GRE Verbal Reasoning Questions

Reading Comprehension Questions (Set 8)

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Questions 1 to 3 below are based on this passage:

Questions 4 to 6 below are based on this passage:

Answer this question based on the information in the paragraph below.

Answer this question based on the information in the paragraph below.

Democratic institutions are devices for reconciling social order with individual freedom and initiative, and for making the immediate power of a country's rulers subject to the ultimate power of the ruled. The fact that, in Western Europe and America, these devices have worked, all things considered, not too badly is proof enough that the eighteenth century optimists were not entirely wrong. Given a fair chance, I repeat; for the fair chance is an indispensable prerequisite. No people that pass abruptly from a state of subservience under the rule of a despot to the completely unfamiliar state of political independence can be said to have a fair chance of being able to govern itself democratically. Liberalism flourishes in an atmosphere of prosperity and declines as declining prosperity makes it necessary for the government to intervene ever more frequently and drastically in the affairs of its subjects. Over-population and over-organization are two conditions which ... deprive a society of a fair chance of making democratic institutions work effectively. We see, then, that there are certain historical, economic, demographic and technological conditions which make it very hard for Jefferson's rational animals, endowed by nature with inalienable rights and an innate sense of justice, to exercise their reason, claim their rights and act justly within a democratically organized society. We in the West have been supremely fortunate in having been given a fair chance of making the great experiment in self-government. Unfortunately, it now looks as though, owing to recent changes in our circumstances, this infinitely precious fair chance were being, little by little, taken away from us.

Nadezhda Krupskaya, in her little book on Lenin, relates that towards the end of his life Lenin went to see a dramatized version of The Cricket on the Hearth, and found Dickens’s ‘middle-class sentimentality’ so intolerable that he walked out in the middle of a scene. It is worth noticing that the dislike of Dickens implied in this anecdote is something unusual. Plenty of people have found him unreadable, but very few seem to have felt any hostility towards the general spirit of his work. Some years later, Bechhofer Roberts published a full-length attack on Dickens in the form of a novel, but it was a merely personal attack, concerned for the most part with Dickens’s treatment of his wife. It dealt with incidents which not one in a thousand of Dickens’s readers would ever hear about, and which no more invalidates his work than the second-best bed invalidates Hamlet. All that the book really demonstrated was that a writer’s literary personality has little or nothing to do with his private character.

It is quite possible that in private life Dickens was just the kind of insensitive egoist that Bechhofer Roberts makes him appear. But in his published work there is implied a personality quite different from this, a personality which has won him far more friends than enemies. It might well have been otherwise, for even if Dickens was a bourgeois, he was certainly a subversive writer, a radical, one might truthfully say a rebel. Everyone who has read widely in his work has felt this. Gissing, for instance, the best of the writers on Dickens, was anything but a radical himself, and he disapproved of this strain in Dickens and wished it were not there, but it never occurred to him to deny it. In Oliver Twist, Hard Times, Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Dickens attacked English institutions with a ferocity that has never since been approached.Yet he managed to do it without making himself hated, and, more than this, the very people he attacked have swallowed him so completely that he has become a national institution himself. In its attitude towards Dickens the English public has always been a little like the elephant which feels a blow with a walking-stick as a delightful tickling.Before I was ten years old I was having Dickens ladled down my throat by schoolmasters in whom even at that age I could see a strong resemblance to Mr. Creakle, and one knows without needing to be told that lawyers delight in Sergeant Buzfuz and that Little Dorrit is a favourite in the Home Office. Dickens seems to have succeeded in attacking everybody and antagonizing nobody.

Josh has twenty years of typing experience behind him; therefore, if you are looking for an efficient typist to enter your data into the new system, you need look no further.

A fruit known as amla in certain parts of Asia is an excellent source of vitamin C. A small quantity of the fruit grated and added to salads provides almost all the daily requirement of this vitamin. However, the fruit is very sour. A new process designed to remove most of the sour taste will make the fruit acceptable to American tastes. We are therefore starting to grow this fruit for sale in the United States.

 Answer Sheet of Set 8
Select Question:
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  
 Check Answer:
1. The author’s primary purpose is apparently to

ExerciseExplain a requirement and introduce a warning about that requirement

ExerciseArgue for the limitation of a certain form of government

ExerciseDefine the conditions for social order

ExerciseAdvocate liberalism in government of a certain era

ExerciseCredit certain thinkers with foresight

2. The ‘infinitely precious fair chance’ highlighted in the last sentence, according to the author

ExerciseUnlikely to emerge in an atmosphere of liberalism

ExerciseIncompatible with Jefferson’s views

ExerciseVitiated in an atmosphere of prosperity

ExerciseAn essential precondition for the success of democracy

ExerciseOnly possible in a large, advanced and highly organised society

3. The author’s attitude to the way democratic institutions have functioned in Western Europe and
America can best be described as

ExerciseDeliberate neutrality

ExerciseCautious approval

ExerciseQualified disapproval

ExerciseWholehearted endorsement

ExerciseMocking disdain

4. It can be inferred that the ‘second best bed’ (in the first paragraph) refers to something that

Exercisecould not be considered unpleasant in the personal life of Shakespeare (the author of Hamlet)

Exerciseis unwarranted in the plot of Hamlet

Exercisemost readers would approve of if they were aware of it

Exerciseis irrelevant in a discussion of the personality of Shakespeare

Exercisehas no place in an evaluation of the literary merit of the works of Shakespeare

5. Click on the sentence which specifically illustrates what the author means in saying ‘the very people he attacked have swallowed him so completely’

6. The author apparently believes that
(Select ALL answer choices that apply)

ExerciseThought that Dickens was a subversive writer

ExerciseDisapproved of a certain aspect of Dickens’ writing

ExerciseProduced good critical writing on Dickens

7. The speaker assumes that

ExerciseTwenty years of practice ensures typing efficiency

ExerciseThe type of typing required for the new system is identical to what Josh has been doing

ExerciseJosh’s job profile is the best that the new employer is going to get

ExerciseJosh is an outstandingly fast and accurate typist

ExerciseJosh will fit well into the new office

8. The argument above assumes all of the following except

ExerciseAmericans generally won’t eat very sour foods

ExerciseThe new process does not remove a significant part of the vitamin content

ExerciseThat a market exists for a new source of vitamin C

ExerciseThe fruit can be used only in salads

ExerciseApart from being sour there are no other objections to eating this fruit