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During the Victorian period, women writers were measured against

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During the Victorian period, women writers were measured against  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 09 Oct 2019, 02:03
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 284, Date : 22-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


During the Victorian period, women writers were measured against a social rather than a literary ideal. Hence, it was widely thought that novels by women should be modest, religious, sensitive, guileless, and chaste, like their authors. Many Victorian women writers took exception to this belief, however, resisting the imposition of non-literary restrictions on their work. Publishers soon discovered that the gentlest and most idyllic female novelists were tough-minded and relentless when their professional integrity was at stake. Keenly aware of their artistic responsibilities, these women writers would not make concessions to secure commercial success.

The Brontes, George Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and their lesser-known contemporaries repudiated, in their professional lives, the courtesy that Victorian ladies might exact from Victorian gentlemen. Desiring rigorous and impartial criticism, most women writers did not wish reviewers to be kind to them if kindness meant overlooking their literary weaknesses or flattering them on their accomplishments simply because of their sex. They had expected derisive reviews; instead, they found themselves confronted with generous criticism, which they considered condescending. Elizabeth Barrett Browning labelled it “the comparative respect which means... absolute scorn.”

For their part, Victorian critics were virtually obsessed with finding the place of the woman writer so as to judge her appropriately. Many bluntly admitted that they thought Jane Eyre a masterpiece if written by a man, shocking or disgusting if written by a woman. Moreover, reactionary reviewers were quick to associate an independent heroine with carefully concealed revolutionary doctrine; several considered Jane Eyre a radical feminist document, as indeed it was. To Charlotte Bronte, who had demanded dignity and independence without any revolutionary intent and who considered herself politically conservative, their criticism was an affront. Such criticism bunched all women writers together rather than treating them as individual artists.

Charlotte Bronte’s experience served as a warning to other women writers about the prejudices that immediately associated them with feminists and others thought to be political radicals. Irritated, and anxious to detach themselves from a group stereotype, many expressed relatively conservative views on the emancipation of women (except on the subject of women’s education) and stressed their own domestic accomplishments. However, in identifying themselves with women who had chosen the traditional career path of marriage and motherhood, these writers encountered still another threat to their creativity. Victorian prudery rendered virtually all experience that was uniquely feminine unprintable. No nineteenth-century woman dared to describe childbirth, much less her sexual passion. Men could not write about their sexual experiences either, but they could write about sport, business, crime, and war—all activities from which women were barred. Small wonder no woman produced a novel like War and Peace. What is amazing is the sheer volume of first-rate prose and poetry that Victorian women did write.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. Refute the contention that no Victorian woman writer produced a novel like War and Peace
B. Trace the historical relationship between radical feminist politics and the Victorian novels written by women
C. Show how three Victorian women writers responded to criticism of their novels
D. Resolve the apparent contradiction between Victorian women writers’ literary innovativeness and their rather conservative social views
E. Describe the discrepancy between Victorian society’s expectations of women writers and the expectations of the women writers themselves


2. According to the passage, Victorian women writers “would not make concessions” (Highlighted) to publishers primarily because they felt that such concessions would

A. Require them to limit descriptions of uniquely feminine experiences
B. Compromise their artistic integrity
C. Make them vulnerable to stereotyping by critics
D. Provide no guarantee that their works would enjoy commercial success
E. Go against the traditions of English letters


3. The passage suggests that Victorian criticism of works by women writers was

A. Indulgent
B. Perfunctory
C. Resourceful
D. Timely
E. Apolitical


4. The author of the passage quotes Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Text in red) in order to demonstrate that Victorian women writers

A. Possessed both talent and literary creativity
B. Felt that their works were misunderstood
C. Refused to make artistic concessions
D. Feared derisive criticism
E. Resented condescending criticism


5. It can be inferred from the passage that Charlotte Bronte considered the criticisms levelled at Jane Eyre by reactionary reviewers “an affront” (Highlighted) primarily because such criticism

A. Exposed her carefully concealed revolutionary doctrine to public scrutiny
B. Assessed the literary merit of the novel on the basis of its author’s sex
C. Assumed that her portrayal of an independent woman represented revolutionary ideas
D. Labeled the novel shocking and disgusting without just cause
E. Denied that the novel was a literary masterpiece


6. Which of the following statements best describes the “threat” (Highlighted)?

A. Critics demanded to know the sex of the author before passing judgment on the literary quality of a novel.
B. Women writers were prevented from describing in print experiences about which they had special knowledge.
C. The reading public tended to prefer historical novels to novels describing contemporary London society.
D. Publishers were urging Victorian women writers to publish under their own names rather than under pseudonyms.
E. Women writers’ domestic responsibilities tended to take time away from their writing.


7. The passage suggests that the attitude of Victorian women writers toward being grouped together by critics was most probably one of

A. Relief
B. Indifference
C. Amusement
D. Annoyance
E. Ambivalence


8. It can be inferred from the passage that a Victorian woman writer who did not consider herself a feminist would most probably have approved of women’s

A. Entering the noncombat military
B. Entering the publishing business
C. Entering a university
D. Joining the stock exchange
E. Joining a tennis club


9. The passage suggests that the literary creativity of Victorian women writers could have been enhanced if

A. Women had been allowed to write about a broader range of subjects
B. Novels of the period had been characterized by greater stylistic and structural ingenuity
C. A reserved and decorous style had been a more highly valued literary ideal
D. Publishers had sponsored more new women novelists
E. Critics had been kinder in reviewing the works of women novelists


_________________

Originally posted by 09173140521 on 10 Aug 2019, 23:34.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 09 Oct 2019, 02:03, edited 3 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (871).
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Re: During the Victorian period, women writers were measured against  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2019, 03:09
2
Para 1 Summary – Author starts with a conventional notion held against women writers during Victorian period. However, many women writers didn’t like the restrictions, and resisted, and would take things at hand.

Para 2 Summary – Author then gives few examples of women writers who refused the men’s courtesy and mentions what they thought of about critics reviews which were rather generous. However, they didn’t like the fact and considered the reviews absolute disrespect of their work.

Para 3 Summary – Then author gives an example of novel which many reviewers thought of written by a man but shocked to know that it was written by a women instead. Additionally, reviewers considered the novel a radical feminist document which Charlotte Bronte considered calculated disrespect to women writers.

Para 4 Summary – Author finally mentions about Charlotte’s experience (suggesting Jane Eyre was written by her) which made many women writers express about women liberation conservatively rather sharply but they did not went low on women education. However, do so led to threat of suppressed creativity because of Victorian modesty. Here author gives details what men can and what women can’t write.

Summary – Problems faced by women writers during Victorian period. What women writers wanted to write and expected society to accept writings as it is, however, that was not the case.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. Refute the contention that no Victorian woman writer produced a novel like War and Peace – WRONG. Author never refutes anything in the whole passage.
B. Trace the historical relationship between radical feminist politics and the Victorian novels written by women – WRONG. Only one paragraph of the passage is related to this, rest is about women writers struggle.
C. Show how three Victorian women writers responded to criticism of their novels – WRONG. Again only a part of a paragraph covers this scope. Limited scope hence wrong.
D. Resolve the apparent contradiction between Victorian women writers’ literary innovativeness and their rather conservative social views – WRONG. Resolution is not the intention anywhere reflected in the passage.
E. Describe the discrepancy between Victorian society’s expectations of women writers and the expectations of the women writers themselves – CORRECT. This once matches our summary i.e. the long held Victorian notion and Women writers struggle against that backdrop.

2. According to the passage, Victorian women writers “would not make concessions” (Highlighted) to publishers primarily because they felt that such concessions would

A. Require them to limit descriptions of uniquely feminine experiences – WRONG. Strictly women writer were not allowed to write any feminine experience. Refer para 4
B. Compromise their artistic integrity – CORRECT. Publishers discovered that women writers were tough- minded and relentless when their professional integrity (writing) was at stake. Refer Para 1 end part.
C. Make them vulnerable to stereotyping by critics – WRONG. Till that part of passage these women writers were not shown as if anyhow vulnerable to stereotyping.
D. Provide no guarantee that their works would enjoy commercial success – WRONG. Para 1 shows that women writers would give integrity more importance than commercial success.
E. Go against the traditions of English letters – WRONG. Irrelevant.

3. The passage suggests that Victorian criticism of works by women writers was

Marked B and got this one wrong.

A. Indulgent
B. Perfunctory
C. Resourceful
D. Timely
E. Apolitical

4. The author of the passage quotes Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Text in red) in order to demonstrate that Victorian women writers

A. Possessed both talent and literary creativity – WRONG. Elizabeth’s quote was written to show that women writer were disheartened in the way that criticism was generous given considering the gender bias not talent and creativity.
B. Felt that their works were misunderstood – WRONG. Can’t be said about understoos or not but certainly women writer didn’t like the criticism.
C. Refused to make artistic concessions – WRONG. Irrelevant to the context or at best opposite to what is said in passage.
D. Feared derisive criticism – WRONG. Exactly opposite to ‘expected derisive criticism’. Refer Para 2.
E. Resented condescending criticism – CORRECT. The criticism was disliked by women writers in that it was a disrespect to their work hence they opposed it.

5. It can be inferred from the passage that Charlotte Bronte considered the criticisms levelled at Jane Eyre by reactionary reviewers “an affront” (Highlighted) primarily because such criticism

Marked E. Had a doubt on ‘C’ and ‘D’ but could not infer properly.

A. Exposed her carefully concealed revolutionary doctrine to public scrutiny
B. Assessed the literary merit of the novel on the basis of its author’s sex
C. Assumed that her portrayal of an independent woman represented revolutionary ideas
D. Labeled the novel shocking and disgusting without just cause
E. Denied that the novel was a literary masterpiece

6. Which of the following statements best describes the “threat” (Highlighted)?

A. Critics demanded to know the sex of the author before passing judgment on the literary quality of a novel. – WRONG. Out of scope of passage.
B. Women writers were prevented from describing in print experiences about which they had special knowledge. – CORRECT. It was about unique feminine experiences which society rendered unprintable. Refer para 4.
C. The reading public tended to prefer historical novels to novels describing contemporary London society. – WRONG. Irrelevant.
D. Publishers were urging Victorian women writers to publish under their own names rather than under pseudonyms. – WRONG. Can’t be inferred from passage.
E. Women writers’ domestic responsibilities tended to take time away from their writing. WRONG. Irrelevant.

7. The passage suggests that the attitude of Victorian women writers toward being grouped together by critics was most probably one of

Answering correctly tests vocabulary and proper understanding of passage.

A. Relief – WRONG. Opposite to what women writers felt. They didn’t like the fact they were treated just like others.
B. Indifference – WRONG. This is a runner up of the answers for me. But the women writer were very much concerned of their writings expected people to write critique.
C. Amusement – WRONG. This suggests that they were glad instead they disliked being grouped.
D. Annoyance – CORRECT.
E. Ambivalence - This suggests that they were confused but they dislike being grouped.

8. It can be inferred from the passage that a Victorian woman writer who did not consider herself a feminist would most probably have approved of women’s

A. Entering the noncombat military - WRONG. Irrelevant.
B. Entering the publishing business - WRONG. Irrelevant.
C. Entering a university – CORRECT. In para 4 author mentions that women writers were focused and determined only for women education.
D. Joining the stock exchange – WRONG. Irrelevant.
E. Joining a tennis club - WRONG. Irrelevant.

9. The passage suggests that the literary creativity of Victorian women writers could have been enhanced if

Marked E. Got it totally wrong and misunderstood the option.

A. Women had been allowed to write about a broader range of subjects
B. Novels of the period had been characterized by greater stylistic and structural ingenuity
C. A reserved and decorous style had been a more highly valued literary ideal
D. Publishers had sponsored more new women novelists
E. Critics had been kinder in reviewing the works of women novelists.

Got 6 correct in 19:37 Minutes
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Re: During the Victorian period, women writers were measured against  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2020, 03:21
1
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. Refute the contention that no Victorian woman writer produced a novel like War and Peace
Wrong. This was the conclusion of the passage and this information came in the last paragraph.

B. Trace the historical relationship between radical feminist politics and the Victorian novels written by women
Wrong. No history of radical feminist politics has been described.

C. Show how three Victorian women writers responded to criticism of their novels
Wrong. No response of Victorian women writers were stated in the passage.

D. Resolve the apparent contradiction between Victorian women writers’ literary innovativeness and their rather conservative
social views

Wrong. The author was not trying to resolve any contradiction. He was just stating the facts that hapened in the history.

E. Describe the discrepancy between Victorian society’s expectations of women writers and the expectations of the women
writers themselves

Right. All throughout the passage we see two colliding views regardsing the women writer's literature


2. According to the passage, Victorian women writers “would not make concessions” (Highlighted) to publishers primarily because they felt that such concessions would

A. Require them to limit descriptions of uniquely feminine experiences
Wrong. In the whole paragraph the author is talking about the artistic integrity of the women writers.

B. Compromise their artistic integrity
Right.

C. Make them vulnerable to stereotyping by critics
Wrong. Concession means "a thing that is granted, especially in response to demands"

D. Provide no guarantee that their works would enjoy commercial success
Wrong. They were not ready to make any agreement already that would provide them commercial success.

E. Go against the traditions of English letters
Wrong. Out of scope.

3. The passage suggests that Victorian criticism of works by women writers was

A. Indulgent
Right. "they found themselves confronted with generous criticism"

B. Perfunctory
Wrong. They felt that women writers should not write such novels and that is why they criticized.

C. Resourceful
Wrong. Out of scope.

D. Timely
Wrong.Out of scope.

E. Apolitical
Wrong. "not interested or involved in politics." Politics was not even mentioned in great depth in the passage.

4. The author of the passage quotes Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Text in red) in order to demonstrate that Victorian women writers

A. Possessed both talent and literary creativity
Wrong. They were faced with criticism and not praise.

B. Felt that their works were misunderstood
Wrong. They demanded the same respect as other male authors.

C. Refused to make artistic concessions
Wrong. They demanded respect.

D. Feared derisive criticism
Wrong. They never feared anything. They were ready for it.

E. Resented condescending criticism
Right. They wanted equal criticism based on their work and not on their sex.

5. It can be inferred from the passage that Charlotte Bronte considered the criticisms leveled at Jane Eyre by reactionary reviewers “an affront” (Highlighted) primarily because such criticism

A. Exposed her carefully concealed revolutionary doctrine to public scrutiny
Wrong. Jane Eyre was considered with carefully concealing revolutionary doctrine and not the author.

B. Assessed the literary merit of the novel on the basis of its author’s sex
Wrong. Though Charlotte Bronte Was furious at being assessed as women but the criticism she received was not because of her sex.

C. Assumed that her portrayal of an independent woman represented revolutionary ideas
Right. were quick to associate an independent heroine with carefully concealed revolutionary doctrine;
several considered Jane Eyre a radical feminist document,

D. Labeled the novel shocking and disgusting without just cause
Wrong. They did give the reasons.

E. Denied that the novel was a literary masterpiece
Wrong. Out of scope.

6. Which of the following statements best describes the “threat” (Highlighted)?

A. Critics demanded to know the sex of the author before passing judgment on the literary quality of a novel.
Wrong. This was mentioned in second paragraph and not related to the third paragraph.

B. Women writers were prevented from describing in print experiences about which they had special knowledge.
Right. "Victorian prudery rendered virtually all experience that was uniquely feminine unprintable"

C. The reading public tended to prefer historical novels to novels describing contemporary London society.
Wrong. Out of scope.

D. Publishers were urging Victorian women writers to publish under their own names rather than under pseudonyms.
Wrong. Out of scope.

E. Women writers’ domestic responsibilities tended to take time away from their writing.
Wrong. Out of scope.

7. The passage suggests that the attitude of Victorian women writers toward being grouped together by critics was most probably one of

A. Relief
Wrong. It was a negative emotion.

B. Indifference
Wrong. There was intrest and concern.

C. Amusement
Wrong. There were not deriving any joy out of criticizing women writers.

D. Annoyance
Right. Came to this through POE.

E. Ambivalence
Wrong. The critics were very single minded and had one agenda only.

8. It can be inferred from the passage that a Victorian woman writer who did not consider herself a feminist would most probably have approved of women’s

A. Entering the noncombat military
Wrong. They were not open about women in military.

B. Entering the publishing business
Wrong. It was Taboo.

C. Entering a university
Right. They didn't have any issue with women studying.

D. Joining the stock exchange
Wrong. Stock exchange didn't exist at that time.

E. Joining a tennis club
Wrong. Tennis did not exist at that time.

9. The passage suggests that the literary creativity of Victorian women writers could have been enhanced if

A. Women had been allowed to write about a broader range of subjects
Right. " but they could write about sport, business, crime, and war—all activities from which women were barred"

B. Novels of the period had been characterized by greater stylistic and structural ingenuity
Wrong. Out of scope.

C. A reserved and decorous style had been a more highly valued literary ideal
Wrong. Out of scope.

D. Publishers had sponsored more new women novelists
Wrong. Out of scope.

E. Critics had been kinder in reviewing the works of women novelists
Wrong.
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Re: During the Victorian period, women writers were measured against   [#permalink] 16 Mar 2020, 03:21

During the Victorian period, women writers were measured against

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