Directions (1-15): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given bold to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.
In eighteenth-century France and England, reformers rallied around egalitarian ideals, but few reformers advocated higher education for women. Although the public decried women’s lack of education, it did not encourage learning for its own sake for women. In spite of the general prejudice against learned women, there was one place where women could exhibit their erudition: the literary salon. Many writers have defined the woman’s role in the salon as that of an intelligent hostess, but the salon had more than a social function for women. It was an informal university, too, where women exchanged ideas with educated persons, read their own works and heard those of others, and received and gave criticism.
In the 1750’s, when salons were firmly established in France, some English women, who called themselves “Bluestockings” followed the example of the salonnieres (French salon hostesses) and formed their own salons. Most Bluestockings did not wish to mirror the salonnieres; they simply desired to adapt a proven formula to their own purpose – the elevation of women’s status through moral and intellectual training. Differences in social orientation and background can account perhaps for differences in the nature of French and English salons. The French salon incorporated aristocratic attitudes that exalted courtly pleasure and emphasized artistic accomplishments. The English Bluestockings, originating from a more modest background, emphasized earning and work over pleasure. Accustomed to the regimented life of court circles, salonnieres tended sward formality in their salons. The English women, tough somewhat puritanical, were more casual in their approach.
At first, the Bluestockings did imitate the salonnieres by including men in their circles. However, as they gained cohesion, the Bluestockings came to regard themselves as a women’s group and to possess a sense of female solidarity lacking in the salonnieres, who remained isolated from one another by the primacy each held in her own salon. In an atmosphere of mutual support, the Bluestockings went beyond the salon experience. They travelled, studied, worked, wrote for publication, and by their activities challenged the stereotype of the passive woman. Although salonnieres were aware of sexual inequality, the narrow boundaries of their world kept their intellectual pursuits within conventional limits. Many salonnieres, in fact, camouflaged their non-traditional activities behind the role of hostess and deferred to men in public.
Though the Bluestockings were trailblazers when compared with the salonnieres, they were not feminists. They were too traditional, too hemmed by their generation to demand social and political rights. Nonetheless, in their desire for education, their willingness to go beyond the confines of the salon in pursuing their interests, and their championing of unity among women, the Bluestockings began the process of questioning women’s role in society.
Q1. Which of the following best states the central idea of the passage?
(a) The establishment of literary salons was a response to reformers’ demands for social rights for women.
(b) For women, who did not have access to higher education as men did, literary salons provided an alternate route to learning and a challenge to some of society’s basic assumptions about women.
(c) The literary salons provided a sounding board for French and English women who called for access to all the educational institutions in their societies on an equal basis with men.
(d) In England, as in France, the general prejudice against higher education for women limited women’s function in literary salons to a primarily social one.
(e) University where women exchanged ideas with educated persons
Q2. According to the passage, a significant distinction between the salonnieres and Bluestockings was in the way each group regarded which of the following?
(a) The value of acquiring knowledge.
(b) The role of pleasure in the activities of the literary salon.
(c) The desirability of a complete break with societal traditions.
(d) The inclusion of women of different backgrounds in the salons.
(e) The thought of women, tough somewhat puritanical
Q3. The author refers to differences in social background between salonnieres and Bluestockings in order to do which of the following?
(a) Criticize the view that their choices of activities were significantly influenced by male salon members.
(b) Discuss the reasons why literary salons in France were established before those in England.
(c) Question the importance of the Bluestockings in shaping public attitudes toward educated women. (d) Explain the differences in atmosphere and style in their salons.
(e) Motivate the atmosphere and style significantly
Q4. Which of the following statements is most compatible with the principles of the salonnieres as described in the passage?
(a) Women should aspire to be not only educated but independent as well.
(b) The duty of the educated women is to provide an active political model for less educated women.
(c) Devotion to pleasure and art is justified in itself.
(d) Substance, rather than form, is the most important consideration in holding a literary salon.
(e) Hammed by their generation to demand social and political rights.
Q5. The passage suggests that the Bluestockings might have had a more significant impact on society if it had not been for which of the following?
(a) Their unwillingness to defy aggressively the conventions of their age.
(b) Competitiveness among their salons.
(c) Their emphasis on individualism.
(d) The limited scope of their activities.
(e) The aggressive individualism.
Q6. Which of the following could best be considered a twentieth-century counterpart of an eighteenth-century literary salon as it is described in the passage?
(a) A social sorority
(b) A community centre
(c) A lecture course on art
(d) A humanities study group
(e) A egocentric centre
Q7. To an assertion that Bluestockings were feminists, the author would most probably respond in which of the following way?
(a) Admitted uncertainty
(b) Qualified disagreement
(c) Complete indifference
(d) Strong disparagement
(e) Mild indifference
Q8. Which of the following titles best describes the content of the passage?
(a) Eighteenth — Century Egalitarianism
(b) Feminists of the Eighteenth Century
(c) Eighteenth Century — Precursors of Feminism
(d) Intellectual Life in the Eighteenth Century
(e) Life Precursors
Q9. Which of the following is most nearly similar in meaning of the word decried as used in the passage?
Q10. Which of the following is most nearly similar in meaning of the word orientation as used in the passage?
Q11. Which of the following is most nearly similar in meaning of the word camouflaged as used in the passage?
Q12. Which of the following is most nearly similar in meaning of the word elevation as used in the passage?
Q13. Which of the following is most nearly opposite in meaning of the word imitate as used in the passage?
Q14.Which of the following is most nearly opposite in meaning of the word confines as used in the passage?
Q15. Which of the following is most nearly opposite in meaning of the word traditional as used in the passage?
English Questions For IBPS RRB PO and Clerk Mains 2017(solutions)
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