The novel is literary form that most fully reflects the individualistic and innovative reorientation introduced by Renaissance philosophy. Previous literary forms had reflected the general tendency of their cultures to make conformity to traditional practice, the major test of truth. The plots of classical and Renaissance epics, for example, were based on past history or fable, and an author`s treatment was judged largely according to a view of literary decorum derived from the accepted models in the genre. This literary traditionalism was first and most fully challenged by the novel, whose primary criterion was truth to individual experience-individual experience that is always unique and therefore new, the novel is thus the logical literary vehicle of a culture that, in the last few centuries, has set an unprecedented value on originality. The novel, is therefore well named.
This emphasis on the new accounts for some of the critical difficulties that the novel presents. When we judge a work in another genre, a recognition of its literary models is important, our evaluation depends on our analysis of the author`s skill in handing the appropriate formal conventions. In contrast, it is damaging for a novel to imitate another literary work. Since the novelist`s primary task is to convey the impression of fidelity to human experience, attention to any preestablished formal conventions can only endanger his or her success. The formlessness of the novel, as compared, say, with tragedy or the ode, follows from this, the poverty of the novel`s formal conventions is the price it must pay for its realism.
But the absence of formal conventions in the novel is unimportant compared to its rejection of traditional plots. The extent of a plot`s originality is never easy to determine. Nevertheless, a broad comparison between the novel and previous literary forms reveals an important difference. Defoe and Richardson are the first great writers in English literature who did not take their plots from mythology, history, legend, or previous literature, In this they differ from Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Million, for instance, who ,like the writers of Greece and Rome, habitually used traditional plots and who did so because they accepted the general promise of their times that, since nature is essentially complete and unchanging, its records, whether scriptural, legendary, or historical, constitute a definitive repertoire of human experience.
This point of view continued to be expressed during the nineteenth century, the opponents of Balzac, for example, used it to deride his preoccupation with contemporary and ,in their view, ephemeral reality. But at the same time, from the renaissance onward, there was a growing tendency for individual experience to replace collective tradition as the ultimate arbiter of reality, and this transition constitutes an important part of the cultural background of the rise of the novel.
|The passage suggests that the formlessness of the novel results from which of the following?|
|The passage suggests that, compared with a novel, an ode is more|
|In the third paragraph of the passage the author is primarily concerned with which of the following?|
|According to the passage, their plot choices indicated which of the following about Chaucer and Shakespeare?|
|Belnovia`s government provides health care to all its citizens Five years ago, with costs incurred from smoking-related health problems accounting for 5 percent of annual government expenditures, Belnovia`s health agency initiated a nationwide antismoking campaign. Although the campaign succeeded in reducing the number of smokers in Belnovia substantially, it clearly failed to reduce the annual costs incurred from smoking-related health problems, since these costs currently account for 6 percent of annual government expenditures.|
|Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?|
|Findings in biological anthropology suggest that Native Americans` ancestors probably came to the Americas from northeastern Asia. Turner, for example, has studied the dentition of prehistoric and living Native Americans and northeastern Asians. Based on approximately twenty dental traits, including tooth-crown shape and number of roots, he has defined an overall dental pattern called Sinodonty, which includes three-rooted lower first molars and shovel-shaped incisors. This distinctive pattern is shared among most Native Americans and people from northeastern Asia, but is not found in people who originated in southern Asia, Africa, or Europe. Another less complex pattern-Sundadonty-is shared among the people of southeastern Asia and is also found in prehistoric American populations, but Turner believes that widespread Sinodonty demonstrates most Native Americans` northeastern Asian origins.|
|The passage implies that Turner`s conclusion regarding the origins of most Native American populations is based in part on which of the following findings?|
|According to the passage, Sinodonty and Sundadonty differ from one another in that Sinodonty|
Poet, painter, and biographer Matilda Betham (1776-1852) is known chiefly for her friendships with and portraits of such famous men as S. T. Coleridge and Robert Southey. Yet her most scholarly publication, A Biographical Dictionary of the Celebrated Women of Every Age and Country (1804), reflects her deep interest in women authors. Though Katharine Antony praised the Dictionary`s encyclopedic scope and bold subject matter as early as 1948, the work has yet to receive the scrutiny needed to assess its contribution to feminist studies. While its subject matter indeed appears to be a striking example of early feminism, Betham`s scholarship was not unique: several comparable biographical works, many of which served a politically conservative agenda, had been published during the eighteenth century. What distinguishes Betham`s Dictionary is its inclusion of several contemporary writers, some of whom were widely regarded as unconventional or politically radical. Any discussion of Betham`s work must be contextualized in these generic and historical terms, since comparisons between her Dictionary and the works of her immediate predecessors reveal the extent to which Behtam both revised and reiterated existing narratives of women`s role in active affairs.
Betham acknowledged two strains of inquiry--empirical biography and independent analysis--that allowed her to assure readers of her reliability as a historian by repeating the judgment of her predecessors while also asserting her own views by writing about women who had not previously found inclusion in biographical anthologies. Although Betham certainly relied principally on authorative sources, the instances when she does offer her own criticism suggest a receptiveness to various interpretations of what constitutes a "celebrated" woman. This dualism in Betham`s research has elicited contradictory responses. Victorian novelists Matilda Betham-Edwards (Betham`s niece and first biographer) believed the work to be unprecedented, praising its "pioneering", and several early-twentieth-century critics agreed in admiring its uniqueness. However, recent commentators have instead emphasized its antecedents in earlier encyclopedia projects. Both responses have merit, for while Betham repeated conservative opinions about women`s role in the public sphere, she also sometimes advanced her own more liberal point of view. In part, these contradictory assessments of Betham`s project rehearse a larger shift in feminist thinking over the course of the twentieth century, from celebration of early feminist writers as revolutionaries who defied patriarchal authority, evident in such landmark anthologies as Gilbert and Gubar`s Shakespeare`s Sisters, to a more cautious, historically informed evaluation of women intellectuals and the cultural complexities surrounding them. The other reason for the contradictory assessment of Betham`s Dictionary lies in its research methodology. Betham both conformed to and subverted mainstream notions of history and definitions of womanhood, apparently adhering to a conservative position on historiography while including a surprisingly eclectic range of secondary sources.
|The primary purpose of the passage is to|
|It can be inferred that the author of the passage mentions Katharine Anthony as an example of|
|The author mentions the "eclectic range of secondary sources" primarily in order to|
|The author of the passage suggests which of the following about Shakespeare`s Sisters?|
|The traditional color of fire trucks is red, but in cities that have introduced yellow trucks into their fleets, the rate of traffic accidents per mile driven among these trucks has been far lower than the rate among red trucks. Some critics of the innovation have questioned whether this difference should be attributed to color, given that the yellow trucks were generally newer than the red trucks with which they were compared. But this criticism can be dismissed. Certainly, the mere difference in accident rates is not decisive evidence. The decisive fact is that the rates differed significantly only in the hours around dawn and dusk. At these hours, the visibility of yellow is known to be better than that of red.|
|In the argument given, the two highlighted portions play which of the following roles?|
|In A Fine Brush on Ivory, his appreciation of novelist Jane Austen, Richard Jenkyns remarks that in Austen scholarship there are pressures that cause ordinary critical circumspection to break down. Principal among those pressures is the peculiar affection in which the person of Jane Austen is held by many readers. This affection is not altogether explained by admiration for her genius, nor is it entirely a symptom of nostalgia for her orderly decorous, vanished world. The impulse to know personally this elusive, even mysterious, writer has led critics to approach her work in mostly biographical or historical ways, often in defiance of other critical fashions, especially the various formal approaches that have dominated modern literary criticism.|
|According to the passage, critics approach Jane Austen`s work in biographical or historical ways for which of the following reasons?|
|In the context in which it appears, "appreciation of" most nearly means|