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GRE Reading Comprehension Quiz 2

Reading comprehension in the GRE tests your ability to assimilate information in a short period of time, with a focus on understanding the underlying message of the author of the passage. Do you have it in you to crack the Reading Comprehension? Take a test now and find your answer.

Instructions: The questions in this group are based on the content of a passage. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question. Answer all questions following the passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage.

To begin click Next

Questions 1-11 below refer to the following passage:


A history of architecture is a record of man's
efforts to build beautifully. The erection of structures
devoid of beauty is mere building, a trade and not an
art. Edifices in which strength and stability alone are
(5) sought, and in designing which only utilitarian
considerations have been followed, are properly works of
engineering. Only when the idea of beauty is added to
that of use does a structure take its place among works
of architecture. We may, then, define architecture as
(10) the art which seeks to harmonize in a building the
requirements of utility and of beauty. It is the most
useful of the fine arts and the noblest of the useful
arts. It touches the life of man at every point. It is
concerned not only in sheltering his person and
(15) ministering to his comfort, but also in providing him
with places for worship, amusement, and business; with
tombs, memorials, embellishments for his cities, and
other structures for the varied needs of a complex
civilization. It engages the services of a larger
(20) portion of the community and involves greater outlays of
money than any other occupation except agriculture.
Everyone at some point comes in contact with the work of
the architect, and from this universal contact
architecture derives its significance as an index of the
(25) civilization of an age, a race, or a people.
It is the function of the historian of architecture
to trace the origin, growth, and decline of the
architectural styles which have prevailed in different
lands and ages, and to show how they have reflected the
(30) great movements of civilization. The migrations, the
conquests, the commercial, social, and religious changes
among different peoples have all manifested themselves
in the changes of their architecture, and it is the
historian's function to show this. It is also his
(35) function to explain the principles of the styles, their
characteristic forms and decoration, and to describe the
great masterpieces of each style and period.
'Style' is a quality; the 'historic styles' are
phases of development. Style is character expressive of
(40) definite conceptions, as of grandeur, gaiety, or
solemnity. An historic style is the particular phase,
the characteristic manner of design, which prevails at a
given time and place. It is not the result of mere
accident or caprice, but of intellectual, moral, social,
(45) religious, and even political conditions. Gothic
architecture could never have been invented by the
Greeks, nor could the Egyptian styles have grown up in
Italy. Each style is based upon some fundamental
principle springing from its surrounding civilization,
(50) which undergoes successive developments until it either
reaches perfection or its possibilities are exhausted,
after which a period of decline usually sets in. This is
followed either by a reaction and the introduction of
some radically new principle leading to the evolution of
(55) a new style, or by the final decay and extinction of the
civilization and its replacement by some younger and
more virile element. Thus the history of architecture
appears as a connected chain of causes and effects
succeeding each other without break, each style growing
(60) out of that which preceded it, or springing out of the
fecundating contact of a higher with a lower
civilization. To study architectural styles is therefore
to study a branch of the history of civilization.

Question 1:

According to the passage, architecture provides which of the following benefits?


Questions 1-11 below refer to the following passage:


A history of architecture is a record of man's
efforts to build beautifully. The erection of structures
devoid of beauty is mere building, a trade and not an
art. Edifices in which strength and stability alone are
(5) sought, and in designing which only utilitarian
considerations have been followed, are properly works of
engineering. Only when the idea of beauty is added to
that of use does a structure take its place among works
of architecture. We may, then, define architecture as
(10) the art which seeks to harmonize in a building the
requirements of utility and of beauty. It is the most
useful of the fine arts and the noblest of the useful
arts. It touches the life of man at every point. It is
concerned not only in sheltering his person and
(15) ministering to his comfort, but also in providing him
with places for worship, amusement, and business; with
tombs, memorials, embellishments for his cities, and
other structures for the varied needs of a complex
civilization. It engages the services of a larger
(20) portion of the community and involves greater outlays of
money than any other occupation except agriculture.
Everyone at some point comes in contact with the work of
the architect, and from this universal contact
architecture derives its significance as an index of the
(25) civilization of an age, a race, or a people.
It is the function of the historian of architecture
to trace the origin, growth, and decline of the
architectural styles which have prevailed in different
lands and ages, and to show how they have reflected the
(30) great movements of civilization. The migrations, the
conquests, the commercial, social, and religious changes
among different peoples have all manifested themselves
in the changes of their architecture, and it is the
historian's function to show this. It is also his
(35) function to explain the principles of the styles, their
characteristic forms and decoration, and to describe the
great masterpieces of each style and period.
'Style' is a quality; the 'historic styles' are
phases of development. Style is character expressive of
(40) definite conceptions, as of grandeur, gaiety, or
solemnity. An historic style is the particular phase,
the characteristic manner of design, which prevails at a
given time and place. It is not the result of mere
accident or caprice, but of intellectual, moral, social,
(45) religious, and even political conditions. Gothic
architecture could never have been invented by the
Greeks, nor could the Egyptian styles have grown up in
Italy. Each style is based upon some fundamental
principle springing from its surrounding civilization,
(50) which undergoes successive developments until it either
reaches perfection or its possibilities are exhausted,
after which a period of decline usually sets in. This is
followed either by a reaction and the introduction of
some radically new principle leading to the evolution of
(55) a new style, or by the final decay and extinction of the
civilization and its replacement by some younger and
more virile element. Thus the history of architecture
appears as a connected chain of causes and effects
succeeding each other without break, each style growing
(60) out of that which preceded it, or springing out of the
fecundating contact of a higher with a lower
civilization. To study architectural styles is therefore
to study a branch of the history of civilization.

Question 2:

With which of the following statements about architecture would the author be most likely to agree?

Questions 1-4 below refer to the following passage:


A history of architecture is a record of man's
efforts to build beautifully. The erection of structures
devoid of beauty is mere building, a trade and not an
art. Edifices in which strength and stability alone are
(5) sought, and in designing which only utilitarian
considerations have been followed, are properly works of
engineering. Only when the idea of beauty is added to
that of use does a structure take its place among works
of architecture. We may, then, define architecture as
(10) the art which seeks to harmonize in a building the
requirements of utility and of beauty. It is the most
useful of the fine arts and the noblest of the useful
arts. It touches the life of man at every point. It is
concerned not only in sheltering his person and
(15) ministering to his comfort, but also in providing him
with places for worship, amusement, and business; with
tombs, memorials, embellishments for his cities, and
other structures for the varied needs of a complex
civilization. It engages the services of a larger
(20) portion of the community and involves greater outlays of
money than any other occupation except agriculture.
Everyone at some point comes in contact with the work of
the architect, and from this universal contact
architecture derives its significance as an index of the
(25) civilization of an age, a race, or a people.
It is the function of the historian of architecture
to trace the origin, growth, and decline of the
architectural styles which have prevailed in different
lands and ages, and to show how they have reflected the
(30) great movements of civilization. The migrations, the
conquests, the commercial, social, and religious changes
among different peoples have all manifested themselves
in the changes of their architecture, and it is the
historian's function to show this. It is also his
(35) function to explain the principles of the styles, their
characteristic forms and decoration, and to describe the
great masterpieces of each style and period.
'Style' is a quality; the 'historic styles' are
phases of development. Style is character expressive of
(40) definite conceptions, as of grandeur, gaiety, or
solemnity. An historic style is the particular phase,
the characteristic manner of design, which prevails at a
given time and place. It is not the result of mere
accident or caprice, but of intellectual, moral, social,
(45) religious, and even political conditions. Gothic
architecture could never have been invented by the
Greeks, nor could the Egyptian styles have grown up in
Italy. Each style is based upon some fundamental
principle springing from its surrounding civilization,
(50) which undergoes successive developments until it either
reaches perfection or its possibilities are exhausted,
after which a period of decline usually sets in. This is
followed either by a reaction and the introduction of
some radically new principle leading to the evolution of
(55) a new style, or by the final decay and extinction of the
civilization and its replacement by some younger and
more virile element. Thus the history of architecture
appears as a connected chain of causes and effects
succeeding each other without break, each style growing
(60) out of that which preceded it, or springing out of the
fecundating contact of a higher with a lower
civilization. To study architectural styles is therefore
to study a branch of the history of civilization.

Question 3:

Select the sentence that suggests that commercial changes in a given society sometimes have an impact on that societies historic style of architecture.

Questions 1-4 below refer to the following passage:


A history of architecture is a record of man's
efforts to build beautifully. The erection of structures
devoid of beauty is mere building, a trade and not an
art. Edifices in which strength and stability alone are
(5) sought, and in designing which only utilitarian
considerations have been followed, are properly works of
engineering. Only when the idea of beauty is added to
that of use does a structure take its place among works
of architecture. We may, then, define architecture as
(10) the art which seeks to harmonize in a building the
requirements of utility and of beauty. It is the most
useful of the fine arts and the noblest of the useful
arts. It touches the life of man at every point. It is
concerned not only in sheltering his person and
(15) ministering to his comfort, but also in providing him
with places for worship, amusement, and business; with
tombs, memorials, embellishments for his cities, and
other structures for the varied needs of a complex
civilization. It engages the services of a larger
(20) portion of the community and involves greater outlays of
money than any other occupation except agriculture.
Everyone at some point comes in contact with the work of
the architect, and from this universal contact
architecture derives its significance as an index of the
(25) civilization of an age, a race, or a people.
It is the function of the historian of architecture
to trace the origin, growth, and decline of the
architectural styles which have prevailed in different
lands and ages, and to show how they have reflected the
(30) great movements of civilization. The migrations, the
conquests, the commercial, social, and religious changes
among different peoples have all manifested themselves
in the changes of their architecture, and it is the
historian's function to show this. It is also his
(35) function to explain the principles of the styles, their
characteristic forms and decoration, and to describe the
great masterpieces of each style and period.
'Style' is a quality; the 'historic styles' are
phases of development. Style is character expressive of
(40) definite conceptions, as of grandeur, gaiety, or
solemnity. An historic style is the particular phase,
the characteristic manner of design, which prevails at a
given time and place. It is not the result of mere
accident or caprice, but of intellectual, moral, social,
(45) religious, and even political conditions. Gothic
architecture could never have been invented by the
Greeks, nor could the Egyptian styles have grown up in
Italy. Each style is based upon some fundamental
principle springing from its surrounding civilization,
(50) which undergoes successive developments until it either
reaches perfection or its possibilities are exhausted,
after which a period of decline usually sets in. This is
followed either by a reaction and the introduction of
some radically new principle leading to the evolution of
(55) a new style, or by the final decay and extinction of the
civilization and its replacement by some younger and
more virile element. Thus the history of architecture
appears as a connected chain of causes and effects
succeeding each other without break, each style growing
(60) out of that which preceded it, or springing out of the
fecundating contact of a higher with a lower
civilization. To study architectural styles is therefore
to study a branch of the history of civilization.

Question 4:

The passage's primary purpose is to

Questions 5-6 below refer to the following passage:

For all her strong capitalist sympathies, Ayn Rand
displayed in her fiction many indications of an ideology
that had been shaped by the very communist ideals that
she purported to reject. This theory, discussed by R.
(5) Merren in his groundbreaking classic “The Marxist
Beneath,” raises some interesting questions about the
role of communal living in Rand’s novel “Atlas
Shrugged.” In “Atlas Shrugged,” the denizens of
“Galt’s Gulch” are able to work in their chosen
(10) fields, achieving great success and being rewarded for
that success by financial gain. However, the “gain”
is nominal, really more symbolic than anything else.
And the freedom to pursue one’s gifts is granted, in
part, by the harmony that comes from a system in which
(15) everyone’s strengths and talents are encouraged.
Merren argues persuasively that, although Rand was
justifiably adamant about her aversion to the Soviet
Communist regime under which she grew up, her writing
displays an adherence to communist ideals dressed in the
(20) clothes of capitalism.
Question 5:

The main point of the passage is best described by which of the following?


Questions 5-6 below refer to the following passage:

For all her strong capitalist sympathies, Ayn Rand
displayed in her fiction many indications of an ideology
that had been shaped by the very communist ideals that
she purported to reject. This theory, discussed by R.
(5) Merren in his groundbreaking classic “The Marxist
Beneath,” raises some interesting questions about the
role of communal living in Rand’s novel “Atlas
Shrugged.” In “Atlas Shrugged,” the denizens of
“Galt’s Gulch” are able to work in their chosen
(10) fields, achieving great success and being rewarded for
that success by financial gain. However, the “gain”
is nominal, really more symbolic than anything else.
And the freedom to pursue one’s gifts is granted, in
part, by the harmony that comes from a system in which
(15) everyone’s strengths and talents are encouraged.
Merren argues persuasively that, although Rand was
justifiably adamant about her aversion to the Soviet
Communist regime under which she grew up, her writing
displays an adherence to communist ideals dressed in the
(20) clothes of capitalism.
Question 6:

Which of the following words might the author use to describe Merren’s “The Marxist Beneath”?

Questions 7-10 below refer to the following passage:


Certain reviewers believe that the novel Madame Bovary,
an example of a well-crafted and provoking book, has a
unusual and subversive theme that undermines its own
medium: in short, these critics say that Flaubert’s
remarkable piece of fiction is in fact a cautionary tale
about the dangers of reading novels. As evidence, they
point to its unsympathetic protagonist, Emma Bovary,
who lives in books, romanticizing the simplest aspects of
daily life—eating rich food, buying expensive clothing
—as well as her relationships. Constantly dissatisfied
with real life, she becomes cruel, dull-witted, and
shortsighted, caring only about immediate physical
gratification and material possessions. Her fantasies
lead to her downfall; her relationship with her well
meaning but naïve husband Charles gradually
disintegrates, her two adulterous affairs with Leon
and Rodolfo end in disaster, her constant borrowing
leads her family to financial ruin, and her desire to die
in a gloriously dramatic fashion leads instead to an
unexpectedly agonizing three days of death throes. She
expects too much from life, and is punished horribly
for it.
But is this undercurrent an essential theme in
the novel, or simply a byproduct of character and plot?
Are we really to assume that Flaubert thought the
novel so dangerous that he wrote a virtual manifesto
on the evils of losing oneself in fiction? If this is
really the case, why would he choose to disseminate
this message in the very medium he so despised (and,
in fact, continued to work in for the rest of his life)?

Certainly Emma’s flawed personality, as well as
her literary obsession, contributes to her downfall,
but it is interesting to note that no other character in
the novel reads habitually for pleasure. In fact,
Charles spends the bulk of the novel engaged in the
mundane activities of daily life: running a business,
tending to family members, maintaining the
household. He is naïve, true, but happy, at least
until Emma’s penchant for romance begins to
interfere with his responsibilities. Therefore, there
really are no other appropriate characters with whom
to compare her, although we can point out that the
novel’s non-reading population tends to be a fairly
socially responsible group. (It is also interesting to
note that Flaubert hardly uses the sort of clinical,
dispassionate language you might expect to see in
such a novel; for example, even the most stolid
characters are prone to “exclaiming” and “crying”
their dialogue.) Perhaps Madame Bovary, then, was
not meant to be a criticism of fiction itself, but a
caution against allowing suggestible characters like
Emma to have access to novels. The permissive
environment in the Bovarys’ household contributes
to their downfall and social ruin; the characters’
unwillingness to check Emma’s passions (and even
their ignorance of the existence of such a problem)
leads to the disintegration of their family.

Question 7:

The second paragraph implies which of the following with its questions?

Questions 7-10 below refer to the following passage:


Certain reviewers believe that the novel Madame Bovary,
an example of a well-crafted and provoking book, has a
unusual and subversive theme that undermines its own
medium: in short, these critics say that Flaubert’s
remarkable piece of fiction is in fact a cautionary tale
about the dangers of reading novels. As evidence, they
point to its unsympathetic protagonist, Emma Bovary,
who lives in books, romanticizing the simplest aspects of
daily life—eating rich food, buying expensive clothing
—as well as her relationships. Constantly dissatisfied
with real life, she becomes cruel, dull-witted, and
shortsighted, caring only about immediate physical
gratification and material possessions. Her fantasies
lead to her downfall; her relationship with her well
meaning but naïve husband Charles gradually
disintegrates, her two adulterous affairs with Leon
and Rodolfo end in disaster, her constant borrowing
leads her family to financial ruin, and her desire to die
in a gloriously dramatic fashion leads instead to an
unexpectedly agonizing three days of death throes. She
expects too much from life, and is punished horribly
for it.
But is this undercurrent an essential theme in
the novel, or simply a byproduct of character and plot?
Are we really to assume that Flaubert thought the
novel so dangerous that he wrote a virtual manifesto
on the evils of losing oneself in fiction? If this is
really the case, why would he choose to disseminate
this message in the very medium he so despised (and,
in fact, continued to work in for the rest of his life)?

Certainly Emma’s flawed personality, as well as
her literary obsession, contributes to her downfall,
but it is interesting to note that no other character in
the novel reads habitually for pleasure. In fact,
Charles spends the bulk of the novel engaged in the
mundane activities of daily life: running a business,
tending to family members, maintaining the
household. He is naïve, true, but happy, at least
until Emma’s penchant for romance begins to
interfere with his responsibilities. Therefore, there
really are no other appropriate characters with whom
to compare her, although we can point out that the
novel’s non-reading population tends to be a fairly
socially responsible group. (It is also interesting to
note that Flaubert hardly uses the sort of clinical,
dispassionate language you might expect to see in
such a novel; for example, even the most stolid
characters are prone to “exclaiming” and “crying”
their dialogue.) Perhaps Madame Bovary, then, was
not meant to be a criticism of fiction itself, but a
caution against allowing suggestible characters like
Emma to have access to novels. The permissive
environment in the Bovarys’ household contributes
to their downfall and social ruin; the characters’
unwillingness to check Emma’s passions (and even
their ignorance of the existence of such a problem)
leads to the disintegration of their family.

Question 8:

The author’s discussion of “theme” in the second paragraph is consistent with which of the following statements?

Questions 7-10 below refer to the following passage:


Certain reviewers believe that the novel Madame Bovary,
an example of a well-crafted and provoking book, has a
unusual and subversive theme that undermines its own
medium: in short, these critics say that Flaubert’s
remarkable piece of fiction is in fact a cautionary tale
about the dangers of reading novels. As evidence, they
point to its unsympathetic protagonist, Emma Bovary,
who lives in books, romanticizing the simplest aspects of
daily life—eating rich food, buying expensive clothing
—as well as her relationships. Constantly dissatisfied
with real life, she becomes cruel, dull-witted, and
shortsighted, caring only about immediate physical
gratification and material possessions. Her fantasies
lead to her downfall; her relationship with her well
meaning but naïve husband Charles gradually
disintegrates, her two adulterous affairs with Leon
and Rodolfo end in disaster, her constant borrowing
leads her family to financial ruin, and her desire to die
in a gloriously dramatic fashion leads instead to an
unexpectedly agonizing three days of death throes. She
expects too much from life, and is punished horribly
for it.
But is this undercurrent an essential theme in
the novel, or simply a byproduct of character and plot?
Are we really to assume that Flaubert thought the
novel so dangerous that he wrote a virtual manifesto
on the evils of losing oneself in fiction? If this is
really the case, why would he choose to disseminate
this message in the very medium he so despised (and,
in fact, continued to work in for the rest of his life)?

Certainly Emma’s flawed personality, as well as
her literary obsession, contributes to her downfall,
but it is interesting to note that no other character in
the novel reads habitually for pleasure. In fact,
Charles spends the bulk of the novel engaged in the
mundane activities of daily life: running a business,
tending to family members, maintaining the
household. He is naïve, true, but happy, at least
until Emma’s penchant for romance begins to
interfere with his responsibilities. Therefore, there
really are no other appropriate characters with whom
to compare her, although we can point out that the
novel’s non-reading population tends to be a fairly
socially responsible group. (It is also interesting to
note that Flaubert hardly uses the sort of clinical,
dispassionate language you might expect to see in
such a novel; for example, even the most stolid
characters are prone to “exclaiming” and “crying”
their dialogue.) Perhaps Madame Bovary, then, was
not meant to be a criticism of fiction itself, but a
caution against allowing suggestible characters like
Emma to have access to novels. The permissive
environment in the Bovarys’ household contributes
to their downfall and social ruin; the characters’
unwillingness to check Emma’s passions (and even
their ignorance of the existence of such a problem)
leads to the disintegration of their family.

Question 9:

The author mentions “mundane activities of daily life” primarily in order to

Questions 7-10 below refer to the following passage:

Certain reviewers believe that the novel Madame Bovary,
an example of a well-crafted and provoking book, has a
unusual and subversive theme that undermines its own
medium: in short, these critics say that Flaubert’s
remarkable piece of fiction is in fact a cautionary tale
about the dangers of reading novels. As evidence, they
point to its unsympathetic protagonist, Emma Bovary,
who lives in books, romanticizing the simplest aspects of
daily life—eating rich food, buying expensive clothing
—as well as her relationships. Constantly dissatisfied
with real life, she becomes cruel, dull-witted, and
shortsighted, caring only about immediate physical
gratification and material possessions. Her fantasies
lead to her downfall; her relationship with her well
meaning but naïve husband Charles gradually
disintegrates, her two adulterous affairs with Leon
and Rodolfo end in disaster, her constant borrowing
leads her family to financial ruin, and her desire to die
in a gloriously dramatic fashion leads instead to an
unexpectedly agonizing three days of death throes. She
expects too much from life, and is punished horribly
for it.
But is this undercurrent an essential theme in
the novel, or simply a byproduct of character and plot?
Are we really to assume that Flaubert thought the
novel so dangerous that he wrote a virtual manifesto
on the evils of losing oneself in fiction? If this is
really the case, why would he choose to disseminate
this message in the very medium he so despised (and,
in fact, continued to work in for the rest of his life)?

Certainly Emma’s flawed personality, as well as
her literary obsession, contributes to her downfall,
but it is interesting to note that no other character in
the novel reads habitually for pleasure. In fact,
Charles spends the bulk of the novel engaged in the
mundane activities of daily life: running a business,
tending to family members, maintaining the
household. He is naïve, true, but happy, at least
until Emma’s penchant for romance begins to
interfere with his responsibilities. Therefore, there
really are no other appropriate characters with whom
to compare her, although we can point out that the
novel’s non-reading population tends to be a fairly
socially responsible group. (It is also interesting to
note that Flaubert hardly uses the sort of clinical,
dispassionate language you might expect to see in
such a novel; for example, even the most stolid
characters are prone to “exclaiming” and “crying”
their dialogue.) Perhaps Madame Bovary, then, was
not meant to be a criticism of fiction itself, but a
caution against allowing suggestible characters like
Emma to have access to novels. The permissive
environment in the Bovarys’ household contributes
to their downfall and social ruin; the characters’
unwillingness to check Emma’s passions (and even
their ignorance of the existence of such a problem)
leads to the disintegration of their family.

Question 10:

In the final paragraph, the author gives examples of how Flaubert used dialogue in order to


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