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“Ironically, Carver's precision in sketching lives on the edge of despair ensures that his stories will sometimes be read too narrowly, much as Dickens' social-reformer role once caused his broader concerns to be__.
A ignored
B reinforced
C contradicted
D diminished
E diversified”

Is the answer D?

Much as Dicken’s social-reformer role once caused his broader concerns to be diminished, Carver’s precision in sketching lives on the edge of despair ensures that his stories will sometimes be read too narrowly. Why do I not see it’s ironical? And what does “narrowly” mean here?
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Hi Jeff,
Yes, I'd say 'D', because each part of the sentence deals with something that is being 'reduced in size'.

You also have what I assume is a typo of 'to narrowly', instead of 'too narrowly'.

I don't know Carver's work. However, the meaning of the sentence is that 'Carver's precision in sketching lives on the edge of despair' means that this precision will be focussed on by the reader, rather than the broader concerns that Carver wanted to address. The irony lies in the fact that his skill and success in what to him was of less importance has taken the focus away from his more important concerns.

I think 'narrowly' refers again to this lack of focus on the 'wider issues'. It might also mean 'a narrower or smaller audience of readers', but I don't think so, because the comparison is to Dickens, who certainly didn't or doesn't have a small audience.

Best wishes,
Clive
I do like Clive's exegesis, Jeff, but I think A is also logically acceptable. I'll wager that this is from a practice text not prepared by ETS or the authentic test designer.
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Thank you!

It is a tough one.

I still don’t get it, for the limit of my knowledge. Sorry. :-s

Before asking you explain it again, I want to make sure if much as serves as a conj. here, meaning “however much”.
'Carver's precision in sketching lives on the edge of despair' means that this precision will be focussed on by the reader

I don’t see it implies anything about the precision which will be focused on by the reader. :-s The sentence just says the precision ensures his stories to be read narrowly.

The irony lies in the fact that his skill and success in what to him was of less importance has taken the focus away from his more important concerns.

Does it mention the skills and success here?
If the skills and success refer to his precision in sketching lives, how they took away the focus from his more important concerns?
Anyway, what’s his more important concerns?

Hope you help me out. Emotion: wink


I do like Clive's exegesis, Jeff, but I think A is also logically acceptable. I'll wager that this is from a practice text not prepared by ETS or the authentic test designer.


Howdy, Mr. Micawber. Long time no see. Emotion: wink

I don't know. They are the practice texts I downloaded from the web.
Hello Jeff

I have a thought from other people's. I'll choose E (diversified)

I interpret your sentence this way;

(1) It is ironical that Carver's precise description about laborers will sometimes cause his stories to be read by a confined group of people.

This (1) is like (=as much as) the follows (2);

(2) It is ironical that Dickens' description about various social classes once caused his stories to be read in varied ways.

paco
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"Read too narrowly" means the same as "broader concerns (being) ignored".

None of the others are possible, Dickens' opinions cannot be "diminished" or "diversified" by others.
Hurm... I might mistake the meaning of 'read narrowly'.

OK, I agree that it should be 'ignored'. Thank you, Woodcutter.

paco

Hello Jeff

I have a thought from other people's. I'll choose E (diversified)

I interpret your sentence this way;

(1) It is ironical that Carver's precise description about laborers will sometimes cause his stories to be read by a confined group of people.

This (1) is like (=as much as) the follows (2);


Great! Paco. I know what's going on now. It's A. I would choose "ignored" too. Emotion: smile And thanks, woodcutter.

Now I seem to be able to catch why Clive said the irony " lies in the fact that his skill and success in what to him was of less importance has taken the focus away from his more important concerns. ".
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