This GMAT sample question is a verbal sentence correction practice question testing your understanding of Tenses, Comparisons, and Usage of Words. It is a medium difficulty GMAT SC question which tests grammar as much as testing what the sentence is intending to communicate. GMAT classifies SC questions as those that primarily test grammar (rule based) and those that primarily focus on communcation (meaning or intent). This question leans toward the communication category.
Question 9: Jane Austen has firmly joined Shakespeare not just as a canonical figure but also as a symbol of Literature itself - the hazel-eyed woman in the mobcap as iconic now as the balding man in the doublet.
Look for differences across the answer options to identify what is being tested in the sentence.
Some options are using “like” and others are using “as” to make the comparison.
The placement of the descriptions of Jane Austen and Shakespeare is differing in the options.
Some options are comparing Austen to Shakespeare and others are comparing the hazel-eyed woman to the balding man.
The sentence attempts to compare Jane Austen and Shakespeare. The intent of the sentence is to say that “Like Shakespeare, Jane Austen too is a canonical figure these days”.
When using “like” to make a comparison, the two nouns being compared should be placed next to each other.
In Choice (B), “like Shakespeare” is placed next to “Symbol of literature”, implying a comparison between the symbol and Shakespeare. The option also compares Jane Austen with “the symbol of literature” and not with Shakespeare.
Choice (C) and choice (D) use the construction “firmly joined together as” or “firmly joined as” when referencing the two authors. This seems to imply that the two have been combined into one canonical figure or stuck together like glue. The usage alters the meaning of the sentence in such a way that the sentence makes no sense.
The sentence is discussing a fact. The construction “has been becoming” is used to indicate an event that began happening in the past and is continuing. The tense construction in choice (E) is therefore incorrect.
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