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#23 - Must Be True, Purpose

allisonellen7
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I don't understand how in question 23 it claims that the passage discusses Hoff-Wilson in order to "demonstrate the persistent influence of the 'golden age' theory" when the passage says "Hoff-Wilson asserted that there was no 'golden age.'" Couldn't she have argued that there was a decline in the nineteenth century without subscribing to the idea that there was a golden age before that? Similarly in 24 I didn't see how the author was describing the views of scholars who have questioned the golden age but continued to accept the nineteenth-century decline as "paradoxical." I see that the author goes on to say that the concept of decline is overly simplistic but why couldn't scholars accept that decline without accepting a "golden age." Clearly if things got worse, they were at one point better, but when something like Apartheid or slavery increased in brutality or oppressiveness, one would not say it must have been in a "golden age" before that time. Although I know not to bring in outside knowledge, just as an example, I have learned about the cult of domesticity during the nineteenth-century and how that negatively impacted women's rights but have not learned about any preceding "golden age" for women's rights and have never found that to be paradoxical. Thanks so much for the help!
Robert Carroll
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Allison,

The discussion of Hoff-Wilson is prefaced by the words "for example," so you know the author is quoting her as an example of something - of what, the previous sentence answers: "Even scholars who have questioned the "golden age" view of colonial women’s status have continued to accept the paradigm of a nineteenth-century decline from a more desirable past." So Hoff-Wilson is being cited as someone who questions the "golden age" view while subscribing to a theory that doesn't differ that much from it.

As those scholars question the "golden age" view but have views which bear such a similarity to the "golden age" views, the author thinks they didn't go far enough in distancing themselves from all the baggage of the "golden age" view; whether the author is right or not is not the point. The author still believes that they had a view that glorified the pre-19th-century era too much, even if they didn't believe it to be a golden age. Thus, the answer to question 23 follows, and the answer to question 24 follows as the author believes it to be paradoxical to deny a golden age while holding a view that things were markedly better in a certain age.

Robert Carroll
allisonellen7
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Thank you so much for your helpful response!
sherrilynm
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I picked C because I thought that the "important influence" being described WAS Dexter's idea, and Hoff-Wilson was used as an example of how important said influence is. Can someone explain why I'm wrong here?
Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi sherrilynm,

Great question. The Hoff-Wilson sentence begins, "For example," so you should be asking yourself, "What is this an example of?" It is an example of the preceding sentence: even scholars who question this view continue to accept the paradigm. That matches up to answer D. Additionally, Dexter's idea isn't an important influence on recent scholarship, so even following your line of reasoning, C cannot be correct.

Hope that helps!