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# Film critic: The documentary film The Decline of English Literature pr

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Manager
Joined: 08 Sep 2017
Posts: 77
Location: Colombia
Schools: Haas '21 (S)
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V39
Film critic: The documentary film The Decline of English Literature pr  [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2018, 14:52
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Difficulty:

25% (medium)

Question Stats:

74% (01:58) correct 26% (02:19) wrong based on 144 sessions

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Film critic: The documentary film The Decline of English Literature presents the view that contemporary British writers lack the basic narrative skills common among nineteenth-century British authors. The film's comparison is persuasive because it analyzes 20 popular, critically respected British novels, 10 from the nineteenth century and 10 from the past two decades, and demonstrates that the contemporary novels are not nearly as well-written as the nineteenth-century novels.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the argument above?

A) A film viewer who was not familiar with literary criticism may not be convinced by the film’s analysis of 20 novels.
B) The film critic may favor nineteenth-century fiction and may therefore be biased in favor of the filmmaker’s view.
C) The film’s title may predispose viewers to accept the film’s conclusion even before viewing the comparisons in the film.
D) The filmmaker could have chosen to analyze only books that support the position she was trying to establish.
E) The literary methods used by contemporary British authors could require less narrative skill than methods used by writers in other parts of the world.

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Re: Film critic: The documentary film The Decline of English Literature pr  [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2018, 20:08
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Film critic: The documentary film The Decline of English Literature presents the view that contemporary British writers lack the basic narrative skills common among nineteenth-century British authors. The film's comparison is persuasive because it analyzes 20 popular, critically respected British novels, 10 from the nineteenth century and 10 from the past two decades, and demonstrates that the contemporary novels are not nearly as well-written as the nineteenth-century novels.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the argument above?
----------

A liitle of prethinking maked me think that comparing of these novels is not a righr idicator. These are only 10 contemporary novels. Maybe they lack narrative skills. But another 50 contemporary novels (that are not discussed in a film) do not lack these skills.

A) A film viewer who was not familiar with literary criticism may not be convinced by the film’s analysis of 20 novels.
Well. It is not an indicator. Maybe such viewer is not convinces, but these novels still lack basic narrative skills

B) The film critic may favor nineteenth-century fiction and may therefore be biased in favor of the filmmaker’s view.
Again. Maybe. But still, he can not be biased, but the novels still lack basic narrative skills

C) The film’s title may predispose viewers to accept the film’s conclusion even before viewing the comparisons in the film.
Yes, the tile can do thatm but still. These contemporary novels can lack basic narrative skills

D) The filmmaker could have chosen to analyze only books that support the position she was trying to establish.
Exactly from our prethinking. Very good. This is the answer.

E) The literary methods used by contemporary British authors could require less narrative skill than methods used by writers in other parts of the world.
If the second part of this option sounded like "than methods used by British writers in 19th century", it could be true. Maybe (with a great possibility) it would be the answer.
But in our case it compares contemporary British writers with contemporary writers from other parts of the world, so it gives us nothing.

So, D.
One remark. What I do not like about this option, it the "The film's comparison is persuasive because it analyzes 20 popular, critically respected British novels, 10 from the nineteenth century and 10 from the past two decades".
So the film maker chose "good" (critically respected) novels.
But still (again).
Maybe thesenovels are critically respected, but the lack the narrative skills (that what the passage states). So it is still D.
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Re: Film critic: The documentary film The Decline of English Literature pr  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2018, 03:49
Official Explanation Kaplan

Identify the Question Type:

The phrase "if true, casts the most doubt" indicates that this is a weaken question.

Untangle the Stimulus:

The documentary concludes that the modern novelists lack “basic narrative skills” possessed by their nineteenth-century counterparts.

As evidence, the documentary compares 10 contemporary British novels unfavorably to 10 from the 19th century.

The film critic assumes that the documentary's pool of 20 hand-selected novels is representative of the work of both nineteenth-century and contemporary writers, respectively.

The right answer will likely involve the fact that the 20 novels chosen aren't necessarily representative of the writings of nineteenth-century and contemporary British novelists in general.

If (D) were true, then the pool of 20 novels would not necessarily represent the work of contemporary and nineteenth-century writers as a whole, so it's correct.

(A) is irrelevant. The film’s effectiveness in convincing its viewers in general doesn't matter; what matters is whether the film's argument is sound.

(B) is incorrect because whether or not the critic is biased in a particular direction is irrelevant. Even with a bias, the argument could be sound if the novels were representative.

(C) is irrelevant as well; viewers’ inability to view the film objectively does not weaken critic’s argument.

The methods used by writers outside of Britain are irrelevant to this argument, which focuses only on Britain, so (E) is incorrect.

TAKEAWAY: This question involves one of the three special cases: Representativeness. In this special case, the central assumption is that the group looked at is representative of the group concluded about. Such an argument can be weakened by pointing out that the first group is not actually representative of the second.
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Re: Film critic: The documentary film The Decline of English Literature pr   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2018, 03:49
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