Cours d'anglais gratuitsRecevoir 1 leçon gratuite chaque semaine // Créer un test
Connectez-vous !

Cliquez ici pour vous connecter
Nouveau compte
Des millions de comptes créés.

100% gratuit !

Comme des milliers de personnes, recevez gratuitement chaque semaine une leçon d'anglais !

- Accueil
- Aide/Contact
- Accès rapides
- Lire cet extrait
- Livre d'or
- Nouveautés
- Plan du site
- Presse
- Recommander
- Signaler un bug
- Traduire cet extrait
- Webmasters
- Lien sur votre site

> Nos sites :
-Jeux gratuits
-Nos autres sites


Baccalauréat 2005 - Sections: ES et S


Back to England

Sam landed a job(1) as overseas sales director for a shipping company which took us in turn to
Hong Kong, Australia and South Africa. They were good times, and I came to understand
why black sheep are so often sent abroad by their families to start again. It does wonders for
the character to cut the emotional ties that bind you to places and people. We produced two
sons who grew like saplings in the never-ending sunshine and soon towered over their

parents, and I could always find teaching jobs in whichever school was educating them.
As one always does, we thought of ourselves as immortal, so Sam's coronary at the age of
fifty-two came like a bolt from the blue. With doctors warning of another one being imminent
if he didn't change a lifestyle which involved too much travelling, too much entertaining of
clients and too little exercise, we returned to England in the summer of '99 with no employment

and a couple of boys in their late teens who had never seen their homeland.
For no particular reason except that we'd spent our honeymoon in Dorset in '76, we
decided to rent an old farmhouse near Dorchester which I found among the property ads in
the Sunday Times before we left Cape Town. The idea was to have an extended summer holiday
while we looked around for somewhere more permanent to settle. Neither of us had connections

with any particular part of England. My husband's parents were dead and my own parents had
retired to the neighbouring county of Devon and the balmy climate of Torquay. We enrolled
the boys at college for the autumn and set out to rediscover our roots. We'd done well
during our time abroad and there was no immediate hurry for either of us to find a job. Or so
we imagined.

The reality was rather different. England had changed [...] during the time we'd been
abroad, strikes were almost unknown, the pace of life had quickened dramatically and there was
a new widespread affluence(2) that hadn't existed in the 70s. We couldn't believe how expensive
everything was, how crowded the roads were, how difficult it was to find a parking space now
that "shopping" had become the Brits' favourite pastime. Hastily the boys abandoned us for their

own age group. Garden fetes and village cricket were for old people. Designer clothes and
techno music were the order of the day, and clubs and theme pubs were the places to be
seen, particularly those that stayed open into the early hours to show widescreen satellite
feeds of world sporting fixtures.
"Do you get the feeling we've been left behind?" Sam asked glumly at the end of our

first week as we sat like a couple of pensioners on the patio of our rented farmhouse, watching
some horses graze in a nearby paddock.
"By the boys."
"No. Our peers(3). I was talking to Jock Williams on the phone today" — an old friend from
our Richmond days — "and he told me he made a couple of million last year by selling off

one of his businesses." He pulled a wry face. "So I asked him how many businesses he had
left, and he said, only two but together they're worth ten million. He wanted to know what I(4) was
doing so I lied through my teeth(5)."
I took time to wonder why it never seemed to occur to Sam that Jock was as big as a
fantasist as he was, particularly as Jock had been trumpeting "mega-buck sales(6)" down the

phone to him for years but had never managed to find the time — or money? — to fly out for a
visit. "What did you say?"
"That we'd made a killing on the Hong Kong stock market before it reverted to China
and could afford to take early retirement. I also said we were buying an eight-bedroom house
and a hundred acres in Dorset."

"Mm," I used my foot to stir some clumps of grass growing between the cracks in the
patio which were symptomatic of the air of tired neglect that pervaded the whole property. "A
brick box on a modern development more likely. I had a look in an estate-agent's window
yesterday and anything of any size is well outside our price range. Something like this would
cost around £300,000 and that's not counting the money we'd need to spend doing it up. Let's

just hope Jock doesn't decide to visit."
Sam's gloom deepened at the prospect. "If we'd had any sense we'd have hung on to the
house in Graham Road. Jock says it's worth ten times what we paid for it in '76. We were mad to

Minette Walters, The Shape Of Snakes, 2000.

(1) : Land a job : succeed in getting a job.
(2) : Affluence : money and a good standard of living.
(3) : Peer : person of the same age or status as you.
(4) : I : en italique dans le texte.
(5) : To lie through one's teeth : to lie outrageously
(6) : Mega-bucks sales : sales implying very large amounts of money.

Choose one of the following subjects.

1. l.2. "...Hong Kong, Australia and South Africa. They were good times..."
Would you be ready to go and live in faraway countries if it meant getting a better life? (300 words)

2. a. Do "garden fetes, village cricket" and "theme pubs" correspond to your vision of Britain? (150 words)
b. How can you account for young people's attraction to designer clothes? Do you approve of it? (150 words)

Note importante aux candidats :
Les candidats traiteront le sujet sur la copie qui leur sera fournie en respectant l'ordre des questions et en faisant apparaître la numérotation, (numéro et lettre repère le cas échéant, ex : 15b - voir en particulier les questions 2, 4 et 9). Ils composeront des phrases complètes à chaque fois qu'il leur est demandé de rédiger les réponses. Le nombre de mots indiqué constitue une exigence minimale. En l'absence d'indication, les candidats répondront brièvement à la question posée. Les citations seront précédées de la mention de la ligne.

1. a. Who is the narrator? How is he/she related to Sam?
b. Justify your answer by quoting from the text.

Match one element from column A with an element from column B.



1. Sam had a heart-attack

a. in '76

2. They had children

b. in the late 70s

3. They got married

c. in the early eighties

4. Sam found a good job abroad

d. at the age of fifty-two

5. They moved back to England

e. in the summer of '99

3. What consequences did Sam's job have on his lifestyle ? (30 words)


4. Choose the right answer.
They decided to
a. buy a brick house in Richmond.
b. rent a place in Dorset.
c. buy a farmhouse in Devon
d. rent a flat in Torquay

Questions 5, 6 and 7. Focus from line 18 to 29 ("We'd done well sporting fixtures").

5. a. l.19. "There was no immediate hurry for either of us to find a job."
What does it reveal about their standard of living while abroad? (15 words)
b. l.19-20. "Or so we imagined." - What does this mean? (20 words)

6. How do they see the British society on their return to their homeland? (30 words)

7. Find a key sentence showing that it wasn't difficult for their children to adapt to their new environment.

Questions 8 to 12. Focus on line 30 to the end.

8. a. Who was Sam in touch with some time after their return?
b. What did they talk about on the phone?

9. Say who the underlined words refer to. (l.39 to l.42)
I took time to wonder why it never seemed to occur to Sam that Jock was as big a fantasist as he was, particularly as Jock had been trumpeting 'mega-buck sales' down the phone to him for years but had never managed to find the time - or money? - to fly out for a visit. "What did you say?"

10. l.38. "I lied through my teeth".
What did Sam lie about? Why did he feel the need to lie? (30 word)

11. Did the narrator and Sam share the same vision of Jock Williams? (20 words)

12. What is Sam's state of mind at the end of the passage? (20 words)

Question 13

13. Translate into French from "The idea was to have..." line 14 to "...Torquay" line 17.






> INDISPENSABLES : TESTEZ VOTRE NIVEAU | GUIDE DE TRAVAIL | NOS MEILLEURES FICHES | Les fiches les plus populaires | Une leçon par email par semaine | Exercices | Aide/Contact

> INSEREZ UN PEU D'ANGLAIS DANS VOTRE VIE QUOTIDIENNE ! Rejoignez-nous gratuitement sur les réseaux :
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | RSS | Linkedin | Email

> NOS AUTRES SITES GRATUITS : Cours de français | Cours de mathématiques | Cours d'espagnol | Cours d'italien | Cours d'allemand | Cours de néerlandais | Tests de culture générale | Cours de japonais | Rapidité au clavier | Cours de latin | Cours de provençal | Moteur de recherche sites éducatifs | Outils utiles | Bac d'anglais | Our sites in English

> INFORMATIONS : Copyright - En savoir plus, Aide, Contactez-nous [Conditions d'utilisation] [Conseils de sécurité] Reproductions et traductions interdites sur tout support (voir conditions) | Contenu des sites déposé chaque semaine chez un huissier de justice | Mentions légales / Vie privée | Cookies.
| Cours, leçons et exercices d'anglais 100% gratuits, hors abonnement internet auprès d'un fournisseur d'accès. | Livre d'or | Partager sur les réseaux