The characters are proud of their wisdom and lack of illusions. Even despite this, they sometimes express unjustified ______?
The two sentences run parallel with one another; the word in the blank should correspond to "pride", but it should do so in a negative sense (unjustified hints at that!)
(A) Prevarication - the telling of a lie, particularly sneaky about doing so.
(B) Satisfaction - fulfillment of wishes/desires
(C) Self-flattery - The holding of a high opinion of one's self.
(D) Affectation - Writing/speech that is designed to impress.
(E) Narcissism - Excessive interest in one's self.
(F) Indolence - Laziness
Taking a look at this list, and the above analysis, the answers should jump out!
SPOILER: C and E
If you were not able to puzzle through it, based on the hints in the sentence, knowing all of the words would have lead you to the correct answer as well! There are only two words in the list that have similar enough meanings to equate the two sentences!