The passage most strongly supports which one of the following inferences?

Zara on August 24, 2018

Answer Explanation

Please explain why the answer is E and not C

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Anita on August 25, 2018

@Zara C here doesn't quite work because the passage tells us the sculpture becomes easier to see when objects are reflecting on it, implying that it does have structure. This means we can infer that the structure does not actually depend on objects around it, only that it's easier to perceive then. If something is reflected in it, it shows the shape of the structure, not the shape of the object in the reflection.

Shiyi-Zhang on February 17, 2019

Could someone explain this question and the answer choices more?

Ravi on February 18, 2019


Happy to help.

The question asks, "The passage most strongly supports which one of
the following inferences?"

This question is a bit tough since it's so open-ended that it's nearly
impossible to anticipate, so the best way to go about answering it is
to go through the answers, eliminating ones we know are not true.

(A) says, "Prior to suggesting the sculptural use of chrome-nickel
steel to Noguchi, Fuller himself had made architectural designs that
called for the use of this material."

The issue with (A) is that we don't get any information about the type
of material Fuller uses for his own architectural designs, so we can
get rid of this choice.

(B) says, "Noguchi believed that the use of industrial materials to
create sculptures would make the sculptures more commercially viable."

The problem with (B) is that we have absolutely no textual support
that Noguchi thought industrial materials would help make them
commercially viable. We can safely get rid of this answer choice.

(C) says, "Noguchi’s “invisible” sculpture appears to have no shape or
dimensions of its own, but rather those of surrounding objects."

The issue with (C) is that it goes against the last sentence of the
fourth paragraph (lines 53 to 55), which states, "The viewer's
awareness of the 'invisible' sculpture's presence and dimensional
relationships could be derived only secondarily." We can infer from
this that shape and dimensions were present in Noguchi's invisible
sculpture, albeit as secondary features. We can get rid of (C).

(D) says, "If a positive-light sculpture depicting a person in a
realistic manner were coated with a metal subject to oxidation, it
would eventually cease to be recognizable as a realistic likeness."

The problem with (D) is that it's possible that this sculpture would
no longer be reflective but still could bear resemblance to a
realistic likeness. As a result, we can get rid of (D).

(E) says, "The perception of the shape and dimensions of a
negative-light sculpture does not depend on its reflection of objects
from the environment around it."

(E) is tricky, but it's basically describing the prevailing
methodology of sculpture BEFORE Noguchi arrived on the scene. (E) says
that this older form of sculpture (negative-light sculpture) does not
rely on surface-level reflections in order to be seen. This makes
sense because the surface level reflections were what Noguchi
introduced to the sculpting world.

In the passage, we're told in lines 39-41 that "Noguchi did not think
of it [positive-light sculpture] as merely a shiny alternate model of
traditional, negative-light sculptures." Rather, what Noguchi wanted
was for his sculpture to exhibit "a fundamental invisibility of
surface like that of utterly still waters" (lines 42-44) due to its
reflective property. Since we know that positive-light sculptures and
negative-light sculptures exhibit different traits and we also know
that positive-light sculptures use the reflections of objects around
them, then we also can conclude that negative-light sculptures must
not depend on reflections of objects around them in order for their
shapes and dimensions to be recognized. Therefore, (E) is the answer
that the passage supports.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any questions!