GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: PP2

While the influence of British magazines in shaping public opinion predates the nineteenth century, it was during the 1800s that mass distribution became possible and an explosion in periodical readership occurred, vastly increasing magazine's opinion-shaping powers. The role of magazines as arbiters of nineteenth-century taste is seen in their depictions of the London theater. The magazines accorded some legitimacy to East End working-class theaters that mirrored the format of the fashionable West End theaters serving middle-and upper-class audiences. However, the magazines also depicted music halls—which competed for patronage with all theaters—as places where crass entertainment corrupted spectators's taste and morals. Finally, they suggested that popular demand for substandard fare created a market unfriendly to higher expressions of dramatic art.

Question List: 1 2

the author of the passage attributes the influence of British periodicals in shaping public opinion in the nineteenth century in part to

  • A a growing public interest in reading opinion pieces
  • B an increase in the relative number of readers from the middle and upper classes
  • C changes in the way in which magazines were distributed
  • D magazines's increased coverage of theater and popular entertainment
  • E changes in magazine format that attracted a wider readership

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