Which one of the following most accurately characterizes the author's attitude with respect to Phillis Wheatley's lit...

Julie on August 26, 2019

Answer Explanation

Hi LSAT Max, I was wondering why (B) would be the best answer and what textual evidence would help us choose (B) and eliminate the others. Thanks!

5 Replies

Stephanie on March 20, 2020

Hello. I was wondering as well as to why (B) is the correct answer choice. Thank you!

Meredith on May 7, 2020

^ can you please explain the previous questions from this thread?

on October 12 at 10:12PM

I wonder this too, as the author seems to be criticizing her poetry more than admiring it

Jonathan on March 9 at 10:43AM

The author in this case is clearly somewhat disappointed that Wheatley didn't contribute more to "the development of a distinctive African American literary language", but that doesn't make the entire passage a critical one. Look to the first paragraph, where the author is clearly impressed with how quickly and well she learned English and the standard forms of English poetry, and then to the final sentence of the passage: "Yet by the standards of the literary conventions in which she chose to work, Wheatley's poetry is undeniably accomplished, and she is justly celebrated as the first Black American poet."

Accomplished and justly celebrated - that's how our author views Wheatley, despite her failing to live up to the potential to contribute to a new form of literature. Not total admiration, as in answer A, and in no sense is our author impartial (answer C), ambivalent (answer D), or dismissive (answer E). Qualified (that is, lessened somewhat, or limited) admiration is the only answer that works here, and it's actually perfect. Our author admires what Wheatley did and how well she did it, although he appears to wish she had done something more or something different.

"the author acknowledges Phillis Wheatley's accomplishments (but) the author is critical of the fact that she 'didn't fulfill her potential' ". That sounds exactly like "qualified admiration" to me! Answer D, detached ambivalence, is more along the lines of "I don't know, maybe she was good, maybe not. Who cares, really? I'm not interested."

Jonathan on March 9 at 10:44AM

is the above approach a valid approach? please let us know thanks.