The only guarantee we have of taste is that it will change. In response to novelty, even as the resistance to the unfamiliar reaches a threshold, fluency begets liking. Consider the case of the Sydney Opera House. A few decades ago, the now widely cherished building was the center of a national scandal. Not only did the building not fit the traditional form of an opera house; it did not fit the traditional form of a building. No one thought an opera house could look like the Sydney Opera House until architect Jørn Utzon, taking his idea from a peeled orange, said it could. Utzon changed the idea of what one could ask for in the building, projecting future tastes no one knew they had.
The paragraph given argues that when we look at something new, even as we resist the unfamiliar, fluency or familiarity begets liking. The paragraph cites the example of the Sydney Opera House which did not fit in the traditional form of an opera house or building, until Utzon, the architect, “changed the idea of what one could ask for in the building, projecting future tastes no one knew they had”. Now let us look at the options and see which one carries forward the idea: Option A: As a dominant sculptural building that can be seen and experienced from all sides, the Sydney Opera House is the focal point of Sydney Harbor and a reflection of its character. This option discusses how the Opera House dominates the Sydney Harbor and reflects its character. The penultimate line of the paragraph given, on the other hand, focusses on how Utzon projected future tastes and help changed the idea of what a building could be like. Option A does not carry forward this idea, and so is not the right one to complete the paragraph. Option B: In fact, had Utzon had been left to finish his masterpiece, it would have been more beautiful, more functional and less costly than what it turned out to be. This option discusses some completely new ideas- Utzon not finishing his masterpiece and the building being less functional and costlier than it would have been if he had. So we rule out this option to complete the paragraph. Option C: Utzon made the building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology, and he persevered through extraordinary malicious criticism to a building that changed the image of an entire country. This option focusses on Utzon- how he conceived an idea well ahead of its time, how he executed it far ahead of available technology and how he toiled on ignoring criticism. At the outset, it seems to be a good option to complete the paragraph, as the penultimate line of the paragraph too is about Utzon and his revolutionary and futuristic idea of what one could ask for in a building. But is the focus of the paragraph Utzon? It isn’t. The focus of the paragraph is on the fact that tastes change over time and fluency begets liking. The example of Sydney Opera House and Utzon’s brilliance in projecting tastes “no one knew they had” is discussed in the paragraph to support the central point about changing taste. Option C, on the other hand, focusses on Utzon’s achievements. This is not the best option to complete the paragraph. Option D- The world changed around the building, in response to it, which is why, in the curious words of one architecture critic, “Utzon’s breathtaking building looks better today than ever.” This, clearly, sums up the main idea of the paragraph. The world, in response to the Sydney Opera House, “changed around the building”. Our taste has changed from rejection/ resistance to the building to regarding it as breathtaking. This option is a better one than option C to complete the paragraph. The primary focus of option D is how the world changed in response to an unfamiliar idea, which is the main point of the paragraph, whereas the primary focus of option C is Utzon. Correct Answer: Choice (d)
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