In which of the following does the author of the passage reinforce a

In Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry does not reject integration or the economic and moral promise of the American dream; rather, she remains loyal to
this dream while looking, realistically, at its incomplete realization. Once we recognize this dual vision, we can accept the play’s ironic nuances as deliberate social commentaries by Hansberry rather than as the “unintentional” irony that Bigsby attributes to the work. Indeed, a curiously persistent refusal to credit Hansberry with a capacity for intentional irony has led some critics to interpret the play’s thematic conflicts as mere confusion, contradiction, or eclecticism. Isaacs, for example, cannot easily reconcile Hansberry’s intense concern for her race with her ideal of human reconciliation. But the play’s complex view of Black self-esteem and human solidarity as compatible is no more “contradictory” than Du Bois’ famous, well-considered ideal of ethnic self-awareness coexisting with human unity, or Fanon’s emphasis on an ideal internationalism that also accommodates national identities and roles.

In which of the following does the author of the passage reinforce a criticism of the responses such as Isaacs’ to Raisin in the Sun?

  1. The statement that Hansberry is “loyal” to the American Dream
  2. The description of Hansberry’s concern for African Americans as “intense”
  3. The assertion that Hansberry is concerned with “human solidarity”
  4. The description of Du Bois’ ideas as “well-considered”
  5. The description of Fanon’s internationalism as “ideal”

An important thing to keep in mind about the Reading Comprehension section of the GRE as we use PowerPrep online to study is that it is just that—reading comprehension. In other words, as difficult as it may seem, and it can be pretty tricky, the test makers will always give us all the information we need in the passage to answer the question, even when the question asks us about the purpose or structures of part of the text, like question 8 of the second Verbal section on practice test 1.

While this is not a “select-in-passage” question, it’s actually quite similar, and our approach can also be somewhat similar. We’re looking for a phrase or sentence that “reinforces criticism of,” or supports an argument against, responses such as that of “Isaacs.” This hints that our information should probably come after the description of Isaacs’s response. Also, we need to know WHAT Isaacs’s response is in order to know what information might reinforce a criticism of it, so let’s skim for “Isaacs” in the passage.

Ahh. In the fourth sentence we’re told that Isaacs’s response to Hansberry’s work is an example of the idea that many critics feel that the play’s thematic conflicts are somehow contradictory: specifically, Isaacs cannot reconcile Hansberry’s concern for African Americans with her belief in human reconciliation. We know from earlier in the passage that the author believes that views such as that of Isaacs fail to account for Hansberry’s intentional use of irony, but is there information later in the passage that reinforces the author’s feelings?

Indeed, the next sentence begins with the word “but,” signalling a contrast. We are told that this complex view “is no more ‘contradictory’ than” some other complex views. We should look for an answer that reflects that this last sentence, perhaps specifically the comparison to the views of Du Bois and/or Fanon, reinforces a criticism of Isaacs’s response.

  • The statement that Hansberry is “loyal” to the American Dream

This answer comes from the beginning of the passage, and the idea that Hansberry is “loyal” to the American dream reflects the first instance in which the author points out one side of an intentional thematic tension in Hansberry’s play—in other words, it can’t “reinforce” an idea that hasn’t been articulated yet. We can eliminate A.

  • The description of Hansberry’s concern for African Americans as “intense”

This answer is part of what Isaacs cannot reconcile. The fact that Hansberry’s concern is “intense” perhaps helps us understand why it would be hard for Isaacs to understand how she could be so concerned with African Americans and yet see an opportunity for humanity to come together, but it doesn’t reinforce criticism of Isaacs’s response. Eliminate B.

  • The assertion that Hansberry is concerned with “human solidarity”

Like B, this answer is part of what Isaacs cannot reconcile, but it doesn’t explain or reinforce the author’s criticism of Isaacs’s response. Eliminate C.

  • The description of Du Bois’ ideas as “well-considered”

Aha. This answer comes from the correct sentence, and, indeed, if a complex view such as that of Du Bois is “well-considered,” the implication is that Hansberry’s own complex views are similarly “well-considered.” This reinforces the author’s critique of views like Isaacs that they fail to recognize the intentionality of Hansberry’s ironic nuances. D seems like a good answer, but let’s check E just in case.

  • The description of Fanon’s internationalism as “ideal”

Wait! This is also from the correct part of the passage. We have to be careful. The idea that Du Bois view is “well-considered” is the idea of the author, but “ideal internationalism” is part of Fanon’s “emphasis.” In other words, the author doesn’t necessarily believe internationalism itself is “ideal,” this word is just part of articulating what Fanon’s view is (she is not describing the view itself as “ideal”). This answer is not quite like answer D, and doesn’t actually reinforce the idea that Hansberry’s tensions were intentional and well thought out. We can eliminate D

 

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