DISCUSSION: The passage places Chopin’s work in context. The sentimental novels were the types of books written before women’s culture began to dissolve in 1865.
These were the books Chopin read when growing up. They described a period that she had just narrowly avoided living in. Chopin would have had living female relatives who grew up during the period of “Women’s Culture”.
So these sentimental novels were part of the context of Chopin’s life. The passage mentions them to show us what kind of world Chopin was reacting against.
- Chopin avoided the dramatic style of the sentimental novels. See paragraph three.
- Lines 38-40 say that Chopin rejected the work of the local colorists because of their nostalgia, not because of sentimentality.
- CORRECT. The best answer. The passage takes us through Chopin’s literary influences: The sentimental novelists, the local colorists, the New Women.
- The local colorists were not sentimental (i.e. emotional). They described what they saw “with almost scientific detachment”. (line 20)
- This answer would make sense if the passage was arguing something like “Women did write novels before Chopin”. The passage is not trying to prove when women wrote novels. The passage isn’t even an argument.
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