GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: XDF

In Hardy's novels, various impulses were sacrificed to each other inevitably and often. Inevitably, because Hardy did not care in the way that novelists such as Flaubert or James cared, and therefore took paths of least resistance. Thus, one impulse often surrendered to a fresher one and, unfortunately, instead of exacting a compromise, simply disappeared. A desire to throw over reality a light that never was might give way abruptly to the desire on the part of what we might consider a novelist-scientist to record exactly and concretely the structure and texture of a flower. In this instance, the new impulse was at least an energetic one, and thus its indulgence did not result in a relaxed style. But on other occasions Hardy abandoned a perilous, risky, and highly energizing impulse in favor of what was for him the fatally relaxing impulse to classify and schematize abstractly. When a relaxing impulse was indulged, the style一that sure index of an author's literary worth一was certain to become verbose.

Question List: 1 2 3

Which of the following words could best be substituted for "relaxed" (line 13) without substantially changing the author's meaning?

  • A informal
  • B confined
  • C risky
  • D wordy
  • E metaphoric

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