According to the passage, which one of the following conventions did Chopin adopt from other nineteenth–century women...

Tehran20 on October 30, 2019

Why not A?

Can I please have an explanation!

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Skylar on November 3, 2019

@Tehran20 Happy to help!

The "elevated, romantic language" discussed in (A) is taken from lines 6-7 of the passage. This refers to the style of the authors of novels during the mid-nineteenth century while Chopin was growing up. However, these are not the writers that Chopin modeled her work after, as stated in the last sentence of the first paragraph. This is further supported by the third paragraph, which discussed Chopin's "uninflected" (line 37) tone for writing of "extreme psychological states without resorting to the excesses of the sentimental novels she read as a youth" (lines 33-34). Therefore, (A) is incorrect.

Does this make sense? Please let us know if you have additional questions or would like a breakdown of the other answer choices!

#JW on November 11, 2019

I don't understand how to answer this question at all or eliminate these answer choices that are incorrect. Please help.

Victoria on November 25, 2019

Hi @#JW

Tip for answering reading comp questions: always make sure to thoroughly read the passage and understand the point of each paragraph before starting to address the questions. I found it was very easy to get overwhelmed by the block of text if you try reading the questions first to see what you are looking for!

So, let's start by going through this passage.

The first sentence tells us that this passage is about the literary development of Chopin and how her work related to phases of 19th century women's fiction.

The first paragraph tells us that Chopin grew up with sentimental novels which formed the "bulk" of 19th century fiction. In these novels, the authors used elevated, romantic language when writing female characters whose sole concern was to establish their social positions.

The first paragraph also tells us that when Chopin began writing her own fiction, she modelled it after the work of the "local colorists."

The second paragraph explains who the local colorists were. Their writing emerged as "women's culture" began to dissolve. In other words, as women began entering the academic, professional, and political worlds in higher numbers.

The local colorists explored these "new worlds" by writing about character and culture in a detached way, similar to anthropologists. The local colorists also reminisced about "women's culture" by attaching a "mythic significance" to stereotypically female locations and objects.

The third paragraph tells us that Chopin was different from the local colorists because she told stories of loneliness, isolation, and frustration. However, she also used their method of detached narration to tell her stories.

The final paragraph tells us that, as the 19th century came to a close, Chopin moved away from the style of the local colorists and was inspired by the "New Women" writers. These writers modified the sentimental novel to include fantasy, parables, and impressionistic methods in both form and content.

Chopin embraced the above style in her work "The Awakening" by linking the sections of her novel through the mind of her protagonist rather then through style and content.

The question is asking us to identify which of the identified conventions Chopin adopted from other 19th century women writers.

(A) is incorrect because Chopin did not adopt this convention. Rather, this style was used by authors of the sentimental novels of her youth (lines 4-6).

(B) is incorrect because this convention is presented to distinguish between Chopin and the local colorists. While the local colorists mourned the end of "women's culture" by portraying these mythic images, Chopin "did not share [their] growing nostalgia" (lines 22-28; lines 38-39).

(D) is incorrect because we do not know if Chopin used this convention. We know that it was employed by the local colorists and that Chopin modelled her writing after this group, but the passage does not specifically touch on the convention with regard to Chopin's style (lines 48-49; lines 9-12).

(E) is incorrect because this convention is specifically highlighted as a way in which Chopin's writing differed from that of the local colorists (lines 29-30).

Finally, (C) is the correct answer because of the connection drawn between Chopin's writing and that of the local colorists in paras. 2 and 3. While Chopin did not infuse her writing with mythic significance, she did adopt the detached narrative style of the colorists, allowing her to "tell rather shocking or even melodramatic tales in an uninflected manner" (lines 20-22; lines 31-37).

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