SAT Sentence Completion Practice Question 244: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 244

10. Considering that many women had little control over their own lives in medieval England, Margery Kempe's fifteenth-century autobiography demonstrates a remarkable degree of -------.

A. consecration
B. rationalism
C. autonomy
D. effacement
E. simplicity

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Explanation for Correct Answer C :

Choice (C) is correct. "Autonomy" means independence. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Considering that many women had little control over their own lives in medieval England, Margery Kempe’s fifteenth-century autobiography demonstrates a remarkable degree of autonomy." This sentence contrasts Margery Kempe's life with the lives of other women in medieval England. The missing term describes a way that Kempe's life was "remarkable" compared to the "little control" most women of her time had over their lives. Describing Kempe's life as showing autonomy, or independence, contrasts perfectly with the lives of other women of her time.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :

Choice (A) is incorrect. "Consecration" means declaring something sacred. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Considering that many women had little control over their own lives in medieval England, Margery Kempe’s fifteenth-century autobiography demonstrates a remarkable degree of consecration." This sentence contrasts Margery Kempe's life with the lives of other women in medieval England. The missing term describes a way that Kempe's life was "remarkable" compared to the "little control" most women of her time had over their lives. It makes little sense to describe Kempe's life as demonstrating the making of something sacred. Moreover, it would not contrast well with the description of the lives of other medieval women.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :

Choice (B) is incorrect. "Rationalism" means the belief that reasoning forms the only basis for action or truth. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Considering that many women had little control over their own lives in medieval England, Margery Kempe’s fifteenth-century autobiography demonstrates a remarkable degree of rationalism." This sentence contrasts Margery Kempe's life with the lives of other women in medieval England. The missing term describes a way that Kempe's life was "remarkable" compared to the "little control" most women of her time had over their lives. Describing Kempe's life as based on reason does not contrast it with the lives of other medieval women. The fact that the women had little control over their lives does not mean that they could not have based their lives on reason.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :

Choice (D) is incorrect. "Effacement" means a rubbing out of something. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Considering that many women had little control over their own lives in medieval England, Margery Kempe’s fifteenth-century autobiography demonstrates a remarkable degree of effacement." This sentence contrasts Margery Kempe's life with the lives of other women in medieval England. The missing term describes a way that Kempe's life was "remarkable" compared to the "little control" most women of her time had over their lives. The degree of control over one's life does not necessarily contrast strongly with the idea of rubbing out. Self-effacement, for example, refers to a person's tendency to downplay his or her accomplishments or good qualities. Even if the sentence had intended to refer to self-effacement (rather than simply effacement), there is no strong contrast between that concept and control over one's life.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :

Choice (E) is incorrect. "Simplicity" means a tendency to avoid complication in life. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Considering that many women had little control over their own lives in medieval England, Margery Kempe’s fifteenth-century autobiography demonstrates a remarkable degree of simplicity." This sentence contrasts Margery Kempe's life with the lives of other women in medieval England. The missing term describes a way that Kempe's life was "remarkable" compared to the "little control" most women of her time had over their lives. Having a life of simplicity does not contrast strongly with a life over which one has little control. In many cases people who have little control over their lives are forced by others into a life of simplicity.

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