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Bac ES Blanc Anglais LV1 : Preparing to leave Kenya

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Le sujet   2008 - Bac ES - Anglais LV1 - Expression

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Le premier sujet d'expression est double. Dans un premier temps, on vous demande une lettre liée au texte qui ne pose aucune difficulté majeure. La seconde partie ouvre sur une argumentation, une question en forme de débat qui nécessite un esprit structuré.
Le deuxième sujet est une "Yes/No question" qui impose une opinion personnelle argumentée dans une langue correcte. Construisez votre plan en gardant la thèse que vous voulez défendre pour la fin.

          Fiona Sweeney shoved a pair of rolled-up jeans into the corner of her purple duffel
     bag. Outside her bedroom window, a siren's wail sliced through the white noise of a wet
     snowfall. Those eerie man-made moans were part of New York City's wallpaper, a signal
     of trouble commonplace enough to pass unnoticed. But Fi registered this one, maybe
 5   because she knew she wouldn't be hearing sirens for a while.
          She turned her attention back to her bag, which still had space. What else should she
     take? Lifting a framed snapshot, she examined her mother as a young woman, wading
     into a stream, wearing rubber boots and carrying a fishing pole. Fi cherished the
     photograph; in real life, she'd never known her mother to be that carefree. The mother Fi
 10  had known wouldn't want to go to Africa. In fact, she wouldn't want Fi to go. Fi put the
     picture facedown and scanned the room, her attention drawn to a worn volume of Irish
     poetry by her bedside. She tucked it in.
          "How about the netting1?" Chris called from the living room where he sat with Devi.
          "Already in," Fi answered.
 15       "And repellent?" asked Devi.
     "Yes, yes." Fi waved her hand as though shooing away a gnat—a gesture that Chris
     and Devi couldn't see from the other room. "Should have kept my mouth shut," she
          Early on in her research about Kenya, she'd discovered that the country's annual
 20  death toll from malaria was in the tens of thousands. She had pills; she had repellents;
     logically, she knew she'd be fine. Still, a figure that high jolted her. She became slightly
     obsessed and—here's the rub—discussed it with Chris and Devi. Mbu—mosquito—had
     been the first Swahili word she'd learned. Sometimes the insects even dive-bombed into
     her nightmares. Eventually, mosquitoes became a metaphor for everything she feared
 25  about this trip: all the stories she'd read about a violent and chaotic continent, plus the
     jitters that come with the unknown.
          And what wasn't unknown? All she knew for sure, in fact, was why she was going. Fi's
     mom had never been a big talker, but she'd been a hero, raising four kids alone. Now it
     was Fi's turn to do something worthwhile.
 30       "Fi." Chris, at the door of the bedroom, waved in the air the paper on which he'd
     written a list of all the items he thought she should bring and might forget. Money belt.
     Hat. Granola bars. "Have you been using this?" he asked haIf-mockingly in the tone of a
          "I hate lists," Fi said.
 35       He studied her a second. "OK," he said. "Then, what do you say, take a break?"
     "Yeah, c'mon, Fi. We don't want to down all your wine by ourselves," Devi called from
     the living room, where an Enya CD played low.
          Pulling back her dark, frizzy hair and securing it with a clip, Fi moved to the living room
     and plopped onto the floor across from Devi, who sprawled2 in a long skirt on the couch.
 40  Chris poured Fi a glass of cabernet and sat in the chair nearest her. If they reached out,
     the three of them could hold hands. Fi felt connected to them in many ways, but at the
     same time, she was already partly in another place and period. A soft light fell in from the
     window, dousing the room in a flattering glow and intensifying the sensation that
     everything around her was diaphanous, and that she herself was half here and half not.
 45       "You know, there's lots of illiteracy in this country," Devi said after a moment.
          "That's why I've been volunteering after work," Fi said. "But there, it's different.
     They've never been exposed to libraries. Some have never held a book in their hands."
          "Not to mention that it's more dangerous, which somehow makes it appealing to Fi,"
     Chris said to Devi, shaking his head. "Nai-robbery."
 50       Though he spoke lightly, his words echoed those of Fi's brother and two sisters—
     especially her brother. She was ready with a retort, "I'll mainly be in Garissa, not Nairobi,"
     she said. "It's no more dangerous there than New York City. Anyway, I want to take some
     risks—different risks. Break out of my rut. Do something meaningful." Then she made her
     tone playful. "The idealistic Irish. What can you do?"
 55       "Sometimes idealism imposes," Chris said. "What if all they want is food and
          "You know what I think. Books are their future. A link to the modern world." Fi grinned.
     "Besides, we want Huckleberry Finn to arrive before Sex in the City reruns, don't we?"
     Devi reached out to squeeze Fi's shoulder. "Just be home by March."

1 net to protect oneself against mosquitoes
2 (here) sit or lie casually, in a relaxed manner

The Camel Bookmobile, Masha Hamilton, 2007


Choose subject 1(a+b) or subject 2.

Subject 1:
     a) Write the letter the main character sends to a friend after living and working in Kenya for a few weeks. (150 words)
     b) One of the characters suggests that all that people in developing countries want is "food and medecine" (l. 55). To what extent do you agree? (150 words)

Subject 2:
     Is it possible to combine idealism with a professional career? (300 words)

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