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Le sujet 2008 - Bac ES,Bac S - Anglais LV1 - Expression
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.
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.
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)
Is it possible to combine idealism with a professional career? (300 words)