Anupam Mishra is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
Reading Comprehension For the CAT The Genre Series Module 11 Session 2 "Those 9 months matter" A Course By: Anupam Mishra
Structure & flow of Sessions. Reading the Passage Para-wise Summary Central Idea Word- meanings No specific Questions to be solved (Shall have a separate course for that)
Some Quips about the Passage O Passage part of: Human Traits and their Social Significance' O Was an American Philosopher, a professor of Philosophy and was also elected as vice president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. as known for clarity of his writings. O Was considered to be an open minded critic. O Published many works Articles in various magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Horizon, etc. O "Life is always at some turning point." Author Irwin Edman
The Passage (part 1) Probably the most significant and unique fact of human behavior is the period of "prolonged infancy" which is characteristic of human beings alone. Fiske and Butler in particular have stressed the importance of this human trait. In the lower animals the period of infancy that is, the period during which the young are dependent uporn their parents for food, care, and training- is very short, extending even in the highest form of ape to not more than three months. This would appear, at first blush, to be a great advantage possessed by the lower animals. They come into the world equipped with a variety of tendencies to act which, within a week, or, as in the case of chickens, almost immediately after birth, are perfectly adapted to secure for them food, shelter, and protection. They are mechanisms from the beginning perfectly adjusted to their environmenf
The Passage (part 2) The human infant, while it is born with a greater number of instinctive activities thar other animals, is able to make little use of them just as they stand. For years after birth it is helplessly dependent on others to supply its most elementary needs. It must be fed, carried, and sheltered; it cannot by itself even reach for an object, and it cannot for nearly two years after birth specifically communicate its wants to other people. But this c mparatively long helplessness of the human infant is perhaps the chief source of human progress. The human baby, because it can so little at the start, because it has so many tendencies to act and has them all so plastic, undeveloped, and modifiable, has to a unique degree the capacity to learn. This means that it can profit by the experience of others and adjust itself to a great variety and complexity of situations.
The Passage (part 3) The chicken or the bird can do a limited number of things perfectly, but it is as if it had a number of special keys opening special locks. The power of modifying these instinctive adjustments, the capacity of learning, is like being put in possession of a pass- key. As Professor Dewey puts it, "An original specialized power of adjustment secures immediate efficiency, but, like a railway ticket, it is good for one route only. A being who, irn order to use his eyes, ears, hands, and legs, has to experiment in making varied combinations of their reactions, achieves a control that is flexible and varied." The more complex the environment is in which the individual must live, the longer is the period of infancy needed in which the necessary habits and capacities may be acquired.
Para-Summaries Paragraph -1 O Author starts off with 'prolonged infancy' in case of humans as their most unique behaviour. Makes comparisons to infancy periods of other animals. Comments on the apparent advantage they seem to have due to their well-developed mechanisms Paragraph 2 O Here, the author goes on to explain in detail about the long human infancy period. Also mentions how this is also a chief factor in human progress. Mentions how the undeveloped state comes with a high capacity to learn & adjust in complex scenarios.
Para-Summaries Paragraph 3 O Further clarifies the difference by drawing an analogy related to locks. Quotes a Prof. who professes the advantages of the prolonged infancy by using an analogy. Closes with a general statement about the environment complexity & infancy duration.
Central Idea of Passage P1: Author starts off with 'prolonged infancy' in case of humans as their most unique behaviour. Makes comparisons to infancy periods of other animals. P2: Here, the author goes on to explain in detail about the long human infancy period. Also mentions how this is also a chief factor in human progress P3: Further clarifies the difference by drawing an analogy related to locks. Quotes a Prof. who professes the advantages of the prolonged infancy by using an analogy. The central idea of the passage is how humans have a prolonged infancy period & what other differences does it come along with. And also how it has been a chief factor in human progress.
Word-meanings Contextual) O Prolonged O Elementary O Instinctive Long, Extended Very basic Intuitive, natural