The Earth's Hardest Comprehension Questions

Comprehension Problems
Marta Suplicy
5 Often, when an individual wants to achieve extraordinary things that in- dividual will face Herculean obstacles to achieve what to many is viewed as unachievable. Marta Suplicy is an excellent example of a woman who achieved extraordinary things due to her sheer will and desire to improve the lives of the average Brazilian in the city of Sao Paulo.
10 She campaigned aggressively on a platform of improved educational opportunities and housing for Paulistas (what the people of Sao Paulo call themselves). Her message of equal opportunity was not welcome by many businessmen. Every step of the way she was criticized for many of her stances on marriage, women and children.
15 Divisive propaganda was placed all over Sao Paulo. Some advertisements indicated, “Don’t vote for someone who has used drugs,” implying that Su- plicy herself was a drug addict. Negative photographs of her were pasted all through Sao Paulo. Her adversaries expected her to behave like the stereotypical media image of a woman; weak-kneed and unable to handle criticism.
20 Suplicy seemed to relish the negative comments. Many political commentators in Sao Paulo compared her to Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady of the United States. Unbeknownst to the old guard in Sao Paulo, many Paulistas were keen on the comparison. Suplicy’s opponents were unaware of the inchoate rise of a Brazilian form of feminism that was rapidly being accepted and, in some cases, openly welcomed by Paulistas in general.
25 The psychoanalyst-turned-politician did not quit the race, and decided to attack her opponents vigorously. Suplicy characterized her opponents as unmasculine and unfit for the job of mayor, a serious charge in the machismo climate of Sao Paulo. And it worked.
30 The last days of October 2000 marked the emergence of Stanford- educated Marta Suplicy as a force to be reckoned with in Brazilian politics. As mayor of Sao Paulo, she will be responsible for endorsing many of the future candidates for national office. And, like her American counter- part, Senator Hillary Clinton, Suplicy represents the emergence of a new political animal, the very well connected and powerful female legislator.

1. Based on the above passage, the author contends that individuals who want to achieve extraordinary things

  • l. need to go to Harvard University.
  • m. need to revert to techniques utilized by other successful individuals in the past.
  • n. need to let their parents and grandparents help them along the way.
  • o. need to avoid confrontational situations in life.
  • p. need to be persistent and need to be willing to take the offensive in achieving their goals.

2. The author implies in lines 11-13 that political advertising was utilized by Suplicy’s adversaries to

  • v. encourage people to vote for Marta Suplicy.
  • w. primarily misinform voters.
  • x. show what the actual positions each political candidate has.
  • y. present positive images of rival candidates.
  • z. make sure that voters focus only on the real issues.

3. Marta Suplicy and Senator Hillary Clinton are similar in what ways?

  • l. Both were ignorant women with little education.
  • m. Both candidates were supported heavily by businessmen.
  • n. Both women knew how to fight back using the media and were very charming.
  • o. Both women were easily frightened by the media.
  • p. Both women were admired by their political opponents.

4. The “inchoate rise of a Brazilian form of feminism,” mentioned in lines 20-24 refers to

  • v. the feminist movement; it was focused and highly regarded by opponents.
  • w. Paulistas who would not vote for a powerful, media-savvy female politician.
  • x. he old guard, like Boss Tweed, who would choose who would represent Sao Paulo.
  • y. a liberalization of Paulistas attitudes towards female politicians that went largely ignored by the old guard.
  • z. peoples votes not being counted fairly by crooked politicians.

5. According to the passage, the “old guard” most likely represents

  • l. powerful right-wing forces in a democracy who protect their self-interests first.
  • m. Nero-like men who live by the saying “do as I say and not as I do”.
  • n. corpulent men who are above the law of man and God.
  • o. old security officers who are forced to work after retirement.
  • p. Cannot be determined from the information provided.