Reading Comprehension Set 146

Directions (Q.1-6) Each of the reading comprehension questions is based on the content of a passage. After reading the passage, answer all questions pertaining to it on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage. For each question, select the best answer of the choices given.
Women’s grassroots activism and their vision of a new civic consciousness lay at the heart of social reform in the United States throughout the Progressive Era, the period between the depression of 1893 and America’s entry into the Second World War. Though largely disenfranchised except for school elections, white middle-class women reformers won a variety of victories, notably in the improvement of working conditions, especially
for women and children. Ironically, though, child labor legislation pitted women of different classes against one another. To the reformers, child labor and industrial homework were equally inhumane practices that should be outlawed, but, as a number of women historians have recently observed, working-class mothers did not always
share this view. Given the precarious finances of working-class families and the necessity of pooling
the wages of as many family members as possible, working-class families viewed the passage and
enforcement of stringent child labor statutes as a personal economic disaster and made strenuous
efforts to circumvent child labor laws. Yet reformers rarely understood this resistance in terms of the desperate economic situation of working class families, interpreting it instead as evidence of poor parenting. This is not to dispute women reformers’ perception of child labor as a terribly exploitative practice, but their understanding of
child labor and their legislative solutions for ending it failed to take account of the economic needs of
working-class families.
Q1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) explain why women reformers of the Progressive Era failed to achieve their goals
(B) discuss the origins of child labor laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
(C) compare the living conditions of working-class and middle-class women in the Progressive Era
(D) discuss an oversight on the part of women reformers of the Progressive Era
(E) revise a traditional view of the role played by women reformers in enacting Progressive Era
Q2. The view mentioned in line 17 of the passage refers to which of the following?
(A) Some working-class mothers’ resistance to the enforcement of child labor laws
(B) Reformers’ belief that child labor and industrial homework should be abolished
(C) Reformers’ opinions about how working-class families raised their children
(D) Certain women historians’ observation that there was a lack of consensus between women of
different classes on the issue of child labor and industrial home work
(E) Working-class families’ fears about the adverse consequences that child labor laws would have
on their ability to earn an adequate living
Q3. The author of the passage mentions the observations of women historians most probably in order to
(A) provide support for an assertion made in the preceding sentence
(B) raise a question that is answered in the last sentence of the passage
(C) introduce an opinion that challenges a statement made in the first sentence of the passage
(D) offer an alternative view to the one attributed in the passage to working-class mothers
(E) point out a contradiction inherent in the traditional view of child labor reform as it is
presented in the passage
Q4. The passage suggests that which of the following was a reason for the difference of opinion between working-class mothers and women reformers on the issue of child labor?
(A) Reformers’ belief that industrial homework was preferable to child labor outside the home
(B) Reformers’ belief that child labor laws should pertain to working conditions but not to pay
(C) Working-class mothers’ resentment at reformers’ attempts to interfere with their parenting
(D) Working-class mothers’ belief that child labor was an inhumane practice
(E) Working-class families’ need for every employable member of their families to earn
Q5. The author of the passage asserts which of the following about women reformers who tried to abolish child labor?
(A) They alienated working-class mothers by attempting to enlist them in agitating for
progressive causes.
(B) They underestimated the prevalence of child labor among the working classes.
(C) They were correct in their conviction that child labor was deplorable but shortsighted about the impact of child labor legislation on working-class families.
(D) They were aggressive in their attempts to enforce child labor legislation, but were unable to prevent working-class families from circumventing them.
(E) They were prevented by their nearly total disenfranchisement from making significant progress in child labor
Q6. According to the passage, one of the most striking achievements of white middle-class women reformers during the Progressive Era was
(A) gaining the right to vote in school elections
(B) mobilizing working-class women in the fight against child labor
(C) uniting women of different classes in grassroots activism
(D) improving the economic conditions of working-class families
(E) improving women’s and children’s working conditions
Directions (Q.7-10): In each of the following questions, five options are given, of which one word is the most nearly the same or opposite in meaning to the given word in the question. Find the correct option having either same or opposite meaning.

Answer & Explanation


As is made clear, especially in the final sentence of the passage, women reformers failed to understand the economic needs of working-class families.

This view refers to the position of reformers stated earlier in the same
sentence: that child labor and industrial homework…should be outlawed.

 The author uses the recent work of women historians to support the statement that women of different social classes were pitted against one another.
The last paragraph explains that working-class families needed the wages of as many
family members as possible.
 The final sentence makes clear that the reformers recognized child labor as exploitative but did not understand the economic needs of working-class families.
 The passage states that reformers improved the working conditions of women and children.
The correct answer is E.
MOROSE and GLOOMY are synonyms.
MOROSE -sullen and ill-tempered.
COLOSSAL- extremely large or great.
ENORMOUS- very large in size, quantity, or extent.
COLOSSAL And ENORMOUS are synonyms.
9. A 
SANGUINE – optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation.
DIFFIDENT- modest or shy because of a lack of self-confidence.
SANGUINE and DIFFIDENT are Antonyms.
fiendish- extremely cruel or unpleasant.
ANGELIC and FIENDISH are antonyms.

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