This is an explanation for passage 2 of LSAT preptest 33, the December 2000 LSAT. This passage is about Harriet Jacob’s autobiographical novel.
This section has paragraph summaries and an analysis of the passage, links to the explanations for the questions are below.
- Jacobs was a slave. She wrote a novel emphasizing the values of free women. She hoped to show them that slaves had the same desires as free white women.
- Some criticize Jacobs for being too conformist. But her novel made clear that slave women had to act differently from free women, even if they wanted the same things. Her novel showed we couldn’t understand slaves using conventional values alone.
The passage describes Jacobs’ novel and makes an argument. Her book was a slave novel that followed some of the domestic conventions of its time. The protagonist wanted the same things as free white women, but her situation forced her to use different methods to achieve her goals.
This is the author’s answer to those who criticize Jacob’s book for being conventional. The unconventional situation of a slave pursuing conventional goals forced people to reexamine their values.
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