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# Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only

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Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
Bunuel wrote:
Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only novels have narrative structures that allow writers to depict human lives accurately by portraying characters whose personalities gradually develop through life experience.

Raoul: Life consists not of a linear process of personality development, but rather of a series of completely disjointed vignettes, from many of which the discerning observer may catch glimpses of character. Thus, the short story depicts human lives more faithfully than does the novel.

The dialogue most supports the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree about whether

(A) human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes

(B) novels and short stories employ the same strategies to depict human lives

(C) novels usually depict gradual changes in characters' personalities

(D) only short stories are used as novelists' sketch pads

(E) short stories provide glimpses of facts of character that are usually kept hidden

Though i agree option A is the correct answer.Woud like to present my reasoning and request you to confirm whether the same is correct & correct the gaps in my understanding.

I feel there are 2 points over which both the author disagree:

1) TONY SAYS 'Only novels have narrative structures that allow writers to depict human lives accurately' whereas RAOUL SAYS: 'Thus, the short story depicts human lives more faithfully(i believe we can infer as 'ACCURATELY' than does the novel.'- So Both disagrees on whether Novel or Short stories depicts more accurately.

2) BOTH disagrees on the PROCESS THAT DEPICTS ACCURATELY i.e Tony believes-Novels have narrative structures & therefore depicts accurately of the gradual change.whereas RAOUL believes - Life consists not of a linear process of personality development, but rather of a series of completely disjointed vignettes,, from many of which the discerning observer may catch glimpses of character'-

Kindly hep if my reasoning is correct since i am not confident enough. THANKS
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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
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gmatassassin88 wrote:
Bunuel wrote:
Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only novels have narrative structures that allow writers to depict human lives accurately by portraying characters whose personalities gradually develop through life experience.

Raoul: Life consists not of a linear process of personality development, but rather of a series of completely disjointed vignettes, from many of which the discerning observer may catch glimpses of character. Thus, the short story depicts human lives more faithfully than does the novel.

The dialogue most supports the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree about whether

(A) human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes

(B) novels and short stories employ the same strategies to depict human lives

(C) novels usually depict gradual changes in characters' personalities

(D) only short stories are used as novelists' sketch pads

(E) short stories provide glimpses of facts of character that are usually kept hidden

Though i agree option A is the correct answer.Woud like to present my reasoning and request you to confirm whether the same is correct & correct the gaps in my understanding.

I feel there are 2 points over which both the author disagree:

1) TONY SAYS 'Only novels have narrative structures that allow writers to depict human lives accurately' whereas RAOUL SAYS: 'Thus, the short story depicts human lives more faithfully(i believe we can infer as 'ACCURATELY' than does the novel.'- So Both disagrees on whether Novel or Short stories depicts more accurately.

2) BOTH disagrees on the PROCESS THAT DEPICTS ACCURATELY i.e Tony believes-Novels have narrative structures & therefore depicts accurately of the gradual change.whereas RAOUL believes - Life consists not of a linear process of personality development, but rather of a series of completely disjointed vignettes,, from many of which the discerning observer may catch glimpses of character'-

Kindly hep if my reasoning is correct since i am not confident enough. THANKS

The thing they disagree on is whether life consists of 'gradual personality development' or 'series of completely disjointed vignettes'. Raoul's first sentence tells us this.
Whether novels or short stories are more appropriate to depict life stems from this difference itself.
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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
Tony: Prefer short story than novelist’s sketch pad. Novels shows gradual change of life experience .
Raoul: Because Life is not linear but it is series of disjointed vigneetts. Thus short story is better to depict human life.

Key point of disagreement :
Novel better because novels present gradual change
OR
Short story better because it represents series of disjointed sketches

Argument is keenly focus on how to present human lives. It is all about choosing novels or short stories for key decision making.

Whether
(A) human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes
whether
(C) novels usually depict gradual changes in characters' personalities

As A statement is said by Raoul and disgreed by Tony, C statement is also said by Tony and disagreed by Raoul , is not it?

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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
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imSKR wrote:
Tony: Prefer short story than novelist’s sketch pad. Novels shows gradual change of life experience .
Raoul: Because Life is not linear but it is series of disjointed vigneetts. Thus short story is better to depict human life.

Key point of disagreement :
Novel better because novels present gradual change
OR
Short story better because it represents series of disjointed sketches

Argument is keenly focus on how to present human lives. It is all about choosing novels or short stories for key decision making.

Whether
(A) human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes
whether
(C) novels usually depict gradual changes in characters' personalities

As A statement is said by Raoul and disgreed by Tony, C statement is also said by Tony and disagreed by Raoul , is not it?

Hello again, imSKR. I think you are reading into an answer choice too much in (C). Where does Raoul discuss gradual changes in characters' personalities, particularly as such changes are depicted in novels? Nowhere. Instead, Raoul disagrees with the notion that real life plays out as a linear process. The focus is on how life plays out, not on the depiction of personality changes of characters in novels. Notice how choice (A) places the emphasis on human life in general, perfectly in accordance with what Tony and Raoul say:

Tony: only novels... allow writers to depict human lives accurately (my emphasis)

Raoul: the short story... depicts human lives more faithfully (again, my emphasis)

The novel/short story debate exists only as a vehicle to discuss the real issue, which is a bit more philosophical than I like to get with standardized test questions.

Thank you for calling my attention to the question. I am not sure which tag is correct, regarding the source. My bet is that it is an LSAT question.

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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
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In the question stem 'the dialogue most supports the claim that T & R disagree about' how do we know that whether the question asks for collective disagreement or mutual disagreement?
In Option B, both collectively disagrees, whereas, in option A, R agree while T disagree.

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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
parthgohel wrote:
In the question stem 'the dialogue most supports the claim that T & R disagree about' how do we know that whether the question asks for collective disagreement or mutual disagreement?
In Option B, both collectively disagrees, whereas, in option A, R agree while T disagree.

Hi AndrewN sir

parthgohel has raised a valid point. i am also curious to know the answer.

Could you please suggest whether the question asks for collective disagreement or mutual disagreement?

Thanks!
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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
Bunuel, shouldn't the question be "The dialogue most supports the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree from each other about whether" rather than "The dialogue most supports the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree about whether".
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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
mSKR wrote:
parthgohel wrote:
In the question stem 'the dialogue most supports the claim that T & R disagree about' how do we know that whether the question asks for collective disagreement or mutual disagreement?
In Option B, both collectively disagrees, whereas, in option A, R agree while T disagree.

Hi AndrewN sir

parthgohel has raised a valid point. i am also curious to know the answer.

Could you please suggest whether the question asks for collective disagreement or mutual disagreement?

Thanks!

Hello, mSKR (and, by extension, parthgohel). Your goal in breaking down a CR question is not to dissect the question itself, but to keep in mind that each one operates within a specific framework or type: strengthen, weaken, assumption, and so on. Here, you should be able to pick up from the passage that Tony and Raoul are not in agreement on whether short stories or novels more accurately reflect human experience. Thus, when you see a question that asks you to support the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree about something, you should not have to speculate on whether they would agree that reading something can encapsulate what a person experiences in real life, nor should you have to mull over the specifics of how the novel or short story may achieve such an end. The passage map—point-counterpoint—should steer you into the correct interpretation.

I know that you and I have talked before, mSKR, about pursuing a line of thought that entails less resistance. Just because an ambiguity in language can lead to more than one interpretation does not mean you should ignore evidence that provides support for one of those interpretations. Remind yourself that the GMAT™ is a standardized test, not an exam of deceit, at least in terms of question types.

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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
RachitMehrotra wrote:
Bunuel, shouldn't the question be "The dialogue most supports the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree from each other about whether" rather than "The dialogue most supports the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree about whether".

The phrase " from each other" (or "with each other") is not required. Who else could they disagree with?

To clarify further,
In some other passage, it may be the case that some people believe something, but X and Y disagree. In that case, X and Y together disagree with someone else. But in the current question, the passage does not talk of any people against whom Tony and Raoul are in combined disagreement.
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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
Quote:

"The dialogue most supports the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree about whether..."

To answer the question, we need to find an answer choice that captures what the two speakers disagree about. In other words, it should split Tony and Raoul so that one falls on each side of the issue.

With that in mind, look at (A):
Quote:
(A) human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes

Raoul would clearly agree with with statement -- according to him, life consists of " a series of completely disjointed vignettes, from many of which the discerning observer may catch glimpses of character."

Tony, on the other hand, would definitely argue against the information in answer choice (A) -- he thinks that "only novels have narrative structures that allow writers to depict human lives accurately," because the longer form allows the author to show gradual changes in personality.

Tony and Raoul are on opposite sides of the information in (A), so this answer choice captures the point over which they disagree.

Hi, GMATNinja

Agreed that answer is clearly the best of all choices. But I do have an issue with one word - human lives are best understood as...
The passage talks about the depiction of human life through novel/short stories. Is it ok to equate the understanding of human lives to depiction of human lives?
Depiction brings the author's view whereas Understanding brings the reader's view.

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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
dingodudesir wrote:
Quote:

"The dialogue most supports the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree about whether..."

To answer the question, we need to find an answer choice that captures what the two speakers disagree about. In other words, it should split Tony and Raoul so that one falls on each side of the issue.

With that in mind, look at (A):
Quote:
(A) human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes

Raoul would clearly agree with with statement -- according to him, life consists of " a series of completely disjointed vignettes, from many of which the discerning observer may catch glimpses of character."

Tony, on the other hand, would definitely argue against the information in answer choice (A) -- he thinks that "only novels have narrative structures that allow writers to depict human lives accurately," because the longer form allows the author to show gradual changes in personality.

Tony and Raoul are on opposite sides of the information in (A), so this answer choice captures the point over which they disagree.

Hi, GMATNinja

Agreed that answer is clearly the best of all choices. But I do have an issue with one word - human lives are best understood as...
The passage talks about the depiction of human life through novel/short stories. Is it ok to equate the understanding of human lives to depiction of human lives?
Depiction brings the author's view whereas Understanding brings the reader's view.

It’s true that there’s a difference between how human lives are depicted and how they are understood. But the way that human lives are best understood will presumably impact the way that human lives are best depicted. In other words, if human lives are best understood as a series of disjointed vignettes, then they are likely best depicted as such.

This is a good instance of where we have to be careful not to fall into mindless word-matching. Sure, understanding and depiction are two different things. But, in the context of the dialogue, they are closely interrelated. So, when we get beyond the fact that the passage and answer choice use two different words, we can see how the two concepts overlap.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
Hi Experts

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I got this wrong as I was not able to understand anything in the argument.
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Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
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Vatsal7794 wrote:
Hi Experts

GMATNinja VeritasKarishma EducationAisle ChrisLele mikemcgarry AjiteshArun egmat sayantanc2k RonPurewal DmitryFarber MagooshExpert avigutman EMPOWERgmatVerbal MartyTargetTestPrep ExpertsGlobal5 IanStewart
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I got this wrong as I was not able to understand anything in the argument.

This is a Point at Issue question -- a sub-type of Inference. In Point at Issue questions, the correct answer is one about which the two speakers are committed to disagreeing. That is, a statement about which one person would say "definitely yes" but the other would say "definitely no" (or one would say "definitely red" whereas the other would say "definitely green," or whatever else).

To address some questions above, we're not asked what statement both speakers would "disagree with." We're asked what they would "disagree about" -- that is, what they do not see eye to eye on.

One other important note is that these questions, as a sub-type of Inference, require a high degree of certainty from their right answers. It is important to confirm your candidate answer by finding specific evidence from each party. That is, go back and find quotes from both people to confirm the disagreement. One person's "yes" against another person's silence is not enough to establish a point at issue.

Turning to this question specifically:

Tony definitely disagrees with the claim that "human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes," given his comment that we "depict human lives accurately by portraying characters whose personalities gradually develop through life experience." Gradual development through experience is certainly not "completely disjointed vignettes."

Raoul, on the other hand, definitely agrees with the claim that "human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes," since, you know, he explicitly says, "Life consists... of a series of completely disjointed vignettes."

Since the two parties are committed to opposing views on this statement, answer A is correct.

B say that "novels and short stories employ the same strategies to depict human lives." Tony definitely disagrees. Raoul's position is a bit murky, so perhaps he does not really address this at all. But if we read into the statement that "the short story depicts human lives more faithfully than does the novel" then, if anything, Raoul is on the same side as Tony; he similarly disagrees with the claim that "novels and short stories employ the same strategies to depict human lives." So B is not a point at issue: The two parties agree with one another.

C says that "novels usually depict gradual changes in characters' personalities." Tony definitely agrees. Raoul doesn't actually really speak to this at all. If anything, we might imagine that he most likely agrees with this statement as well. Either way, it's not a point at issue.

D says that "only short stories are used as novelists' sketch pads." Tony technically doesn't address this. He does say, "A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad," but he doesn't say that only short stories are used in this way. Raoul, for his part, says nothing at all about this. So it's not a point at issue.

E says that "short stories provide glimpses of facts of character that are usually kept hidden." Nobody says anything about this (especially the "usually kept hidden" bit). It's not a point at issue.

A is the only winning option here.

Originally posted by AnthonyRitz on 18 Nov 2021, 15:25.
Last edited by AnthonyRitz on 19 Nov 2021, 04:31, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
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Bunuel wrote:
Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only novels have narrative structures that allow writers to depict human lives accurately by portraying characters whose personalities gradually develop through life experience.

Raoul: Life consists not of a linear process of personality development, but rather of a series of completely disjointed vignettes, from many of which the discerning observer may catch glimpses of character. Thus, the short story depicts human lives more faithfully than does the novel.

The dialogue most supports the claim that Tony and Raoul disagree about whether

(A) human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes

(B) novels and short stories employ the same strategies to depict human lives

(C) novels usually depict gradual changes in characters' personalities

(D) only short stories are used as novelists' sketch pads

(E) short stories provide glimpses of facts of character that are usually kept hidden

Tony: Only novels allow depiction of gradual personality development in human life. So only novels depict human lives accurately (implying that human life consists of gradual personality development). Short stories are just a novelist's sketch pad (implying they are superficial and do not depict human life accurately).

Raoul: Life is not a linear process of personality development as claimed by you. Life is a series of completely disjointed vignettes (events unrelated to each other). From these events, an observer catches a glimpse of character. So short stories depict human lives more accurately.

Think of it this way - Tony says that life has an analog character (a continuous graph) so novels depict it accurately. Raoul says that life has a digital character (a collection of 1s and 0s) so short stories depict it accurately.

(A) human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes

(B) novels and short stories employ the same strategies to depict human lives

They would both likely disagree to this. They do feel that novels and short stories employ diff strategies to depict human lives.

(C) novels usually depict gradual changes in characters' personalities

They would both likely agree to this.

(D) only short stories are used as novelists' sketch pads

No info. Tony says short stories are used as novelists' sketch pads. He does not say that "only" short stories are used as novelists' sketch pads. He might feel that poems are also used as novelists' sketch pads, we don't know.

(E) short stories provide glimpses of facts of character that are usually kept hidden

Raoul will likely agree to this but will Tony disagree, we don't know. Tony feels that novels better depict life as a whole but does he think that short stories do not provide glimpses of character? We can't say.

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Re: Tony: A short story is little more than a novelist's sketch pad. Only [#permalink]
The dialogue between Tony and Raoul revolves around their differing views on whether short stories or novels provide a more faithful depiction of human lives. Let's evaluate each answer choice based on their arguments:

(A) human lives are best understood as series of completely disjointed vignettes.
This answer choice accurately captures the disagreement between Tony and Raoul. Tony argues that novels accurately depict human lives by portraying characters whose personalities gradually develop through life experiences, implying a linear process of personality development. On the other hand, Raoul argues that human lives consist of disjointed vignettes, suggesting that they are not best understood as a linear process. Therefore, their disagreement revolves around this point.

(B) novels and short stories employ the same strategies to depict human lives.
This answer choice is not directly addressed in the dialogue. Tony and Raoul focus on the different narrative structures and approaches of novels and short stories in depicting human lives, rather than discussing whether they employ the same strategies.

(C) novels usually depict gradual changes in characters' personalities.
This answer choice aligns with Tony's argument that novels allow writers to portray characters whose personalities gradually develop through life experience. However, Raoul's counter-argument does not necessarily address whether novels usually depict gradual changes in characters' personalities or not. Therefore, their disagreement is not specifically about this point.

(D) only short stories are used as novelists' sketch pads.
This answer choice is not supported by the dialogue. Neither Tony nor Raoul make claims about the exclusive use of short stories as novelists' sketch pads. They focus more on the narrative structures and the depiction of human lives.

(E) short stories provide glimpses of facts of character that are usually kept hidden.
This answer choice aligns with Raoul's argument that short stories depict human lives more faithfully than novels because they provide glimpses of character from disjointed vignettes. However, Tony's argument does not directly address whether short stories reveal hidden facts of character or not. Therefore, their disagreement is not specifically about this point.

Based on the analysis, option (A) best represents the disagreement between Tony and Raoul. They disagree about whether human lives are best understood as a series of completely disjointed vignettes or whether they involve a linear process of personality development portrayed in novels.
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