". VdoTips: Comprehension Practice Set 27



Comprehension Practice Set 27

Read the following passage and answer Question Nos. from 1 to 5. Communication is essential to human life and what we call media is essential to communication. The tongue was the first medium of communication, along with hands for making gestures. The first great communicators, who also happened to be one of first great political and cultural leaders, were orators, and one of them, Cicero, a Roman legislator and lawyer, was so good at the use of his hands in oratory that when he was murdered by his enemies, they severed his hands and nailed them – along with his tongue – to the door of the Roman Senate. That horrible detail from history suggests emphatically how influential the media can be. The Romans so feared the media used by orators to sway the masses that they killed those who used them too well. The Roman Empire would not have worked without effective means of communication – papyrus and wax plates for writing, as well as a well – developed language to facilitate the communication of ideas and information and to assist the attainment of ends by influencing others to think and act in certain ways. Cicero’s death was initiated using a simple medium – a posted list of Roman citizens who had been proscribed – literally, “written off.” A proscribed citizen had ceased to have the protection of the law. He could be murdered by anyone, and his property seized by the murderer. The posted proscription list was a simple communicative medium with fatal implications. It meant life or death, and it did so by placing words in people’s minds that carried ideas that initiated actions. Words work and sometimes they work by changing the world. With Cicero’s death, the era of the Roman Republic ended, and from that point forward, Rome would be ruled by emperors. Wall posters continued to be used down through the centuries to influence public thought and behaviour. In China, when it was ruled by Mao Tse-Tung’s Communist Party, posters began to appear in 1963 all over Beijing. Ostensibly, posted by ordinary people, their appearance in fact launched a campaign by Mao to regain control of the party from pragmatists who favoured capitalist style economic development over state run collectivism. The posters vilified his adversaries, and soon a movement called the Cultural Revolution began that set back China’s economic development and resulted in many deaths through purges. A more genuinely popular use of posters to attain political ends occurred in Argentina in the 1980’s after a repressive conservative military dictatorship finally ended. It had suppressed a leftist movement through torture and murder, and the mothers of those killed protested in the Plaza de Mayo, a public square, using posters and placards that contained pictures of those who had “disappeared.” They eventually succeeded in drawing attention to the atrocity and getting redress. Why are the media – everything from wall posters to Internet sites – so powerful? It is largely because they use words and images to convey ideas that inspire action. The action they inspire can be mild and can take the form of simple belief in something. Many people who regularly attend action adventure movies actually believe that the images of Arabs in such films are accurate representations of Arab reality. Or it can be extreme and take the form of murder. When the leaders of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 wanted to “get the word out” about what they intendedto do, they used the national radiosystem to broadcast calls for ethnicmassacre to begin. 1. Why were Cicero’s hands severed by his enemies?
(A) Unable to tolerate his accusing fingers.
(B) Unable to see his beautiful fingers.
(C) Able to use his hands along with oratory.
(D) Able to guide people

2. Why was Roman Empire so successful?
(A) By fearing the enemies
(B) By effective means of communication
(C) Unable to use the means of communication
(D) By proscribing people

3. What was the lesson communicators could learn from Cicero’s death?
(A) Use of wall posters
(B) Preparation of list of proscribers
(C) Death, a lesson for criminals
(D) No protection of law for citizens

4. What did Mao do to bring in Cultural Revolution?
(A) Use of posters
(B) Vilifying his adversaries
(C) Favouring purges of his opponents
(D) State run collectivism

5. What did leaders in Rwanda do to come to power in terms of communication?
(A) Use of national radio system
(B) Use of genocide pictures
(C) Producing adventure movies
(D) By learning new cultures