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Passage #7 - Viewpoint/Attitude Drill

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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:33 am
Points: 18

These are mine answers:

Lines 5-7
Group-Individual: Abbot Gleason
Viewpoint: Orwell's novel regarded as one great description of Stalinism's horrors.
Tone: Positive. Praise.

Lines 7-16
Group-Individual: Author
Viewpoint: Neutral
Tone: Neutral

Lines 18-21
Group-Individual: Author
Viewpoint: Orwell manages to find that art precisely at those moments of dramatic narration
Tone: Positive. Praise.

I just differ with lines 7-16. I think the author is saying just facts about the effects this book has caused. That's why for me the viewpoint is neutral and the tone is neutral Don't understand why the answer says that the view is erudite (is the author's interpretation the viewpoint of these lines?). I do get it when the answer says that the tone is scholarly because of the pictoric words that are being used but I am not fully convinced. Can you give me a hand with this? Thanks guys,
Jonathan Evans
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Points: 570
Location: DFW, Texas

Hi, gintriag,

Good work with your answers to this drill. First, I would suggest you take a look at your answer for lines 1-7. As the RCB notes, the group-individual here could be considered at least in part the author herself, as Gleason's observation is cited to corroborate the author's own point of view.

With lines 7-16, I understand your reservations about ascribing a tone to this excerpt per se. However, a "scholarly" attitude and "erudite" views do not imply a value judgment or an endorsement of the subject. The adjectives "scholarly" and "erudite" are descriptive terms that are themselves neutral with respect to the subject treated. However, the concept of "tone" comprises the concept of "viewpoint" and an accurate description of a tone need not exist solely on a spectrum of negative to positive. An accurate description of a tone can include any observation that is relevant to the approach or perspective of the author. The fact that an article is "scholarly" or "erudite" is ipso facto a description of a tone. This article could be "neutral" as well: these qualities are not mutually exclusive.

However, I would argue that these lines are not in fact "neutral." The author asserts in line 8 that "Nineteen Eighty-Four has indeed transcended its historical occassion." The adjective "transcended" is itself replete with positive connotations, and the subsequent description of the manner in which this novel "transcended" its occasion is at least consistent with a positive tone if not sufficient in and of itself to require that this particular excerpt be positive.

Viewed in isolation, I can understand your reasoning that this excerpt is neutral. However, I would encourage you to be more descriptive of the tone of RC passages. As mentioned, you need not limit your judgments of tone to whether passages are negative, neutral, or positive. Consider a wider range of adjectives to describe the tones and viewpoints you encounter. Look at portions of passages both in and of themselves and also as part of the larger passage, how they contribute to the primary purpose of the text.

Please follow up with any questions.