Source: Official Guide Revised GRE 2nd Ed. Part 9; Section 4; #22


The passage is primarily concerned with

The passage is primarily concerned with Nineteenth-century architect Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc contended that Paris's Notre-Dame Cathedral, built primarily in the late twelfth century, was supported from the very beginning by a system of flying buttresses - a series of exterior arches (flyers) and their supports (buttresses) - which permitted the construction of taller vaulted buildings with slimmer walls and interior supports than had been possible previously. Other commentators insist, however, that Notre-Dame did not have flying buttresses until the thirteenth or fourteenth century, when they wre added to update the building aesthetically and correct its structural flaws. Although post-twelfth-century modifications and renovations complicate efforts to resolve this controversy - all pre-fifteenth-century flyers have been replaced, and the buttresses. It is clear, now that nineteenth-century paint and plaster have been removed, that the nave's lower buttresses date from the twelfth century. Moreover, the choir's lower flyers have chevron (zigzag) decoration. Chevron decoration, which was characteristic of the second half of the twelfth century and was out of favor by the fourteenth century, is entirely absent from modifications to the building that can be dated with confidence to the thirteenth century. tracing the development of a controversy, discussing obstacles to resolving a controversy, arguing in support of one side in a controversy, analyzing the assumptions underlying the claims made in a controversy, explaining why evidence relevant to a controversy has been overlooked

1 Explanation


Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Dec 8, 2012 • Comment

Hi, I'm still unclear about why A can't be correct. I see that C is more correct but isn't the passage looking at how the controversy developed?

Oct 1, 2016 • Reply

Cydney Seigerman, Magoosh Tutor

Hi Anne :)

Happy to help! The passage describes the controversy surrounding when the Notre-Dame cathedral was first supported by flying buttresses. While the author presents evidence to support one side of the controversy, the author does not go into detail as to how the controversy developed. In other words, the reader learns about the two sides but is not presented with any changes/developments in the two arguments themselves. We don't see evolution in the controversy but rather read about two steadfast positions.

I hope this helps you understand why A is not correct! If not, let us know :)

Oct 8, 2016 • Reply

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