In lines 18—25, the author uses the phrase "negative subtext" in reference to the critic's comment to claim that

Taiyou on June 24, 2020

How do we get to the right answer Choice E?

I do have observed something interesting about this question. It is for some reason, the lines with "negative subtext" is followed by an example with a formal logic: if xx, xx, xx, and xx are the sole requirements of the novel -> Mphalele's work will be great. Can we therefore using the negation by If Mphalele's work is not great -> xx, xx, xx, and xx are not the sole requirements of a great novel, in combination with what the author is stating at the later part of the second paragraph and the tone of the critic's critique to get to the right answer Choice E? Thank you !

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Victoria on July 4, 2020

Hi @DavidClimber,

Thanks for your question.

You could use this conditional logic to arrive at the correct answer; however, it is not necessary to do so.

The author outlines this example of a review which has a negative subtext.

What is the negative subtext here? The critic claims that, if anger, firsthand experiences, compassion, and topicality were the sole requirements for great literature, then The Wanderers would be great literature.

The subtext underlying this review is that these four elements are clearly not the sole requirements for great literature and, therefore, The Wanders should, by implication, not be considered to be great literature.

While the conditional logic employed in the review could help us to get to this answer, the question is simply asking why the author uses the phrase "negative subtext" and what they mean to convey by doing so.

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