11. Reading Skills Comprehension: History of Literature

By | June 18, 2019

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HISTORY OF LITERATURE

The history of literature really began long before man learned to write. Dancing was the earliest of the arts. The man danced for joy around his primitive campfire after the defeat and slaughter of his enemy. He yelled and shouted as he danced and gradually the yells and shouts became coherent and caught the measure of the dance and thus the first war song was sung. As the idea of God developed prayers were framed. The songs and prayers became traditional and were repeated from one generation to another, each generation adding something of its own.

 As the man slowly grew more civilized, he was compelled to invent some method of writing by three urgent necessities. There were certain things that it was dangerous to forget and which, therefore, had to be recorded. It was often necessary to communicate with persons who were some distance away and it was necessary to protect one’s property by making tools, cattle and so on, in some distinctive manner. So man taught himself to write and have learned to write purely for utilitarian reasons he used this new method for preserving his war songs and his prayers. Of course, among these ancient peoples, there were only a very few individuals who learned to write, and only a few could read what was written.

1. Before man invented writing

(a) literature was passed on by word of mouth.

 (b) prayers were considered literature.

 (c) literature was just singing and dancing.

 (d) there was no literature.

2. As for the war songs and prayers each generation

(a) added something of its own to the stock

(b) blindly repeated the songs and prayers

 (c) composed its own songs and prayers.

 (d) repeated what has handed down to it

3. The first war-song

(a) was inspired by God

(b) developed spontaneously

 (c) was a song traditionally handed down

 (d) was composed by leading dancers

4. The war song evolved out of

 (a) creative inspiration

(b) there was no literature

(c) artistic urge

 (d) yelling and shouting

5. Man invented writing because he wanted

(a) to be artistic

(b) to write a war song

(c) to write literature

(d) to record and communicate

 6. The word ‘measure’ in the context of the passage means

(a) weight

(b) rhythm

(c) size

(d) quantity

ANSWERS:-

1. (c)                2. (a)

3. (b)                4. (d)

5. (c)                6. (d)

Download the above Passage in PDF (Printable)

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