The author's argument in the passage would be most weakened if which one of the following were true?

shafieiava on January 4, 2020

B versus D

Can someone explain why D is the correct answer here? In particular, I want to know more about how one might eliminate answer choice B. Thanks in advance!

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AndreaK on February 13, 2020

Hi @shafieiava,

No problem! This question is asking us to weaken the author's argument in the passage. So, let's take a second to summarize the argument we are trying to weaken.

Critics say Kingston's literary works lack precedent. However, they overlook Kingston's connection to the longstanding Chinese tradition of talk-story, an oral form of narrative that Kingston's works resemble.

Let's talk about answer choice B first. In B, we are told: Most Chinese American writers' work is very different from Kingstons.

This doesn't suggest that Kingston is somehow not connected to talk-story, which is what we would look for to weaken this argument. What the work of most Chinese American writers' is like isn't a relevant consideration for trying to weaken the case in point.

Let's take a look at D now. It says: China Men is for the most part atypical of Kingston's works.

The argument is that Kingston, by the means of talk-story, is connected to precedent in her literary culture. However, if China Men (the example the passage uses to illustrate and emphasize this connection) were just a one-off piece, that doesn't strengthen the idea that her works are connected to talk-story. We want to know that her work collectively has a connection to talk story to be able to say her writing style has that precedent. If we know China Men is connected to talk-story, but then are told China Men isn't like her other works, then that weakens the author's argument that Kingston's works have a literary precedent via talk-story.

Hope this helps!