Welcome to the LEAP Q&A Forum

Find your questions answered. Here.

GRE - Reading Comprehension - Argument Evaluation

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the prevailing aesthetic views

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the prevailing aesthetic views among artists in the United States were shaped by the harsh economic realities of the period, when millions of Americans found themselves unemployed or dispossessed. Not surprisingly, most artists of this period chose to work in socially oriented styles. However, while the Regionalists—led by Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and John Steuart Curry—embraced a rightist, isolationist ideology, recoiling from the present and seeking to recapture in their paintings America's agrarian past, the Social Realists—among them William Gropper and Ben Shahn—depicted the condition of workers engaged in a class struggle. Both groups built upon earlier traditions in American painting that now assumed a new urgency.
 

Q1. According to the passage, which of the following was true of both the Regionalists and the Social Realists during the 1930s?
A. They sought to recapture a less troubled period in America's history.
B. They developed artistic traditions that were already in existence.
C. Their paintings were deeply affected by the economic hardships of the period.

 

Q2. It can be inferred from the passage that the Regionalists and the Social Realists differed in which of the following ways?
A) The Regionalists were primarily concerned with depicting actual events in history, while the Social Realists were primarily concerned with portraying an idealized future.
B) The Regionalists were primarily concerned with the economic ramifications of the Depression, while the Social Realists were primarily concerned with its social ramifications.
C) The Regionalists lacked a sense of urgency, while the Social Realists pressed for change.
D) The Regionalists tended to romanticize the past, while the Social Realists depicted the past in harsh terms.
E) The political outlook of the Regionalists tended to be more conservative than that of the Social Realists. 

The passage is telling us about two types of artists, the Regionalists and the Social Realists and their art that prevailed in the United States during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Their art was influenced by the harsh economic realities of that period. Most artists of this period chose to work in socially oriented styles. The regionalists embraced a rightist, isolationist ideology, recoiling from the present and recapturing the past in their art. The Social Realists captured the condition of workers engaged in a class struggle. Both groups built upon earlier traditions in American painting.

A1. This is a select-all-that -apply question type. The questions ask us to choose the commonalities that exist between the two groups.

A. Incorrect answer choice as the passage starts with 'During the Great Depression.....harsh economic realities of the period'. This obviously shows that the passage is about a difficult period in America.

B. Correct answer choice as we find evidence for this in the last line of the passage, 'Both groups built upon earlier traditions....urgency'.

C. Correct answer choice. We find evidence for this in lines 2-3.

 

A2. For this inference based question, we have to choose one answer among the five options given. The question asks us to infer what the difference is between the Regionalists and the Social Realists art. A good understanding of the entire passage will help to answer this question. The answer lies in lines 5-9 of the passage.

A) Incorrect as we know that the art during the 1930s was about the economic hardships of that period and this is true for both the art groups.

B) The art during this era was shaped by economic hardships of the period and the artists adopted a socially oriented style of work and this was true for both the groups hence we eliminate this answer choice.

C) In the last line of the passage, we read that both the groups built upon earlier traditions in American painting which now assumes a new urgency, hence we eliminate this answer choice.

D) There is no evidence in the passage to support this inference, hence we eliminate this answer choice.

E) Correct answer choice as we find evidence in lines 5-9 about the outlook that the two groups adopted in their art. Regionalists embraced rightist, isolationist ideology which is a conservative outlook, while the Social Realists depicted workers engaged in a class struggle.