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Assumption. The correct answer choice is (B)
This stimulus argues that it is unfair to criticize Colette’s novels for being indifferent to important moral problems. It supports this conclusion by stating that each of her novels involves a major emotional crisis, which usually raises important moral questions. This appears to be a strong argument. How could her novels be indifferent to important moral problems if they are raising important moral questions?
As an Assumption question, we know we are looking for the answer choice that is necessary for the conclusion to follow. Likely the answer will in some way connect raising a moral question with being more than indifferent to that question.
Answer choice (A): This answer choice is incorrect as it focuses on the critics of Colette’s work rather than the conclusion of the argument. This answer choice is here to tempt students to pick an answer choice simply because it sounds politically correct by supporting the female author. The substance of the answer choice does not actually provide the necessary link between raising moral questions and caring about moral questions.
Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. To test this answer choice, we can use the Assumption Negation technique. The negated form of the answer choice is “A novel that poetically condenses a major emotional crisis does have to be indifferent to the important moral questions raised by that crisis.” This would weaken the argument by stating that Colette’s novels have to be indifferent to the moral problems raised. Therefore, since the negated form of the answer choice weakens the argument, this must be the correct answer choice.
Answer choice (C): The stimulus does not argue that the criticism of Colette’s work is unfair because her novels are inherently deserving of praise, but rather that the criticism is unfair because it was incorrect.
Answer choice (D): The issue of vividness is unrelated to the ultimate conclusion of the argument, so this answer choice does not impact the argument.
Answer choice (E): The argument is focused on what Colette’s novels actually do, not what Colette’s purpose was in writing. In Assumption questions, it is important to check that the answer choice will have a clear impact on the conclusion. If it is ever not clear, you can utilize the Assumption Negation technique as in answer choice (B).