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Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has

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Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 04:37
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⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville
⠀⠀⠀ (1819–1891) has limitations, such as its lack
⠀⠀⠀ of inventive plots after Moby-Dick (1851) and its
⠀⠀⠀ occasionally inscrutable style. A more serious, yet
(5)⠀⠀problematic, charge is that Melville is a deficient
⠀⠀⠀ writer because he is not a practitioner of the “art of
⠀⠀⠀ fiction,” as critics have conceived of this art since the
⠀⠀⠀ late nineteenth-century essays and novels of Henry
⠀⠀⠀ James. Indeed, most twentieth-century commentators
(10)⠀⠀regard Melville not as a novelist but as a writer of
⠀⠀⠀ romance, since they believe that Melville's fiction
⠀⠀⠀ lacks the continuity that James viewed as essential
⠀⠀⠀ to a novel: the continuity between what characters
⠀⠀⠀ feel or think and what they do, and the continuity
(15)⠀⠀between characters' fates and their pasts or original
⠀⠀⠀ social classes. Critics argue that only Pierre (1852),
⠀⠀⠀ because of its subject and its characters, is close to
⠀⠀⠀ being a novel in the Jamesian sense.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀However, although Melville is not a Jamesian
(20)⠀⠀novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. A more
⠀⠀⠀ reasonable position is that Melville is a different
⠀⠀⠀ kind of writer, who held, and should be judged
⠀⠀⠀ by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite
⠀⠀⠀ different from James's. It is true that Melville wrote
(25)⠀⠀“romances”; however, these are not the escapist
⠀⠀⠀ fictions this word often implies, but fictions that
⠀⠀⠀ range freely among very unusual or intense human
⠀⠀⠀ experiences. Melville portrayed such experiences
⠀⠀⠀ because he believed these best enabled him to
(30)⠀⠀explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed
⠀⠀⠀ was the ultimate purpose of fiction. He was content
⠀⠀⠀ to sacrifice continuity or even credibility as long
⠀⠀⠀ as he could establish a significant moral situation.
⠀⠀⠀ Thus Melville's romances do not give the reader
(35)⠀⠀a full understanding of the complete feelings and
⠀⠀⠀ thoughts that motivate actions and events that shape
⠀⠀⠀ fate. Rather, the romances leave unexplained the
⠀⠀⠀ sequence of events and either simplify or obscure
⠀⠀⠀ motives. Again, such simplifications and obscurities
(40)⠀⠀exist in order to give prominence to the depiction of
⠀⠀⠀ sharply delineated moral values, values derived from
⠀⠀⠀ a character's purely personal sense of honor, rather
⠀⠀⠀ than, as in a Jamesian novel, from the conventions of
⠀⠀⠀ society.



1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10



2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

RC59461.01-20



3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

RC59461.01-30



4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

RC59461.01-40



5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

RC59461.01-50



6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

RC59461.01-60



7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

RC59461.01-70



8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

RC59461.01-80


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Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 04:39
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville
⠀⠀⠀ (1819–1891) has limitations, such as its lack
⠀⠀⠀ of inventive plots after Moby-Dick (1851) and its
⠀⠀⠀ occasionally inscrutable style. A more serious, yet
(5)⠀⠀problematic, charge is that Melville is a deficient
⠀⠀⠀ writer because he is not a practitioner of the “art of
⠀⠀⠀ fiction,” as critics have conceived of this art since the
⠀⠀⠀ late nineteenth-century essays and novels of Henry
⠀⠀⠀ James. Indeed, most twentieth-century commentators
(10)⠀⠀regard Melville not as a novelist but as a writer of
⠀⠀⠀ romance, since they believe that Melville's fiction
⠀⠀⠀ lacks the continuity that James viewed as essential
⠀⠀⠀ to a novel: the continuity between what characters
⠀⠀⠀ feel or think and what they do, and the continuity
(15)⠀⠀between characters' fates and their pasts or original
⠀⠀⠀ social classes. Critics argue that only Pierre (1852),
⠀⠀⠀ because of its subject and its characters, is close to
⠀⠀⠀ being a novel in the Jamesian sense.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀However, although Melville is not a Jamesian
(20)⠀⠀novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. A more
⠀⠀⠀ reasonable position is that Melville is a different
⠀⠀⠀ kind of writer, who held, and should be judged
⠀⠀⠀ by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite
⠀⠀⠀ different from James's. It is true that Melville wrote
(25)⠀⠀“romances”; however, these are not the escapist
⠀⠀⠀ fictions this word often implies, but fictions that
⠀⠀⠀ range freely among very unusual or intense human
⠀⠀⠀ experiences. Melville portrayed such experiences
⠀⠀⠀ because he believed these best enabled him to
(30)⠀⠀explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed
⠀⠀⠀ was the ultimate purpose of fiction. He was content
⠀⠀⠀ to sacrifice continuity or even credibility as long
⠀⠀⠀ as he could establish a significant moral situation.
⠀⠀⠀ Thus Melville's romances do not give the reader
(35)⠀⠀a full understanding of the complete feelings and
⠀⠀⠀ thoughts that motivate actions and events that shape
⠀⠀⠀ fate. Rather, the romances leave unexplained the
⠀⠀⠀ sequence of events and either simplify or obscure
⠀⠀⠀ motives. Again, such simplifications and obscurities
(40)⠀⠀exist in order to give prominence to the depiction of
⠀⠀⠀ sharply delineated moral values, values derived from
⠀⠀⠀ a character's purely personal sense of honor, rather
⠀⠀⠀ than, as in a Jamesian novel, from the conventions of
⠀⠀⠀ society.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10



2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

RC59461.01-20



3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

RC59461.01-30



4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

RC59461.01-40



5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

RC59461.01-50



6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

RC59461.01-60



7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

RC59461.01-70



8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

RC59461.01-80



Official Explanation

RC59461.01-10

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10

Main idea

Our goal is to find the primary purpose of the passage, which requires a firm understanding of the structure of the passage and its objectives. The passage notes various criticisms of Melville's fiction, but its main argument is to support the idea that Melville's fiction is valid even though it does not follow Henry James's conception of the novel.

Furthermore, the passage defends Melville's fiction by arguing that Melville had an equally valid conception of the purpose of fiction: one that differed fundamentally from that of James. The passage indicates that Melville's strength does not derive from depictions of character motivation. Rather, it lies in Melville establishing a strong moral situation; occasionally this might be done at the expense of continuity or credibility.

A. The passage specifically refers to Melville's novels and does not suggest that well-written novels or romances all share any particular characteristic.

B. The passage is specifically concerned with Melville's novels, not the general romantic or novelistic traditions. Furthermore, the passage suggests that the romantic tradition in fiction has its own literary validity, as has the novelistic tradition, but does not indicate that one is superior to the other.

C. This passage does not simply give a survey of literary responses to Melville's fiction; the passage goes further in arguing for the literary worth of Melville's work.

D. Because the passage argues against certain criticisms of Melville's work, it might be argued that the author of the passage considers some criticisms of Melville “suspect.” However, there is nothing in the passage to imply this applies to all criticisms of Melville's work. Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing in the passage to indicate that these critics' work is “misleading.”

E. Correct. The primary purpose of the passage is to counter one of several negative evaluations of Melville's novels made by literary critics.

The correct answer is E.
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Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 04:42
1
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville
⠀⠀⠀ (1819–1891) has limitations, such as its lack
⠀⠀⠀ of inventive plots after Moby-Dick (1851) and its
⠀⠀⠀ occasionally inscrutable style. A more serious, yet
(5)⠀⠀problematic, charge is that Melville is a deficient
⠀⠀⠀ writer because he is not a practitioner of the “art of
⠀⠀⠀ fiction,” as critics have conceived of this art since the
⠀⠀⠀ late nineteenth-century essays and novels of Henry
⠀⠀⠀ James. Indeed, most twentieth-century commentators
(10)⠀⠀regard Melville not as a novelist but as a writer of
⠀⠀⠀ romance, since they believe that Melville's fiction
⠀⠀⠀ lacks the continuity that James viewed as essential
⠀⠀⠀ to a novel: the continuity between what characters
⠀⠀⠀ feel or think and what they do, and the continuity
(15)⠀⠀between characters' fates and their pasts or original
⠀⠀⠀ social classes. Critics argue that only Pierre (1852),
⠀⠀⠀ because of its subject and its characters, is close to
⠀⠀⠀ being a novel in the Jamesian sense.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀However, although Melville is not a Jamesian
(20)⠀⠀novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. A more
⠀⠀⠀ reasonable position is that Melville is a different
⠀⠀⠀ kind of writer, who held, and should be judged
⠀⠀⠀ by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite
⠀⠀⠀ different from James's. It is true that Melville wrote
(25)⠀⠀“romances”; however, these are not the escapist
⠀⠀⠀ fictions this word often implies, but fictions that
⠀⠀⠀ range freely among very unusual or intense human
⠀⠀⠀ experiences. Melville portrayed such experiences
⠀⠀⠀ because he believed these best enabled him to
(30)⠀⠀explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed
⠀⠀⠀ was the ultimate purpose of fiction. He was content
⠀⠀⠀ to sacrifice continuity or even credibility as long
⠀⠀⠀ as he could establish a significant moral situation.
⠀⠀⠀ Thus Melville's romances do not give the reader
(35)⠀⠀a full understanding of the complete feelings and
⠀⠀⠀ thoughts that motivate actions and events that shape
⠀⠀⠀ fate. Rather, the romances leave unexplained the
⠀⠀⠀ sequence of events and either simplify or obscure
⠀⠀⠀ motives. Again, such simplifications and obscurities
(40)⠀⠀exist in order to give prominence to the depiction of
⠀⠀⠀ sharply delineated moral values, values derived from
⠀⠀⠀ a character's purely personal sense of honor, rather
⠀⠀⠀ than, as in a Jamesian novel, from the conventions of
⠀⠀⠀ society.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10



2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

RC59461.01-20



3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

RC59461.01-30



4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

RC59461.01-40



5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

RC59461.01-50



6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

RC59461.01-60



7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

RC59461.01-70



8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

RC59461.01-80



Official Explanation

RC59461.01-20

2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

Supporting idea

Which among the answer choices is a conclusion drawn by the author of the passage regarding the contrast between Melville's fiction and that of James? The second sentence of the final paragraph states this: Melville is a different kind of writer, who held, and should be judged by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite different from James's. In other words, Melville held different standards regarding fiction and one needs to evaluate Melville on these standards rather than on James's standards.

A. The passage suggests that Jamesian standards may be inappropriate for Melville's novels. However, it does not suggest that Jamesian standards are necessarily invalid for judging the value of other novels.

B. The passage mentions nothing about critics who have praised Melville's novels at the expense of James's novels. In fact, the passage never mentions James's novels.

C. The passage does not suggest that critics should avoid categorization of writers. In fact, the passage in lines 19–20 states that Melville is not a Jamesian novelist, which is in itself such a categorization.

D. Correct. This accurately expresses a conclusion drawn by the author, namely that Melville and James have valid, if different, approaches to fiction writing.

E. The author indicates no important similarities between Melville and James's writing. In fact, the author emphasizes certain key differences between the two authors' work.

The correct answer is D.
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Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 04:44
1
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville
⠀⠀⠀ (1819–1891) has limitations, such as its lack
⠀⠀⠀ of inventive plots after Moby-Dick (1851) and its
⠀⠀⠀ occasionally inscrutable style. A more serious, yet
(5)⠀⠀problematic, charge is that Melville is a deficient
⠀⠀⠀ writer because he is not a practitioner of the “art of
⠀⠀⠀ fiction,” as critics have conceived of this art since the
⠀⠀⠀ late nineteenth-century essays and novels of Henry
⠀⠀⠀ James. Indeed, most twentieth-century commentators
(10)⠀⠀regard Melville not as a novelist but as a writer of
⠀⠀⠀ romance, since they believe that Melville's fiction
⠀⠀⠀ lacks the continuity that James viewed as essential
⠀⠀⠀ to a novel: the continuity between what characters
⠀⠀⠀ feel or think and what they do, and the continuity
(15)⠀⠀between characters' fates and their pasts or original
⠀⠀⠀ social classes. Critics argue that only Pierre (1852),
⠀⠀⠀ because of its subject and its characters, is close to
⠀⠀⠀ being a novel in the Jamesian sense.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀However, although Melville is not a Jamesian
(20)⠀⠀novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. A more
⠀⠀⠀ reasonable position is that Melville is a different
⠀⠀⠀ kind of writer, who held, and should be judged
⠀⠀⠀ by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite
⠀⠀⠀ different from James's. It is true that Melville wrote
(25)⠀⠀“romances”; however, these are not the escapist
⠀⠀⠀ fictions this word often implies, but fictions that
⠀⠀⠀ range freely among very unusual or intense human
⠀⠀⠀ experiences. Melville portrayed such experiences
⠀⠀⠀ because he believed these best enabled him to
(30)⠀⠀explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed
⠀⠀⠀ was the ultimate purpose of fiction. He was content
⠀⠀⠀ to sacrifice continuity or even credibility as long
⠀⠀⠀ as he could establish a significant moral situation.
⠀⠀⠀ Thus Melville's romances do not give the reader
(35)⠀⠀a full understanding of the complete feelings and
⠀⠀⠀ thoughts that motivate actions and events that shape
⠀⠀⠀ fate. Rather, the romances leave unexplained the
⠀⠀⠀ sequence of events and either simplify or obscure
⠀⠀⠀ motives. Again, such simplifications and obscurities
(40)⠀⠀exist in order to give prominence to the depiction of
⠀⠀⠀ sharply delineated moral values, values derived from
⠀⠀⠀ a character's purely personal sense of honor, rather
⠀⠀⠀ than, as in a Jamesian novel, from the conventions of
⠀⠀⠀ society.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10



2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

RC59461.01-20



3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

RC59461.01-30



4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

RC59461.01-40



5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

RC59461.01-50



6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

RC59461.01-60



7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

RC59461.01-70



8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

RC59461.01-80



Official Explanation

RC59461.01-30

3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

Main idea

Given the content of the passage, which of these choices could most reasonably be used as a title? The passage's main purpose is to counter the criticisms of those critics who describe Melville's works of fiction as romances. These critics claim that Melville's works lack significant literary value because they fail to satisfy James's criteria for literary worth in novels, a standard that is widely accepted by literary critics. The passage argues that Melville's novels would be more appropriately evaluated using the criteria that Melville himself espoused; these criteria differ significantly from James's criteria.

A. This choice is inappropriate because nothing in the passage suggests that Melville's approach was unique; that is, nothing in the passage indicates that Melville's contribution is the only one of its kind.

B. This choice is inappropriate because the passage never states how Melville's literary reputation among twentieth-century critics evolved.

C. Correct. This choice reflects the central idea of the passage that the literary worth of Melville's fiction is not appropriately judged using the Jamesian standard; rather, it is appropriately judged using Melville's own notion of the ultimate purpose of fiction.

D. Although the passage suggests that issues of morality figured in the fiction of both James and Melville, the passage does not address any assumptions shared between James and Melville.

E. Although the passage suggests that James had a significant influence on critical standards for the novel, the passage centers on Melville's works rather than James' influence.

The correct answer is C.
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 04:52
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville
⠀⠀⠀ (1819–1891) has limitations, such as its lack
⠀⠀⠀ of inventive plots after Moby-Dick (1851) and its
⠀⠀⠀ occasionally inscrutable style. A more serious, yet
(5)⠀⠀problematic, charge is that Melville is a deficient
⠀⠀⠀ writer because he is not a practitioner of the “art of
⠀⠀⠀ fiction,” as critics have conceived of this art since the
⠀⠀⠀ late nineteenth-century essays and novels of Henry
⠀⠀⠀ James. Indeed, most twentieth-century commentators
(10)⠀⠀regard Melville not as a novelist but as a writer of
⠀⠀⠀ romance, since they believe that Melville's fiction
⠀⠀⠀ lacks the continuity that James viewed as essential
⠀⠀⠀ to a novel: the continuity between what characters
⠀⠀⠀ feel or think and what they do, and the continuity
(15)⠀⠀between characters' fates and their pasts or original
⠀⠀⠀ social classes. Critics argue that only Pierre (1852),
⠀⠀⠀ because of its subject and its characters, is close to
⠀⠀⠀ being a novel in the Jamesian sense.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀However, although Melville is not a Jamesian
(20)⠀⠀novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. A more
⠀⠀⠀ reasonable position is that Melville is a different
⠀⠀⠀ kind of writer, who held, and should be judged
⠀⠀⠀ by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite
⠀⠀⠀ different from James's. It is true that Melville wrote
(25)⠀⠀“romances”; however, these are not the escapist
⠀⠀⠀ fictions this word often implies, but fictions that
⠀⠀⠀ range freely among very unusual or intense human
⠀⠀⠀ experiences. Melville portrayed such experiences
⠀⠀⠀ because he believed these best enabled him to
(30)⠀⠀explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed
⠀⠀⠀ was the ultimate purpose of fiction. He was content
⠀⠀⠀ to sacrifice continuity or even credibility as long
⠀⠀⠀ as he could establish a significant moral situation.
⠀⠀⠀ Thus Melville's romances do not give the reader
(35)⠀⠀a full understanding of the complete feelings and
⠀⠀⠀ thoughts that motivate actions and events that shape
⠀⠀⠀ fate. Rather, the romances leave unexplained the
⠀⠀⠀ sequence of events and either simplify or obscure
⠀⠀⠀ motives. Again, such simplifications and obscurities
(40)⠀⠀exist in order to give prominence to the depiction of
⠀⠀⠀ sharply delineated moral values, values derived from
⠀⠀⠀ a character's purely personal sense of honor, rather
⠀⠀⠀ than, as in a Jamesian novel, from the conventions of
⠀⠀⠀ society.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10



2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

RC59461.01-20



3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

RC59461.01-30



4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

RC59461.01-40



5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

RC59461.01-50



6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

RC59461.01-60



7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

RC59461.01-70



8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

RC59461.01-80



Official Explanation

RC59461.01-40

4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

Evaluation

Why does the author of the passage mention Pierre? The final sentence of the first paragraph reads: Critics argue that only Pierre (1852), because of its subject and characters, is close to being a novel in the Jamesian sense.

This statement indicates that literary critics regard Pierre as the only possible exception to their negative characterization of Melville's fiction as romance because Pierre has at least some of the properties that James considered essential to novels of literary value.

A. This is not a purpose of mentioning Pierre. The passage does not cite any critics who claim that most of Melville's novels satisfy Jamesian criteria.

B. This is not a purpose of mentioning Pierre. The author of the passage does not endorse the view that character portrayal is a particular strength of Melville's novels. In fact, the author suggests that Melville's novels tend to give questionable portrayals of what characters feel or think.

C. The passage lacks any information indicating James's personal view of Pierre. Given the information in the passage, it is entirely possible that James never even read Pierre.

D. Correct. The critics of Melville's novels generally characterize them as “romances” rather than “novels” given that they lack certain properties Henry James regarded as essential to novels. The mention of Pierre shows that the critics see it as the only one of Melville's novels that might fit the Jamesian criteria.

E. In the sentence in which Pierre is mentioned, the author of the passage does not endorse criticism suggesting that Melville's works are romances rather than novels. Furthermore, the sentence is not intended to endorse a contention of any other type of literary critic.

The correct answer is D.
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 04:54
1
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville
⠀⠀⠀ (1819–1891) has limitations, such as its lack
⠀⠀⠀ of inventive plots after Moby-Dick (1851) and its
⠀⠀⠀ occasionally inscrutable style. A more serious, yet
(5)⠀⠀problematic, charge is that Melville is a deficient
⠀⠀⠀ writer because he is not a practitioner of the “art of
⠀⠀⠀ fiction,” as critics have conceived of this art since the
⠀⠀⠀ late nineteenth-century essays and novels of Henry
⠀⠀⠀ James. Indeed, most twentieth-century commentators
(10)⠀⠀regard Melville not as a novelist but as a writer of
⠀⠀⠀ romance, since they believe that Melville's fiction
⠀⠀⠀ lacks the continuity that James viewed as essential
⠀⠀⠀ to a novel: the continuity between what characters
⠀⠀⠀ feel or think and what they do, and the continuity
(15)⠀⠀between characters' fates and their pasts or original
⠀⠀⠀ social classes. Critics argue that only Pierre (1852),
⠀⠀⠀ because of its subject and its characters, is close to
⠀⠀⠀ being a novel in the Jamesian sense.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀However, although Melville is not a Jamesian
(20)⠀⠀novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. A more
⠀⠀⠀ reasonable position is that Melville is a different
⠀⠀⠀ kind of writer, who held, and should be judged
⠀⠀⠀ by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite
⠀⠀⠀ different from James's. It is true that Melville wrote
(25)⠀⠀“romances”; however, these are not the escapist
⠀⠀⠀ fictions this word often implies, but fictions that
⠀⠀⠀ range freely among very unusual or intense human
⠀⠀⠀ experiences. Melville portrayed such experiences
⠀⠀⠀ because he believed these best enabled him to
(30)⠀⠀explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed
⠀⠀⠀ was the ultimate purpose of fiction. He was content
⠀⠀⠀ to sacrifice continuity or even credibility as long
⠀⠀⠀ as he could establish a significant moral situation.
⠀⠀⠀ Thus Melville's romances do not give the reader
(35)⠀⠀a full understanding of the complete feelings and
⠀⠀⠀ thoughts that motivate actions and events that shape
⠀⠀⠀ fate. Rather, the romances leave unexplained the
⠀⠀⠀ sequence of events and either simplify or obscure
⠀⠀⠀ motives. Again, such simplifications and obscurities
(40)⠀⠀exist in order to give prominence to the depiction of
⠀⠀⠀ sharply delineated moral values, values derived from
⠀⠀⠀ a character's purely personal sense of honor, rather
⠀⠀⠀ than, as in a Jamesian novel, from the conventions of
⠀⠀⠀ society.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10



2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

RC59461.01-20



3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

RC59461.01-30



4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

RC59461.01-40



5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

RC59461.01-50



6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

RC59461.01-60



7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

RC59461.01-70



8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

RC59461.01-80



Official Explanation

RC59461.01-50

5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

Evaluation

Which answer choice best describes the reasoning in lines 24–32? The author suggests that Melville's novels can reasonably be called “romances,” but also is careful to explain a sense of this designation that still regards Melville's novels as valid works of literature.

A. The text in lines 24–31 does not describe any standard of evaluation used by Melville's critics.

B. There is no countercharge against, or even mention of, Melville's critics in lines 24–31.

C. Again, there is no mention of criticisms of Melville's work in the lines 24–31; it follows that the author does not point out a “logical flaw” in such criticisms within lines 24–31.

D. In lines 24–31, the author accepts that Melville's novels can be called “romances.” In lines 24–31, of course, the author presents no evidence to show that Melville's novels are not romances.

E. Correct. In lines 24–31, the author concedes that Melville's novels are romances. However, the author argues that this does not detract from the literary value of Melville's work.

The correct answer is E.
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 04:56
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville
⠀⠀⠀ (1819–1891) has limitations, such as its lack
⠀⠀⠀ of inventive plots after Moby-Dick (1851) and its
⠀⠀⠀ occasionally inscrutable style. A more serious, yet
(5)⠀⠀problematic, charge is that Melville is a deficient
⠀⠀⠀ writer because he is not a practitioner of the “art of
⠀⠀⠀ fiction,” as critics have conceived of this art since the
⠀⠀⠀ late nineteenth-century essays and novels of Henry
⠀⠀⠀ James. Indeed, most twentieth-century commentators
(10)⠀⠀regard Melville not as a novelist but as a writer of
⠀⠀⠀ romance, since they believe that Melville's fiction
⠀⠀⠀ lacks the continuity that James viewed as essential
⠀⠀⠀ to a novel: the continuity between what characters
⠀⠀⠀ feel or think and what they do, and the continuity
(15)⠀⠀between characters' fates and their pasts or original
⠀⠀⠀ social classes. Critics argue that only Pierre (1852),
⠀⠀⠀ because of its subject and its characters, is close to
⠀⠀⠀ being a novel in the Jamesian sense.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀However, although Melville is not a Jamesian
(20)⠀⠀novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. A more
⠀⠀⠀ reasonable position is that Melville is a different
⠀⠀⠀ kind of writer, who held, and should be judged
⠀⠀⠀ by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite
⠀⠀⠀ different from James's. It is true that Melville wrote
(25)⠀⠀“romances”; however, these are not the escapist
⠀⠀⠀ fictions this word often implies, but fictions that
⠀⠀⠀ range freely among very unusual or intense human
⠀⠀⠀ experiences. Melville portrayed such experiences
⠀⠀⠀ because he believed these best enabled him to
(30)⠀⠀explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed
⠀⠀⠀ was the ultimate purpose of fiction. He was content
⠀⠀⠀ to sacrifice continuity or even credibility as long
⠀⠀⠀ as he could establish a significant moral situation.
⠀⠀⠀ Thus Melville's romances do not give the reader
(35)⠀⠀a full understanding of the complete feelings and
⠀⠀⠀ thoughts that motivate actions and events that shape
⠀⠀⠀ fate. Rather, the romances leave unexplained the
⠀⠀⠀ sequence of events and either simplify or obscure
⠀⠀⠀ motives. Again, such simplifications and obscurities
(40)⠀⠀exist in order to give prominence to the depiction of
⠀⠀⠀ sharply delineated moral values, values derived from
⠀⠀⠀ a character's purely personal sense of honor, rather
⠀⠀⠀ than, as in a Jamesian novel, from the conventions of
⠀⠀⠀ society.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10



2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

RC59461.01-20



3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

RC59461.01-30



4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

RC59461.01-40



5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

RC59461.01-50



6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

RC59461.01-60



7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

RC59461.01-70



8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

RC59461.01-80



Official Explanation

RC59461.01-60

6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

Inference

Which of the following conclusions regarding the term “romance” as applied to Melville's work is most strongly supported by the information in the passage? The author of the passage uses the term without the negative connotation that the passage suggests the term carried for many twentieth-century critics of Melville.

A. There is no information in the passage regarding how, or even whether, Melville used the term “romance.”

B. Correct. The author of the passage will call Melville's novels romances provided this term is used without the disparaging connotations of this term (particularly as used by many critics of Melville's work).

C. Nothing in the passage specifies James's use of the term “romance.”

D. The author of the passage specifically applies the term “romance” in a way that avoids the disparaging connotations of escapism present in the use of the term by some critics of Melville's work.

E. The passage provides no information by which we can gauge how controversial the author's use of “romance” as applied to Melville's works is, relative to other commentators' use of the term “novel.”

The correct answer is B.
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 04:58
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville
⠀⠀⠀ (1819–1891) has limitations, such as its lack
⠀⠀⠀ of inventive plots after Moby-Dick (1851) and its
⠀⠀⠀ occasionally inscrutable style. A more serious, yet
(5)⠀⠀problematic, charge is that Melville is a deficient
⠀⠀⠀ writer because he is not a practitioner of the “art of
⠀⠀⠀ fiction,” as critics have conceived of this art since the
⠀⠀⠀ late nineteenth-century essays and novels of Henry
⠀⠀⠀ James. Indeed, most twentieth-century commentators
(10)⠀⠀regard Melville not as a novelist but as a writer of
⠀⠀⠀ romance, since they believe that Melville's fiction
⠀⠀⠀ lacks the continuity that James viewed as essential
⠀⠀⠀ to a novel: the continuity between what characters
⠀⠀⠀ feel or think and what they do, and the continuity
(15)⠀⠀between characters' fates and their pasts or original
⠀⠀⠀ social classes. Critics argue that only Pierre (1852),
⠀⠀⠀ because of its subject and its characters, is close to
⠀⠀⠀ being a novel in the Jamesian sense.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀However, although Melville is not a Jamesian
(20)⠀⠀novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. A more
⠀⠀⠀ reasonable position is that Melville is a different
⠀⠀⠀ kind of writer, who held, and should be judged
⠀⠀⠀ by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite
⠀⠀⠀ different from James's. It is true that Melville wrote
(25)⠀⠀“romances”; however, these are not the escapist
⠀⠀⠀ fictions this word often implies, but fictions that
⠀⠀⠀ range freely among very unusual or intense human
⠀⠀⠀ experiences. Melville portrayed such experiences
⠀⠀⠀ because he believed these best enabled him to
(30)⠀⠀explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed
⠀⠀⠀ was the ultimate purpose of fiction. He was content
⠀⠀⠀ to sacrifice continuity or even credibility as long
⠀⠀⠀ as he could establish a significant moral situation.
⠀⠀⠀ Thus Melville's romances do not give the reader
(35)⠀⠀a full understanding of the complete feelings and
⠀⠀⠀ thoughts that motivate actions and events that shape
⠀⠀⠀ fate. Rather, the romances leave unexplained the
⠀⠀⠀ sequence of events and either simplify or obscure
⠀⠀⠀ motives. Again, such simplifications and obscurities
(40)⠀⠀exist in order to give prominence to the depiction of
⠀⠀⠀ sharply delineated moral values, values derived from
⠀⠀⠀ a character's purely personal sense of honor, rather
⠀⠀⠀ than, as in a Jamesian novel, from the conventions of
⠀⠀⠀ society.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10



2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

RC59461.01-20



3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

RC59461.01-30



4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

RC59461.01-40



5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

RC59461.01-50



6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

RC59461.01-60



7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

RC59461.01-70



8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

RC59461.01-80



Official Explanation

RC59461.01-70

7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

Inference

We must determine which statement regarding the author's evaluation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction is most strongly supported by the information in the passage. The passage states: although Melville is not a Jamesian novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. The author of the passage tells us that Melville sought to explore moral questions, an exploration that Melville assumed to be the ultimate purpose of fiction. These statements indicate that the author of the passage regards the romantic tradition's fictional examination of human experience as at least equal in value to the novelistic tradition's examination of it.

A. Correct. The passage suggests that both traditions are concerned with the examination of human experience, yet their approaches to this examination differ. The passage argues that Melville's body of fiction is no less valuable as literature than James's.

B. The passage provides nothing to indicate that Melville's position as a romantic writer therefore implies that romance is “more vital” than the novelistic tradition. Note that such a comparison would need to be clearly made for this to be a valid answer choice.

C. The passage provides no information regarding how widespread the romantic tradition is.

D. The passage provides no information to suggest that literary critics are more pleased by romantic works than they are by novelistic works. Note that such a comparison would need to be clearly made for this to be a valid answer choice.

E. The passage provides no information to suggest that the most important contributions of the romantic and novelistic traditions have been during the twentieth century. In fact, given that Melville and James both worked in the nineteenth century, it seems doubtful that the passage would make such a claim.

The correct answer is A.
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2019, 04:59
gmatt1476 wrote:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville
⠀⠀⠀ (1819–1891) has limitations, such as its lack
⠀⠀⠀ of inventive plots after Moby-Dick (1851) and its
⠀⠀⠀ occasionally inscrutable style. A more serious, yet
(5)⠀⠀problematic, charge is that Melville is a deficient
⠀⠀⠀ writer because he is not a practitioner of the “art of
⠀⠀⠀ fiction,” as critics have conceived of this art since the
⠀⠀⠀ late nineteenth-century essays and novels of Henry
⠀⠀⠀ James. Indeed, most twentieth-century commentators
(10)⠀⠀regard Melville not as a novelist but as a writer of
⠀⠀⠀ romance, since they believe that Melville's fiction
⠀⠀⠀ lacks the continuity that James viewed as essential
⠀⠀⠀ to a novel: the continuity between what characters
⠀⠀⠀ feel or think and what they do, and the continuity
(15)⠀⠀between characters' fates and their pasts or original
⠀⠀⠀ social classes. Critics argue that only Pierre (1852),
⠀⠀⠀ because of its subject and its characters, is close to
⠀⠀⠀ being a novel in the Jamesian sense.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀However, although Melville is not a Jamesian
(20)⠀⠀novelist, he is not therefore a deficient writer. A more
⠀⠀⠀ reasonable position is that Melville is a different
⠀⠀⠀ kind of writer, who held, and should be judged
⠀⠀⠀ by, presuppositions about fiction that are quite
⠀⠀⠀ different from James's. It is true that Melville wrote
(25)⠀⠀“romances”; however, these are not the escapist
⠀⠀⠀ fictions this word often implies, but fictions that
⠀⠀⠀ range freely among very unusual or intense human
⠀⠀⠀ experiences. Melville portrayed such experiences
⠀⠀⠀ because he believed these best enabled him to
(30)⠀⠀explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed
⠀⠀⠀ was the ultimate purpose of fiction. He was content
⠀⠀⠀ to sacrifice continuity or even credibility as long
⠀⠀⠀ as he could establish a significant moral situation.
⠀⠀⠀ Thus Melville's romances do not give the reader
(35)⠀⠀a full understanding of the complete feelings and
⠀⠀⠀ thoughts that motivate actions and events that shape
⠀⠀⠀ fate. Rather, the romances leave unexplained the
⠀⠀⠀ sequence of events and either simplify or obscure
⠀⠀⠀ motives. Again, such simplifications and obscurities
(40)⠀⠀exist in order to give prominence to the depiction of
⠀⠀⠀ sharply delineated moral values, values derived from
⠀⠀⠀ a character's purely personal sense of honor, rather
⠀⠀⠀ than, as in a Jamesian novel, from the conventions of
⠀⠀⠀ society.


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. make a case for the importance of skillful psychological motivation in well-written novels and romances
B. contrast the romantic and novelistic traditions and assert the aesthetic superiority of the romantic tradition
C. survey some of the responses to Melville's fiction put forward by James and twentieth-century literary critics
D. argue that the charges made against Melville's fiction by literary critics are suspect and misleading
E. note several accusations made against Melville's fiction by literary critics and refute one of these accusations

RC59461.01-10



2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

RC59461.01-20



3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

RC59461.01-30



4. The author probably mentions Melville's Pierre to

A. refute those literary critics who have made generalizations about the quality of Melville's fiction
B. argue that the portrayal of characters is one of Melville's more accomplished literary skills
C. give an example of a novel that was thought by James to resemble his own fiction
D. suggest that literary critics find few exceptions to what they believe is a characteristic of Melville's fiction
E. reinforce the contention of literary critics

RC59461.01-40



5. Which of the following statements best describes the author's method of argumentation in lines 24–31?

A. The author describes an important standard of evaluation used by critics of Melville and then attacks that standard.
B. The author admits a contention put forward by critics of Melville but then makes a countercharge against those critics.
C. The author describes a charge advanced by critics of Melville and then points out a logical flaw in this charge.
D. The author provides evidence that seems to support a position held by critics of Melville but then demonstrates that the evidence actually supports a diametrically opposed position.
E. The author concedes an assertion made by critics of Melville but then mitigates the weight of the assertion by means of an explanation.

RC59461.01-50



6. Which of the following can logically be inferred from the passage about the author's application of the term “romance” to Melville's work?

A. The author uses the term in a broader way than did Melville himself.
B. The author uses the term in a different way than do many literary critics.
C. The author uses the term in a more systematic way than did James.
D. The author's use of the term is the same as the term's usual meaning for twentieth-century commentators.
E. The author's use of the term is less controversial than is the use of the term “novel” by many commentators.

RC59461.01-60



7. Which of the following can most logically be inferred about the author's estimation of the romantic and novelistic traditions of fiction?

A. The romantic tradition should be considered at least as valuable as the novelistic tradition in the examination of human experience.
B. The romantic tradition should be considered the more vital tradition primarily because Melville is part of that tradition.
C. The romantic tradition should be considered the superior tradition because it is so widespread.
D. The romantic tradition has had as much success in pleasing literary critics as has the novelistic tradition.
E. The romantic and novelistic traditions have always made important contributions to literature, but their most important contributions have been in the twentieth century.

RC59461.01-70



8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

RC59461.01-80



Official Explanation

RC59461.01-80

8. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that a writer's fiction should be evaluated by which of the following criteria?

A. How consistently that fiction establishes credibility with the reader
B. How skillfully that fiction supersedes the presuppositions or conventions of a tradition
C. How completely that fiction satisfies the standards of judgment held by most literary critics
D. How well that fiction fulfills the premises about fiction maintained by the writer of the fiction
E. How well that fiction exhibits a continuity of subject and style over the course of the writer's career

Application

Which criteria would the author of the passage most likely agree to be useful for evaluating a writer's fiction? The passage argues that even though Melville's novels fail to satisfy Henry James's criteria for literary value in a novel, they still have a different kind of literary value. In particular, they match the criteria set out by Melville's own conception of fiction.

The author states that Melville sought in his fiction to explore moral questions, an exploration he assumed was the ultimate purpose of fiction. Therefore, the author would likely agree that the literary value of a writer's fiction is determined by the degree to which the writer's fiction fulfills the writer's own conception of what fiction should accomplish.

A. The author of the passage would be unlikely to agree that fiction must establish credibility with the reader. In the passage, the author suggests that Melville was prepared to sacrifice some credibility in his fiction if doing so would help him to establish a significant moral situation.

B. Nothing in the passage suggests that its author would agree with the idea that fiction must “supersede presuppositions or conventions of a tradition.” While the author indicates that Melville's novels do not satisfy James's criteria for a good literary novel, this does not indicate that Melville's work supersedes or replaces any tradition.

C. The author of the passage clearly rejects this criterion and actually argues against the standards of many critics. Note the author's position that criticisms based on widespread acceptance by literary critics of James's standards for literary novels are not necessarily valid for all fiction.

D. Correct. The author of the passage argues that Melville's fiction must be judged by reference to Melville's own criteria rather than by those of James or the critics who accepted James's criteria.

E. Nowhere does the passage mention continuity of style over a career. Therefore, nothing in the passage suggests that the author would accept it.

The correct answer is D.
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2019, 03:10
Took 12:20 min to do all 8 Qs, including 3:20 to read the passage!

Passage Map:


1) Critics' View of Melville, comparing him to James
2) Author's View of Melville & Few counterarguments to Critics' View
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2019, 21:59
1
gmatt1476 wrote:
Official Explanation

RC49461.01-20

2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

Supporting idea

The passage states The biologist-as-historian and the general historian of human events dealt with comparable phenomena and assumed necessarily a common mode of explanation. This indicates, in other words, that biologists' and historians' methods were similar in explaining what they believed to be comparable phenomena.

A. The passage suggests that biologists through most of the nineteenth century tended to use historical explanation. Presumably, it is not true that biologists were unable to develop methods that were accepted by the majority of their colleagues.

B. The passage suggests that methods used by biologists changed significantly toward the end of the nineteenth century. However, nothing in the passage indicates to what extent, if at all, historians' methods changed.

C. The passage suggests that biologists believed that, in observing embryogenesis and cell formation, there existed a clear justification for the utility of historical explanation in biology. However, there is no indication that these biologists believed that they had refined the historical methods used by historians.

D. Correct. The final sentence of the first paragraph indicates that the methods of biologists and historians in the nineteenth century were similar.

E. The only evidence that biologists were apologetic about their methods in the nineteenth century is that a turning point in their methods existed toward the end of the century.
This is of course only weak evidence that biologists were apologetic. And even if these biologists were apologetic, nothing in the passage indicates whether historians were more or less apologetic.

The correct answer is D.

3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

Evaluation

The turning point mentioned in the passage refers to a shift among biologists during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Specifically, this shift was from favoring historical explanation to a greater interest in experimentation.

A. The passage does not specify any sort of conflict between proponents of the ideal of historical explanation and the proponents of experimentation. The passage only notes that there was a shift in interest from historical explanation—applied deductively to organic function—to experimentation.

B. The passage indicates, with some criticism, that historical explanation was seen as a type of causal explanation.

C. Correct. As noted above, the turning point was a shift away from historical explanation—the dominant thread in biology throughout most of the nineteenth century—toward experimentation.

D. The passage suggests that, throughout the nineteenth century, biology had been concerned with organic function: initially it explained organic function through historical processes and then it began to explain organic function through experimentation.

E. The passage does not indicate whether public awareness of controversies among biologists grew.

The correct answer is C.


gmatt1476 ,
Some of official explanations posted by you are related to some other other 'biologists' passage. Can you please check and post the correct OEs?

Bunuel ,
Request you to update the OEs if you have access to them.
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2019, 22:11
Skywalker18 wrote:
gmatt1476 wrote:
Official Explanation

RC49461.01-20

2. The author draws which of the following conclusions about the fact that Melville's fiction often does not possess the qualities of a Jamesian novel?

A. Literary critics should no longer use Jamesian standards to judge the value of novels.
B. Literary critics who have praised Melville's fiction at the expense of James's fiction should consider themselves justified.
C. Literary critics should no longer attempt to place writers, including Melville and James, in traditions or categories.
D. Melville and James should be viewed as different sorts of writers and one should not be regarded as inherently superior to the other.
E. Melville and James nevertheless share important similarities and these should not be overlooked or slighted when literary critics point out differences between the two writers.

Supporting idea

The passage states The biologist-as-historian and the general historian of human events dealt with comparable phenomena and assumed necessarily a common mode of explanation. This indicates, in other words, that biologists' and historians' methods were similar in explaining what they believed to be comparable phenomena.

A. The passage suggests that biologists through most of the nineteenth century tended to use historical explanation. Presumably, it is not true that biologists were unable to develop methods that were accepted by the majority of their colleagues.

B. The passage suggests that methods used by biologists changed significantly toward the end of the nineteenth century. However, nothing in the passage indicates to what extent, if at all, historians' methods changed.

C. The passage suggests that biologists believed that, in observing embryogenesis and cell formation, there existed a clear justification for the utility of historical explanation in biology. However, there is no indication that these biologists believed that they had refined the historical methods used by historians.

D. Correct. The final sentence of the first paragraph indicates that the methods of biologists and historians in the nineteenth century were similar.

E. The only evidence that biologists were apologetic about their methods in the nineteenth century is that a turning point in their methods existed toward the end of the century.
This is of course only weak evidence that biologists were apologetic. And even if these biologists were apologetic, nothing in the passage indicates whether historians were more or less apologetic.

The correct answer is D.

3. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the passage?

A. Melville's Unique Contribution to Romantic Fiction
B. Melville's Growing Reputation Among Twentieth-Century Literary Critics
C. Melville and the Jamesian Standards of Fiction: A Reexamination
D. Romantic and Novelistic: The Shared Assumptions of Two Traditions
E. The Art of Fiction: James's Influence on the Novelistic Tradition

Evaluation

The turning point mentioned in the passage refers to a shift among biologists during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Specifically, this shift was from favoring historical explanation to a greater interest in experimentation.

A. The passage does not specify any sort of conflict between proponents of the ideal of historical explanation and the proponents of experimentation. The passage only notes that there was a shift in interest from historical explanation—applied deductively to organic function—to experimentation.

B. The passage indicates, with some criticism, that historical explanation was seen as a type of causal explanation.

C. Correct. As noted above, the turning point was a shift away from historical explanation—the dominant thread in biology throughout most of the nineteenth century—toward experimentation.

D. The passage suggests that, throughout the nineteenth century, biology had been concerned with organic function: initially it explained organic function through historical processes and then it began to explain organic function through experimentation.

E. The passage does not indicate whether public awareness of controversies among biologists grew.

The correct answer is C.


gmatt1476 ,
Some of official explanations posted by you are related to some other other 'biologists' passage. Can you please check and post the correct OEs?

Bunuel ,
Request you to update the OEs if you have access to them.


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Fixed. Thank you.
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2019, 12:40
I'm not happy with 1), any other opinions on that one? "Several accusations ..." sounds way too harsh to me given that the chapter basically is centered around only one accusation.

Is it just because of the very first paragraph that this answer choice is justified?
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2019, 06:35
chrtpmdr wrote:
I'm not happy with 1), any other opinions on that one? "Several accusations ..." sounds way too harsh to me given that the chapter basically is centered around only one accusation.

Is it just because of the very first paragraph that this answer choice is justified?


chrtpmdr try not to judge an answer by the 'sound' of it. You're correct in that the focus of the passage concerns one accusation, but the first paragraph notes several accusations: lack of inventive plots, inscrutable style, and deficient writer. Answer A summarizes this idea.
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Re: Critics maintain that the fiction of Herman Melville (1819–1891) has   [#permalink] 27 Nov 2019, 06:35
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