68. Reading Skills Comprehension: Warm Windy Evening

By | October 10, 2022

Warm Windy Evening

Read the given passage carefully.

1. And so it happened that on a warm windy evening I drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all. Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a cheerful red and white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay. The lawn started at the beach and r toward the front door for a quarter of a mile, jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens—finally when it reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing now with reflecting gold, and wide open to the warm windy afternoon, and Tom Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch.

2. He had changed since his New Haven years. Now he was a sturdy, straw haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. ‘By° shining, arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggressively forward. Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body—he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle, shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat. It was a body capable of enormous leverage—a cruel body.

3. His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed. There was a touch of paternal contempt in it, even toward people he liked—and there were men at New l Haven who had hated his guts.

4. “Now, don’t think my opinion on these matters is final,” he seemed to say, “just because I’m stronger and more of a man than you are.” We were in the same Senior Society, and while we were never intimate I always had the impression that he approved of me and wanted me to like him with some harsh, defiant wistfulness of his own.

5. We talked for a few minutes on the sunny porch.

6. “I’ve got a nice place here,” he said, his eyes flashing about restlessly.

7. Turning me around by one arm he moved a broad flat hand along the front vista, including in its sweep a sunken Italian garden, a half acre of deep pungent roses and a snub-nosed motor boat that bumped the tide offshore.

8. “It belonged to Demaine the oil man.” He turned me around again, politely and abruptly. “We’ll go inside.”

9. We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling—and then rippled over the wine-coloured rug, making a shadow on it as the wind does on the sea.

10. The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor.

11. The younger of the two was a stranger to me. She was extended full length at her end of the divan, completely motionless and with her chin raised a little as if she were balancing something on it which was quite likely to fall. If she saw me out of the corner of her eyes she gave no hint of it—indeed, I was almost surprised into murmuring an apology for having disturbed her by coming in.

(I) On the basis of your understanding of the passage answer the following questions with the help of the given options:

(a) The writer had driven to East Egg to………………

   (i) buy a cottage

 (ii) do some fishing

(iii) meet old friends

(iv) meet some cousins

 (b) The lawn of the house stretched from …………….

  (i) end to end

(ii) from the beach to the bay

 (iii) from the beach to the front door

(iv) for a mile

 (c) The wind played on the curtains ……………

  (i) till they looked like pale flags

(ii) as they were burgundy red

(iii) towards the French doors

(iv) along the verandah

 (d) Of the two women on the couch ………………..

  (i) none appeared to know him

 (ii) the older one did not know the writer

(iii) one held a balloon

(iv) the younger was a stranger to him

 (II) Answer the following questions briefly.

(a) What two landmarks did the writer pass on his way across the garden?

(b) Describe Tom Buchanan’s looks when the writer first saw him.

(c) What did the written notice his eyes?

 (d) What was the quality of Tom Buchanan’s voice?

 (e) What was the effect of the wind in the room that the writer had entered?

 (f) What was noticeable about the posture of the younger woman on the couch?

(III) Find words from the passage which mean the opposite of the following:

(a) humble (Para 2)

 (b) moving (Para 10)

Ans. (I) (a) (iii) meet old friends

(b) (iii) from the beach to the front door

(c) (i) till they looked like pale flags

 (d) (iv) the younger was a stranger to him

 (II) (a) The two landmarks that the writer passed were sun-dials and brick walks.

(b) Tom Buchanan was standing on the front of the house dressed in his riding clothes his legs slightly apart.

 (c) The writer noticed that his shining arrogant eyes made him look dominant and of slightly leaning forward.

(d) Tom Buchanan’s voice had a gruff husky tenor and had a hint of paternal contempt in this added to the impression of dislike among the people of New Haven towards him.

 (e) The wind, a gentle breeze, was moving the curtains on the French windows which appeared like pale flags and twisting them towards the ceiling which resembled a frosted wed cake and created a rippling shadow on the burgundy rug.

(f) The younger woman was stretched out on the couch to her full length, completely emotional and with her chin raised a little as if she was balancing something on it.

(III) (a) supercilious

 (b) stationary

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