SSAT Reading Question 234: Answer and Explanation
5. In lines 15–16, the author includes the detail that the sharp, explosive crackle "startled him" primarily to emphasize
- A. the man's fragile state of mind
- B. how eerily quiet it had become
- C. that the temperature was dropping
- D. the danger the man was in
Correct Answer: E
E is correct. The man was startled because he was not expecting to hear his spittle crackle before it fell to the snow. The passage goes on to say that the man knew "that at fifty below spittle crackled on the snow, but this spittle had crackled in the air. Undoubtedly it was colder than fifty below."