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Annales gratuites Bac ES : Preparing to leave for Kenya

Le sujet  2008 - Bac ES - Anglais LV1 - Compréhension écrite Imprimer le sujet
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Des questions de facture classique, fidèles à vos entraînements pendant l'année : un repérage habituel d'informations couplé toutefois d'un certain nombre de questions qui nécessite de la rédaction et une bonne connaissance du texte.

LE SUJET


          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
     murmured.
          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
     teacher.
          "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
     medicine?"
          "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

 

1. In what country does the scene take place? Justify your answer by quoting from the text.

2. How many characters are present in the scene? Name them and say which one is the main character.

3. Give additional information about the main character (surname, nickname, family composition)

4. Pick out two quotations to prove that the main character is about to leave.

5. The main character's destination is Kenya. Rewrite the following sentences using words from the text to complete them.

Kenya is a country in (a).....where (b) ... and English are the two official languages.
Nairobi is the capital while (c)..... is a smaller city.

6. a) How does the main character feel in the passage from line 19 to line 26 ?
    b) Give at least three reasons why the main character feels this way. (30 words)

7. a) Who was an inspiration for the main character to do something out of the ordinary?
    b) In what way was this person an inspiration? (20 words)

8. Among the following sentences, choose the one which explains what the play on words "Nai-robbery" in line 49 means.
   a) The crime rate in Nairobi is very high.
   b) Women in Nairobi wear very fashionable dresses.
   c) Life in Nairobi is very expensive.
   d) You'll never be robbed in Nairobi.

9. a) Which people does the pronoun "them" refer to in the sentence "Fi felt connected to them in many ways" (l.41)?
    b) Do these people approve of the main character's decision to go to Kenya? Sum up their arguments. (30 words)

10. What arguments does the main character give to refuse theirs? (30 words)

11. Quote elements from the text to show that, despite their disagreement, the atmosphere is cosy and comfortable in the passage from line 35 to line 44.

Read the whole text again.

12. Explain why the people present in the scene have decided to meet at the main character's home. (30 words)

13. Analyse what personal benefits the main character hopes to derive from this Kenyan experience. (30 words)

LE CORRIGÉ


1.
In what country does the scene take place? Justify your answer by quoting from the text.
The story takes place in the United States. l.3: “Those eerie man-made moans were part of New York City’s wallpaper.”

2. How many characters are present in the scene? Name them and say which one is the main character.
There are three characters: Fiona, the main character, Chris and Devi, her friends.

3. Give additional information about the main character (surname, nickname, family composition)
The main character’s name is Fiona Sweeney. She is nicknamed Fi. She has been raised by a single mother and has three siblings: two sisters and a brother. l. 28 “raising four kids alone”.l.50 “two sisters and a brother”.

4. Pick out two quotations to prove that the main character is about to leave.
l. 1-2 “Fiona Sweeney shoved a pair of rolled-up jeans into the corner of her purple duffel bag”. l.9-10 “The mother Fi had known wouldn’t want to go to Africa. In fact, she wouldn’t want Fi to go”. l.27 “All she knew for sure, in fact, was why she was going”. l.28-29 “Now it was Fi’s turn to do something worthwhile”.

5. The main character's destination is Kenya. Rewrite the following sentences using words from the text to complete them.

Kenya is a country in Africa where Swahili, and English are the two official languages.
Nairobi is the capital while Garissa is a smaller city.

6. a) How does the main character feel in the passage from line 19 to line 26 ?
She feels scared.

    b) Give at least three reasons why the main character feels this way. (30 words)
She feels terrified because she has read about the devastating effects of mosquitoes and malaria. Moreover, she knows it is a violent country and is fearful of the unknown.

7. a) Who was an inspiration for the main character to do something out of the ordinary?
It was her mother. l.28-29 “Fi’s mother 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”.

    b) In what way was this person an inspiration? (20 words)
Fi wants to pass on the education and so the opportunities she’s had growing up in a first-world country.

8. Among the following sentences, choose the one which explains what the play on words "Nai-robbery" in line 49 means.
a) The crime rate in Nairobi is very high

9. a) Which people does the pronoun "them" refer to in the sentence "Fi felt connected to them in many ways" (l.41)?
“Them” refers to her friends, Chris and Devi.

    b) Do these people approve of the main character's decision to go to Kenya? Sum up their arguments. (30 words)
Fi’s friends are aware of the dangers she is going to be exposed to and think that she is too much of an idealist. They believe that Kenyans may not be interested in books but rather in food and medicine.

10. What arguments does the main character give to refuse theirs? (30 words)
Fiona replies that she’ll be in Garissa, which is less dangerous than Nairobi. Besides, for her, books represent their future and a mean to step in the modern world.

 

11. Quote elements from the text to show that, despite their disagreement, the atmosphere is cosy and comfortable in the passage from line 35 to line 44.
l.37 “where an Enya CD played low”
l.39-44 “Devi, who sprawled in a long skirt on the couch […] Chris poured Fi a glass of cabernet […] if they reached out, the three of them could hold hands […]she felt connected in many ways […]a soft light fell from the window, dousing the room in a flattering glow and intensifying the sensation that everything around was diaphanous”.

Read the whole text again.

12. Explain why the people present in the scene have decided to meet at the main character's home. (30 words)
They have decided to get together to give her last-minute tips concerning her trip and to share a privileged moment together because they know she’ll be away for a while and they’re going to miss her.

 

13. Analyse what personal benefits the main character hopes to derive from this Kenyan experience. (30 words)
Fiona wants to break free from her daily routine and her urban city life. She wants to spice up her life taking risks and helping others. Most of all, she wants to dedicate herself to changing people’s lives.

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