The 19th century group known popularly as the Martha Washingtonians was a temperance society composed of wives, mothers, sisters, and other female relatives of drunken men. Though some historians would say that the women in this society were progressive simply because they often behaved in ways uncommon to women of the time - taking to the streets to hand out flyers or to publicly exhort individuals - it is more appropriate to consider them a conservative group. They had no desire to change America in any way besides alcohol consumption.
According to its use in the passage above, which of the following is the best synonym for the word "conservative"?
A. opposed to alcohol
B. affectionate toward the suffering
C. politically active
D. adverse to change
E. respectful to tradition
I can certainly see the attraction to choice E and I leaned that way as a first reaction. However, upon a second reading of the passage, I noticed that there was no explicit mention of traditions in the passage. The author dances around the idea that women did not usually take to the streets in protest, which could be seen as a mention of something women did not traditionally[i]
[/i] do. However, the tangental reference was not solid enough for me.
More importantly, take a look at the logical flow from the latter half of the second sentence to the third sentence. The second half of the second sentence says "it is more appropriate to consider them a conservative group." The next sentence begins with "They had no desire to change...". Based off the transition between those two sentences, it is logical to assume that conservative means adverse to change.
My GMAT Debrief: my-gmat-experience-540-to-92850.html
Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him. - Emerson