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A total of 11 questions are based on the following passages.Passage 1 is adapte...


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A total of 11 questions are based on the following passages.

Passage 1 is adapted from Talleyrand et al., Report on Public
Instruction. Originally published in 1791. Passage 2 is
adapted from Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the
Rights of Woman. Originally published in 1792. Talleyrand
was a French diplomat; the Report was a plan for national
education. Wollstonecraft, a British novelist and political
writer, wrote Vindication in response to Talleyrand.

Passage 1
That half the human race is excluded by the other
half from any participation in government; that they
are native by birth but foreign by law in the very land
where they were born; and that they are
5 property-owners yet have no direct influence or
representation: are all political phenomena
apparently impossible to explain on abstract
principle. But on another level of ideas, the question
changes and may be easily resolved. The purpose of
10 all these institutions must be the happiness of the
greatest number. Everything that leads us farther
from this purpose is in error; everything that brings
us closer is truth. If the exclusion from public
employments decreed against women leads to a
15 greater sum of mutual happiness for the two sexes,
then this becomes a law that all Societies have been
compelled to acknowledge and sanction.
Any other ambition would be a reversal of our
primary destinies; and it will never be in women’s
20 interest to change the assignment they have received.
It seems to us incontestable that our common
happiness, above all that of women, requires that
they never aspire to the exercise of political rights
and functions. Here we must seek their interests in
25 the wishes of nature. Is it not apparent, that their
delicate constitutions, their peaceful inclinations, and
the many duties of motherhood, set them apart from
strenuous habits and onerous duties, and summon
them to gentle occupations and the cares of the
30 home? And is it not evident that the great conserving
principle of Societies, which makes the division of
powers a source of harmony, has been expressed and
revealed by nature itself, when it divided the
functions of the two sexes in so obviously distinct a
35 manner? This is sufficient; we need not invoke
principles that are inapplicable to the question. Let us
not make rivals of life’s companions. You must, you
truly must allow the persistence of a union that no
interest, no rivalry, can possibly undo. Understand
40 that the good of all demands this of you.
Passage 2
Contending for the rights of woman, my main
argument is built on this simple principle, that if she
be not prepared by education to become the
companion of man, she will stop the progress of
45 knowledge and virtue; for truth must be common to
all, or it will be inefficacious with respect to its
influence on general practice. And how can woman
be expected to co-operate unless she know why she
ought to be virtuous? unless freedom strengthen her
50 reason till she comprehend her duty, and see in what
manner it is connected with her real good? If
children are to be educated to understand the true
principle of patriotism, their mother must be a
patriot; and the love of mankind, from which an
55 orderly train of virtues spring, can only be produced
by considering the moral and civil interest of
mankind; but the education and situation of woman,
at present, shuts her out from such investigations. . . .
Consider, sir, dispassionately, these
60 observations—for a glimpse of this truth seemed to
open before you when you observed, “that to see one
half of the human race excluded by the other from all
participation of government, was a political
phenomenon that, according to abstract principles, it
65 was impossible to explain.” If so, on what does your
constitution rest? If the abstract rights of man will
bear discussion and explanation, those of woman, by
a parity of reasoning, will not shrink from the same
test: though a different opinion prevails in this
70 country, built on the very arguments which you use
to justify the oppression of woman—prescription.
Consider—I address you as a legislator—
whether, when men contend for their freedom, and
to be allowed to judge for themselves respecting their
75 own happiness, it be not inconsistent and unjust to
subjugate women, even though you firmly believe
that you are acting in the manner best calculated to
promote their happiness? Who made man the
exclusive judge, if woman partake with him the gift
80 of reason?
In this style, argue tyrants of every
denomination, from the weak king to the weak
father of a family; they are all eager to crush reason;
yet always assert that they usurp its throne only to be
85 useful. Do you not act a similar part, when you force
all women, by denying them civil and political rights,
to remain immured in their families groping in
the dark?

(10 of 11) The authors of both passages would most likely agree with which of the following statements about women in the eighteenth century?

Options

A)
Their natural preferences were the same as those of men.
B)
They needed a good education to be successful in society.
C)
They were just as happy in life as men were.
D)
They generally enjoyed fewer rights than men did.

The correct answer is D.

Explanation:

Choice D is the best answer. The authors of Passage 1 admit that women are “excluded by the other half [men] from any participation in government” (lines 1-2), and Wollstonecraft states that society’s male leaders create laws that deny women “civil and political rights” (line 86).

Choices A, B, and C are incorrect because the authors of both passages would not agree that women had the same preferences as men, required a good education, or were as happy as men.


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