This is an explanation for passage 3 of LSAT preptest 32, the October 2000 LSAT. This passage is about Native American autobiographies. The passage argues that western scholars tend to ignore biographies written by natives. It also describes the natives’ style of autobiography.
This section has paragraph summaries and an analysis of the passage, links to the explanations for the questions are below.
- Academics have ignored traditional native American ways of describing themselves. They have focussed on biographies written by Westerners.
- The native understanding of self was social and not individual. Oral autobiography reenacted dramatic moments, but told no overarching story.
- This paragraph describes autobiographical symbols such as tattoos and teepees.
- The entire tribe would have helped create an individual’s autobiography. This is strange to a European, but it matches the definition of autobiography.
This passage is part-argument, and part description. It argues that western scholars have ignored native forms of biography. The rest of the passage is spent describing native styles of autobiography, and arguing that they fall within the definition of “autobiography” even though their group stories are very different from our individual autobiographies.
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