Skip to Main Content

PrepTest 73, Passage 2, Question 10


Question 10, this question asks something that we don't see a lot in reading comprehension. It asks to help explain a claim about the suspension of disbelief. Now this might remind you of something from logical reasoning with good reason. This is essentially a logical reasoning question, a paradox question. Anything from logical reasoning can make an appearance in reading comprehension though it doesn't normally.

But when it does, you wanna treat it just like it does in logical reasoning. So on a paradox question, your main goal is to figure out what the paradox is because there's an apparent discrepancy that doesn't seem to work out. There's something that seems like it's contradictory, or at least it's at odds. And then the correct answer is going to make the two things that are at odds come together.

So the suspension of disbelief that comes at the end of the second paragraph, where the author is contrasting the camera with what paintings and theater can do. And if we go back to the specific context, we're told that when we look at a painting, we can suspend our disbelief. And the same thing is true for theater. With theater, you can transcend the doubleness.

It can make us believe that we are seeing the characters. But on the other hand, when we look at a narrative photograph, we can't. We're always aware of the doubleness of the real and the imaginary. Some still photographs of theatrical scenes can never escape being pictures of actors and that's the paradox. Why is it that paintings and theater can transcend their doubleness, but narrative photographs can't?

The correct answer will explain why. It's hard to predict what the correct answer is gonna say though, because it's going to be a new fact. So we just have to go through and evaluate the answers one at a time. So answer choice A, sitting for a painting typically takes much longer than sitting for a photograph.

This will actually make the paradox worse. Because we know that pictures, one of the things about them is they take a lot of time so that people in them fidget. If that's true of paintings, in fact, if it's more true of paintings, then they should be less realistic, not more realistic. They should be more double, not less.

Answer choice B, paintings, unlike photographs, can depict obviously impossible situations. Well, if they're obviously impossible, then why aren't paintings less realistic, not more? So answer choice C, all of the sitters don't have to be present at the same time. This one is really hard to match up to the information in the passage.

It's hard to know what this would have to do with the suspension of disbelief at all. Answer choice D, a painter can suppress details about a sitter that are at odds with an imaginary persona. Now this would work if you can suppress the details that would help with the disbelief.

So this explains why it is that at least the paintings, half of the comparison can transcend the doubleness because the painter can do something directly to fix it. So that's our answer. And so what's wrong with E? Paintings typically bear the stylistic imprint of an artist, school, or period.

This would make it more confusing too. If paintings have the stylistic imprint, why would they be more realistic rather than less? So the answer was answer choice D.

Read full transcript