GRE Reading Comprehension
In the 1750's, when salons were firmly established in France, some English women, who called themselves ―Bluestocking,‖ followed the example of the salonnieres (French salon hostesses) and formed their own salons. Most Bluestockings did not wish to mirror the salonnieres; they simply desired to adapt a proven formula to their own purpose—the elevation of women's status through moral and intellectual training. Differences in social orientation and background can account perhaps for differences in the nature of French and English salons. The French salon incorporated aristocratic attitudes that exalted courtly pleasure and emphasized artistic accomplish- ments. The English Bluestockings, originating from a more modest background, emphasized learning and work over pleasure. Accustomed to the regimented life of court circles, salonnieres tended toward formality in their salons. The English women, though somewhat puritanical, were more casual in their approach.
According to the passage, a significant distinction between the salonnieres and Bluestockings was in the way each group regarded which of the following?
- A The value of acquiring knowledge
- B The role of pleasure in the activities of the literary salon
- C The desirability of a complete break with societal traditions
- D The inclusion of women of different back- grounds in the salons
- E The attainment of full social and political equality with men
Correct Answer: B