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 sentence of the passage does the author provide examples that reinforce an argument against a critical response cited earlier in the passage?
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. Select-in-passage questions, like number 8 on the second Verbal section of practice test 1, may look different than other questions, but they abide by the same rule.
Select-in-passage questions are unique to the GRE, but that shouldn’t scare us. In fact, a good thing about them is that we can approach each one the same way: we need to read the question carefully in order to find out what criteria our sentence needs to meet. Then, we need to search the passage for a sentence that fits that criteria—ok, admittedly this is sometimes more easily said than done, but we should keep in mind that our question may even give us extra clues as to where to look.
In this case, we’re asked to find a sentence that provides examples. Now, that could describe multiple sentences, but these examples need to specifically reinforce, or support, an argument against a critical response cited earlier in the passage. Ok, so in order for this sentence to be the correct one, it needs to be somewhere after a critical view is cited in the passage. So, let’s look for that first, then we’ll look for information that rejects that view and finally, we’ll find a sentence with supporting evidence for that rejection.
Skimming the passage, we’ll find “some critics” mentioned in the third sentence. Indeed, this sentence actually continues to advance Bigsby’s view mentioned in the previous sentence (that Hansberry’s work has “unintentional” irony” that the author seems to reject (stating that we should accept her irony as “deliberate social commentaries”). This third sentence continues to elaborate and broaden the critical view to other critics. The next sentence contains the words “for example,” so that must be the one, right?! Nope. This is the trap; the question specifically mentioned “examples” ad does this fourth sentence of the paragraph, but the “examples” need to refute this view, and the example in the fourth sentence is an example of the critical view the author disagreed with.
Wow, only one sentence left. This fifth and final sentence of the passage begins “but,” which is a good sign since it signals a contrast. Here the author asserts that Hansberry’s work is not, as these critics have claimed, contradictory, and provides examples of other seemingly contradictory but ultimately logical views (from Du Bois and Fanon). Aha! This last sentence fits our criteria, so we should select the fifth and final sentence.
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