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CAT Previous Year Paper | CAT VARC Questions | Question 22

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Question 22 : The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
People view idleness as a sin and industriousness as a virtue, and in the process have developed an unsatisfactory relationship with their jobs. Work has become a way for them to keep busy, even though many find their work meaningless. In their need for activity people undertake what was once considered work (fishing, gardening) as hobbies. The opposing view is that hard work has made us prosperous and improved our levels of health and education. It has also brought innovation and labour and time-saving devices, which have lessened life's drudgery.

  1. Some believe that hard work has been glorified to the extent that it has become meaningless, and led to greater idleness, but it has also had enormous positive impacts on everyday life.
  2. Despite some detractors, hard work is essential in today's world to enable economic progress, for education and health and to propel innovations that make life easier.
  3. Hard work has overtaken all aspects of our lives and has enabled economic prosperity, but it is important that people reserve their leisure time for some idleness.
  4. While the idealisation of hard work has propelled people into meaningless jobs and endless activity, it has also led to tremendous social benefits from prosperity and innovation.

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Explanatory Answer

The paragraph given presents two opposing views on hard work. In one view, hard work has led to meaningless jobs as people strive to keep busy at all costs, while in the opposing view, hard work has brought about innovation and comfort. Option D sums up the paragraph well.
Option A is incorrect, as it states that hard work has 'led to greater idleness'. The paragraph does not say so.
Option B presents a one-sided view and is hence incorrect.
The paragraph does not talk about the importance of leisure time. So, option C is also incorrect.


The answer is 'While the idealisation of hard work has propelled people into meaningless jobs and endless activity, it has also led to tremendous social benefits from prosperity and innovation.'

Choice D is the correct answer.

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