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PrepTest 78, Passage 2, Question 14


The passage suggests that Matthew Arnold would be most likely to identify which one of the following as the primary reason why historically people in the middle class became patrons of the arts. So this is an inference question and we want to determine based on what we know about the little snippet of Matthew Arnold what he would identify as the primary reason people in the middle class became patrons of the arts.

So looking back to where we see sort of the, we get the context of Matthew Arnold. So he's mentioned in lines 35 through 42. And he called the aristocracy barbarians in the middle class, Philistines obsessed with respectability, and suggested that the artists just often had to find a place within the margins to sort of carry out the commissions by their eccentric tastes of the rich patrons.

So we wanna also keep that in mind as we're looking for our answer choice. And one of the things that immediately comes to mind sort of calling the aristocracy barbarians, and the middle class as Philistines obsessed with respectability that it's not particularly positive. So that should help us sort of wade through the answers at the very least. So the correct answer is E, a desire to establish a reputation as a patron for the arts.

So as patrons of the arts, the middle class gained respectability, something that they were obsessed with. So we can gather from their simple and sort of barbaric hobbies, as Arnold refers to them, that they were likely not interested in sort of the inherent or intrinsic value, or the aesthetic values itself, but rather more preoccupied with the art said about them, or how it impacted their status along their other elite peers.

So working with little personal taste from the elite who commissioned these works or any insight from the patron, artists then had to do what they could with the inspiration that they were working with. So this further enhances the fact that this was more so of a desire to show that they were a patron of an art, rather than actually genuinely engaging in the art, and understanding the art, and commissioning art that truly reflected their values.

So this alliance with what Arnold would most likely identify as the primary reason that people in the middle class became patrons of the art. It was more so about that respectability and the reputation that came along with it.

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