RC constitutes a very important part of the Verbal Ability section in CAT. Here is a passage from CAT 1991 for you to practice. This will help you to adopt the correct strategies while solving a passage and improve your accuracy
In 1787, the twenty-eighth year of the reign of King George III, the British Government sent a fleet to colonize Australia. Never had a colony been founded so far from its parent state, or in such ignorance of the land it occupied There has been no reconnaissance. In 1770 Captain James Cook had made landfall on the unexplored east coast of this utterly enigmatic continent stopped for a short while at a place named Botany Bay and gone north again. Since then, no ship had called – not a word, not an observation, for 17 years, each one of which was exactly like the thousands that had preceded it, locked in its historical immensity of blue heat, blush, sandstone and the measured booming of glassy pacific rollers.
Now, this coast was to witness a new colonial experiment, never tried before, not repeated since, An unexplored continent would become a jail. The space around it, the very air and sea, the whole transparent labyrinth of the South pacific, would become a wall 14,000 miles thick.
The late 18th century abounded in schemes of social goodness thrown off by its burgeoning sense of revolution. But here, the process was to be reversed: not utopia, but Dystopia; not Rousseau’s natural man moving in moral grace amid free social contract, but man coerced, deracinated, in chains. Other parts of the Pacific, especially Tahiti, might seem to conform Rousseau. But the intellectual patrons of Australia, in its first colonial years, were Hobbes and Sade.
In their most sanguine moments, the authorities hoped that it would eventually swallow a whole class-the “criminal class”, whose existence was one of the prime sociological beliefs of late Georgian and early Victorian England. Australia was settled to defend English property not from the frog-eating invader across the Channel but from the marauder within. English lawmakers wished not only to get rid of the “Criminal class” but if possible to forget about it. Australia was a Cloaca, invisible, its contents filthy and unnamable.
To most Englishmen this place seemed not just a mutant society but another planet-an exiled world, summed up in its popular name, “Botany Bay”. It was remote and anomalous to its white creators. It was strange but close, as the unconscious to the conscious mind. There was as yet no such thing as “Australian” history or culture. For its first forty years, everything that happened in the thief-colony was English. In the whole period of convict transportation, the Crown shipped more than 160,000 men, women and children (due to defects in the records, the true number will never be precisely known) in bondage to Australia. This was the largest forced exile of citizens at the behest of a European government in pre-modern history. Nothing in earlier penology compares with it. In Australia, England drew the sketch for our own century’s vaster and more terrible fresco of repression the Gulag. No other country had such a birth, and its pangs may be said to have begun on the afternoon of January 26, 1788, when a fleet of eleven vessels carrying 1,030 people, including 548 male and 188 female convicts, under the command of captain Arthur Phillip in his flagship Sirius, entered Port Jackson or, as it would presently be called, Sydney Harbor.
- When the author refers to “the marauder within”, he is referring to:
(a) the working class.
(b) the lower class.
(c) the criminal class.
(d) the Loch Ness monster.
- According to the passage, the intellectual mentors of Australia could be :
(a) Hobbes and Cook
(b) Hobbes and Sade
(c) Phillip and Jackson
(d) Sade and Phillip
- Which of the following does not describe what the English regarded Australia to be :
(a) a mutant society.
(b) an exiled world.
(c) an enigmatic continent.
(d) a new frontier.
- The primary theme of the passage is
(a) the colonization if Australia
(b) the first forty years of Australian history.
(c) the rise of the “criminal class” and its impact on the life of Georgian England.
(d) the establishment of Australia as a penal colony.
- One of the hallmarks of the late Georgian and early Victorian England was the belief in:
(a) repression of the “criminal class”.
(b) convict transportation.
(c) colonization as a solution to social problems.
(d) the existence of a “criminal” class of people.
- According to the passage, which of the following statements is not true
(a) During the seventeen years after Captain James Cook made landfall at Botany Bay, the British made several observation trips to Australia
(b) Australia was settled by the British to protect their property from some of their own kin.
(c) The author implies that while Rousseau was vindicated in the functioning of the society of Tahiti, the process in Australia presented a contrary picture.
(d) Both (a) and (b).
- Answer: Option (3) is the correct answer. The author mentions the phrase “the marauder within” in the third paragraph to refer to the criminal class. Hence, option (3) is the correct answer. Rest of the options are not used in this context by the author.
- Answer: Option (2) is the correct answer. The intellectual patrons of Australia in its first colonial years were Hobbes and Sade. The answer to this question can be found in the last line of the third paragraph – “But the intellectual … and Sade.” Rest of people are not mentioned by the author as intellectual mentors of Australia.
- Answer: Option (4) is the correct answer. To answer this question, we med to find an option that does not describe what the English regarded Australia to be. A reading of the passage shows that the English regarded Australia as stated in all the options, except (4). The English did not regard Australia as a new frontier. It was settled to defend the English property from the criminal class. Hence, the correct answer is option (4).
- Answer: Option (4) is the correct answer. Though colonization of Australia is mentioned by the author in passage, it is not the main theme of the passage. Hence option (1) can be negated. The author’s primary objective is not to discuss the first forty years of Australia history, so option (2) is ruled out. Neither is the rise of ‘criminal class’ the main theme of the passage, hence option (3) can be eliminated too. The passage primarily deals with the settlement of Australia as a penal colony to defend the English property from the criminal class. Hence, option (4) is the correct answer.
- Answer: Option (4) is the correct answer. The existence of the criminal class was one of the prime sociological beliefs of late Georgian and early Victorian England. Rest of the options are not mentioned as hall marks of late Georgian and early Victorian belief in England.
- Answer: Option (1) is the correct answer.. To answer this question, we need to look for an option that is not true as per the information given in the passage. A reading of the passage reveals both options (2) and (3) to be true. Hence, both can be eliminated. According to the passage, for seventeen years no observation was made on the Australian island by England. Hence, option (1) is the right answer.
Level of difficulty:- Easy to Moderate
Expected time to solve:- 9 to 12 minutes.
Hope you learnt!
See you with the next one tomorrow!