GRE : Reading Comprehension



An important development in the twentieth century literary criticism was the growth of the New Criticism. The New Critics assumed that the methods devised for reading long poems could be applied to novels. In practice, this meant a new emphasis in the reading of fiction on scrupulous textual analysis as a prerequisite for biographical and ideological commend. A novelist’s ideas were now significant mainly as components of his or her writing technique. Insisting on close attention to a text, the New Critics analyzed long passages of a novel and concentrated on discerning the development of symbolic patterns. By analyzing symbols in this way, the critic could show how the meaning of symbol accrued as it was repeated in different passages. This permitted a more complete understanding of the symbol to emerge than that which could be discovered through isolated symbol-hunting. One novelist who benefited from this new emphasis on text was D.H.Lawrence, whose work was rescued from hostile critics who had attacked as mere ideology.

The difficult words in this passage are scrupulous (careful), prerequisite (precondition), components (parts), discerning (carefully identifying) and accrue (add up).


The author alludes to D.H.Lawrence in order to give an example of a novelist who

(A) sacrificed literary techniques to ideology

(B) wrote both novels and long poems

(C) subscribed to principles of New Criticism

(D) was influenced by New Critical judgments on his work

(E) was reassessed because of New Critical principles


D.H.Lawrence is mentioned in the last sentence, which says, “One novelist who benefited from this new emphasis (New Criticism) on Text was D.H.Lawrence whose work was rescued from hostile critics who had attacked as mere ideology”.

It is (E) which paraphrases this neatly, and is the answer.

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