GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: NO9

Simone de Beauvoir's work greatly influenced Betty Friedan's (i)[blank] indeed, made it possible. Why, then,was it Friedan who became the prophet of women's emancipation in the United States? Political conditions, as well as a certain anti-intellectual bias, prepared Americans and the American media to better receive Friedan's deradicalized and highly pragmatic The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963, than Beauvoir's theoretical reading of women's situation in The Second Sex. In 1963 when The Second Sex first appeared in translation in the United States, the country had entered the silent, fearful fortress of the anticommunist McCarthy years (1950-1954), and Beauvoir was suspected of Marxist sympathies. Even The Nation, a generally liberal magazine, warned its readers against "certain political leanings" of the author. Open acknowledgement of the existence of women's oppression was too radical for the United States in the fifties, and Beauvoir's conclusion, that change in women's economic condition, though insufficient by itself, "remains the basic factor" in improving women's situation, was particularly unacceptable.

Question List: 1 2 3 4

According to the passage, one difference between The Feminine Mystique and The Second Sex is that Friedan's book

  • A rejects the idea that women are oppressed
  • B provides a primarily theoretical analysis of women's lives
  • C does not reflect the political beliefs of its author
  • D suggests that women's economic condition has no impact on their status
  • E concentrates on the practical aspects of the questions of women's emancipation

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