It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be most likely to agree with which one of the following?

Jeremy on April 29 at 08:54PM

How is E a better answer than D?

I can't find a single line in the passage that would lend support to E, whereas there seems to be ample evidence for D (e.g., lines 34-42).

3 Replies

Ravi on April 30 at 07:20PM

@JeremyG,

Great question.

The question says, "It can be inferred from the passage that the
author would be most likely to agree with which one of the following?"

(D) says, "A long-term peaceful association among the groups that
formed the Haudenosaune Confederacy was an important precondition for
the use of wampum as a means of communication."

The problem with (D) is that it's saying that a long-term peaceful
arrangement among the people in the Confederacy was absolutely
necessary for using wampum as a means of communication. However, this
is contradicted in the content of the passage. We know that wampum is
used as a form of communication before the Confederacy came to be, so
there's no way that a peaceful association is a precondition for using
wampum as a means of communication. Thus, we can get rid of (D).

(E) says, "Present day interpretations of the significance of some of
the symbols used in wampum belts are not conclusive."

The question asked us to make an inference based on the passage for
what we think the author would agree with. In looking at the passage
and examining the various examples of the wampum belt symbols, we see
that much of the symbolization is described by the author in
relatively weak terms, like in line 50 ("Council fires, possibly
indicating talks in progress") and lines 52-54 ("Lines between
humanlike figures seem to have indicated the current state of
relations between peoples"). The vague language used here by the
author implies that there's a fair amount of uncertainty regarding the
meaning of these symbols. As a result, (E) is supported by the passage
and is the correct answer choice.

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

Jeremy on May 5 at 12:22AM

Hi Ravi, that's very helpful, thanks for the clear and detailed explanation.

Ravi on May 5 at 05:25PM

@JeremyG, you're welcome! Happy to help!