SBI Clerk Mains English (Day-66)

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Reading Comprehension-

Directions (1-10): Read the passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

Innovations in language are never completely new. When the words used for familiar things change, or words for new things enter the language, they are usually borrowed or adapted from stock. Assuming new roles, they drag their old meanings along behind them like flickering shadow. This seems especially true of the language of the contemporary school of literary criticism that now prefers to describe its work simply and rather presumptuously as theory but is still popularly referred to as post structuralism of deconstruction.

The first neologisms adopted by this movement were signifier and signified, employed to distinguish arbitrariness of the term we choose. The use of these particular terms (rather than, respectively, words and thing) underlined the seriousness of the naming process and its claim on our attention. Since in English “to signify” can also mean “to portend,” these terms also suggest that words predict coming events.

With the use of the term deconstruction we move into another and more complex realm of meaning. The most common use of the terms construction and deconstruction is in the building trades, and their borrowing by literary theorists for a new type of criticism cannot help but have certain overtones to the outsider. First, the usage suggests that the creation and critical interpretation of literature are not organic but mechanical processes; that the author of any piece of writing is not an inspired, intuitive artist, but merely a labourer who cobbles existing materials (words) into more or less conventional structures. The term deconstruction implies that the text has been put together like a building or a piece of machinery, and that it is in need of being taken apart, not so much in order to repair it as to demonstrate underlying inadequacies, false assumptions, and inherent contradictions. This process can supposedly be repeated many times and by many literary hard hats; it is expected that each deconstruction will reveal additional flaws and expose the illusions or bad faith of the builder. The fact that deconstructionists prefer to describe their activities as deconstruction rather than criticism is also revealing. Criticism and critic derive from the Greek Kritikos, “skillful in judging, decisive.”Deconstruction, on the other hand, has no overtones of skill or wisdom; it merely suggests demolition of an existing building. In popular usage criticism suggests censure but not change. If we find fault with a building, we may condemn it, but we do not carry out the demolition ourselves. The deconstructionist, by implication, is both judge and executioner who leaves a text totally dismantled, if not reduced to a pile of rubble.

1) Which one of the following best expresses the main idea of the passage?

(A) Implicit in the terminology of the school of criticism known as deconstruction are meanings that reveal the true nature of the deconstructionist’s endeavor.

(B) The appearance of the terms signifier and signified in the field of literary theory anticipated the appearance of an even more radical idea known as deconstruction.

(C) Innovations in language and relations between old and new meanings of terms are a special concern of the new school of criticism known as deconstruction.

(D) Deconstructionists maintain that it is insufficient merely to judge a work: the critic must actively dismantle it.

(E) Progress in the field of literary theory is best achieved by looking for new terms like signifier and deconstruction that might suggest new critical approaches to a work.

2) Which one of the following is a claim that the author of the passage makes about deconstructionists?

(A) Deconstructionists would not have been able to formulate their views adequately without the terms signifier and signified.

(B) Deconstructionists had no particular purpose in mind in choosing to use neologisms.

(C) Deconstructionists do not recognize that their own theory contains inherent contradictions.

(D) Deconstructionists find little interest in the relationship between words and their referents.

(E) Deconstructionists use the terms signifier and signified to stress the importance of the process of naming.

3) Which one of the following generalizations about inventions is most analogous to the author’s point about innovation in language?

(A) A new invention usually consists of components that are specifically manufactured for the new invention.

(B) A new invention is usually behind the times, never making as much use of all the available modern technology as it could.

(C) A new invention usually consists of components that are already available but are made to function in new ways.

(D) A new invention is most useful when it is created with attention to the historical tradition established by implements previously used to do the same job.

(E) A new invention is rarely used to its full potential because it is surrounded by out-of-date technology that hinder its application.

4) The author of the passage uses the word “criticism” primarily in order to ?

(A) give an example

(B) introduce a contrast

(C) undermine an argument

(D) codify a system

(E) dismiss an objection

5) Which one of the following best describes the function of the second paragraph within the passage as a whole?

(A) It introduces a hypothesis that the author later expands upon.

(B) It qualifies a claim made earlier by the author.

(C) It develops an initial example of the author’s general thesis.

(D) It predicts a development.

(E) It presents a contrasting view.

6) The passage suggests that the author most probably holds the view that an important characteristic of literary criticism is that it ?

(A) demonstrate false assumptions and inherent contradictions

(B) employ skill and insight

(C) be carried out by one critic rather than many

(D) reveal how a text is put together like a building

(E) point out the superiority of conventional text structures

7) The passage suggests that which one of the following most accurately describes the author’s view of deconstructionist thought?

(A) The author is guardedly optimistic about the ability of deconstruction to reveal the intentions and biases of a writer.

(B) The author endorses the utility of deconstruction for revealing the role of older meanings of words.

(C) The author is enthusiastic about the significant neologisms that deconstruction has introduced into literary criticism.

(D) The author regards deconstruction’s tendency to focus only on the problems and faults of literary texts as too mechanical.

(E) The author condemns deconstruction’s attempts to define literary criticism as a creative act.

8) The meaning of ‘flickering’ is ?

(A) fixed

(B) jammed

(C) unstable

(D) narrow

(E) none of the above

9) The meaning of ‘distinguish’ is ?

(A) similar

(B) unique

(C) differentiate

(D) photo copy

(E) none of the above

10) The antonym of ‘demolish’ ?

(A) destroy

(B) construct

(C) ruin

(D) wreck

(E) none of the above

Answers :

Directions (1-10) :

1) Answer: A

From reading the whole passage, this question can be answered.

Especially , from the lines “Deconstruction, on the other hand, has no overtones of skill or wisdom; it merely suggests demolition of an existing building. In popular usage criticism suggests censure but not change. If we find fault with a building, we may condemn it, but we do not carry out the demolition ourselves. The deconstructionist, by implication, is both judge and executioner who leaves a text totally dismantled, if not reduced to a pile of rubble..”

2) Answer: E

From reading the lines,

“The first neologisms adopted by this movement were signifier and signified, employed to distinguish arbitrariness of the term we choose. The use of these particular terms (rather than, respectively, words and thing) underlined the seriousness of the naming process and its claim on our attention. Since in English “to signify” can also mean “to portend,” these terms also suggest that words predict coming events.

With the use of the term deconstruction we move into another and more complex realm of meaning. The most common use of the terms construction and deconstruction is in the building trades, and their borrowing by literary theorists for a new type of criticism cannot help but have certain overtones to the outsider.”  this question can be answered.

3) Answer: C

From reading the lines,

“Innovations in language are never completely new. When the words used for familiar things change, or words for new things enter the language, they are usually borrowed or adapted from stock. Assuming new roles, they drag their old meanings along behind them like flickering shadow. This seems especially true of the language of the contemporary school of literary criticism that now prefers to describe its work simply and rather presumptuously as theory but is still popularly referred to as post structuralism of deconstruction.”  this question can be answered.

4) Answer: B

From reading the lines,

“The fact that deconstructionists prefer to describe their activities as deconstruction rather than criticism is also revealing. Criticism and critic derive from the Greek Kritikos, “skillful in judging, decisive.”Deconstruction, on the other hand, has no overtones of skill or wisdom; it merely suggests demolition of an existing building. In popular usage criticism suggests censure but not change. If we find fault with a building, we may condemn it, but we do not carry out the demolition ourselves.”  this question can be answered.

5) Answer: C

From reading the lines,

“The first neologisms adopted by this movement were signifier and signified, employed to distinguish arbitrariness of the term we choose. The use of these particular terms (rather than, respectively, words and thing) underlined the seriousness of the naming process and its claim on our attention. Since in English “to signify” can also mean “to portend,” these terms also suggest that words predict coming events.”  this question can be answered.

6) Answer: B

From reading the whole passage, this question can be answered.

7) Answer: D

From reading the lines,

“With the use of the term deconstruction we move into another and more complex realm of meaning. The most common use of the terms construction and deconstruction is in the building trades, and their borrowing by literary theorists for a new type of criticism cannot help but have certain overtones to the outsider. First, the usage suggests that the creation and critical interpretation of literature are not organic but mechanical processes; that the author of any piece of writing is not an inspired, intuitive artist, but merely a labourer who cobbles existing materials (words) into more or less conventional structures. The term deconstruction implies that the text has been put together like a building or a piece of machinery, and that it is in need of being taken apart, not so much in order to repair it as to demonstrate underlying inadequacies, false assumptions, and inherent contradictions. This process can supposedly be repeated many times and by many literary hard hats; it is expected that each deconstruction will reveal additional flaws and expose the illusions or bad faith of the builder. The fact that deconstructionists prefer to describe their activities as deconstruction rather than criticism is also revealing.” this question can be answered.

8) Answer: C

flickering  – burning or shining unsteadily; wavering.

9) Answer: C

distinguish –recognize or treat (someone or something) as different.

10) Answer: B

Demolish – pull or knock down (a building).

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