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Complete Question Explanation
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=14335)

The correct answer choice is (C)

Although this question specifically refers to lines 3-9, it is advantageous to understand the role of
the entire first paragraph in the overall context of the passage. The sentimental novels represent
the literary background against which Chopin developed her writing style. Their introduction is
contextually important, but is not terribly helpful in explaining the complex relationship between
Chopin and the literary conventions described later in the passage.

Answer choice (A): This is the Opposite answer. Chopin modeled her earlier fiction after the local
colorists, not after the sentimental novelists (lines 9-12). The discussion in the third paragraph
further demonstrates that she sought to avoid the “excesses of the sentimental novels she had read as
a youth” (line 34). This answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (B): Even though Chopin did not share the local colorists’ nostalgia for the past, to
claim that she outright rejected their work would be an exaggeration. Granted, there are significant
disparities between the subject matter of her fiction and that of the local colorists (e.g. Chopin
wrote about loneliness and isolation, while they focused on regional tales nostalgic for the past).
Nevertheless, the sentimental novels described in the first paragraph do not serve to explain why
Chopin did not fully embrace the work of the local colorists. This answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. The first paragraph describes the literary
milieu in which Chopin grew up, and the sentimental novels formed the bulk of the fiction at that

Answer choice (D): This is a Shell Game answer. Yes, Chopin regarded the style of the sentimental
novels as excessive (line 34), and clearly rejected the nostalgic tendencies of the local colorists (lines
38-39). However, the sentimental novelists cannot illustrate the result of these nostalgic tendencies.
This not only conflates two separate viewpoints, but also conflicts with the chronological framework
of the passage: the sentimental novels of the 1850s emerged before the local colorists began to
publish in the 1870s, not after. This answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (E): The author never portrayed women’s literature of the mid-nineteenth century
as “flourishing.” In fact, she describes the sentimental novelists as beholden to a fairly restrictive
writing style and subject matter. This does not suggest—let alone prove—that women’s literature
was already flourishing by the time Chopin began to write.

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