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CN English-American literature test paper (July, 2005) IV

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Ⅳ. Topics for Discussion (20 points in all, 10 for each)

49.Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine in Pride and Prejudice, is often regarded as the most successful character created by Jane Austen. Make a brief comment on Elizabeth’s character.

A. Elizabeth is clever, alert, observant. She is more observant and less charitable than Jane in recognizing the characters of Bingley's sisters. She recognizes Mr. Colins' character in his letter and after meeting him turns down firmly and with dignity his patronizing proposal. She is able to match wits with Darcy several times and with Colonel Fitzwilliam, earning their respect and admiration.

B. Fearless and frank, not rattled by the attack of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, she wins a notable victory, sending her Ladyship away completely routed. She is independent but of infallible in her judgement, taken in by the charm of the worthless Wickham. She cannot be blamed for misjudging Darcy.

C. She shows flexibility, discernment, and honesty of mind when she reads Darcy's defense in his letter and admits the justice of much of what he says. Thus beginning to lose her prejudice against him. She recognizes and values true worth when she encounters it in Jame, the Gardiners, and, near the end of the novel, in Darcy. She sees more clearly than her father the danger of sending Lydia to Brighton.

D. She is able to control her emotions at times of tress, when she first encounters Darcy at Pemberley; when she realizes that she loves Darcy and has good reason to fear that she has lost him, she waits without repining for time to bring a solution. She is witty, fun-loving, recognizes humor in herself and in others, but ridiculing only folly, nonsense, and inconsistencies. She recognizes the follies of her own family and their shortcomings as well as their virtues.

E. She is considerate of others but quite capable of asserting herself when occasion demands. She has a playful and unaffected manner, sunny disposition, natural animation, sense of fun, and sweet reasonableness. She is ready to laugh at herself and everything save "what is wise and good." She shows a sense of humor by telling what Darcy has said about her at the Meryton ball.

50.Take Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as an example to illustrate the statement that Mark Twain was a unique writer in American literature.

A. Mark Twain shaped the world's view of America and made an extensive combination of American folk humor and serious literature.

B. The novel has become a great contribution to the legacy of American literature.

C. The novel is written in language that is totally different from the rhetorical language used by his contemporary writers such as Emerson, Poe and Melville. It is simple, direct, lucid and faithful to the colloquial speech. This style of colloquialism is best described as "vernacular".

D. He successfully used local color and historical settings to illustrate and shed light on the contemporary society. That's why he is known as a local colorist.

E. Mark Twain's humor is remarkable, too. Most of his works tend to be funny, containing some practical jokes, comic details, witty remarks, etc. Some of them are typical of tall tales. And a great deal of his humor is characterized by puns, straight-faced exaggeration, repetition, and anti-climax. He uses his humor to criticize the social injustice and satirize the decayed romanticism.

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