LSAT Reading Comprehension: Sample Humanities Passage
Humanities passages you may see on the LSAT explore topics related to the arts and literature. So you may read about the message of a Mexican muralist, the techniques applied by a modern composer, or the themes advanced by a particular playwright. This passage excerpt interprets the impact of a popular Latin American poet:
The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda joined the Communist Party in 1939 and, according to Jean Franco, began to write social poetry shortly thereafter. But Neruda’s social philosophy is apparent in the poems he wrote before his formal Communist affiliation.
In 1924, Neruda published Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, a compilation of 21 poems through which Neruda reveals the compassion for common humanity that formed the foundation of his political choices.
Neruda’s use of familiar images and common experience in his poetry makes his art accessible to the average person, and because art attempts to make sense of the often ambiguous objective world by presenting it in a more easily grasped form, Neruda’s poems carry out the Communist ideal of collective equality by offering everyone the opportunity to better comprehend the world.
Therefore, Twenty Love Poems achieves a more powerful purpose than merely exploring the relationship between a man and a woman; Neruda’s poems provide a means by which to explore the complexities of the world and perhaps catch a glimpse of something more eternal.
The excerpt reveals the author’s positive view of Neruda’s compilation through a relatively objective account of the work’s influence. Like many humanities passages, this paragraph incorporates historical and political references in its discussion of the artist.