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Baccalauréat 2002 - Sections Scientifique & Economique et Social

Corrigé

"Molly's my closest friend, and I love her. She doesn't remember a thing about Gary's death."

"That's her story."
"And I believe it. Now that she's home, I intend to be with her whenever she wants me.
And when she doesn't want me, I'll give her space. Okay ?"
"You're very attractive when you're mad and trying not to show it, Jen. Let it out. You'll feel better."

Calvin Whitehall pushed back the chair from the dining room table and crossed to his wife. He was a formidable-looking, broad-shouldered, broad-chested, heavy-featured man in his mid-forties, with thinning light red hair. Thick eyebrows over ice-blue eyes enhanced the aura of authority that emanated from him even in his home.
There was nothing in Cal's presence or bearing to suggest his humble beginnings. He'd put a lot of distance between himself and the two-family frame house in Elmira, New York, in which he'd been raised.
A scholarship to Yale, and the ability to quickly mimic the manners and bearing of this more highborn schoolmates, had led to a spectacular rise in the business world. His private joke was that the only useful thing his parents had ever given him was a name that at least sounded classy.
Now, comfortably settled in an exquisitely furnished twelve-room mansion in Greenwich, Cal was living the life he had dreamed about for himself years ago in the tiny, Spartan bedroom that had been his retreat from his parents, who had spent their evenings drinking cheap wine and quarrelling. When the quarrels got too loud or became violent, the neighbours had called the police. Cal learned to dread the sound of the police siren, the contempt in the eyes of the neighbours, the snickers of his classmates around town about his trashy parents.
He was very smart, certainly smart enough to know what the only road out of him was education, and in fact; his teachers in school soon realized he'd been blessed with near-genius intelligence. In his bedroom with its sagging floor, peeling walls, and single, dim overhead light, he'd studied and read voraciously, concentrating particularly on learning everything he could about the possibilities for and future of the computer.
At twenty-four, after getting an MBA, he went to work at a struggling computer company. At thirty shortly after his move to Greenwich, he wrenched control of the company from the bewildered owner. It was his first opportunity to play cat and mouse, to toy with his prey while knowing all the time that it was a game he would win. The satisfaction of the kill appeased in him the lingering anger at his father's bullying, the subsequent necessity of toadying to a variety of employers.
A few years later he sold the company for a fortune, and now he spent his time handling his myriad business enterprises.
His marriage had not produced children, and he was grateful that instead of becoming obsessed over that lack, as Molly Lasch had done, Jenna devoted her energies instead to her Manhattan law practice. She , too , had been part of his plan. The move to Greenwich The choice of Jenna - a stunningly attractive, smart young woman from a good family of limited means. He knew very well that the life he could give Jenna was a big attraction to her. Like him, she enjoyed power.
He enjoyed toying with her too. Now, he smiled down on her benignly and ran his hand over her hair. "I'm sorry", he said contritely. "it's just that I think Molly would have welcomed a visit from you even if she didn't call. It's a big change to come home to that empty house, and it's got to be pretty damn lonely for her there. She had plenty of company in prison, even if it was company she didn't appreciate."

Mary Higgins Clark
We'll Meet Again, (2000)

 

1) Where does the scene take place ?

2) Name the four characters. Say:

a) Whether they are present or just mentioned.

b) How they relate to one another, when possible.

3) Tick the two adjectives which best apply Jen's state of mind. Justify by quoting from the next:

o suspicious

o concerned

o carefree

o interesting

o tense

4) Who or what do the following pronoms refer to ?

- l.1 : I

- l.2 : her

- l.3 : I

- l.4 : it

5) Are both Jenna Calvin convinced that Molly told the truth about Gary's death ? Explain in your own words, using elements from the text (30 words).

6) True (T) or false (F) ? Circle the right box and justify quoting from the text :

1. Calvin Whitehall imposed respect from those around him

True False

2. Calvin Whitehall had always led a comfortable life

True False

3. He intervened whenever his parents started quarreling

True False

4. He had managed to rise up the social ladder and become his own boss

True False

5. Memories of his chilhood hardships disappeared completely thanks to his rapid ascension

True False

7) l.32/33 : " It was his first oppurtunity ... would win "

What does the narrator's choice of words here reveal about Calvin's determination to succeed ? (40 words)

8) Define the couple's personnal relationship. Was it satisfiying to both husband and wife ? (50 words)

 

Corrigé

 

 

 



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