of passage. Also, many rite of
passage rituals involve the young person attempting to achieve a goal which involves bloodshed,
which in this case is symbolized by Jerry’s final achievement in completing his swim through the
tunnel. The large amount of blood Jerry dumps out of his goggles after completing his swim can be
seen to symbolize his final step in the passage from childhood to adolescence.