Reading Practice Test 72 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

Passage 3: 

With a literary history that goes back as far as the seventeenth century, Florida has long been a major haunt for writers from all over the United States. Jonathan Dickinson, whose group of Quakers was cast up on the coast near what is now Palm Beach after they were wrecked en route from Jamaica to Pennsylvania, recorded the tragedy in God’s Protecting Providence in 1699. Not only was this book one of America’s first best- sellers, but it was also the first account of the American Indians of the southeastern coast. Other early writers who followed Dickinson celebrated the rich and various plant and animal life of the region, striking sympathetic chords in the imaginations of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the English poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Florida has been visited by many writers who sometimes were so taken by what they saw that they adopted it as their home. Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, spent several winters on an orange farm that she and her husband bought in 1867. The Stowes’ original intent in buying a home, which is at Mandarin on the Saint Johns River, was to create a model for the employment of former slaves. The original intent had to give way to other considerations. So many spectators flocked to the farm to catch a glimpse of Mrs. Stowe that a charge of 25 cents per person for admission was established.

On his way to report on the Cuban Revolution in 1896, Stephen Crane spent some time in Jacksonville. It was there that Crane met his wife, who at that time ran a popular tavern in the town. On his way to Cuba, Crane’s boat sank off the coast of Florida, an incident that provided Crane with the material on which his masterpiece “The Open Boat” is based.

James Weldon Johnson, a prominent Black author, was a native of Florida. He was born in Jacksonville in 1871 and was a songwriter, poet, novelist, teacher, and the first Black man to become a lawyer in Florida since the Reconstruction. Johnson also fought successfully to upgrade the quality of education for Black people in Florida.

1. What is the main topic of the passage

(A) Early books about Florida

(B) Florida’s literary history

(C) The first settlers of Palm Beach

(D) Black American literature

2. The word “It” in line 5 refers to

(A) tragedy

(B) book

(C) life

(D) coast

3. The popular book God’ s Protecting Providence primarily dealt with

(A) Ralph Waldo Emerson

(B) the beach

(C) animal life

(D) a shipwreck

4. The word “rich” in line 7 is closest in meaning to

(A) expensive

(B) healthy

(C) abundant

(D) heavy

5. It can be inferred from the passage that Harriet Beecher Stowe was

(A) a celebrity

(B) a travel writer

(C) an associate of Stephen Crane

(D) a native of Florida


6. When Stephen Crane met his wife, he was a

(A) soldier

(B) sailor

(C) journalist

(D) tavern keeper


7. What can be inferred about the story “The Open Boat”?

(A) It is mainly about a shipwreck

(B) It is mainly about Cuba

(C) It takes place in a tavern

(D) Its main character is from Florida


8. The passage refers to all of the following as occupations of James Weldon Johnson EXCEPT

(A) playwright

(B) poet

(C) educator

(D) lawyer

Reading Practice Test 72 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
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