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CN English-American literature test paper (April, 2000) IV

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Ⅳ.Topic Discussion(20 points, 10 points for each)
Write no less than 150 words on each of the following topics in English in the corresponding space on the answer sheet.

49. A possible theme of James Joyce's short story "Araby" is disillusionment. Briefly discuss the symbolism Joyce employs in presenting this theme.

A. "Short days of winter," "silent" the street of "blind end," "dark muddy lanes" with "feeble lanterns," "dark dripping gardens," and many others foretell the inevitable failure of the boy's attempt to reach his desire.
B. Mangan's sister, for whom the boy had tender feelings, symbolizes hope/aspiration, but she was symbolically confined("have a retreat in her convent").
C. The journey to the bazaar is a quest for the fulfillment of the aspiration, but the journey was "intolerably" delayed, and when the boy got to the bazaar, half of it was already dark. What's more,the young lady at the door of a stall was "not encouraging," and spoke to the boy "out of sense of duty." When the upper part of the hall was completely dark, the boy's disillusionment was announced. And thus, "Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger."

50. What makes Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn more than a child's adventure story? Briefly discuss the question from THREE of the following aspects: the setting, the language, the character(s), the theme and the style.

A. Setting: In the novel Mark Twain recreates a small-town world of America and presents the local color.
B. Language: He uses simple, direct language faithful to the colloquial speech, the vernacular language of the local people.
C. Character(s): The author recreates two rebels and fugitives running away from civilization, especially Huckleberry Finn, an innocent boy who refuses to accept the conventional village morality.
D. Theme: The novel is a criticism of social injustice, hypocrisy, conservativeness and narrow-mindedness of the American small town society.
E.Style: The novel employs a humorous style of narration and is also highly symbolic with the central symbol.


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