If the author of passage A were to read passage B, he or she would be most likely to agree with which one of the foll...

Shiyi on May 25, 2019

Why is E correct?

Why is E correct?

1 Reply

Victoria on June 17, 2019

Hi @Shiyi-Zhang,

Let's start by going through each of the passages.

Passage A:

In the first paragraph, the author presents the writers whom Cather believed wrote high quality fiction: Turgenev and Tolstoy. The author then cites Wilson who claimed that Cather followed the manners of Turgenev by writing the behaviours of her characters rather than directly writing their emotions. Turgenev's method was to describe a character's appearance and actions by writing details that described them rather than trying to explain them directly. Turgenev also suggested that the writer must have complete knowledge of their character so that they could avoid providing unnecessary details and, instead, focus on the characteristic and the typical.

In the second paragraph, the author compares Turgenev and Cather's methods. The author tells us that both writers held selection and simplification in high regard and focused on the connections between setting and actions and the emotions of characters. Turgenev and Cather synthesized these elements by establishing an overall mood.

Passage B:

The author introduces the passage by presenting a quote from Cather regarding one of her novels where she tells us that many reviewers believe it is not a novel and that she believes it is a narrative. By preferring to call her work a narrative, Cather anticipated the body of literary theory "narratology." Narratology asks that narratives solely tell a story and avoid focusing on the characteristics of the "realistic novel," including direct psychological characterization, realistic treatment of time, causal plotting, and logical closure.

In the second paragraph, the author supports Cather's self-identification as a narratologist by sharing that her severest critics questioned her capabilities as a novelist. In doing so, they treated the key features of Cather's technique: unusual treatment of narrative time, unexpected focus, ambiguous conclusions, and a preference for the bold, simple, and stylized in character as failures.

Answer E claims that Cather's goal of representing the "thing not named" explains her preference for the bold, simple, and stylized in the presentation of character.

What Cather referred to as the "thing not named" was depicting her characters' emotions through their behaviours and settings as opposed to through direct description. Her support for the writing of Turgenev also indicates that she preferred fewer details when writing her characters, focusing instead on establishing a prevailing mood as opposed to directly explaining the emotion state of her characters.

These characteristics of Cather's "thing not named" outlined above would explain her preference for the bold, simple, and stylized in the presentation of character, making E the correct answer.

A is incorrect because both passages indicate that Cather was a narratologist as opposed to a novelist, suggesting that she would be likely to view all of her works as narratives as opposed to novels.

B is incorrect because there is nothing presented in passage B to indicate that Cather's critics failed to focus on the entirety of her collection of works.

C is incorrect because a model of criticism that focuses on narrative as opposed to novel would be more likely to correctly interpret Cather's work, as indicated by both passages.

D is incorrect because Cather tended not to focus on the "realistic" novel, preferring the elements of narratology as indicated by passage B.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.