GRE Verbal : Analyzing Point of View, Assumptions, and Bias in Single-Answer Questions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Analyzing Point Of View, Assumptions, And Bias In Single Answer Questions

"Developments in Understanding Ancient Greek Art" by Will Floyd

Most people imagine stark white temples and plain marble statues as the ideal of ancient Greek art. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the ancient Greeks lavished their statues, sculptures, and buildings with bright colors. The common misconception of plainly adorned Hellenic art can be blamed on the ancient Greeks’ biggest proponents in history. Enlightenment-era classicists eagerly visited ancient ruins in the eighteenth century and saw artifacts that had been weathered to plain white stone through decades of neglect. By the time nineteenth-century archaeologists found proof that the Parthenon and images of the Gods were meant to be in vivid hues, eminent scholars in Europe refused to countenance that pure white marble was not antiquity’s aesthetic paradigm. Widespread acknowledgement of the ancient Greeks’ adoration of bright colors only came in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as scientific tests proved ancient statuary and buildings had once been covered in polychrome paint.

The author would NOT agree with the statement that __________.

Possible Answers:

the ancient Greeks made use of a variety of artistic media

Enlightenment-era classicists greatly appreciated the ancient Greeks

most ancient Greek art was first seen as plain white stone by most modern people

ancient Greek art was unimpressive compared to later developments

polychrome painting was a key element of ancient Greek art

Correct answer:

ancient Greek art was unimpressive compared to later developments

Explanation:

The author celebrates the achievements of the ancient Greeks in the realm of art. Every answer choice reflects this attitude except "ancient Greek art was unimpressive compared to later developments."

Example Question #81 : Reading Comprehension

The following passage is adapted from The God-Idea of the Ancients: or, Sex in Religion, by Elizabeth Burt Gamble (1897)

Regarding the introduction of Christianity into Ireland it is claimed by certain writers that the Irish did not receive the “new religion” from Greek missionaries; but when at the close of the cycle, a new solar deity, an avatar of Vishnu or Krishna was announced, and when missionaries from the East proclaimed the glad tidings of a risen Savior, the Irish people gladly accepted their teachings, not, however, as a new system, but as the fulfillment to them of the prophecy of the most ancient seers of the East, and as part and parcel of the religion of their forefathers. Therefore when the devotees of the Roman faith, probably about the close of the fifth century of the Christian era, attempted to “convert” Ireland, they found a religion differing from their own only in the fact that it was not subject to Rome, and was free from the many corruptions and superstitions which through the extreme ignorance and misapprehension of its Western adherents had been engrafted upon it.

The author does NOT believe __________.

Possible Answers:

Roman Christianity was full of superstition

Irish Christianity was free from the problems of Roman Christianity

Irish Christianity developed in its own manner

Roman religion is the purest form of Christianity

the Irish accepted Christianity as part of their traditions

Correct answer:

Roman religion is the purest form of Christianity

Explanation:

The author shows a clear disdain for all aspects of Roman Christianity, saying that it features "extreme ignorance and misapprehension." The statement "Roman religion is the purest form of Christianity" is the only answer choice the author would disagree with.

Example Question #81 : Reading Comprehension

The following passage is adapted from The God-Idea of the Ancients: or, Sex in Religion, by Elizabeth Burt Gamble (1897)

Regarding the introduction of Christianity into Ireland it is claimed by certain writers that the Irish did not receive the “new religion” from Greek missionaries; but when at the close of the cycle, a new solar deity, an avatar of Vishnu or Krishna was announced, and when missionaries from the East proclaimed the glad tidings of a risen Savior, the Irish people gladly accepted their teachings, not, however, as a new system, but as the fulfillment to them of the prophecy of the most ancient seers of the East, and as part and parcel of the religion of their forefathers. Therefore when the devotees of the Roman faith, probably about the close of the fifth century of the Christian era, attempted to “convert” Ireland, they found a religion differing from their own only in the fact that it was not subject to Rome, and was free from the many corruptions and superstitions which through the extreme ignorance and misapprehension of its Western adherents had been engrafted upon it.

The author views Roman faith as __________.

Possible Answers:

just and righteous

problematic but worthwhile

misguided but harmless

egalitarian and fair

flawed and corrupted

Correct answer:

flawed and corrupted

Explanation:

The author decries the "many corruptions and superstitions" of Roman Christianity. This note in the final sentence reinforces the general tone of the author towards Roman beliefs, present throughout the entire passage.

Example Question #11 : Analyzing Point Of View, Assumptions, And Bias In Single Answer Questions

The following passage is adapted from The God-Idea of the Ancients: or, Sex in Religion, by Elizabeth Burt Gamble (1897)

Regarding the introduction of Christianity into Ireland it is claimed by certain writers that the Irish did not receive the “new religion” from Greek missionaries; but when at the close of the cycle, a new solar deity, an avatar of Vishnu or Krishna was announced, and when missionaries from the East proclaimed the glad tidings of a risen Savior, the Irish people gladly accepted their teachings, not, however, as a new system, but as the fulfillment to them of the prophecy of the most ancient seers of the East, and as part and parcel of the religion of their forefathers. Therefore when the devotees of the Roman faith, probably about the close of the fifth century of the Christian era, attempted to “convert” Ireland, they found a religion differing from their own only in the fact that it was not subject to Rome, and was free from the many corruptions and superstitions which through the extreme ignorance and misapprehension of its Western adherents had been engrafted upon it.

The author would agree that __________.

Possible Answers:

Irish religion is full of corruptions and superstitions

the Romans had a superior religious faith

the avatar of Vishnu and Krishna should be worshipped

the Greek missionaries converted the Irish to Christianity

the Irish never needed Roman religion

Correct answer:

the Irish never needed Roman religion

Explanation:

The author repeatedly criticizes Roman beliefs while praising the Irish approach to religion. The "corruptions," "superstitions," and "misapprehensions" attributed to the Romans indicate that the author believes their faith was unnecessary in Ireland.

Example Question #11 : Analyzing Point Of View, Assumptions, And Bias In Single Answer Questions

"A Short History of Recent Zoos" by Will Floyd

Throughout the twentieth century, zoos underwent large-scale transformations. Before World War I, zoos were small parts of larger municipal parks, and featured sparse cages with little room for their inhabitants. This model held sway until mid-century, with many zoos struggling to remain open during the Great Depression and World War II. The successful zoos survived through making themselves cheap family entertainment. In the 1960s, zoos began to change in drastic ways. With the growing strength of environmental and animal rights movements, the public clamored for more naturalistic and spacious environments in which the animals could live.

The most emblematic of these transformations was the development of the Los Angeles Zoo. In 1966, the cramped and antiquated zoo used grants from the city government to move to a brand-new facility. Although the zoo moved just two miles away, the new location was exponentially bigger, and it featured fresh landscapes that resembled the animals’ natural habitats, instead of dilapidated cages. As the Los Angeles Zoo developed, it was able to work on preservation and conservation efforts for endangered species. New educational programs also became key elements of the Zoo’s mission. Now the old Zoo’s cages stand as ruins and reminders of what past generations saw when they visited years ago.

The author would NOT agree with the statement that __________.

Possible Answers:

zoos do important preservation and conservation work

zoos have become useless tools of the animal rights movement

the new model of zoos is preferrable to the old one

zoos provide excellent educational opportunities

animals in zoos need plenty of space in their habitats

Correct answer:

zoos have become useless tools of the animal rights movement

Explanation:

Above all, the author is critical of the early-twentieth-century model of zoos and applauds all of the efforts zoos undertake currently. Also, the author only mentions the animal rights movement in a positive manner.

Example Question #11 : Analyzing Point Of View, Assumptions, And Bias In Single Answer Questions

"A Short History of Recent Zoos" by Will Floyd

Throughout the twentieth century, zoos underwent large-scale transformations. Before World War I, zoos were small parts of larger municipal parks, and featured sparse cages with little room for their inhabitants. This model held sway until mid-century, with many zoos struggling to remain open during the Great Depression and World War II. The successful zoos survived through making themselves cheap family entertainment. In the 1960s, zoos began to change in drastic ways. With the growing strength of environmental and animal rights movements, the public clamored for more naturalistic and spacious environments in which the animals could live.

The most emblematic of these transformations was the development of the Los Angeles Zoo. In 1966, the cramped and antiquated zoo used grants from the city government to move to a brand-new facility. Although the zoo moved just two miles away, the new location was exponentially bigger, and it featured fresh landscapes that resembled the animals’ natural habitats, instead of dilapidated cages. As the Los Angeles Zoo developed, it was able to work on preservation and conservation efforts for endangered species. New educational programs also became key elements of the Zoo’s mission. Now the old Zoo’s cages stand as ruins and reminders of what past generations saw when they visited years ago.

The author believes zoos are __________.

Possible Answers:

only useful for environmentalists and animal rights activists

ruins and reminders of past generations

great additions to municipal life

horrible places to visit

cramped and dilapidated

Correct answer:

great additions to municipal life

Explanation:

While the author does criticize how zoos once operated, the passage celebrates what zoos have become. In particular, the author highlights civic promotion of zoos and the "conservation" and "educational" opportunities the Los Angeles Zoo undertakes.

Example Question #31 : Argument In Single Answer Questions

"Science Fiction and Society" by Will Floyd

Science fiction and fantasy novels are often seen as pure escapism; however, many authors use the fantastic or futuristic aspects of their work to comment on contemporary problems. Normally this is done by including things that seem quite familiar to a reader, but giving them small twists rooted in the author’s fabricated world. Subjects like racism are often hard for certain writers to analyze without causing an uproar among certain readers. By subverting the prejudice to being directed against a space alien, a completely unfamiliar being, a science fiction author can reinterpret why humans possess hatred for other groups. This can take the form of prejudice against things that people in reality are not normally prejudiced against. These analyses show the erratic and arbitrary nature of racism.

Fantasy books can offer a similar level of surprise for readers who think they know what the usual course of events would be in the regular world. By making the fantasy the focus of what's occurring in the narrative, love stories, war stories, and simple tales of overcoming obstacles can become pleasantly mystifying. Fantasy authors can create interesting takes on basic morality by simply injecting a small amount of magic into an old tale. Black-and-white approaches to good and evil seem much less trite and hackneyed when set in a fantastical, magical world. The ability for an audience to get lost in a magical world changes the expectations of the reader. Often, the threat of destruction in a beloved fantasy world will seem a darker occurrence than the threat to the world in which they live. This attachment to a created world allows science fiction and fantasy authors to discuss serious issues in a different manner to authors in other genres.

The author would agree with the statement that __________.

Possible Answers:

science fiction is preferrable to fantasy as a literary genre

fantasy is preferrable to science fiction as a literary genre

fantasy and science fiction are genres with little ability to say anything substantial

science fiction can only discuss racism and fantasy can only discuss basic morality

science fiction and fantasy are important genres in literature

Correct answer:

science fiction and fantasy are important genres in literature

Explanation:

The author celebrates the ability of science fiction and fantasy to critique social issues, and generally discusses the broader implications of both genres. This means he would absolutely believe that both are "important genres in literature."

Example Question #81 : Reading Comprehension

"Fact and Representation" by Will Floyd

Professional wrestling is frequently criticized because of its unreality. For the wrestlers, promoters, and fans who love professional wrestling, the very fact that professional wrestling is “fake” is central to their love of wrestling. This love finds its home in the concept of “kayfabe.” Kayfabe is the fabricated world of wrestling, covering every element of its storytelling, from its outlandish characters to its bitter feuds, even to the specific politics about which wrestler will become champion.

Throughout the twentieth century, kayfabe was a closely guarded secret held only by those who were in the know about a wrestling company. Wrestlers could not appear out of character at any moment they were in public, for fear this revelation would give away the secrets of the wrestling promotion. A "good guy" wrestler could never even socialize with a "bad guy" wrestler, for fear that fans would see enemies together. While still quite fake, this strict adherence to the created world issued an air of believability for wrestling’s biggest fans. In recent years, wrestling’s curtain of believability has been torn apart, as the internet has allowed many personal details about wrestlers to come to light. Nonetheless, many wrestling fans still only refer to their heroes by their created names, understanding them through their invented personalities.

The author would NOT agree with the statement that __________.

Possible Answers:

professional wrestling is always discussed by its fans on the terms of its created world

the destruction of kayfabe by the internet will make professional wrestling better

kayfabe has been a driving force in wrestling's popularity

professional wrestling fans appreciate kayfabe

kayfabe has remained an important part of wrestling even as it has diminished

Correct answer:

the destruction of kayfabe by the internet will make professional wrestling better

Explanation:

The author's overall perspective towards kayfabe is quite appreciative. The statement the author would NOT agree with would be one that has a negative approach. Only "the destruction of kayfabe by the internet will make professional wrestling better" does not mesh with the author's tone.

Example Question #82 : Reading Comprehension

Adapted from The Frontier in American History, by Frederick Jackson Turner

But the larger part of what has been distinctive and valuable in America's contribution to the history of the human spirit has been due to this nation's peculiar experience in extending its type of frontier into new regions—and in creating peaceful societies with new ideals in the successive vast and differing geographic provinces which together make up the United States. Directly or indirectly these experiences shaped the life of both the Eastern and Western States, and even reacted upon the Old World, influencing the direction of its thought and progress. This experience has been fundamental in the economic, political, and social characteristics of the American people and in their conceptions of their destiny.

Writing at the close of 1796, the French minister to the United States, M. Adet, reported to his government that Jefferson could not be relied on to be devoted to French interests, and he added that "Jefferson, I say, is American, and by that name, he cannot be sincerely our friend. An American is the born enemy of all European peoples." Obviously erroneous as are these words, there was an element of truth in them. If we would understand this element of truth, we must study the transforming influence of the American wilderness, remote from Europe, and by its resources and its free opportunities affording the conditions under which a new people, with new social and political types and ideals, could arise to play its own part in the world, and to influence Europe.

The author believes the wilderness and the frontier are __________.

Possible Answers:

phenomena that only react on the Old World

similar forces that eliminated new social and political ideals

similar forces that have shaped America's identity

completely opposed forces that harm America

too remote from Europe to have any effect on it

Correct answer:

similar forces that have shaped America's identity

Explanation:

Throughout the passage, "frontier" and "wilderness" are used almost interchangeably to mean the edge of civilization. Further, the author sees these two forces affecting not just America, but having a broad enough influence to affect Europe as well.

Example Question #82 : Reading Comprehension

Adapted from The Frontier in American History, by Frederick Jackson Turner

But the larger part of what has been distinctive and valuable in America's contribution to the history of the human spirit has been due to this nation's peculiar experience in extending its type of frontier into new regions—and in creating peaceful societies with new ideals in the successive vast and differing geographic provinces which together make up the United States. Directly or indirectly these experiences shaped the life of both the Eastern and Western States, and even reacted upon the Old World, influencing the direction of its thought and progress. This experience has been fundamental in the economic, political, and social characteristics of the American people and in their conceptions of their destiny.

Writing at the close of 1796, the French minister to the United States, M. Adet, reported to his government that Jefferson could not be relied on to be devoted to French interests, and he added that "Jefferson, I say, is American, and by that name, he cannot be sincerely our friend. An American is the born enemy of all European peoples." Obviously erroneous as are these words, there was an element of truth in them. If we would understand this element of truth, we must study the transforming influence of the American wilderness, remote from Europe, and by its resources and its free opportunities affording the conditions under which a new people, with new social and political types and ideals, could arise to play its own part in the world, and to influence Europe.

The author views Europe and America as __________.

Possible Answers:

hopelessly different, with no ability to communicate with each other

bitter rivals with nothing in common

essentially the same culturally, politically, and socially

distinguished by the unique influence of the frontier on American life

essentially the same in their interaction with the frontier

Correct answer:

distinguished by the unique influence of the frontier on American life

Explanation:

The author's main argument is about the way in which America's institutions have been shaped by America's interaction with the frontier. This is the key difference for the author between Europe and America.

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