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CN English-American literature test paper (April, 2001) III

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Ⅲ.Questions and Answers(24 points in all, 6 for each)
Give brief answers to each of the following questions in English.Write your answers in the corresponding space on the answer sheet.

45. "’My boy!’ said the old gentleman, leaning over the desk. Oliver started at the sound. He might be excused for doing so, for the words were kindly said, and strange sounds frighten one. He trembled violently, and burst into tears." (Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist)
Explain why the boy [Oliver Twist] started first, then trembled violently and burst into tears when the words were "kindly" said.

The boy started at the words because kind words were not expected; it is (was, must be) the first time in all his life that the boy [Oliver Twist] had ever been "kindly" greeted; strange sounds may predict another suffering/misfortune/torture/...) (At least one example from the text is expected to back up the above statement)

46. Here is the last stanza of Byron’s "The Isles of Greece":
Place me on sunium’s mardle steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
There, swan-like, let me sing and die:
May hear our marbled murmurs sweep;
A land of slaves shall ne’er be mine ---
Dash down you cup of Samian wine!
Determine the speaker first and then discuss BRIEFLY the main idea of the stanza or of the whole excerpt. You may want to consider the possible implications of the last two lines.

A. The speaker is a Greek singer (or Byron in a Greek Singer’s disguise or Byron speaks through a Greek singer).
B. The excerpt presents a strong resentment for the Turk’s conquest of Greece and calls on the Greek people to rise and fight for freedom.
C. Thus, the last line may suggest resolution to take immediate action to free Greece from enslavement.

47. Why are naturalists inevitably pessimistic in their view?
Please discuss the above question in relation to the basic principles of literary naturalism.

A. They accept the negative implication of Darwin’s theory of evolution, and believe that society is a "jungle" where survival struggles go on.
B. They believe that man’s instinct, the environment and other social and economic forces play an overwhelming role and man’s fate is "determined" by such forces beyond his control.

48. "Even then he stood there, hidden wholly in that kindness which is night, while the uprising fumes filled the room. When the odor reached his nostrils, he quit  his  attitude  and  fumbled  for  the bed. ’What’s the use?’ he said, weakly, as he stretched himself to rest."  
The above is quoted from Thoedore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie. Briefly tell the situation that leads to the suicide and interpret Hurstwood’s final words -"What’s the use?"

A. Sister Carrie has made a great success. As her fame arises, she deserts her former lover Hurstwood. In a cold winter, Hurstwood makes a last attempt to seek help from Carrie, but has failed, so desperately, he decided to kill himself by turning on the gas.
B. By making that comment, Hurstwood seems to have realized that it is useless to continue to fight against fate. His fate is not controlled by his own efforts but by some social forces too strong for him to resist, so he decides to give up.

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