Here’s something you need to know for GED reading… One thing that’s on the GED test and that confuses people when they’re reading (me, at least!) is what’s called a metaphor. Do you remember learning about them in high school? Metaphors are used in literature all the time. That’s when you say one thing, but you really mean another thing. The reason writers you might find on the GED reading test put down one thing when they mean another is because they’re pointing out how the thing they really mean is like what they call it. Okay, that sounds confusing. It’s better to look at examples. That always helps me study for the GED.
Here’s something the writer Raymond Chandler says in The Long Goodbye (a pretty good book!). He’s talking about getting a drunk guy up some stairs, and he says:
I got the drunk up them somehow. He was eager to help but his legs were rubber and he kept falling asleep in the middle of an apologetic sentence.
I bet they don’t put Raymond Chandler on the GED, but I wish they would! Still, he uses metaphors just like the literature writers on the GED. He says the guy’s legs were rubber. They aren’t really rubber, but you know right away what it means. The guy couldn’t stand, he was so drunk, and his legs kept folding up under him. Saying “his legs were rubber” tells you right away what the writer wants you to know by using a comparison.
Here’s a worksheet about metaphors that gives you the basics, to help you study for the GED test: http://www.rhlschool.com/eng3n26.htm
Sometimes, metaphors you find on the GED get a lot harder, like in poetry. There’s almost always some poetry on the GED. Here’s a poem that uses metaphors, and it’s just the kind that comes up on that GED reading test.
The Silken Tent
by Robert Frost
She is as in a field a silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To everything on earth the compass round,
And only by one’s going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.
Can you figure it out? What’s the poet saying? What’s the main idea? That’s what you’ll need to find out if you run across a poem like this on the GED! I’ll work on figuring out this one, and then I’ll let you know what I found out next time.
To find out more about the GED test and GED test preparation, visit The GED Academy at passGED.com.