Essayist: Lessing contended that an art form's medium dictates the kind of representation the art form must employ i...

mamie on December 15, 2019

Could you please explain why the answer is A?

Could you please explain how to arrive at A and why each of the other answer choices are incorrect?

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Annie on December 15, 2019

Hi @mamie,

This question asks you to find the answer choice which must be assumed to enable the conclusion to be properly drawn. Essentially, this means the question is asking you to pick the answer choice which is the missing premise in the argument. Start with a breakdown of the argument:

Premise: Lessing contended that an art forms medium dictates the representation the art form must employ to be legitimate.
Premise: Literature, because its made of words read in succession, must represent events occurring in sequence.
Premise: XX
Conclusion: The literature claim is wrong if imagist poems are considered because they consist of disparate images.

(A) is correct. This answer choice fills in a premise that allows the conclusion to be correct because it fills in a gap in the logic. The authors conclusion is trying to prove Lessing’s claim wrong by pointing to imagist poems. If these poems could be read in a sequence, then they would support Lessing’s argument. But, by adding the premise that they cannot be read in a sequence, the author supports the argument that these poems go against Lessing’s theory.

(B) is incorrect. This answer choice just takes a bunch of words from the passage and puts them together in order to confuse you. The easiest way to eliminate this choice though is that it only mentions poems, it does not refer to imagist poems more specifically.

(C) is incorrect. The conclusion is that Lessing’s contention “must be rejected.” The fact that he was unaware of something does not get us to such a strong statement.

(D) is incorrect. This is simply a broad statement and does not relate to the conclusion.

(E) is incorrect. The passage is not about simultaneous/successive but rather about proving Lessing’s idea wrong.