English: Reading Comprehension Set 57

Directions (1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

    There were two sisters who hated each other: Inanna who ruled the world, land of the living, and Ereshkigal who ruled the underworld, land of the dead. Inanna decided to visit the underworld. She told the gatekeeper of the underworld that she wanted to attend her brother-in-law’s funeral rites. But perhaps she actually wanted to conquer the underworld. Before she left, Inanna instructed her minister Ninshubur to plead with the gods Enlil, Nanna, and Enki to save her if anything went wrong, and dressed elaborately for the visit. Her garments, unsuitable for a funeral, along with her haughty behaviour, made the queen of the underworld suspicious.

    Following Ereshkigal’s instructions, the gatekeeper told Inanna she could enter the first gate of the underworld, but she had to hand over a piece of clothing. She asked why and was told, ‘It is just the way of the Underworld’. She obliged.

    Inanna passed through a total of seven gates, each time removing a piece of clothing or jewellery she had been wearing at the start of her journey. When she arrived in front of her sister, she was stark naked and vulnerable. Ereshkigal turned Inanna into a corpse and hung her on a hook.

    Three days and three nights passed and Ninshubur, following instructions, went to Enlil, Nanna, and Enki’s temples and demanded they save the goddess of life, love and living. The first two gods refused, saying it was her own mess, but Enki was deeply troubled and agreed to help. He created two sexless figures (neither male nor female). He instructed them to appease Ereshkigal and, when she asked what they wanted, ask for Inanna’s corpse and sprinkle it with the food and water of life.

    Things went as Enki said and the two sexless beings were able to revive Inanna. But Ereshkigal’s demons followed Inanna out of the underworld and said she wasn’t free to go until someone took her place. They first came upon Ninshubur and asked her to take Inanna’s place. Inanna refused, saying she had helped her as she had asked. They next came upon Dumuzi, Inanna’s husband. He was enjoying himself though his wife was supposedly still missing in the underworld. Inanna wasn’t happy and said the demons could take him. Dumuzi tried to escape his fate but a fly told Inanna and the demons where he was. It was then decreed that Dumuzi would spend half the year with Ereshkigal in the underworld, and the rest of the year with Inanna.

  1. Why did Inanna decide to visit the underworld?
    To meet her sister
    To attend her brother-in-law’s funeral rites
    She wanted to conquer the underworld
    She wanted to go on a holiday
    None of these
    Option C
    According to the passage, “Inanna decided to visit the underworld. She told the gatekeeper of the underworld that she wanted to attend her brother-in-law’s funeral rites. But perhaps she actually wanted to conquer the underworld.” Hence, attending her brother-in-law’s funeral rites was just an excuse and she actually wanted to rule the underworld. Hence, the correct answer is C.

     

  2. What made Ereshkigal suspicious?
    Her sister’s sad behaviour
    Her garments and haughty behaviour
    Her pleading with the gods Enlil, Nanna, and Enki
    Her sudden visit
    None of these
    Option B
    It can be inferred from the following statement of the passage, “Her garments, unsuitable for a funeral, along with her haughty behavior, made the queen of the underworld suspicious.” Hence, the correct answer is B.

     

  3. Why didn’t Enlil and Nanna help?
    They were scared of Ereshkigal
    They hated Inanna
    They thought she created the problem herself
    They were lazy to do it
    None of these
    Option C
    It can be inferred from the following statement of the passage, “The first two gods refused, saying it was her own mess, but Enki was deeply troubled and agreed to help.” Hence, the correct answer is C.

     

  4. Why did Ereshkigal’s demons follow Inanna out of the underworld?
    It was Ereshkigal’s order
    They wanted to punish Inanna
    They wanted her to be the new queen
    She couldn’t be let free unless someone took her place
    None of these
    Option D
    It can be inferred from the following statement of the passage, “But Ereshkigal’s demons followed Inanna out of the underworld and said she wasn’t free to go until someone took her place.” Hence, the correct answer is D.

     

  5. Why didn’t Inanna let Ninshubur take her place?
    She loved her like her own sister
    She had helped Inanna as she had asked
    Inanna wanted to make her the queen
    She wanted Ereshkigal to take her place
    None of these
    Option B
    It can be inferred from the following statement of the passage, “They first came upon Ninshubur and asked her to take Inanna’s place. Inanna refused, saying she had helped her as she had asked.” Hence, the correct answer is B.

     

  6. Why was Inanna upset with her husband?
    Because he didn’t care for her disappearance
    Because he rather loved her sister
    Because he was trying to steal the throne from her
    Because he couldn’t work properly
    None of these
    Option A
    It can be inferred from the following statement of the passage, “They next came upon Dumuzi, Inanna’s husband. He was enjoying himself though his wife was supposedly still missing in the underworld. Inanna wasn’t happy and said the demons could take him.” Hence, the correct answer is A.

     

  7. Which of the following is the MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the given word?
    HAUGHTY
    Naughty
    Vain
    Modest
    Suggestive
    None of these
    Option B
    Haughty means arrogantly superior and disdainful. The first option “Naughty” means badly behaved; disobedient. The second option “Vain” means having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth. The third option “Modest” means unassuming in the estimation of one’s abilities or achievements. The fourth option “Suggestive” means tending to suggest an idea. Hence we can conclude that “Vain” has same meaning as “Haughty”.

     

  8. Which of the following is the MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the given word?
    STARK
    Sharp
    Shining
    Exceptional
    Weird
    None of these
    Option A
    “Stark” means severe or bare in appearance or outline. The first option “Sharp” means distinct in outline or detail; clearly defined. The second option “Shining” means giving out or reflecting bright light. The third option “Exceptional” means unusual; not typical. The fourth option “Weird” means suggesting something supernatural; unearthly. Hence we can conclude that “Sharp” has same meaning as “Stark”.

     

  9. Which of the following is the MOST OPPOSITE in meaning to the given word?
    APPEASE
    Tranquilize
    Mollify
    Ruffle
    Mitigate
    None of these
    Option C
    “Appease” means to pacify or placate (someone) by acceding to their demands. The first option “Tranquilize” means have a calming or sedative effect on. The second option “Mollify” means appease the anger or anxiety of (someone). The third option “Ruffle” means disconcert or upset the composure of (someone). The fourth option “Mitigate” means make (something bad) less severe, serious, or painful. Hence we can conclude that “Ruffle” has opposite meaning to “Appease”.

     

  10. Which of the following is the MOST OPPOSITE in meaning to the given word?
    DECREED
    Order
    Appeal
    Plead
    Proclaim
    None of these
    Option E
    “Decreed” means order (something) by decree. The first option “Order” means an authoritative command or instruction. The second option “Appeal” means make a serious, urgent, or heartfelt request. The third option “Plead” means make an emotional appeal. The fourth option “Proclaim” announce officially or publicly. Hence we can conclude that none of these has the meaning opposite to that of “Decreed”.

     

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