Home » Past Questions » Reading » A total of 11 questions are based on the following passages.Passage 1 is adapte...

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


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

Passage 1 is adapted from Catharine Beecher, Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism. Originally published in 1837. Passage 2 is adapted from Angelina E. Grimké, Letters to Catharine Beecher. Originally published in 1838. Grimké encouraged Southern women to oppose slavery publicly. Passage 1 is Beecher’s response to Grimké’s views. Passage 2 is Grimké’s response to Beecher.

Passage 1
Heaven has appointed to one sex the superior,
and to the other the subordinate station, and this
without any reference to the character or conduct of
either. It is therefore as much for the dignity as it is
5 for the interest of females, in all respects to conform
to the duties of this relation. . . . But while woman
holds a subordinate relation in society to the other
sex, it is not because it was designed that her duties
or her influence should be any the less important, or
10 all-pervading. But it was designed that the mode of
gaining influence and of exercising power should be
altogether different and peculiar. . . .
A man may act on society by the collision of
intellect, in public debate; he may urge his measures
15 by a sense of shame, by fear and by personal interest;
he may coerce by the combination of public
sentiment; he may drive by physical force, and he
does not outstep the boundaries of his sphere. But all
the power, and all the conquests that are lawful to
20 woman, are those only which appeal to the kindly,
generous, peaceful and benevolent principles.
Woman is to win every thing by peace and love;
by making herself so much respected, esteemed and
loved, that to yield to her opinions and to gratify her
25 wishes, will be the free-will offering of the heart. But
this is to be all accomplished in the domestic and
social circle. There let every woman become so
cultivated and refined in intellect, that her taste and
judgment will be respected; so benevolent in feeling
30 and action; that her motives will be reverenced;—so
unassuming and unambitious, that collision and
competition will be banished;—so “gentle and easy to
be entreated,” as that every heart will repose in her
presence; then, the fathers, the husbands, and the
35 sons, will find an influence thrown around them,
to which they will yield not only willingly but
proudly. . . .
A woman may seek the aid of co-operation and
combination among her own sex, to assist her in her
40 appropriate offices of piety, charity, maternal and
domestic duty; but whatever, in any measure, throws
a woman into the attitude of a combatant, either for
herself or others—whatever binds her in a party
conflict—whatever obliges her in any way to exert
45 coercive influences, throws her out of her
appropriate sphere. If these general principles are
correct, they are entirely opposed to the plan of
arraying females in any Abolition movement.

Passage 2
The investigation of the rights of the slave has led
50 me to a better understanding of my own. I have
found the Anti-Slavery cause to be the high school of
morals in our land—the school in which human
rights are more fully investigated, and better
understood and taught, than in any other. Here a
55 great fundamental principle is uplifted and
illuminated, and from this central light, rays
innumerable stream all around.
Human beings have rights, because they are moral
beings: the rights of all men grow out of their moral
60 nature; and as all men have the same moral nature,
they have essentially the same rights. These rights
may be wrested from the slave, but they cannot be
alienated: his title to himself is as perfect now, as is
that of Lyman Beecher:1 it is stamped on his moral
65 being, and is, like it, imperishable. Now if rights are
founded in the nature of our moral being, then the
mere circumstance of sex does not give to man higher
rights and responsibilities, than to woman. To
suppose that it does, would be to deny the
70 self-evident truth, that the “physical constitution is
the mere instrument of the moral nature.” To
suppose that it does, would be to break up utterly the
relations, of the two natures, and to reverse their
functions, exalting the animal nature into a monarch,
75 and humbling the moral into a slave; making the
former a proprietor, and the latter its property.
When human beings are regarded as moral
beings, sex, instead of being enthroned upon the
summit, administering upon rights and
80 responsibilities, sinks into insignificance and
nothingness. My doctrine then is, that whatever it is
morally right for man to do, it is morally right for
woman to do. Our duties originate, not from
difference of sex, but from the diversity of our
85 relations in life, the various gifts and talents
committed to our care, and the different eras in
which we live.
1 Lyman Beecher was a famous minister and the father of Catharine Beecher.

(10 of 11) Based on the passages, both authors would agree with which of the following claims? 


Women have moral duties and responsibilities.
Men often work selflessly for political change.
The ethical obligations of women are often undervalued.
Political activism is as important for women as it is for men.

The correct answer is A.


Choice A is the best answer. While Beecher and Grimké clearly disagree regarding a woman’s role in society, the passages suggest that both authors share the belief that women do have moral duties and responsibilities in society. In Passage 1, Beecher writes that “while woman holds a subordinate relation in society to the other sex, it is not because it was designed that her duties or her influence should be any the less important, or all-pervading” (lines 6-10). She suggests that women do have an obligation to use their influence to bring about beneficial changes in society. In Passage 2, Grimké asserts that all people “are moral beings” (lines 58-59) and that both men and women have “rights and responsibilities” (line 68). She concludes that “whatever it is morally right for man to do, it is morally right for woman to do” (lines 81-83).

Choice B is incorrect because neither author suggests that when men work to bring about political changes, they often do so out of consideration for others rather than considerations for themselves. Choice C is incorrect because neither passage discusses the value given to women’s ethical obligations, although both authors suggest that women do have ethical and moral obligations. Choice D is incorrect because in Passage 1 Beecher argues that women should avoid direct political activism, cautioning against actions that would put them outside their “appropriate sphere” (line 46).

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