Monday, 13 April 2015


by Karl Jirgens

Instructions:  Read the following passage from George Eliot’s Middlemarch and respond to the question below. 

__A__ felt a surprise which was quite unmixed with pleasure, but __A__ did not swerve from the usual politeness of greeting, when __B___ rose and explained her/his/its presence. __A__ was less happy than usual, and this perhaps made her/him/it look all the dimmer and more faded; else, the effect might easily have been produced by the contrast of ___B’s____ appearance. The first impression on seeing __B__ was one of sunny brightness, which added to the uncertainty of __B’s__ changing expression. Surely, __B’s__ very features changed their form, __B’s__  jaw looked sometimes large and sometimes small; and the little ripple in __B’s__ nose was a preparation for metamorphosis. When __B__ turned her/his/its head quickly __B’s__ hair seemed to shake out light, and some persons thought they saw decided genius in this coruscation [sparkle]. __A__, on the contrary, stood rayless.

Question: Identify characters A and B, in the above passage. Fill in the blanks above by choosing from among the pairs below (some illustrations provided), or enter your own answer in the space provided:

A. Bozo the Clown
B. Charlie Chaplin

A. The Dalai Llama
B. The Buddha

A. Pamela Wallin
B. Mother Teresa

A. Kwame Kilpatrick
B. Nelson Mandela

A. Lady Gaga
B. Maria Callas

A. Dull ennui
B. The Endless Mundane Vagaries of Life

A. Mary's Little Lamb
B. Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain

A. The apostrophe
B. William Shakespeare

A. The cracker and cheese
B. The Carnival of Rio de Janeiro

A. Anne of Green Gables
B. Godzilla

A. The humble oboe
B. The Brandenburg Concerto

A. Unabashed Gluttony
B. Dante’s Inferno

A. The Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner
B. The Black Hole V4641-Sgr (in the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way)

A. The common stone
B. The Great Pyramids of Giza

A. The exclamation mark
B. The Big Bang

A. The dyslexic Army
B. Mary

Or, fill in your own selection:

A. ________________

B. ________________