France Métropolitaine - Section S - Juin 2001
- Who are the main characters? What are they doing? Where and when does the scene take place? (40 words)
The main characters are a mother and her daughter.
The mother is lighting a fire while her daughter, Britt, is sipping her tea.
The scene takes place in the morning.
- What can you say about the girl's results at school and university?
The girl is a brilliant student as she succeeding in entering Oxford University where she obtained her degree
- l. 14 - l. 37.
a) Mention four rituals of a typical Graduation Day at Oxford.
- Students are dressed in gown and mortar board or cap
- Students collect their degree from the Vice-Chancellor
- Students are trooped into the rococo splendour of the Sheldonian Theatre
- Students submit themselves to the taking of the graduation photo
b) To what extent was Britt's Graduation Day different from her friends'? Explain why.
Why? (Quote the text)
- her parents didn’t come
- “she had been too embarrassed to invite them.” (l 34 35)
- she had no photo of her graduation day
-“telling them she would be on holiday for Degree Day and would collect hers by post.” (l 29)
- it was not a happy day for her
- “and her day had been ruined” (l 33)
c) How long ago did it take place?
It took place twelve years ago
- Today how does she feel when she remembers that day? Quote elements from the text in your answer. (30 words)
She obviously feels ashamed today ( “sprang up bringing with it a sick feeling of shame” l 16 ) and she now realizes that she deprived her parents of the celebration and the ritual photo that should be present with pride in the family mantelpiece. ( “as she looked at the empty mantelpiece this morning (…) she felt so ashamed that she had to look away” l 36)
- (I. 13) "… She had now almost nothing in common with them."
Fill in the grid with elements from the text to illustrate this quotation.
1 - marital status
They are married
She is single / unmarried
2 - clothes
her father in an ill‑fitting suit
her mother wearing Crimplene
“groomed and sophisticated”
3 - ideals in life
pulling together in a knit community
believed passionately in the individual
- As far as human values are concerned, what does the main character become aware of at the end of the text? (40 words)
The main character, Britt, becomes aware of her individualism and selfishness; In opposition to her, her parents felt secure in their daily rituals and had a strong sense of community. But now that she is pregnant she is regretful and realizes, by herself, that she was wrong.
II. COMPETANCE LINGUISTIQUE
1. Say who or what the underlined words refer to:
a) I. 4 "photographs of her” : “her” refers to the mother
b) l.8 "hers was a classic story” : “hers” refers to Britt’s
c) l.18 "with their sons or daughters" parents’
d) l.28 "collect hers by post" : her degree
e) l.32 "with her parents" : the parents of the only other student from Rothwell Grammar
f) l.33 "that her parents might ..." : Britt's parents
2. Put the verbs in the appropriate forms and tenses.
a) If her parents HAD COME to the ceremony when she was a student,
she WOULD HAVE FELT ashamed of them.
b) She HAD CHANGED since she HAD GONE to Oxford.
c) She was afraid her friend WOULD TELL her parents the truth.
d) They were proud that she HAD OBTAINED her degree.
e) She wishes she HAD BEHAVED differently with her parents when she
f) If she told them the truth now, she WOULD BE relieved.
3. Rephrase the following sentences using the prompts given.
a) She regrets not having asked her parents to come.
She thinks she should have asked her parents to come.
b) She felt so ashamed that she had to look away.
Feeling ashamed, she couldn't help looking away.
c) For the first time in her life she realized she was wrong.
It was the first time she had realized she was wrong.
d) The parents certainly felt very disappointed.
They must she had realized she was wrong.
e) She thought her parents were too conventional.
She blamed her parents for being too conventional.
4. Use the following linkwords in the sentences, rephrasing them when necessary. Each word must be used once only
thanks to ‑ unlike ‑ so … that ‑ in order to – although
a) Life was very difficult for the parents. The mother had become faded and anxious.
Life was so difficult for the parents that the mother had become faded and anxious.
b) Her parents would have loved to go. They were not invited to the ceremony.
Although her parents would have loved to go, they were not invited to the ceremony.
c)They had sacrificed themselves. They wanted to help their daughter to get a good education.
They had sacrificed themselves in order to help their daughter to get a good education.
d) She had been successful at school. Her parents' encouragements had helped her.
She had been successful at school thanks to her parents’ encouragements
e) Her fellow students had asked their parents to come. She hadn't.
Unlike her, her fellow students had asked their parents to come.
I. 12 ‑ "with each new achievement, she had moved further and further away from them"
"A Chaque nouvelle réussite elle s’était éloignée un peu plus d'eux".
I. 35 ‑ "If they did hear, nothing was ever said. " ,
"Même s'ils l'apprirent un jour, ils n'en dirent jamais rien".
1. A few days Britt' s belief that " later, Britt confesses her lie to her mother. Write their conversation.
2. Do you agree with You could have anything you wanted if only you tried hard enough" ? Justify your answer, giving examples.