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Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 418, Date: 28-Oct-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descended from a long line of New England ministers, men of refinement and education. As a school-boy he was quiet and retiring, reading a great deal, but not paying much attention to his lessons. He entered Harvard at the early age of fourteen, but never attained a high rank there, although he took a prize for an essay on Socrates, and was made class poet after several others had declined. Next to his reserve and the faultless propriety of his conduct, his contemporaries at college seemed most impressed by the great maturity of his mind. Emerson appears never to have been really a boy. He was always serene and thoughtful, impressing all who knew him with that spirituality which was his most distinguishing characteristic.

After graduating from college he taught school for a time, and then entered the Harvard Divinity School under Dr. Channing, the great Unitarian preacher. Although he was not strong enough to attend all the lectures of the divinity course, the college authorities deemed the name Emerson sufficient passport to the ministry. He was accordingly "approbated to preach" by the Middlesex Association of Ministers on October 10, 1826. As a preacher, Emerson was interesting, though not particularly original. His talent seems to have been in giving new meaning to the old truths of religion. One of his hearers has said: "In looking back on his preaching I find he has impressed truths to which I always assented in such a manner as to make them appear new, like a clearer revelation." Although his sermons were always couched in scriptural language, they were touched with the light of that genius which avoids the conventional and commonplace. In his other pastoral duties Emerson was not quite so successful. It is characteristic of his deep humanity and his dislike for all fuss and commonplace that he appeared to least advantage at a funeral. A connoisseur in such matters, an old sexton, once remarked that on such occasions "he did not appear at ease at all. To tell the truth, in my opinion, that young man was not born to be a minister


Q1) What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?

A. To praise Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s excellent work as a minister
B. To explain how Ralph Waldo Emerson became a preacher
C. To provide examples from Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s life that prove how his surname helped him become a minister
D. To describe the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson from his school days to his time as a minister
E. To conclude that, according to some people, Ralph Waldo Emerson did not deserve to be a minister



Q2) Which of the following can most likely be inferred about Ralph Waldo Emerson from the information in the passage?

A. He never worked as a teacher
B. He was the youngest person to become a preacher in his family‘s history
C. He delivered his sermons in simple, easy to understand language
D. He hated performing funeral service
E. He officially became a preacher at the age of 23



Q3) Which of the following would the author of the passage NOT agree with?

A. Ralph Waldo Emerson had an illustrious lineage
B. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born to be a minister
C. Ralph Waldo Emerson was never very successful at delivering sermons
D. Ralph Waldo Emerson performed poorly in school
E. Al least some people felt that Ralph Waldo Emerson had a very mature mind



Q4) Why does the author use the following line in the passage "Emerson appears never to have been really a boy" (Highlighted)?

A. To emphasize that Emerson was extremely mature for his age
B. To describe what others thought of Emerson
C. To explain how Emerson became a preacher at such an early age
D. To highlight an important flaw in Emerson‘s personality
E. To explain how faultlessly Emerson conducted himself at Harvard


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Originally posted by GmatWizard on 07 Nov 2018, 07:16.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 29 Oct 2019, 21:24, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (1115).
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2018, 08:32

Topic & Scope

To describe the personality of Ralph Waldo Emerson from his school days to his role and actions as a preacher

Passage Map

Para 1 discusses the early life of Ralph Waldo Emerson from his schooldays to the time he spent at Harvard
Para 2 focuses on Emerson‘s role as a preacher and states some specific aspects of the same
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2018, 08:33

Official Answers and Explanations

Q1) What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?
A. To praise Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s excellent work as a minister
B. To explain how Ralph Waldo Emerson became a preacher
C. To provide examples from Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s life that prove how his
surname helped him become a minister
D. To describe the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson from his school days to his
time as a minister
E. To conclude that, according to some people, Ralph Waldo Emerson did not
deserve to be a minister
The passage, on the whole, is discussing the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson from his school
days to his time at Harvard to finally the time when he was made a minister. (D) states
this best and should be the correct answer.
A - The author is not exactly praising Emerson. He calls him ‗not original‘ and
‗unsuccessful‘ in the passage so the main purpose of the passage can‘t be to praise
Emerson
B - Too specific to be the correct option. The passage is doing more than just this
C - Again this is just one specific instance mentioned in the passage.
E - Same as C above. The main purpose of the passage is much more than just to do this

Q2) Which of the following can most likely be inferred about Ralph Waldo Emerson from
the information in the passage?
A. He never worked as a teacher
B. He was the youngest person to become a preacher in his family‘s history
C. He delivered his sermons in simple, easy to understand language
D. He hated performing funeral service
E. He officially became a preacher at the age of 23
The opening lines of the passage state that Emerson was born in 1803 and the passage
subsequently states that he became a minister in 1826, i.e. when he was 23 years of age,
so (E) is the correct answer.
A - Opposite. The first line of the 2nd para states that he did work as a teacher for some
time
B - The passage mentions no such thing
C - Opposite. The 2nd para says that his sermons were ‗couched in spiritual language‘
D - ‗Hated‘ is too strong a word; the passage does not convey such an extreme
connotation

Q3) Which of the following would the author of the passage NOT agree with?
A. Ralph Waldo Emerson had an illustrious lineage
B. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born to be a minister
C. Ralph Waldo Emerson was never very successful at delivering sermons
D. Ralph Waldo Emerson performed poorly in school
E. Al least some people felt that Ralph Waldo Emerson had a very mature mind
The author clearly states that Ralph Waldo Emerson was not as successful at other
pastoral duties (as he was at delivering sermons), so obviously he will never agree with
(C), the correct answer.
A - The author will agree with this, as he states this in the opening lines of the passage
B - Out of Scope. The author may or may not agree with this. (The last line of the
passage states the opinion of the ‗sexton‘ and not that of the ‗author‘)
D - Out of Scope. The author may or may not agree with this.
E - The author will agree with this, as per the information in the first para
Note: A lot of students interpret questions such as this one as questions in which they
need to find four options that the author of the passage would agree with and the fifth
would be the answer, but this approach can land you in trouble. There could be someoptions that are out of scope, then these cannot be the answer because we do not know
whether the author would agree with these or not. The answer will be something that is
clearly the opposite of whatever has been stated by the author in the passage.

Q4) Why does the author use the following line in the passage - ‗Emerson appears never
to have been really a boy’?
A. To emphasize that Emerson was extremely mature for his age
B. To describe what others thought of Emerson
C. To explain how Emerson became a preacher at such an early age
D. To highlight an important flaw in Emerson‘s personality
E. To explain how faultlessly Emerson conducted himself at Harvard
The 1st para clearly states that people were most impressed with Emerson‘s great
maturity of mind. Hence (A) should be the correct answer.
B – While this is what the quoted line states, the question is WHY the author states this
and not WHAT does he state.
C – This fact has no connection with the quoted line
D – This was a positive quality of Emerson and not a flaw
E – This point is in addition to Emerson‘s faultless conduct at Harvard and not a
description of the same

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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2019, 03:53
Q3) Which of the following would the author of the passage NOT agree with?
A. Ralph Waldo Emerson had an illustrious lineage
B. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born to be a minister
C. Ralph Waldo Emerson was never very successful at delivering sermons
D. Ralph Waldo Emerson performed poorly in school
E. Al least some people felt that Ralph Waldo Emerson had a very mature mind

After seeing the OA, answer seems legit. Yet I would anyday go with option B as it is explicitly mentioned in the last line of last paragraph. Though the author doesn't quite seem to align himself with it, but neither does he disapprove of it. Pl explain.
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2019, 05:05
ArihantJain18 wrote:
Q3) Which of the following would the author of the passage NOT agree with?
A. Ralph Waldo Emerson had an illustrious lineage
B. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born to be a minister
C. Ralph Waldo Emerson was never very successful at delivering sermons
D. Ralph Waldo Emerson performed poorly in school
E. Al least some people felt that Ralph Waldo Emerson had a very mature mind

After seeing the OA, answer seems legit. Yet I would anyday go with option B as it is explicitly mentioned in the last line of last paragraph. Though the author doesn't quite seem to align himself with it, but neither does he disapprove of it. Pl explain.



Same , but both C and B seems legit ,
Howvere this is entirely author opinion where he says " Ralph Waldo Emerson was born NOT to be a minister"
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Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 02 Nov 2019, 03:00
Which of the following would the author of the passage NOT agree with?

A. Ralph Waldo Emerson had an illustrious lineage
B. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born to be a minister
C. Ralph Waldo Emerson was never very successful at delivering sermons
D. Ralph Waldo Emerson performed poorly in school
E. Al least some people felt that Ralph Waldo Emerson had a very mature mind


To all who feel the answer is B please see my response here for why it is incorrect :

Refer to last line of last para "A connoisseur in such matters, an old sexton, once remarked that on such occasions "he did not appear at ease at all. To tell the truth, in my opinion, that young man was not born to be a minister". From this we infer that it was the view of an expert that he was not born to be minister. The author does not make this claim.

Originally posted by muditdadwal on 01 Nov 2019, 23:39.
Last edited by muditdadwal on 02 Nov 2019, 03:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2019, 02:45
Q1 .... while reading the passage, there was indeed a description of his life from school till he became a preacher.
however, the author's opinions and the quotes about Emerson led me to believe that there was more to the passage being just a description.
to me it felt like the passage wanted to say that he wasnt "suited" to be a preacher'

which is why i chose E

is it possible for someone to explain the answer to me?
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2019, 02:50
muditdadwal wrote:
Which of the following would the author of the passage NOT agree with?wed

A. Ralph Waldo Emerson had an illustrious lineage
B. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born to be a minister
C. Ralph Waldo Emerson was never very successful at delivering sermons
D. Ralph Waldo Emerson performed poorly in school
E. Al least some people felt that Ralph Waldo Emerson had a very mature mind


To all who feel the answer is B please see my response here :

Refer to last line of last para "A connoisseur in such matters, an old sexton, once remarked that on such occasions "he did not appear at ease at all. To tell the truth, in my opinion, that young man was not born to be a minister". From this we infer that it was the view of an expert that he was not born to be minister. The author does not make this claim.


i struggled with B too....but i eliminated it because that was someone else's opinion and the mere stating that opinion does not mean that the author is endorsing it or that the author agrees

i hope some expert will explain it better!
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Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2019, 02:59
1
ArihantJain18 wrote:
Q3) Which of the following would the author of the passage NOT agree with?
A. Ralph Waldo Emerson had an illustrious lineage
B. Ralph Waldo Emerson was born to be a minister
C. Ralph Waldo Emerson was never very successful at delivering sermons
D. Ralph Waldo Emerson performed poorly in school
E. Al least some people felt that Ralph Waldo Emerson had a very mature mind

After seeing the OA, answer seems legit. Yet I would anyday go with option B as it is explicitly mentioned in the last line of last paragraph. Though the author doesn't quite seem to align himself with it, but neither does he disapprove of it. Pl explain.


The author does not go against it as your rightly pointed out, but he does not also agree with it ( explicit or implicit). He has to have a take on it for us to think author also believes or does not believe the statement. But in this passage the statement is given to us only as a fact. Thus it cannot be the answer. Also just because author does not disapprove a statement does not mean he approves of it and it becomes something author believe in ( the question).

I hope this helps
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2019, 08:54
Mansoor50 wrote:
Q1 .... while reading the passage, there was indeed a description of his life from school till he became a preacher.
however, the author's opinions and the quotes about Emerson led me to believe that there was more to the passage being just a description.
to me it felt like the passage wanted to say that he wasnt "suited" to be a preacher'

which is why i chose E

is it possible for someone to explain the answer to me?


Official Explanation


Q1) What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?

Difficulty Leve: 550

Explanation

The passage, on the whole, is discussing the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson from his school days to his time at Harvard to finally the time when he was made a minister. (D) states this best and should be the correct answer.

A - The author is not exactly praising Emerson. He calls him ‗not original‘ and‗unsuccessful‘ in the passage so the main purpose of the passage can‘t be to praise Emerson

B - Too specific to be the correct option. The passage is doing more than just this

C - Again this is just one specific instance mentioned in the passage.

E - Same as C above. The main purpose of the passage is much more than just to do this

Answer: D


Hope it helps
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Re: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend   [#permalink] 02 Nov 2019, 08:54

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803. He was descend

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