I am posting only two passages today because there are already few passages that are unanswered
This is interesting...
“I want to criticize the social system, and to show it at work, at its most intense.” Virginia Woolf’s provocative statement about her intentions in writing Mrs. Dalloway has regularly been ignored by the critics, since it highlights an aspect of her literary interests very different from the traditional picture of the “poetic” novelist concerned with examining states of reverie and vision and with following the intricate pathways of individual consciousness. But Virginia Woolf was a realistic as well as a poetic novelist, a satirist and social critic as well as a visionary: literary critics’ cavalier dismissal of Woolf’s social vision will not withstand scrutiny.
In her novels, Woolf is deeply engaged by the questions of how individuals are shaped (or deformed) by their social environments, how historical forces impinge on people’s lives, how class, wealth, and gender help to determine people’s fates. Most of her novels are rooted in a realistically rendered social setting and in a precise historical time.
Woolf’s focus on society has not been generally recognized because of her intense antipathy to propaganda in art. The pictures of reformers in her novels are usually satiric or sharply critical. Even when Woolf is fundamentally sympathetic to their causes, she portrays people anxious to reform their society and possessed of a message or program as arrogant or dishonest, unaware of how their political ideas serve their own psychological needs. (Her Writer’s Diary notes: “the only honest people are the artists,” whereas “these social reformers and philanthropists…harbor…discreditable desires under the disguise of loving their kind…”) Woolf detested what she called “preaching” in fiction, too, and criticized novelist D. H. Lawrence (among others) for working by this method.
Woolf’s own social criticism is expressed in the language of observation rather than in direct commentary, since for her, fiction is a contemplative, not an active art. She describes phenomena and provides materials for a judgment about society and social issues; it is the reader’s work to put the observations together and understand the coherent point of view behind them. As a moralist, Woolf works by indirection, subtly undermining officially accepted mores, mocking, suggesting, calling into question, rather than asserting, advocating, bearing witness: hers is the satirist’s art.
Woolf’s literary models were acute social observers like Chekhov and Chaucer. As she put it in The Common Reader, “It is safe to say that not a single law has been framed or one stone set upon another because of anything Chaucer said or wrote; and yet, as we read him, we are absorbing morality at every pore.” Like Chaucer, Woolf chose to understand as well as to judge, to know her society root and branch—a decision crucial in order to produce art rather than polemic.
17.Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?
(A) Poetry and Satire as Influences on the Novels of Virginia Woolf
(B) Virginia Woolf: Critic and Commentator on the Twentieth-Century Novel
(C) Trends in Contemporary Reform Movements as a Key to Understanding Virginia Woolf’s Novels
(D) Society as Allegory for the Individual in the Novels of Virginia Woolf
(E) Virginia Woolf’s Novels: Critical Reflections on the Individual and on Society
18.In the first paragraph of the passage, the author’s attitude toward the literary critics mentioned can best be described as
(D) skeptical but resigned
(E) disappointed but hopeful
19.It can be inferred from the passage that Woolf chose Chaucer as a literary model because she believed that
(A) Chaucer was the first English author to focus on society as a whole as well as on individual characters
(B) Chaucer was an honest and forthright author, whereas novelists like D, H, Lawrence did not sincerely wish to change society
(C) Chaucer was more concerned with understanding his society than with calling its accepted mores into question
(D) Chaucer’s writing was greatly, if subtly, effective in influencing the moral attitudes of his readers
(E) her own novels would be more widely read if, like Chaucer, she did not overtly and vehemently criticize contemporary society
20.It can be inferred from the passage that the most probable reason Woolf realistically described the social setting in the majority of her novels was that she
(A) was aware that contemporary literary critics considered the novel to be the most realistic of literary genres
(B) was interested in the effect of a person’s social milieu on his or her character and actions
(C) needed to be as attentive to detail as possible in her novels in order to support the arguments she advanced in them
(D) wanted to show that a painstaking fidelity in the representation of reality did not in any way hamper the artist
(E) wished to prevent critics from charging that her novels were written in an ambiguous and inexact style
21.Which of the following phrases best expresses the sense of the word “contemplative” as it is used in lines 43-44 of the passage?
(A) Gradually elucidating the rational structures underlying accepted mores
(B) Reflecting on issues in society without prejudice or emotional commitment
(C) Avoiding the aggressive assertion of the author’s perspective to the exclusion of the reader’s judgment
(D) Conveying a broad view of society as a whole rather than focusing on an isolated individual consciousness
(E) Appreciating the world as the artist sees it rather than judging it in moral terms
22.The author implies that a major element of the satirist’s art is the satirist’s
(A) consistent adherence to a position of lofty disdain when viewing the foibles of humanity
(B) insistence on the helplessness of individuals against the social forces that seek to determine an individual’s fate
(C) cynical disbelief that visionaries can either enlighten or improve their societies
(D) fundamental assumption that some ambiguity must remain in a work of art in order for it to reflect society and social mores accurately
(E) refusal to indulge in polemic when presenting social mores to readers for their scrutiny
23.The passage supplies information for answering which of the following questions?
(A) Have literary critics ignored the social criticism inherent in the works of Chekhov and Chaucer?
(B) Does the author believe that Woolf is solely an introspective and visionary novelist?
(C) What are the social causes with which Woolf shows herself to be sympathetic in her writings?
(D) Was D. H. Lawrence as concerned as Woolf was with creating realistic settings for his novels?
(E) Does Woolf attribute more power to social environment or to historical forces as shapers of a person’s life?
"The highest result of education is tolerance."