Source: Revised GRE PDF 1st Ed. Section 3: Verbal; #5 (p. 51)

7

Stories are a haunted genre; hardly (i) kind of story

Stories are a haunted genre; hardly (i) kind of story, the ghost story is almost the paradigm of the form, and (ii) was undoubtedly one effect that Poe had in mind when he wrote about how stories work. Blank (i): a debased, a normative, a meticulous Blank (ii): pessimism, goosebumps, curiosity

4 Explanations

1

Varun Kapoor

I have a hard time getting the sentence, can someone be able to explain in simple terms?

Thanks.

Sep 24, 2018 • Comment

David Recine, Magoosh Tutor

Let's look at the sentence as a whole (with correct answers inserted), and break it down:

"Stories are a haunted genre; hardly a debased kind of story, the ghost story is almost the paradigm of the form, and goosebumps was undoubtedly one effect that Poe had in mind when he wrote about how stories work."

The first part of the sentence says "Stories are a haunted genre." This basically means that stories are forms of art that could be described as haunting-- the sentence is arguing that in some way, all fictional stories tend to be frightening, or ghost-like in some way. ("Haunted" means "full of ghosts.)

So let's look at the next part of the sentence. It says:

"hardly a debased kind of story, the ghost story is almost the paradigm of the form"

"Debased" means "not meeting respectable standards." And if something is "hardly debased," it is not debased. So it's saying that ghost stories DO meet the respectable, normal standards expected of all stories. "paradigm of the form" means "a typical example of the art form." A typical example of stories, in other words. And so this part of the sentence means "Ghost stories are typical, standard kinds of stories."

Next, the sentence says:

"and goosebumps was undoubtedly one effect that Poe had in mind when he wrote about how stories work."

This sentence is saying that "goosebumps"-- the feeling an audience gets when they are scared-- are possible effect on the audience. The sentence is also saying that this effect-- fear-- is an effect an author named Poe was thinking of when Poe wrote an essay about the art form of the story and how it works.

So, restated in more plain speech, this sentence:

"Stories are a haunted genre; hardly a debased kind of story, the ghost story is almost the paradigm of the form, and goosebumps was undoubtedly one effect that Poe had in mind when he wrote about how stories work."

Means this:

Storytelling is an art form that makes people think about ghosts. Because of this, the ghost story could be seen as a typical, standard type of story. As a result, it seems certain that when Poe wrote about the way the storytelling art form works, he was definitely thinking about fear as an effect that stories have on the audience.

I hope that helps. :)

Oct 3, 2018 • Reply

1

Onkar Patil

When the sentence says "Stories are a haunted genre;", does it mean that stories belong to the genre of horror? Or is it that the stories are notorious and doesn't encourage people to actively read this genre?

Aug 24, 2016 • Comment

Adam

This means that the story genre is itself haunted. It doesn't mean that all stories are ghost/horror stories.

Sep 2, 2016 • Reply

3

Harman Singh

Why did we really have to go for a negative (weird) word for the first blank? Could you please highlight the hint for it again?

Dec 15, 2015 • Comment

Adam

Hi Harman,

The phrase "hardly _______ kind of story, the ghost story is almost the paradigm of the form," tells us that the ghost story is not ________; rather it is almost the paradigm of the story form. We have a contrast here.

So, we're looking for something like the opposite of "paradigm," which means "a model or typical example of something."

Neither "normative" nor "meticulous" are the opposite of that, but "debased," which means "reduced in quality or value," fits well. The ghost story isn't a reduced quality of the story form; indeed, it is almost the model for the form.

Dec 17, 2015 • Reply

10

Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Sep 25, 2012 • Comment

Hi. I understand why goosebumps is the correct word. However, grammatically in the sentence it would not be correct ("goosebumps was undoubtedly one effect"). Should I ignore this and simply go for the best word to complete the sentence?

Aug 3, 2016 • Reply

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi there :) In this part of the sentence, the verb "was" in this part of the sentence refers to the singular noun "one effect." So, grammatically speaking, everything checks out :)

Aug 15, 2016 • Reply

Add Your Explanation

You must have a Magoosh account in order to leave an explanation.

Learn More About Magoosh