This is an explanation for passage 1 of LSAT Preptest 74, the December 2014 LSAT. This passage is about perfumes. The author argues that perfumes should be considered as art because of their complexity.
This section has paragraph summaries and an analysis of the passage, links to the explanations for the questions are below.
- Why isn’t great perfume considered to be serious art form?
- Perfumes are similar to other arts. Painting combines natural and synthetic ingredients, just like perfumes do. Oil paintings used subtle materials and changed over time.
- Great perfumes are similarly subtle, and experienced noses can create imaginary worlds in their perfumes.
- Corporations cheapen perfume recipes to make profits. This may be one reason why perfumes are not taken seriously.
This is an interesting passage about perfume. I have a lousy sense of smell, so I hadn’t even thought about whether perfume should be an art form. This passage makes a good case that perfume can reach the same aesthetic heights that other arts do.
The passage has a lot of small details you don’t really need to know. The most important thing is to know where the details are. So if, for example, a question asks something about oil painting, you know to look at the second paragraph.
Your more important job is to understand what the author thinks and why they tell us the things they do. The main idea is that the author truly likes perfumes. They consider them an art form as cultivated as painting, architecture, music, etc. (lines 7-10)
As such, perfume is worthy of analysis. Paragraphs 2 and 3 are an argument aimed at demonstrating that perfumes can be great art. The author tells us about oil painting in paragraph 2, then uses paragraph 3 to show how complex great perfumes can be.
The fourth paragraph offers one explanation why perfumes are ignored. The author has shown that it’s possible to create wonderful perfumes. However, most perfumes are not wonderful. Perfume manufacturers tamper with the ingredients to save money, and so most commercial perfumes fail to reach their potential.
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