Which one of the following most accurately expresses what the author intends "a common reservoir of experience" (line...

jingjingxiao11111@gmail.com on February 11, 2022

Could someone please explain this?


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Ross-Rinehart on February 11, 2022

To answer these Meaning of Phrase questions, it helps to think about what the author was up to in the paragraph in which the detail appears. This context can give us a clue about the meaning of the phrase. The phrase “a common reservoir of experience” appears in the first paragraph. In that paragraph, the author wanted to compare the blues to spirituals. The “common reservoir of experience” helps the author make that comparison — both blues and spirituals are responses to the same set of experiences. We want to pick the answer choice that describes this meaning — a set of experiences that underlies the blues and spirituals. (C) describes this role perfectly.

(A) describes experiences of “differing cultures,” but the author says the “common reservoir of experience” is specific to “African American culture.” (B) says the experiences underlie “all musical forms” — but the author only says the “common reservoir of experience” underlies the blues and spirituals. In (D), the idea of separating realities into “irreconciliable dichotomies” is a claim made in the second paragraph, not the first (and the author does not think the blues or spirituals separate realities this way). And (E) is wrong because the “common reservoir of experience” doesn’t refer to musical experiences, specifically.