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 angie23
  • Posts: 25
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#14557
I have trouble with a few of these questions from this passage.

For #19, Why is D) correct and E) incorrect?

Thank you!
 Lucas Moreau
PowerScore Staff
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#14566
Hello, angie,

You should always remember with Weaken questions, both in RC and in Logical Reasoning, that you're not just trying to weaken the conclusion - you're trying to weaken the link between premises and conclusion. That is, you're trying to say that the information offered in the passage does not necessarily lead to the conclusion stated in the passage. I'll get into the specifics of that in just a moment. :ras:

I believe some of your confusion may be stemming from the use of the word "authenticity" in answer choice E. The critics in the passage are not disputing the authenticity of Kingston's work - they are not calling them fraudulent or fakes - they are merely saying that Kingston's work has been produced without reference to or basis in Chinese culture and literature.

More than that, the conclusion of the passage is roughly that Kingston's work is in fact steeped in Chinese culture despite the critics saying otherwise. That conclusion would not be weakened by knowing that no critics are calling Kingston's work inauthentic. This is a little tricky, though, so I see where you're coming from. :-?

Answer choice D is correct because if it were true, and China Men was atypical - not like the others - among Kingston's work, then the conclusion that Kingston's work heavily uses concepts like talk-story is not proven by the example of China Men. If none other of Kingston's works use any of the same talk-story conventions as China Men, then the assertions of the critics are not disproven by the existence of China Men, as all of Kingston's other novels wouldn't use talk-story aspects.

This one's tough, so feel free to ask any follow-up questions you have. :-D

Hope that helps,
Lucas Moreau
 cmnoury1221
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: Sep 11, 2019
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#71631
Hello,
Is answer choice B wrong because the passage does not claim a comparison between "most Chinese American writer" and Kingston?

Thank you
 James Finch
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#71637
Hi CM Noury,

(B) is incorrect because it subtly shifts the scope of what the argument in the passage is dealing with: the passage is trying to tie Kingston's work to talk-stories by showing how her novel China Man evokes these talk-stories. The talk-stories are oral traditions, and don't have any necessary connections to writing at all, either in the US or China. So even if Kingston work is very different from Chinese writers, this doesn't affect the argument in the passage without assuming that Chinese writers are heavily influenced by talk-stories as well. But we don't know anything about Chinese writers, only Kingston, so we can't make that assumption.

Hope this clears things up!
 cmnoury1221
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: Sep 11, 2019
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#71655
James Finch wrote:Hi CM Noury,

(B) is incorrect because it subtly shifts the scope of what the argument in the passage is dealing with: the passage is trying to tie Kingston's work to talk-stories by showing how her novel China Man evokes these talk-stories. The talk-stories are oral traditions, and don't have any necessary connections to writing at all, either in the US or China. So even if Kingston work is very different from Chinese writers, this doesn't affect the argument in the passage without assuming that Chinese writers are heavily influenced by talk-stories as well. But we don't know anything about Chinese writers, only Kingston, so we can't make that assumption.

Hope this clears things up!
Yes, thanks so much, James.
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 Henry Z
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: Apr 16, 2022
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#95957
I chose (C) over (D). I'm very confused now.

I understand the argument is basically the main point, that is (A) in Q14, so to weaken it, we’d attack the link between Kingston's work and Chinese talk-story.

(C) offers an alternative cause: what if Kingston is influenced by Native American storytellers instead of Chinese talk-story? If they are similar, should we assume Kingston is influenced by the latter simply because she’s of Chinese descent?

(D), with its scope limited to China Men, imo, is peripheral to the argument. In the last paragraph, China Men is presented as an example of talk-story because they share “typical” characteristics “of that genre and common to most oral cultures.” First, it’s basically a mini-argument concluded by the same logic of the main point: taking correlation for causality. Second, it sounds like China Men’s influence can be from talk-story as possible as it can be from “most oral cultures”, if so, (C) definitely weakens the argument by offering an oral culture as an alternative cause.

I also don’t see how China’s Men being “atypical” hurts the argument. It is not presented as the only or best piece of evidence for the link between Kingston and talk-story. Even it’s atypical, it can still show she is influenced by talk-story, hence doesn't affect the author's argument to refute the critics who say that Kingston produced her works ex nihilo. And what if China Men is her longest, latest, best-read or personal favorite book? Does being "atypucal" matter then? Not to mention an atypical book can be an important window into a writer. Fitzgerald wrote a lot of perfunctory magazine stories, proportionally, The Great Gatsby is atypical of his writing. In Cold Blood is atypical of Capote, but it of course shows a lot about him as a writer.
 blade21cn
  • Posts: 100
  • Joined: May 21, 2019
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#96012
Personally, I felt (C) is not new information, as line 44 states "which utilizes forms typical of that genre and common to most oral cultures including ..."

Also, I don't think (D)'s scope of "China Men" is peripheral to the argument, since the author devotes a full paragraph on the topic. The author enumerates a list of literary forms in "China Men" in an attempt to link them to characteristics of talk-story to support her rebuttal to the critics. If "China Men" is not typical of Kingston's literary works, then the example says nothing about her works, but in persuasive writing authors typically won't waste a paragraph on topics that are irrelevant to their arguments.
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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#96171
Let me see if I can help here, Henry and Blade.

The author starts by telling us that some critics claim that Kingston's work seems to be without any precedent. She has no link to past tradition. "(H)er works have been produced almost ex nihilo, saying that they lack a large traceable body of direct literary antecedents especially within the Chinese American heritage in which her work is embedded."

Our author then argues that those critics are wrong, claiming that Kingston's work is in the tradition of talk story.

If it turns out that China Men is not typical of her work, then our author doesn't have a very convincing argument that Kingston's overall body of work fits within the talk story tradition, and the critics may be correct about her work lacking a clear connection to her literary heritage.

China Men was the only example our author gave to prove their point about Kingston. If that one piece of evidence turns out to be an outlier and not a representative sample, that seriously undermines the argument.

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