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June 2007, Passage 1, Question 1


Question one is a main point question. We usually expect the first question to be a main point question, we can recognize it because here it says the phrase main point. Generally speaking, you should know the main point of the passage before you hit this question. And if you were gonna predict what the answer choice would say here, you would probably say what we just said a second ago in the setup video.

The main point of this passage is that this traditional division between poetry and fiction, it's breaking down, and yay that it is breaking down. Rita Dove and authors like her are breaking it down. So we go looking into the answers for that idea. Answer choice A, Rita Dove's work has been widely acclaimed. Well, that's true, but not primarily because of the lyrical elements.

She's acclaimed for both the lyrics stuff in her narrative and the narrative stuff in her poems. But remember, Rita Dove isn't even the main point of the passage. She's just an example. So answer choice A gets Rita Dove wrong and elevates her to the main point. It is wrong.

Answer choice B. Well, Rita Dove's lyric narratives present clusters of narrative detail. Well they do. This is a detail that the author says about Rita Dove. It's not the main point. It's just something that the passage says along the way to making its main point.

So answer choice B is not our answer. So C, working against a bias that's long been dominant in the US, well, she is doing that. Rita Dove is working against a bias. Recent writers like Rita Dove have shown that the lyrical use of language can effectively enhance narrative fiction.

So remember, Rita Dove is not being used as an example of a rise in lyrical use of language. She's an example of how this old division is breaking down. So answer choice C starts great but ends terrible. Go to answer choice D. Unlike many of her contemporaries, well, Rita Dove is different than her contemporaries.

She writes without relying on the traditional techniques associated with poetry and fiction. Well, this is just wrong. Rita Dove doesn't write without relying on the traditional techniques, she uses the traditional techniques, she just mixes them up. So she uses traditional techniques of poetry in her fiction, and traditional techniques of fiction in her poetry.

So that means that by default, the answer has to be answer choice E, but let's see why it is the answer. Rita Dove's successful blending of poetry and fiction exemplifies, well yes, she's a good example of the recent trend away from the rigid separation of the two genres that has long been prevalent in the US. Yes, there's a division between poetry and fiction, and people like Rita Dove are good examples of how that trend is breaking down.

So the answer choice E is our answer.

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