Before feminist literary criticism emerged in the 1970s, the nineteenth-century United States writer Fanny Fern was regarded by most critics (when considered at all) as a prototype of weepy sentimentalism—a pious, insipid icon of conventional American culture. Feminist reclamations of Fern, by contrast, emphasize her nonsentimental qualities, particularly her sharply humorous social criticism. Most feminist scholars find it difficult to reconcile Fern’s sardonic social critiques with her effusive celebrations of many conventional values. Attempting to resolve this contradiction, Harris concludes that Fern employed flowery rhetoric strategically to disguise her subversive goals beneath apparent conventionality. However, Tompkins proposes an alternative view of sentimentality itself, suggesting that sentimental writing could serve radical, rather than only conservative ends by swaying readers emotionally, moving them to embrace social change.
Consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.
1. The passage suggests which of the following about the contradiction mentioned in the highlighted sentence?
A. It was not generally addressed by critics before the 1970s.
B. It is apparent in only a small number of Ferns writings.
C. It has troubled many feminist critics who study Fern.
2. It can be inferred from the passage that Tompkins would be most likely to agree with which of the following about the critics mentioned in the passage?
A. They accurately characterize the overall result Fern is aiming to achieve.
B. They are not as dismissive of Fern as some feminist critics have suggested.
C. They exaggerate the extent to which Fern intended her writing to serve a social purpose.
D. They wrongly assume that sentimental must be a pejorative term.
E. They fail to recognize the role that sentimental rhetoric plays to reader’s emotions.
Benjamin Franklin is portrayed in American history as the quintessential self-made man. In “Self-reliance”, Emerson asks, “Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin...?” In fact, Franklin took instruction widely, and his scientific work was highly collaborative. Friends in England sent equipment needed for his electrical experiments, others, in Philadelphia, helped him set up his workshop there. Philip Syng constructed a device for generating electrical charges, while Tomas Hopkinson demonstrated the potential of pointed conductors. Franklin, in addition to being the group’s theoretician, wrote and published its results. His fame as an individual researcher is partly a consequence of the shorthand by which when one person writes about a group’s discoveries, history sometimes grants singular credit for collective effort.
1. Which of the following best describes the function of the highlighted sentence?
A. It states a viewpoint about Franklin with which the author disagrees.
B. It introduces new evidence about Franklin’s role in the collaborative process.
C. It explains Franklin’s reputation in terms of a broad scholarly phenomenon.
D. It emphasizes the extent to which Franklin relied on others in his workshop.
E. It describes Franklin’s approach to writing scientific results.
2. Emerson is mentioned in the passage primarily to
A. identify the origin of a particular understanding of Franklin
B. elaborate on a view of Franklin that the author takes issue with
C. point to a controversial claim about Franklin’s historical legacy
D. introduce the question of who Franklin’s main scientific influences were
E. suggest that Franklin was resistant to collaboration with other scientists
A plant-based automobile fuel has just become available in Ternland. A car can be driven as far on a gallon of the new plant-based fuel as a car can be driven on a gallon of gasoline, but a gallon of the plant-based fuel both costs less and results in less pollution. Therefore, drivers in Ternland who switch to it will reduce the amount they spend on fuel in a year while causing less environmental damage.
Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument relies?
A. There is no expense associated with operating an automobile that is higher when the automobile uses the plant-based fuel than when it uses gasoline.
B. Automobiles that have been operated using the plant-based fuel can no longer be operated using regular gasoline.
C. The environmental damage attributable to automobiles is due almost entirely to the production and combustion of fuel automobiles use.
D. The advantages of the plant-based fuel over gasoline will not lead those who switch to the plant-based fuel to do more driving.
E. Most drivers in Ternland will switch from gasoline to the plant-based fuel.
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