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PrepTest 73, Passage 2, Question 14


Question 14 wants to know the purpose that part of the passage serves, specifically the discussion of the suspension of disbelief in the second paragraph. When they ask you what a detail is doing in the passage, we call that a purpose of a detail question. And the purpose is always going to relate to the author's overall agenda. What was the author doing at that point in time?

If you're reading the passages in the way that you need to, asking about what the author's doing at each point, relating the pieces to each other, you should have a fairly good idea of the answer to these questions before you even see the answers. And this specific part of the passage, we've already revisited once during the questions. So remember, the suspension of disbelief is the difference between Cameron's photographic medium and the other mediums that she might have worked in, paintings and theater.

Paintings and theater allow you to suspend your disbelief, the camera doesn't, which is what leads to that doubleness. The weird combination of it both being a thing that's a piece of art and also a record of the people who made the art. That's what we'll be looking for in the answer choices. Answer choice A, it is the main conclusion of the passage, no.

The passage is not trying to prove that people suspend their disbelief or don't suspend their disbelief, it's trying to use that to explain why Cameron's stuff is so good. So it's not A. Answer choice B, it introduces a contrast the author uses in characterizing the peculiar nature of our response to Cameron's fancy subject pictures.

Now, this is our answer. The contrast was the camera versus those other forms of art, and the peculiar nature of our response was that we like her. We are gripped by her pictures. So answer choice B matches what the author was doing with that detail. So what's wrong with the other answers?

Answer choice C can't be right because the author never says anything negative really about Cameron. Even the bad things that she did, the author finds endearing and powerful so there are no negative appraisals in the passage. Answer choice D, the author never says that Cameron is conceptually confused. Although there is some disconnect between the medium that she uses her intentions and what she ended up producing, the author never accused her of being conceptually confused.

And then choice E, this might be a little tricky because drama and paintings were brought up right there at the point where they were talking about the suspension of disbelief. But the author wasn't trying to prove that Cameron's pictures are more like paintings than they are like drama. Paintings and drama were similar, in that in those, you can suspend your disbelief, and with the camera or with photos, you can't.

So the author wasn't trying to associate photos with one and not the other, so the answer was answer choice B.

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