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June 2007, Passage 1, Question 5


Question 5. In the passage, the author conjectures. So again, this question is asking us about what the passage directly says, what does the author conjecture? So as a detailed question, we're just gonna be looking for something the passage says explicitly.

So in the passage the author conjectures that a cause of the deep rift between fiction and poetry in the US may be that. That's got to come from the end of the second paragraph where the author gave us a partial answer to the question, which was that the US does not trust generalists. So we're gonna be looking for an answer choice that says that or says some version of that.

Answer choice A, poets and fiction writers tend to see their craft is superior to the others' craft. I don't know that they think that it's superior. I know that they think that it is different, that poetry does one thing, fiction does another. Superiority doesn't come into it.

Answer choice B, the methods used in training grad students in poetry are different from those used in training grad students in other literary fields. This goes too far. The first paragraph does tell us that they teach poetry and fiction separately, not that they don't use the same techniques to teach them. I don't know anything about techniques that they use to teach the from the passage.

So answer choice C, well, answer choice C talks about publishers who are never brought up in the passage at all. So they can't be the right answer. Answer choice D, a suspicion of generalism. Well yes, that's directly what the passage said. So a suspicion of generalism deters writers from dividing their energies between the two genres.

And the US culture does not like people to be generalist. They like them to focus on one. Answer choice D is what we wanted. We're gonna pick it. Just to say why E is wrong, fiction is more widely read and respected than poetry.

Now, this is probably true in the real world, but the passage never says this. It just says that they are treated separately, not that one is more popular than the other. So answer choice E while it may be true in the real world, the passage never says it. And this question is asking us what the passage says. So the correct answer is answer choice D.

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