Paper 1 Practice - exercises


"Art is the antidote that can call us back from the edge of numbness, restoring the ability to feel for another."

  • Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson

1) Antidote is usually associated with medical terms. When someone uses the word antidote, it usually means the "saviour" from something that is troubling. In this context the author implies that the inability to feel for another can be "cured" through the means of art. Even though art varies for different people, it gives the subject a sense of security that they can rely on "art" to help them out.

2) The word gift radiates a whimsical tone and the word antidote is frequently used with medical terms. If the phrase was "Art is the gift that can..." is would sound like someone is giving you something in exchange for another thing. Antidote is more like something is mandatory to have.

Summer Interest

Over the summer, my cousin had a traditional Indian baby shower. Overly dressing up, meeting aunts and uncles you'll never talk to again, and gorging on desserts before lunch. Not that I'm complaining.
I look forward to these events. And after two years in exile, this was the highlight of my summer.
Back to the shower, it was hectic. However, one conversation stuck with me longer than anything else. I asked my cousin whether she was expecting a girl or a boy. Without answering my question, she yanked me to the side of the event hall and started whisper-yelling at me. Apparently, in India and several other countries, there is a law that prevents women from knowing the sex of their baby four months into their pregnancy. And the reason is even more frightening. In a country where men have claimed a position at the top of the hierarchy, many families misuse the sex determination option for abortion of the female fetus. Several studies have shown that the sex ratio is highly uneven in Western India, averaging only 940 females to every 1000 males.
This conversation bizarrely impacted me. I have two younger sisters. Three girls in total. What if I was born in India and my parents used the sex determination process?
17 years ago, what would my parents do?

Note 1