The main function of the first paragraph is to

Avi on June 22 at 06:27PM

D vs. E

I limited down the answers to these two choices and I can't figure out why one is better than the next. Please explain. Thanks.

3 Replies

Shunhe on June 23 at 10:14PM

Hi @avif,

Thanks for the question! Since we’re being asked about the main function of the first paragraph, let’s take a look at what’s going on there. We’re told that advertising critics think that creating false needs underlie advertising’s “manipulative and hegemonic power.” This is based on Marcuse’s writing, which has the general idea of people letting themselves be oppressed by believing they’re satisfied when really, the world is objectively unsatisfying. And people believe they’re satisfied because advertising creates fake needs and then satisfies them, which contributes to corporations’ profits.

Now let’s take a look at (D), which tells us that the main function of the first paragraph is to describe prevailing views among contemporary critics of advertising, and categorize Marcuse’s theories in relation to those views. Is that what happens in the first paragraph? Marcuse’s theories aren’t really categorized at all, nor are the prevailing views really “described,” they’re only briefly brought up as a conglomerate (“some critics…”) in the first line before the paragraph switches over to discussing Marcuse. So (D) can’t be the correct answer here, since the paragraph doesn’t even really do what (D) describes.

(E), on the other hand, tells us that the main function of the first paragraph is to describe Marcusian views about mass market manipulation and indicate their role in certain criticisms of advertising. And as discussed earlier, this is what the main point of the first paragraph is. It mainly talks about Marcuse’s ideas, and applies them to the critics’ views of advertising.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

Avi on June 24 at 07:09PM

It does. Thanks.

Shunhe on June 24 at 10:34PM

Glad it helped.