Critical Reasoning- Oral Storytelling

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Critical Reasoning- Oral Storytelling

The image of an oral telling may be caught on paper, film or in digital format, but recordings are not the word shared live. The presence of teller and audience, and the immediacy of the moment are not fully captured by any form of technology. Unlike the insect frozen in amber, a told story is alive. It always changes from one telling to the next depending on the voice and mood of the storyteller, the place of its telling and the response of the audience. The story breathes with the teller’s breath.

Which of the options below conveys the main idea of the paragraph best?

  1. Unlike stories in paper, film and digital formats, a told story is alive, and hence more potent.
  2. The immediacy and intimacy of live storytelling cannot be captured by recordings.
  3. Technology and oral storytelling are separated by a deep divide and one cannot take the place of the other.
  4. The living human presence experienced through oral tradition brings out the true power of stories.
  5.  

    • Correct Answer
      Choice B

    Detailed Solution

    The paragraph argues that no form of technology can fully capture the communal experience and the intimacy of oral storytelling. The teller breathes life into the story and each telling varies, as it is influenced by the teller’s voice, his mood, the setting and the audience’s response.

    Let us look at the options to see which one captures the main idea of the paragraph best.

    Option (a) states that a told story is alive, and hence more potent. The paragraph does stress on the point that a told story is alive, and that it “breathes with the teller’s breath”. This looks like a possibility.

    Option (b) is also a clear contender. That recordings are not the word shared live is the focal point of the paragraph; the author explains in detail why he thinks so.

    Option (c) can be ruled out right away. The paragraph is not about the gulf between technology and oral storytelling. Nor does it argue that one cannot take the place of the other.

    Option (d) presents an argument that is similar to option (a), that only oral storytelling brings out the true power of stories.

    So, we need to examine whether the paragraph explicitly states or implies that oral story telling is more potent than stories in paper, film and digital formats.

    Upon close reading, we see that the paragraph is focused on the idea that recordings are not the word shared live. While the author’s tone does indicate that he favors oral storytelling, he does not comment on the effectiveness of stories caught on paper, films and digital formats. Option (b) puts the main idea of the paragraph across better than options (a) and (d). So option (b) is the right answer option.

    Correct Answer: Choice (B)



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