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Ditching that Saintly Image - IELTS Reading Passage with Questions & Answers

Updated on 05 December, 2023

Kanika Pruthi

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Shedding Preconceptions:  Ditching that Saintly Image Reading Passage

In the realm of social psychology, there lies a phenomenon where individuals are often pigeonholed into rigid character roles, sometimes referred to colloquially as being 'typecast'. This compartmentalization can lead to what is known as the "saintly image" of a person, where the individual is perceived as devoid of faults and incapable of wrongdoing. However, the process of ditching this saintly image can be both liberating and fraught with challenges, as it often goes against the grain of established societal perceptions.

The concept of a 'saintly image' is rooted in human psychology's tendency to idealize individuals based on a set of positive traits or admirable actions. This idealization, while seemingly benign, can create an unrealistic standard for the individual, leading to pressure to maintain an impeccable facade. The journey to shed this one-dimensional image is complex, involving introspection, the courage to embrace one's flaws, and the resilience to withstand societal pushback.

The process often begins with a critical event or realization that challenges the person's perceived image. This could be a public mistake, a private admission, or an intentional act that displays a contrasting side of their personality. The aftermath can be tumultuous, as the pedestal once given can quickly turn into a pit of criticism. The individual must navigate through the duality of their character, reconciling their inherent flaws with their innate goodness.

Societal reaction to this shift can vary. While some may applaud the honesty and depth it brings to the individual's persona, others may feel betrayed or disillusioned. The transformation can be particularly difficult for public figures, who are under the continuous scrutiny of the media and the public.

Ditching the saintly image does not mean abandoning one's virtues but rather presenting a more rounded and authentic self. It means acknowledging that one can be kind-hearted and fallible, disciplined yet occasionally indulgent, a leader and a learner at the same time. This balance is essential not only for personal growth but also for fostering realistic and healthy expectations within society.

As individuals break away from these saintly caricatures, they pave the way for a culture that values authenticity over perfection. This shift can lead to a more accepting society that appreciates the complexity and fullness of the human experience.


Q1. The term "saintly image" in the passage refers to which of the following?

A. A religious figure

B. An individual's false persona

C. A person perceived as having no faults

D. A type of psychological disorder

Q2. Fill in the blank: The idealization of individuals can lead to an unrealistic standard and create a ________ for the individual.

Q3. True or False: The article suggests that ditching the saintly image is a straightforward and easy process.

Q4. What can trigger the process of shedding the saintly image according to the passage?

A. A life-changing realization

B. A critical public event

C. Both A and B

D. A therapeutic intervention

Q5. Fill in the blank: The individual must navigate through the ________ of their character.

Q6. True or False: Society always reacts positively when someone ditches their saintly image.

Q7. What is the main challenge faced by public figures when they shed their saintly image?

A. Accepting their own flaws

B. Learning to be humble

C. Handling media scrutiny

D. Developing new skills

Q8. Fill in the blank: Ditching the saintly image involves reconciling one's inherent flaws with their ________.

Q9. True or False: The passage infers that to ditch the saintly image, one must abandon their virtues.

Q10. What overall societal benefit does the passage suggest may result from individuals ditching their saintly image?

A. Increased religious following

B. Stricter societal norms

C. A culture that values authenticity

D. More psychological disorders


A1. C. A person perceived as having no faults

A2. Pressure

A3. False

A4. C. Both A and B

A5. Duality

A6. False

A7. C. Handling media scrutiny

A8. Innate goodness

A9. False

A10. C. A culture that values authenticity

By carefully analyzing this passage and responding to the questions, IELTS candidates can enhance their reading comprehension skills and better prepare for the exam. The passage provides a nuanced discussion suitable for IELTS learners, while the questions are crafted to reflect the diversity of question types found in the actual exam. The aim is to prepare learners for the test and to encourage critical thinking about the broader implications of societal perceptions.



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Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Kanika has 5+ years of experience as a writer and content developer. She has written for a wide range of industry verticals, including hospitality, restaurants, non-profits, finance, IT, HR, technology, payroll, and education. She has worked as a creator for a few leading companies and has also helped brands grow through her creative writing.

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