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GRE - Reading Comprehension - Argument construction - Argument Evaluation - Premises, conclusions, assumptions, inferences

Many critics of Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights

Many critics of Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights see its second part as a counter-point that comments on, if it does not reverse, the first part, where a romantic reading receives more confirmation. Seeing the two parts as a whole is encouraged by the novel’s sophisticated structure, revealed in its complex use of narrators and time shifts. Granted that the presence of these elements need not argue for an authorial awareness of novelistic construction comparable to that of Henry James, their presence does encourage attempts to unify the novel’s heterogeneous parts. However, any interpretation that seeks to unify all of the novel’s diverse elements is bound to be somewhat unconvincing. This is not because such an interpretation necessarily stiffens into a thesis (although rigidity in any interpretation of this or of any novel is always a danger), but because Wuthering Heights has recalcitrant elements of undeniable power that, ultimately, resist inclusion in an all-encompassing interpretation. In this respect, Wuthering Heights shares a feature of Hamlet.


Q1. According to the passage, which of the following is a true statement about the first and second parts of Wuthering Heights?
A. The second part has received more attention from critics.
B. The second part has little relation to the first part.
C. The second part annuls the force of the first part.
D. The second part provides less substantiation for a romantic reading.
E. The second part is better because it is more realistic.

Q2. Which of the following inferences about Henry James’s awareness of novelistic construction is best supported by the passage?
A. James, more than any other novelist, was aware of the difficulties of novelistic construction.
B. James was very aware of the details of novelistic construction.
C. James’s awareness of novelistic construction derived from his reading of Brontë.
D. James’s awareness of novelistic construction has led most commentators to see unity in his individual novels.
E. James’s awareness of novelistic construction precluded him from violating the unity of his novels.

Q3. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree that an interpretation of a novel should
A. not try to unite heterogeneous elements in the novel
B. not be inflexible in its treatment of the elements in the novel
C. not argue that the complex use of narrators or of time shifts indicates a sophisticated structure
D. concentrate on those recalcitrant elements of the novel that are outside the novel’s main structure
E. primarily consider those elements of novelistic construction of which the author of the novel was aware

 

Q4. The author of the passage suggests which of the following about Hamlet?
A. Hamlet has usually attracted critical interpretations that tend to stiffen into theses.
B. Hamlet has elements that are not amenable to an all-encompassing critical interpretation.
C. Hamlet is less open to an all-encompassing critical interpretation than is Wuthering Heights.

A1. A. Incorrect answer choice as we do not have evidence to support this.

B. Incorrect answer choice. Lines 3-4 encourage the reader to see the two parts as a whole.

C. Incorrect answer choice. The second part is a counter point to the first and is not invalidating the first part.

D. Correct answer choice. Lines 2-3 clearly says a romantic reading receives more confirmation for the first part.

E. Incorrect answer choice as we do not have evidence to support this.

A2. A. Incorrect answer choice as the passage compares the novel to James novelistic construction and not to its difficulties. The presence of the word difficult is what makes this answer choice wrong, as a reader you must be careful about what you choose.

B. Correct answer choice. The comparison in the passage is saying that James was very aware of the details of novelistic construction.

C. Incorrect answer choice. Nowhere in the passage do we read about James reading Brontës work.

D. Incorrect answer choice. The focus of the passage is Brontës work and not James’s work. This answer choice has picked up words from the passage itself to create confusion, a thorough reading and understanding of the passage will help avoid falling for such trap answers.

E. Incorrect answer choice as we do not have evidence to support this.

 

A3. A. Incorrect answer choice. Lines 7-8 talk about uniting heterogeneous elements in the novel hence it's unlikely that the author will agree to not using these elements.

B. Correct answer choice. The reading of the entire passage, especially lines 3-4 suggest that the author is most likely to not be inflexible in its treatment of the elements in the novel

C. Incorrect answer choice as we see evidence that the author is more likely to argue that the complex use of narrators or of time shifts indicates a sophisticated structure

D. Incorrect answer choice as we do not have evidence to support this.

E. Incorrect answer choice as we do not have evidence to support this.

 

B is the correct answer choice as we read the evidence in lines 12-14. There is no evidence to support the other answer choices.