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# It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis

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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
warrior1991 wrote:
AndrewN VeritasKarishma generis GMATNinja AjiteshArun

Need your help on below question.

Quote:
I marked option B as answer.

My thinking:-
The 17th century women, though forerunners of feminism,took Royalist side when choosing between Royalist and Parliamentarians.
This shows that these women did not openly oppose Royalist ideology.

Hi warrior1991,

We can't go from "they took the Royalist side" to "they did not openly oppose (the radical patriarchalism of) Royalist ideology". That is, it is possible that they questioned certain aspects of the side that they identified with. That's what the Margaret Cavendish example is about (Royalism → feminism).
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
warrior1991 wrote:
AndrewN VeritasKarishma generis GMATNinja AjiteshArun

Need your help on below question.

Quote:
I marked option B as answer.

My thinking:-
The 17th century women, though forerunners of feminism,took Royalist side when choosing between Royalist and Parliamentarians.
This shows that these women did not openly oppose Royalist ideology.

Quote:
RC0433-11. The passage suggests which of the following about the seventeenth-century English women mentioned in line 2?

A: Their status as forerunners of modern feminism is not entirely justified.

B: They did not openly challenge the radical patriarchalism of Royalist Filmerian ideology.

C: Cavendish was the first among these women to criticize women's subordination in marriage and assert women's equality with men.

D: Their views on family organization and women's political rights were diametrically opposed to those of both Royalist and Parliamentarian ideology.

E: Historians would be less puzzled if more of them were identified with the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil Wars.

Hello, warrior1991. In addition to what AjiteshArun added above, I believe GMATNinja has done a fine job breaking down this question earlier in the thread, quoting relevant sentences from the first paragraph. If you still need help after reading these explanations, I can chime in.

Thank you for thinking to ask me. (I was busy today, so I was late on the draw.)

- Andrew
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
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Question 1

shauryagupta wrote:

I selected option B. "qualify...form the basis.....". The reason I chose this option is because of 3-4 words in the passage(highlighted in yellow below). The passage says :

"Since Royalist ideology is often associated with the radical patriarchalism of seventeenth century political theorist Robert Filmer—a patriarchalism that equates family and kingdom and asserts the divinely ordained absolute power of the king and, by analogy, of the male head of the household"

Reasoning to select Option B: 1. Royalist ideology is linked to radical patriarchalism by the use of 'associated' and 'since'- some time in past, and the gentleman Robert Filmer is explaining this after a '-', and thus in a way is qualifying the preceding line.
2. Since its location specific question, not to refer to the whole passage for answering this particular question.

Please tell GMATNinja GMATNinjatwo, the reasons to dismiss option B.

To "qualify a claim" means to add reservations to that claim, or to make it less absolute. If someone claims that it's a beautiful day for a picnic, she could qualify that claim by saying, "It's a beautiful day for a picnic... unless it starts snowing."

You're right that Robert Filmer's patriarchalism is associated with Royalist ideology. Keeping in mind the definition of "qualify," it doesn't make sense that the author refers to Filmer in order to add reservations to the link between patriarchalism and Royalist ideology.

You can eliminate (B) for question 1.

I hope that helps!
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
GMATNinja and other respected moderators

I have a doubt in Q6
-> although as per options only option B suits

My question is, removing the options, shouldn't the right purpose of the passage have been "to discuss about a historical puzzling issue" instead of just "presenting 1 scholar's position on a historical puzzling issue"

Also, can i say that generally the last para will be the one having the conclusion or purpose of passage ?
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
shauryahanda wrote:
GMATNinja and other respected moderators

I have a doubt in Q6
-> although as per options only option B suits

My question is, removing the options, shouldn't the right purpose of the passage have been "to discuss about a historical puzzling issue" instead of just "presenting 1 scholar's position on a historical puzzling issue"

Also, can i say that generally the last para will be the one having the conclusion or purpose of passage ?

Hi shauryahanda,

I see your point, because only in the second paragraph does the author introduce Catherine Gallagher. Maybe we could consider the first paragraph an introduction? As in, it sets the stage for what the author really wants to discuss (Catherine Gallagher's explanation of what is introduced in the first paragraph). As for your second question, we cannot say that the primary purpose can always be found in the last paragraph.

Also, the first paragraph of this passage is almost the same as the first paragraph of "Embracing the Absolute: The Politics of the Female Subject in Seventeenth-Century England" (by... Catherine Gallagher). Maybe the people who made this RC did not even think about the issue that you identified, because they knew who wrote that article. Anyway, it's good that no other option comes close.
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
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I've created a video analysis of this passage. Might be helpful.

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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
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GMATNinja KarishmaB MartyTargetTestPrep I still do not get why the following are incorrect:
Q1- B- Yes it is limiting the belief that patriarchalism is a basis for Royalism because if we say "Royalism is associated with patriarchalism" and then say "Royalism is associated with Filmerian patriarchalism" then yes indeed it is limiting. What would the wording is=n passage be if they were to actually qualify this claim?
Q2- D- We can see that forerunners of feminism were opposed to royalists and parliamentarian. Royalists because they believed in equality whereas royalists didnt and parliamentarian too because it kind of was believed by the historians that royalists and parliamentarian actually might not have so much difference. Pls tell what the actual meaning i if I am wrong and why you think they don't agree with either
Q6- D- Yes it is linking the ideology because MG is drawing similarities with Filmer's ideology by talking absolute monarch was used to transition to absolute singularity. So she links the ideology of patriarchalism to feminism
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
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RaviChandra wrote:
It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century English women who are generally regarded as among the forerunners of modern feminism are almost all identified with the Royalist side in the conflict between Royalists and Parliamentarians known as the English Civil Wars. Since Royalist ideology is often associated with the radical patriarchalism of seventeenth century political theorist Robert Filmer—a patriarchalism that equates family and kingdom and asserts the divinely ordained absolute power of the king and, by analogy, of the male head of the household—historians have been understandably puzzled by the fact that Royalist women wrote the earliest extended criticisms of the absolute subordination of women in marriage and the earliest systematic assertions of women’s rational and moral equality with men. Some historians have questioned the facile equation of Royalist ideology with Filmerian patriarchalism; and indeed, there may have been no consistent differences between Royalists and Parliamentarians on issues of family organization and women’s political rights, but in that case one would expect early feminists to be equally divided between the two sides.

Catherine Gallagher argues that Royalism engendered feminism because the ideology of absolute monarchy provided a transition to an ideology of the absolute self. She cites the example of the notoriously eccentric author Margaret Cavendish (1626–1673), duchess of Newcastle. Cavendish claimed to be as ambitious as any woman could be, but knowing that as a woman she was excluded from the pursuit of power in the real world, she resolved to be mistress of her own world, the “immaterial world” that any person can create within her own mind—and, as a writer, on paper. In proclaiming what she called her “singularity,” Cavendish insisted that she was a self-sufficient being within her mental empire, the center of her own subjective universe rather than a satellite orbiting a dominant male planet. In justifying this absolute singularity, Cavendish repeatedly invoked the model of the absolute monarch, a figure that became a metaphor for the self-enclosed, autonomous nature of the individual person. Cavendish’s successors among early feminists retained her notion of woman’s sovereign self, but they also sought to break free from the complete political and social isolation that her absolute singularity entailed.

Passage: English Women

Question: Specific Purpose

The Simple Story

Seventeenth-century English feminists sided with the Royalists, not the Parliamentarians. This is strange, because Royalists are often associated with the belief that the male head of household holds absolute power. One possible explanation is that Royalists actually didn’t commonly hold these patriarchal beliefs; however, that wouldn’t explain why the feminists were more commonly found among the Royalists. A better explanation (put forth by Gallagher) is that the feminists agreed with the Royalist belief in the power and sovereignty of the individual.

Sample Passage Map

Here is one way to map this passage. (Note: abbreviate as desired!)

P1: feminists more with R than P

weird b/c R believe in power for men

P2: CG: R beliefs related to absolute self

feminists (ex. MC) agreed with R on

that

Step 1: Identify the Question

The phrasing in order to in the question stem indicates that this is a Purpose question.

Step 2: Find the Support

The question refers you to line 9 of the passage. Reread that line and the surrounding text.

“Since Royalist ideology is often associated with the radical patriarchalism of seventeenth-century political theorist Robert Filmer—a patriarchalism that equates family and kingdom…—historians have been understandably puzzled by the fact that Royalist women wrote the earliest extended criticisms of the absolute subordination of women…”

Step 3: Predict an Answer

The author brings up Filmer while explaining why early feminists’ association with Royalism is surprising. Because Filmer’s radical patriarchalist beliefs are used in Royalism, it’s unusual that feminists would associate themselves with Royalist ideology.

Step 4: Eliminate and Find a Match

(A) Royalist ideology was radical, but the author does not claim that historians failed to realize that.

(B) To qualify a claim is to add caveats or exceptions to it, or to soften it. (Note: to qualify something does not mean to strengthen it.) The author does qualify the claim that patriarchalism and Royalism were closely associated, towards the end of the first paragraph. However, this isn’t why Filmer was initially brought up. In fact, the author initially mentions Filmer while noting that patriarchalism and Royalism were associated.

(C) The passage does not disagree with the view that feminists were associated with Royalism (in fact, the first sentence says this is indisputable). It only asks why that unusual association occurred.

(D) CORRECT. Filmer is brought up in order to demonstrate that Royalists held radical patriarchalist beliefs, which were in tension with the beliefs of early feminists.

(E) The passage does say that the Royalists and Parliamentarians may have had no consistent differences in their beliefs on family organization and women’s political rights. This isn’t why the author introduced Filmer in the first place, however; in this part of the passage, in fact, the author is noting that some people have questioned, or doubted, Filmer’s association with Royalism.

RC0433-02. The author of the passage refers to Robert Filmer primarily in order to

(A) show that Royalist ideology was somewhat more radical than most historians appear to realize

(B) qualify the claim that patriarchalism formed the basis of Royalist ideology

(C) question the view that most early feminists were associated with the Royalist faction

(D) highlight an apparent tension between Royalist ideology and the ideas of early feminists

(E) argue that Royalists held conflicting opinions on issues of family organization and women's political rights

OA:E

RC0433-11. The passage suggests which of the following about the seventeenth-century English women mentioned in line 2?

A: Their status as forerunners of modern feminism is not entirely justified.

B: They did not openly challenge the radical patriarchalism of Royalist Filmerian ideology.

C: Cavendish was the first among these women to criticize women's subordination in marriage and assert women's equality with men.

D: Their views on family organization and women's political rights were diametrically opposed to those of both Royalist and Parliamentarian ideology.

E: Historians would be less puzzled if more of them were identified with the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil Wars.

OA:E

RC0433-04. The passage suggests that Margaret Cavendish's decision to become an author was motivated, at least in part, by a desire to

A: justify her support for the Royalist cause

B: encourage her readers to work toward eradicating Filmerian patriarchalism

C: persuade other women to break free from their political and social isolation

D: analyze the causes for women's exclusion from the pursuit of power

E: create a world over which she could exercise total control

OA:D

RC0433-08. The phrase "a satellite orbiting a dominant male planet" refers most directly to

A: Cavendish's concept that each woman is a sovereign self

B: the complete political and social isolation of absolute singularity

C: the immaterial world that a writer can create on paper

D: the absolute subordination of women in a patriarchal society

E: the metaphorical figure of the absolute monarch

Passage: English Women

Question: Weaken the Argument

The Simple Story

Seventeenth-century English feminists sided with the Royalists, not the Parliamentarians. This is strange, because Royalists are often associated with the belief that the male head of household holds absolute power. One possible explanation is that Royalists actually didn’t commonly hold these patriarchal beliefs; however, that wouldn’t explain why the feminists were more commonly found among the Royalists. A better explanation (put forth by Gallagher) is that the feminists agreed with the Royalist belief in the power and sovereignty of the individual.

Sample Passage Map

Here is one way to map this passage. (Note: abbreviate as desired!)

P1: feminists more with R than P

weird b/c R believe in power for men

P2: CG: R beliefs related to absolute self

feminists (ex. MC) agreed with R on

that

Step 1: Identify the Question

The phrase most clearly undermine in the question stem indicates that this is a Weaken the Argument question. Treat it in the same way you would treat a Weaken the Argument Critical Reasoning problem.

Step 2: Find the Support

Gallagher’s explanation of the link between Royalism and feminism is described at the beginning of the second paragraph:

“Catherine Gallagher argues that Royalism engendered feminism because the ideology of absolute monarchy provided a transition to an ideology of the absolute self.”

Step 3: Predict an Answer

The word engendered means brought about or caused to happen. Gallagher argues that Royalism brought about feminism because an idea from Royalism (absolute monarchy) allowed the feminists to develop the ideology of the absolute self.

In order to weaken Gallagher’s argument, the right answer might suggest that the ideology of absolute monarchy didn’t provide a transition to an ideology of the absolute self. It might also challenge the association between ideology of the absolute self and early feminism.

Step 4: Eliminate and Find a Match

(A) Gallagher’s argument does not relate Royalism to Parliamentarianism. Even if Royalists were better educated than Parliamentarians, their overall level of education could be either high or low. No specific conclusion about the Royalist women can be drawn from this limited information.

(B) It’s possible that Filmer was critical of Cavendish. However, the argument claims that feminism (represented by Cavendish) was based on Royalism (represented by Filmer), not the other way around. What matters is whether Cavendish was critical of Filmer’s ideas, which, from the information in the passage, she apparently wasn’t.

(C) CORRECT. If Cavendish was an outlier, then Gallagher is incorrect to connect Cavendish’s ideology of the absolute self with feminism in general. Gallagher’s explanation of why Royalism engendered feminism would be significantly weakened.

(D) This doesn’t relate to whether Royalism did or didn’t engender feminism. Knowing that the two ideologies were in agreement doesn’t provide any additional information about Royalism itself.

(E) The ideology of feminism could have been based on the majority faction’s beliefs. The presence of a minority faction does not make this less likely.

RC0433-09. Which of the following, if true, would most clearly undermine Gallagher`s explanation of the link between Royalism and feminism?

(A) Because of their privileged backgrounds, Royalist women were generally better educated than were their Parliamentarian counterparts.

(B) Filmer himself had read some Cavendish's early writings and was highly critical of her ideas.

(C) Cavendish's views were highly individual and were not shared by other Royalist women who wrote early feminist works.

(D) The Royalist and Parliamentarian ideologies were largely in agreement on issues of family organization and women's political rights.

(E) The Royalist side included a sizable minority faction that was opposed to the more radical tendencies of Filmerian patriarchalism.

Passage: English Women

Question: Primary Purpose

The Simple Story

Seventeenth-century English feminists sided with the Royalists, not the Parliamentarians. This is strange, because Royalists are often associated with the belief that the male head of household holds absolute power. One possible explanation is that Royalists actually didn’t commonly hold these patriarchal beliefs; however, that wouldn’t explain why the feminists were more commonly found among the Royalists. A better explanation (put forth by Gallagher) is that the feminists agreed with the Royalist belief in the power and sovereignty of the individual.

Sample Passage Map

Here is one way to map this passage. (Note: abbreviate as desired!)

P1: feminists more with R than P

weird b/c R believe in power for men

P2: CG: R beliefs related to absolute self

feminists (ex. MC) agreed with R on

that

Step 1: Identify the Question

The phrase primary purpose in the question stem indicates that this is a Primary Purpose, or main idea, question.

Step 2: Find the Support

The support for a Purpose question is in the structure of the passage itself. The first paragraph introduces the idea that seventeenth-century feminists were, surprisingly, aligned with Royalists in the English Civil Wars. The remainder of the passage addresses why this phenomenon was surprising, then attempts to reconcile it using the concept of the ideology of the absolute self.

Step 3: Predict an Answer

The passage accomplishes three things: introduces a surprising fact, explains why it is surprising, then attempts to provide an explanation. The correct answer will incorporate these major elements of the passage.

Step 4: Eliminate and Find a Match

(A) The passage does not make a connection between seventeenth-century feminism and modern times. Instead, it addresses only the situation in the seventeenth century.

(B) CORRECT. The entire passage is dedicated to describing a puzzling phenomenon—the alignment between seventeenth-century feminists and Royalists—then providing an explanation for it.

(C) The political conflict described in the passage is the conflict between Parliamentarians and Royalists. The passage describes one of the factors (radical patriarchalism) involved in Royalist ideology, but it does not contrast this to another interpretation, nor does it describe the origins of the Royalist-Parliamentarian conflict.

(D) Filmer and Cavendish are both mentioned in the passage, but both of them are used as examples that assist the author in making broader points. Filmer is cited as an example of radical patriarchalism, which helps the author establish the strangeness of the phenomenon described in the first paragraph, while Cavendish is used to help the author explain that phenomenon. The passage is not primarily about these two characters, nor does the author attempt to specifically establish a link between them.

(E) The passage mentions this only briefly, towards the end of the first paragraph. It is not the main focus of that paragraph and is not mentioned in the second paragraph.

RC0433-06. The primary purpose of the passage is to:

(A) trace the historical roots of a modern sociopolitical movement

(B) present one scholar's explanation for a puzzling historical phenomenon

(C) contrast two interpretations of the ideological origins of a political conflict

(D) establish a link between the ideology of an influential political theorist and that of a notoriously eccentric writer

(E) call attention to some points of agreement between opposing sides in an ideological debate

Embracing the Absolute: The Politics of the Female Subject in Seventeenth-Century England
Catherine Gallagher

Source : https://www.utexaspressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.5555/gen.1988.1.24

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019

Practice Question
Question No.: RC 96 ~ 101 // 493-498
Page: 404

Para 1:

It is odd that early feminists were all Royalists (monarch), not Parliamentarians (elected by people).
Royalist ideology is associated with the radical patriarchalism of Robert Filmer (male head of the house has absolute power). Since this was Royalist ideology (Royalists believed this or were supposed to believe this), it was odd that feminism sprung from Royalists.
Some historians have questioned whether Royalist ideology was Filmerian patriarchalism; It is possible that Royalists and Parliamentarians were on the same page regarding women's rights but then early feminists should have come from both camps. So the puzzle remains.

Para 2:

Catherine Gallagher argues that Royalism produced feminism because the ideology of absolute monarchy provided a transition to an ideology of the absolute self. She cites Margaret Cavendish, an ambitious Royalist. Because of Royalist ideology, she was excluded from power so she created her own world of 'singularity' - where she was self sufficient and centre of her own universe. In justifying this absolute singularity, Cavendish repeatedly invoked the model of the absolute monarch, a figure that became a metaphor for the self-enclosed, autonomous nature of the individual person.

So para 1 introduces the oddity - that early feminists were all Royals and para 2 explains the position of Catherine Gallagher on this issue - she explains why early feminists were Royalists - because Royalist ideology of absolute monarch produced the ideology of singularity of women.

RC0433-02. The author of the passage refers to Robert Filmer primarily in order to

(A) show that Royalist ideology was somewhat more radical than most historians appear to realize

(B) qualify the claim that patriarchalism formed the basis of Royalist ideology

Not correct. The author mentions Filmer to tell us what Royal ideology is. He does not modify or limit the Royal ideology by mentioning Filmer.

(C) question the view that most early feminists were associated with the Royalist faction

(D) highlight an apparent tension between Royalist ideology and the ideas of early feminists

Correct. The author tells us why it is unexpected to find feminists among Royals - because Royal ideology (equated with Filmer's patriarchalism) was in contrast with feminism. So she mentions Filmer to tell us what Royal ideology was to highlight how it was opposed to feminism.

(E) argue that Royalists held conflicting opinions on issues of family organization and women's political rights
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
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ag153 wrote:
GMATNinja KarishmaB MartyTargetTestPrep I still do not get why the following are incorrect:
Q1- B- Yes it is limiting the belief that patriarchalism is a basis for Royalism because if we say "Royalism is associated with patriarchalism" and then say "Royalism is associated with Filmerian patriarchalism" then yes indeed it is limiting. What would the wording is=n passage be if they were to actually qualify this claim?
Q2- D- We can see that forerunners of feminism were opposed to royalists and parliamentarian. Royalists because they believed in equality whereas royalists didnt and parliamentarian too because it kind of was believed by the historians that royalists and parliamentarian actually might not have so much difference. Pls tell what the actual meaning i if I am wrong and why you think they don't agree with either
Q6- D- Yes it is linking the ideology because MG is drawing similarities with Filmer's ideology by talking absolute monarch was used to transition to absolute singularity. So she links the ideology of patriarchalism to feminism

RC0433-11. The passage suggests which of the following about the seventeenth-century English women mentioned in line 2?

A: Their status as forerunners of modern feminism is not entirely justified.

B: They did not openly challenge the radical patriarchalism of Royalist Filmerian ideology.

C: Cavendish was the first among these women to criticize women's subordination in marriage and assert women's equality with men.

D: Their views on family organization and women's political rights were diametrically opposed to those of both Royalist and Parliamentarian ideology.

E: Historians would be less puzzled if more of them were identified with the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil Wars.

The women mentioned were early feminists. The puzzling fact was that all of them were Royals though feminism is at odds with Royal ideology. That was odd. Historian would be less puzzled if they came from both groups and perhaps even less puzzled if they came predominantly from parliamentarians.

So (E) is correct.

D: Their views on family organization and women's political rights were diametrically opposed to those of both Royalist and Parliamentarian ideology.

We are not given that their views were diametrically opposed to both ideologies. We are not given the Parliamentarian ideology at all.

All we are given is a hypothetical statement "there may have been no consistent differences between Royalists and Parliamentarians on issues of family organization and women’s political rights, but in that case one would expect early feminists to be equally divided between the two sides."

That Royalists and Parliamentarians may have had the same views but then feminists would have come from both the groups.
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
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ag153 wrote:
GMATNinja KarishmaB MartyTargetTestPrep I still do not get why the following are incorrect:
Q1- B- Yes it is limiting the belief that patriarchalism is a basis for Royalism because if we say "Royalism is associated with patriarchalism" and then say "Royalism is associated with Filmerian patriarchalism" then yes indeed it is limiting. What would the wording is=n passage be if they were to actually qualify this claim?
Q2- D- We can see that forerunners of feminism were opposed to royalists and parliamentarian. Royalists because they believed in equality whereas royalists didnt and parliamentarian too because it kind of was believed by the historians that royalists and parliamentarian actually might not have so much difference. Pls tell what the actual meaning i if I am wrong and why you think they don't agree with either
Q6- D- Yes it is linking the ideology because MG is drawing similarities with Filmer's ideology by talking absolute monarch was used to transition to absolute singularity. So she links the ideology of patriarchalism to feminism

RC0433-06. The primary purpose of the passage is to:

(A) trace the historical roots of a modern sociopolitical movement

(B) present one scholar's explanation for a puzzling historical phenomenon

Correct. The purpose of the passage is to introduce the oddity and provide a scholar's (Catherine Gallagher's) explanation on it.

(C) contrast two interpretations of the ideological origins of a political conflict

(D) establish a link between the ideology of an influential political theorist and that of a notoriously eccentric writer

The author's purpose is not to link the theorist and the writer. The author explains the theorist's (Catherine's) explanation to the oddity. The theorist (Catherine) illustrates using the writer's (Margaret's) example. The idea is to explain what Catherine feels about why early feminists came from Royalty - because 'absolute monarch' idea produced the idea of 'absolute self' for women too.

(E) call attention to some points of agreement between opposing sides in an ideological debate

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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]

Originally posted by ag153 on 06 Apr 2022, 22:37.
Last edited by ag153 on 10 Apr 2022, 00:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
I do not get how it is not limiting give the rationale stated earlier by me. What would the passage wording be in order for it to be called 'qualify a claim'?

KarishmaB wrote:
RaviChandra wrote:
It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century English women who are generally regarded as among the forerunners of modern feminism are almost all identified with the Royalist side in the conflict between Royalists and Parliamentarians known as the English Civil Wars. Since Royalist ideology is often associated with the radical patriarchalism of seventeenth century political theorist Robert Filmer—a patriarchalism that equates family and kingdom and asserts the divinely ordained absolute power of the king and, by analogy, of the male head of the household—historians have been understandably puzzled by the fact that Royalist women wrote the earliest extended criticisms of the absolute subordination of women in marriage and the earliest systematic assertions of women’s rational and moral equality with men. Some historians have questioned the facile equation of Royalist ideology with Filmerian patriarchalism; and indeed, there may have been no consistent differences between Royalists and Parliamentarians on issues of family organization and women’s political rights, but in that case one would expect early feminists to be equally divided between the two sides.

Catherine Gallagher argues that Royalism engendered feminism because the ideology of absolute monarchy provided a transition to an ideology of the absolute self. She cites the example of the notoriously eccentric author Margaret Cavendish (1626–1673), duchess of Newcastle. Cavendish claimed to be as ambitious as any woman could be, but knowing that as a woman she was excluded from the pursuit of power in the real world, she resolved to be mistress of her own world, the “immaterial world” that any person can create within her own mind—and, as a writer, on paper. In proclaiming what she called her “singularity,” Cavendish insisted that she was a self-sufficient being within her mental empire, the center of her own subjective universe rather than a satellite orbiting a dominant male planet. In justifying this absolute singularity, Cavendish repeatedly invoked the model of the absolute monarch, a figure that became a metaphor for the self-enclosed, autonomous nature of the individual person. Cavendish’s successors among early feminists retained her notion of woman’s sovereign self, but they also sought to break free from the complete political and social isolation that her absolute singularity entailed.

Passage: English Women

Question: Specific Purpose

The Simple Story

Seventeenth-century English feminists sided with the Royalists, not the Parliamentarians. This is strange, because Royalists are often associated with the belief that the male head of household holds absolute power. One possible explanation is that Royalists actually didn’t commonly hold these patriarchal beliefs; however, that wouldn’t explain why the feminists were more commonly found among the Royalists. A better explanation (put forth by Gallagher) is that the feminists agreed with the Royalist belief in the power and sovereignty of the individual.

Sample Passage Map

Here is one way to map this passage. (Note: abbreviate as desired!)

P1: feminists more with R than P

weird b/c R believe in power for men

P2: CG: R beliefs related to absolute self

feminists (ex. MC) agreed with R on

that

Step 1: Identify the Question

The phrasing in order to in the question stem indicates that this is a Purpose question.

Step 2: Find the Support

The question refers you to line 9 of the passage. Reread that line and the surrounding text.

“Since Royalist ideology is often associated with the radical patriarchalism of seventeenth-century political theorist Robert Filmer—a patriarchalism that equates family and kingdom…—historians have been understandably puzzled by the fact that Royalist women wrote the earliest extended criticisms of the absolute subordination of women…”

Step 3: Predict an Answer

The author brings up Filmer while explaining why early feminists’ association with Royalism is surprising. Because Filmer’s radical patriarchalist beliefs are used in Royalism, it’s unusual that feminists would associate themselves with Royalist ideology.

Step 4: Eliminate and Find a Match

(A) Royalist ideology was radical, but the author does not claim that historians failed to realize that.

(B) To qualify a claim is to add caveats or exceptions to it, or to soften it. (Note: to qualify something does not mean to strengthen it.) The author does qualify the claim that patriarchalism and Royalism were closely associated, towards the end of the first paragraph. However, this isn’t why Filmer was initially brought up. In fact, the author initially mentions Filmer while noting that patriarchalism and Royalism were associated.

(C) The passage does not disagree with the view that feminists were associated with Royalism (in fact, the first sentence says this is indisputable). It only asks why that unusual association occurred.

(D) CORRECT. Filmer is brought up in order to demonstrate that Royalists held radical patriarchalist beliefs, which were in tension with the beliefs of early feminists.

(E) The passage does say that the Royalists and Parliamentarians may have had no consistent differences in their beliefs on family organization and women’s political rights. This isn’t why the author introduced Filmer in the first place, however; in this part of the passage, in fact, the author is noting that some people have questioned, or doubted, Filmer’s association with Royalism.

RC0433-02. The author of the passage refers to Robert Filmer primarily in order to

(A) show that Royalist ideology was somewhat more radical than most historians appear to realize

(B) qualify the claim that patriarchalism formed the basis of Royalist ideology

(C) question the view that most early feminists were associated with the Royalist faction

(D) highlight an apparent tension between Royalist ideology and the ideas of early feminists

(E) argue that Royalists held conflicting opinions on issues of family organization and women's political rights

OA:E

RC0433-11. The passage suggests which of the following about the seventeenth-century English women mentioned in line 2?

A: Their status as forerunners of modern feminism is not entirely justified.

B: They did not openly challenge the radical patriarchalism of Royalist Filmerian ideology.

C: Cavendish was the first among these women to criticize women's subordination in marriage and assert women's equality with men.

D: Their views on family organization and women's political rights were diametrically opposed to those of both Royalist and Parliamentarian ideology.

E: Historians would be less puzzled if more of them were identified with the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil Wars.

OA:E

RC0433-04. The passage suggests that Margaret Cavendish's decision to become an author was motivated, at least in part, by a desire to

A: justify her support for the Royalist cause

B: encourage her readers to work toward eradicating Filmerian patriarchalism

C: persuade other women to break free from their political and social isolation

D: analyze the causes for women's exclusion from the pursuit of power

E: create a world over which she could exercise total control

OA:D

RC0433-08. The phrase "a satellite orbiting a dominant male planet" refers most directly to

A: Cavendish's concept that each woman is a sovereign self

B: the complete political and social isolation of absolute singularity

C: the immaterial world that a writer can create on paper

D: the absolute subordination of women in a patriarchal society

E: the metaphorical figure of the absolute monarch

Passage: English Women

Question: Weaken the Argument

The Simple Story

Seventeenth-century English feminists sided with the Royalists, not the Parliamentarians. This is strange, because Royalists are often associated with the belief that the male head of household holds absolute power. One possible explanation is that Royalists actually didn’t commonly hold these patriarchal beliefs; however, that wouldn’t explain why the feminists were more commonly found among the Royalists. A better explanation (put forth by Gallagher) is that the feminists agreed with the Royalist belief in the power and sovereignty of the individual.

Sample Passage Map

Here is one way to map this passage. (Note: abbreviate as desired!)

P1: feminists more with R than P

weird b/c R believe in power for men

P2: CG: R beliefs related to absolute self

feminists (ex. MC) agreed with R on

that

Step 1: Identify the Question

The phrase most clearly undermine in the question stem indicates that this is a Weaken the Argument question. Treat it in the same way you would treat a Weaken the Argument Critical Reasoning problem.

Step 2: Find the Support

Gallagher’s explanation of the link between Royalism and feminism is described at the beginning of the second paragraph:

“Catherine Gallagher argues that Royalism engendered feminism because the ideology of absolute monarchy provided a transition to an ideology of the absolute self.”

Step 3: Predict an Answer

The word engendered means brought about or caused to happen. Gallagher argues that Royalism brought about feminism because an idea from Royalism (absolute monarchy) allowed the feminists to develop the ideology of the absolute self.

In order to weaken Gallagher’s argument, the right answer might suggest that the ideology of absolute monarchy didn’t provide a transition to an ideology of the absolute self. It might also challenge the association between ideology of the absolute self and early feminism.

Step 4: Eliminate and Find a Match

(A) Gallagher’s argument does not relate Royalism to Parliamentarianism. Even if Royalists were better educated than Parliamentarians, their overall level of education could be either high or low. No specific conclusion about the Royalist women can be drawn from this limited information.

(B) It’s possible that Filmer was critical of Cavendish. However, the argument claims that feminism (represented by Cavendish) was based on Royalism (represented by Filmer), not the other way around. What matters is whether Cavendish was critical of Filmer’s ideas, which, from the information in the passage, she apparently wasn’t.

(C) CORRECT. If Cavendish was an outlier, then Gallagher is incorrect to connect Cavendish’s ideology of the absolute self with feminism in general. Gallagher’s explanation of why Royalism engendered feminism would be significantly weakened.

(D) This doesn’t relate to whether Royalism did or didn’t engender feminism. Knowing that the two ideologies were in agreement doesn’t provide any additional information about Royalism itself.

(E) The ideology of feminism could have been based on the majority faction’s beliefs. The presence of a minority faction does not make this less likely.

RC0433-09. Which of the following, if true, would most clearly undermine Gallagher`s explanation of the link between Royalism and feminism?

(A) Because of their privileged backgrounds, Royalist women were generally better educated than were their Parliamentarian counterparts.

(B) Filmer himself had read some Cavendish's early writings and was highly critical of her ideas.

(C) Cavendish's views were highly individual and were not shared by other Royalist women who wrote early feminist works.

(D) The Royalist and Parliamentarian ideologies were largely in agreement on issues of family organization and women's political rights.

(E) The Royalist side included a sizable minority faction that was opposed to the more radical tendencies of Filmerian patriarchalism.

Passage: English Women

Question: Primary Purpose

The Simple Story

Seventeenth-century English feminists sided with the Royalists, not the Parliamentarians. This is strange, because Royalists are often associated with the belief that the male head of household holds absolute power. One possible explanation is that Royalists actually didn’t commonly hold these patriarchal beliefs; however, that wouldn’t explain why the feminists were more commonly found among the Royalists. A better explanation (put forth by Gallagher) is that the feminists agreed with the Royalist belief in the power and sovereignty of the individual.

Sample Passage Map

Here is one way to map this passage. (Note: abbreviate as desired!)

P1: feminists more with R than P

weird b/c R believe in power for men

P2: CG: R beliefs related to absolute self

feminists (ex. MC) agreed with R on

that

Step 1: Identify the Question

The phrase primary purpose in the question stem indicates that this is a Primary Purpose, or main idea, question.

Step 2: Find the Support

The support for a Purpose question is in the structure of the passage itself. The first paragraph introduces the idea that seventeenth-century feminists were, surprisingly, aligned with Royalists in the English Civil Wars. The remainder of the passage addresses why this phenomenon was surprising, then attempts to reconcile it using the concept of the ideology of the absolute self.

Step 3: Predict an Answer

The passage accomplishes three things: introduces a surprising fact, explains why it is surprising, then attempts to provide an explanation. The correct answer will incorporate these major elements of the passage.

Step 4: Eliminate and Find a Match

(A) The passage does not make a connection between seventeenth-century feminism and modern times. Instead, it addresses only the situation in the seventeenth century.

(B) CORRECT. The entire passage is dedicated to describing a puzzling phenomenon—the alignment between seventeenth-century feminists and Royalists—then providing an explanation for it.

(C) The political conflict described in the passage is the conflict between Parliamentarians and Royalists. The passage describes one of the factors (radical patriarchalism) involved in Royalist ideology, but it does not contrast this to another interpretation, nor does it describe the origins of the Royalist-Parliamentarian conflict.

(D) Filmer and Cavendish are both mentioned in the passage, but both of them are used as examples that assist the author in making broader points. Filmer is cited as an example of radical patriarchalism, which helps the author establish the strangeness of the phenomenon described in the first paragraph, while Cavendish is used to help the author explain that phenomenon. The passage is not primarily about these two characters, nor does the author attempt to specifically establish a link between them.

(E) The passage mentions this only briefly, towards the end of the first paragraph. It is not the main focus of that paragraph and is not mentioned in the second paragraph.

RC0433-06. The primary purpose of the passage is to:

(A) trace the historical roots of a modern sociopolitical movement

(B) present one scholar's explanation for a puzzling historical phenomenon

(C) contrast two interpretations of the ideological origins of a political conflict

(D) establish a link between the ideology of an influential political theorist and that of a notoriously eccentric writer

(E) call attention to some points of agreement between opposing sides in an ideological debate

Embracing the Absolute: The Politics of the Female Subject in Seventeenth-Century England
Catherine Gallagher

Source : https://www.utexaspressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.5555/gen.1988.1.24

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019

Practice Question
Question No.: RC 96 ~ 101 // 493-498
Page: 404

Para 1:

It is odd that early feminists were all Royalists (monarch), not Parliamentarians (elected by people).
Royalist ideology is associated with the radical patriarchalism of Robert Filmer (male head of the house has absolute power). Since this was Royalist ideology (Royalists believed this or were supposed to believe this), it was odd that feminism sprung from Royalists.
Some historians have questioned whether Royalist ideology was Filmerian patriarchalism; It is possible that Royalists and Parliamentarians were on the same page regarding women's rights but then early feminists should have come from both camps. So the puzzle remains.

Para 2:

Catherine Gallagher argues that Royalism produced feminism because the ideology of absolute monarchy provided a transition to an ideology of the absolute self. She cites Margaret Cavendish, an ambitious Royalist. Because of Royalist ideology, she was excluded from power so she created her own world of 'singularity' - where she was self sufficient and centre of her own universe. In justifying this absolute singularity, Cavendish repeatedly invoked the model of the absolute monarch, a figure that became a metaphor for the self-enclosed, autonomous nature of the individual person.

So para 1 introduces the oddity - that early feminists were all Royals and para 2 explains the position of Catherine Gallagher on this issue - she explains why early feminists were Royalists - because Royalist ideology of absolute monarch produced the ideology of singularity of women.

RC0433-02. The author of the passage refers to Robert Filmer primarily in order to

(A) show that Royalist ideology was somewhat more radical than most historians appear to realize

(B) qualify the claim that patriarchalism formed the basis of Royalist ideology

Not correct. The author mentions Filmer to tell us what Royal ideology is. He does not modify or limit the Royal ideology by mentioning Filmer.

(C) question the view that most early feminists were associated with the Royalist faction

(D) highlight an apparent tension between Royalist ideology and the ideas of early feminists

Correct. The author tells us why it is unexpected to find feminists among Royals - because Royal ideology (equated with Filmer's patriarchalism) was in contrast with feminism. So she mentions Filmer to tell us what Royal ideology was to highlight how it was opposed to feminism.

(E) argue that Royalists held conflicting opinions on issues of family organization and women's political rights
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
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ag153 wrote:
I do not get how it is not limiting give the rationale stated earlier by me. What would the passage wording be in order for it to be called 'qualify a claim'?

I am guessing that the meaning of 'qualify' is giving you trouble.

e.g. 'Qualified approval' means approval is given but with certain reservations. Certain conditions need to be met or certain things need to be corrected and then executed. It means that it is not a complete approval - there are certain concerns, certain issues.

Similarly, "qualify the claim" would mean that "certain concerns are raised about the claim that patriarchalism formed the basis of Royalist ideology".
But the author mentions Filmer to show that patriarchalism is the basis of Royalist ideology. There are no concerns he presents about this claim by mentioning Filmer.
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
ag153 wrote:

There is no ideology of the theorist given to us. Only one of her theories is given - regarding why early feminists were all royals. Her theory is that the Royalist ideology of "absolute monarch" produced the idea of "absolute self" for woman. Feminism was the ideology of the writer only.
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
Hello GMATNinja, KarishmaB,

The author of the passage refers to Robert Filmer primarily in order to

(A) show that Royalist ideology was somewhat more radical than most historians appear to realize

(B) qualify the claim that patriarchalism formed the basis of Royalist ideology

(C) question the view that most early feminists were associated with the Royalist faction
I eliminated this option because it says that the view of Royalist women associated with early feminists is under question. However it is not the view under question, because the 1st sentence says that it is odd but undeniable.
Is there any other reason for elimination of this answer choice?

(D) highlight an apparent tension between Royalist ideology and the ideas of early feminists

(E) argue that Royalists held conflicting opinions on issues of family organization and women's political rights

Looking forward to hear from you.

Regards,
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
1
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niyatisuri wrote:
Hello GMATNinja, KarishmaB,

The author of the passage refers to Robert Filmer primarily in order to

(A) show that Royalist ideology was somewhat more radical than most historians appear to realize

(B) qualify the claim that patriarchalism formed the basis of Royalist ideology

(C) question the view that most early feminists were associated with the Royalist faction
I eliminated this option because it says that the view of Royalist women associated with early feminists is under question. However it is not the view under question, because the 1st sentence says that it is odd but undeniable.
Is there any other reason for elimination of this answer choice?

(D) highlight an apparent tension between Royalist ideology and the ideas of early feminists

(E) argue that Royalists held conflicting opinions on issues of family organization and women's political rights

Looking forward to hear from you.

Regards,

niyatisuri

Yes, you are right. This view is never questioned. It is given that it is undeniable that most early feminists were associated with the Royalist faction.
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Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
Official Explanation

The author of the passage refers to Robert Filmer primarily in order to

Difficulty Level: 750

Explanation

Evaluation

This question asks about the role of Filmer in the passage. The author states that Filmer’s radical patriarchalism is associated with Royalist ideology and then goes on to define radical patriarchalism as an ideology that asserts the power of the king and the male head of the household. Early feminists, however, questioned the subordination of women in marriage. Thus, there seems to be a conflict between these two sets of ideas.

A. Although the passage refers to Filmer’s view as radical patriarchalism, it provides no evidence regarding any differences in the degrees to which historians consider that view, or Royalism in general, to be radical.

B. Filmer’s work supports the claim that patriarchalism was the basis of Royalist ideology; it does not qualify such a claim.

C. That Filmer’s approach was one of radical patriarchalism makes it surprising that early feminists were associated with the Royalist faction, but it does not provide any grounds for questioning whether they were so associated.D.

D. Correct. There is apparent tension between Filmer’s radical patriarchalism, if that is indeed essential to Royalist ideology, and the ideas of early feminists, who questioned such patriarchalism.

E. The author refers to Filmer in order to suggest, initially, a uniformity among Royalists regarding family and women; it is only later in the passage that this view becomes more complicated.

The correct answer is D.
Re: It is an odd but indisputable fact that the seventeenth-century Englis [#permalink]
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