Logical Reasoning

Section I: Reading Comprehension

Passage 1: Mexican-American Literature
Our humanities passage is relatively straightforward, even if the author’s language is occasionally convoluted. As usual, the Topic (Mexican-American Literature), is clear within the first few lines. The Scope becomes apparent somewhat later—the author is especially interested in Mexican-American literature as an expression of cultural transition. The Purpose and Main Idea are not obvious at this point, so we forge ahead. Paragraph 1: The author focuses our attention on the way that literature written by Mexican Americans reflects a mix of two cultures in the use of both English and Spanish. Further blending of the cultures is seen in the writers’ “Mexican sensibility” and use of American settings. The author distinguishes Mexican-American literature from Mexican literature, by their content and concerns. In paragraph 2 the author explains why and how Mexican American writers are influenced by the mostly agrarian culture of their ancestors. Paragraph 3 expands on the author’s contrast between Mexican literature and Mexican-American literature. In Mexico, literature is dominated by the “prominent literar y establishment.” This Mexican literar y establishment views Mexican-American literature as merely “regional” writing. The author’s point of view begins to reveal itself at the very end of this paragraph: the “apparent simplicity” of Mexican-American literature disguises its “thematic richness.” The author’s view is further developed in paragraph 4, which returns to the first paragraph’s notion of cultural blending, with a twist. Mexican-American writers don’t seek assimilation into American culture. Rather, through their writings they create a new identity that contains both Mexican and American elements. At this point, we see the author’s Purpose and Main Idea, to show that Mexican-American literature reflects the cultural transition of Mexican immigrants...