Question Explanations For

Generalizations and Main Ideas (Generalizations and Main Ideas Practice Questions)


The Correct Answer is (D) — (D) is the correct answer. The author indicates early on that she is “rereading” (line 5) the novel in question; she contrasts her first reading, when she “gave [herself] over” (line 27) to the emotions of the character, with the observations she now makes as an experienced writer (lines 26−34). Overall, her appreciation of the novel has grown and deepened since she first read the book. (A) is incorrect as the author does mention that Henry James called Flaubert a novelist’s novelist (lines 44−45), but that is only a small comment that the author does not expand on. (B) is incorrect as the first sentence of the passage indicates that Charles and Emma are characters in the novel (lines 1−6), not real people. (C) is incorrect because there is nothing in the passage that the suggests the author wrote a novel about an agricultural fair.


The Correct Answer is (G) — (G) is the correct answer. In the second paragraph, the author praises “how expertly Flaubert structures the novel” (lines 28−29); in the third paragraph, the author talks about the encouragement Flaubert receives to “give the novel the beauty and density one would normally find in a poem” (lines 60−62), which would suggest the novel is poetically written. (F) is incorrect because the author praises the structure of the novel, and does not criticize it; furthermore, although the author does mention a melodramatic moment (lines 35−38), the fact that it is positioned as one of a set of “flourishes” (line 34) indicates melodrama is not typical of the novel as a whole. (H) is incorrect because the passage does mention “romantic flourishes,” but overall the author clearly finds the novel “magnificent” (line 53), so it would not be accurate to say the passage indicates the novel is largely dreary. (J) is incorrect as Charles Bovary is a fictional character in a novel; the stimulating friendship that inspired Flaubert was with Louis Bouilhet (lines 54−56).


The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is the correct answer. The paragraph states that when the author first read the novel, she “gave [herself] over” to the character’s “ardors and despairs,” failing to notice the choices Flaubert had made about structure, point of view, imagery and patterns, and foreshadowing (lines 26−34). (B) is incorrect because although the paragraph does say that Flaubert ignored the “admonitions of friends,” (lines 33−34), that is only mentioned once; it is not a major part of the paragraph. (C) is incorrect because the author contrasts her present self with her past self who “had no concept of reading as a writer, or even … of learning from the novels I loved and admired” (lines 23−26); she also says this past situation now seems “strange,” (line 25) implying that she does think it is possible to learn by reading other writers. (D) is incorrect because nothing in the passage suggests the author finds Flaubert’s book strange or difficult to follow.


The Correct Answer is (H) — (H) is the correct answer. The author highlights that Flaubert’s friendship with Bouilhet was a “devoted” (line 55) one and discusses Bouilhet largely in the context of his positive influence on the development of Flaubert’s novel. Thus, Bouilhet is best described as a dedicated friend (H). (F) is incorrect because “meddlesome” implies that someone is intrusive in a negative way, but the passage portrays Bouilhet’s editing as a positive influence on the novel. (G) is incorrect as the passage does mention that Bouilhet was a playwright, but this is not the aspect of his life that the author focuses on. (J) is incorrect as the passage does not mention anything about Bouilhet’s character as a husband.