Bac S 2012 – Sujet corrigé d’anglais LV1
Proposition de correction
Question 1 a) Who are the characters present in the scene?
Five characters are present in the scene : Laura, the narrator(I), Pappy, Jamie, Henry and Isabella.
b) How are they related to each other?
Pappy is Henry and Jamie’s father
Henry is Laura’s husband, Jamie’s brother and Pappy’s son
Laura is Henry’s wife and Jamie’s sister-in-law
Isabella also called « little bella » is Henry and Laura’s daughter.
Jamie is Henry’s brother and Pappy’s son
c) Who is telling the story?
The story is told by Laura, the « I » narrator in the scene.
Question 2 a) Where does the scene take place?
The scene takes place in Henry’s place of living (a farm) , in the Mississipi, in the United States.
b) Say in one sentence which particular event is happening on that day
Jamie is coming home to his brother after having being away for some time.
c) Why did Jamie go away?
Jamie enrolled in the army and went to war « overseas », most probably in Europe.
d) l.50: “And that’s what you’ve been doing all these months . . .?” Explain what he has been doing.
Instead of coming back home after the end of the war, Jamie spent time travelling « overseas », in Europe. He probably visited unknown countries and sounds to have enjoyed himself doing so.
3. Describe Jamie’s physical appearance. Answer in your own words and justify with two quotes from the text
Jamie has suffered from the war experience : he is thinner than what he used to be and has become skinny. He doesn’t look healthy and seems to be exhausted and dispirited.
Quotes you could use to prove your point :
l.11 « You look like hell »
l. 13 : “You need to put some meat on those bones of yours, »
l. 25 « He felt light against me, insubstantial. His ribs protruded like the black keys of a piano. »
l. 53″ Henry made a gesture that took in Jamie’s appearance. “Well , if this is what you call
healing, I’d hate to see what hurting is.” (…) The veins on the back of his hand stood out like blue cords.
4. a) Describe Henry’s feelings at seeing Jamie. Justify your answer with two quotes.
Henry is overjoyed to see his brother again. He may not have had fresh news for a long time and he may have worried a lot for his brother or even believed he was dead . So Jamie’s unexpected arrival at the farm is a happy surprise for Henry. They even greet themselves as they used to do when they were children.
l. 3 » He whooped, dropped the bucket and broke into a run, and so did Jamie. (…). He pelted forward with the joyous abandon of a schoolboy. »
l. 8 « They came together ten feet in front of me. Clapped each other on the back, pulled apart, searched each other’s faces: ritual. »
b) What does the way Henry reacts reveal about him to the narrator? Answer in your own words (20 words).
When he sees Jamie, Henry breaks into a run even though he walks with a bad limp. The narrator, Laura, is surprised to Henry run because he has never done so before obviously. He acts in a spontaneous way and his joy cannot be hidden. She realizes she has never witnessed this before or understood that Jamie was so important for Henry. Therefore , we can guess that Henry may be a secretive man who doesn’t show or express his feelings easily, even to his own wife.
5. l.60-61: “Not the weary smile he wore tonight, but the radiant, reckless grin he’d given me on the dance floor of the Peabody Hotel so many years before.”
a) What does the change in Jamie’s smile reveal about him? (30 words)
Obviously Jamie used to be a joyful and merry man before the war, someone who was carefree and easy-going. The war has changed him : he has become sadder and maybe bitter. What he went through transformed him into someone very different from the charming and flirtatious man of the dance floor.
b) What does this sentence reveal about the characters’ relationship so many years before?
Laura and Jamie might have had a love story in the past, they probably had feelings for one another.
6. What do you understand about the narrator’s feelings towards Jamie now? Justify with two quotes from two different parts of the text – one quote for each part. (30 words, quotes not included).
Jamie si still disturbed, moved to see Jamie, she still has feelings that seem to go beyond those of a woman for his step-brother.
Towards the end of our extract, Laura promises herself she will help Jamie recover physically and mentally from his wounds as would a mother for a child, or maybe a woman for her lover.
l. 23 « Jamie turned to me then, looking at me in that way he had—as if he were really seeing me and taking me in whole. He held his hands out. “Laura,” he said. I went to him and gave him a hug. »
line 24 « I stepped back hastily, flustered. Aware of his eyes on me. »
line 59 : « I would heal him, I thought. I would cook food to strengthen him, play music to soothe him, tell stories to make h im smile »
line 63 « The war had dimmed him, but I would bring him back to himself. »
7. a) Describe Henry’s personality as seen through the narrator’s eyes. Justify your answer with two quotes. (30 words, quotes not included)
Henry is portrayed as a secretive man who doesn’t give away his feelings easily. He is also portrayed as a man of decisions : he chose to move to that farm and also chose to have his father with him in the farm, a decision which doesn’t seem to be easy to live for the farm’s inhabitants.
Laura describes him as someone who doesn’t spend time having doubts or weighing the pros or cons of a question for a long time. Once the decisions is taken, it seems to be for good.
Though the narrator wishes she could do the same, Henry’s behaviour is also understood as stern and deprived of surprises. He appears to be a predictable man.
l. 42 « How simple things were for Henry! »
l 43″ How I wished sometimes that I could join him in his stark, right-angled world, where everything was either right or wrong and there was no doubt which was which. »
b) What does the portrait the narrator draws of Henry tell us about the narrator’s personality and the way she sees her own life? Justify your answer with one quote. (30 words, quote not included)
From the narrator’s comments we understand she is the opposite of her husband. She spends time having doubts, even going through sleepless nights thinking about her life (l. 45). Laura doesn’t seem to be a happy woman and she appears as a lonely one who doesn’t have anybody to confide to.
From what we understand (l. 39), their life in the farm was Henry’s choice from the start a version of a paradise which doesn’t seem to fulfill Laura’s expectancies.
l. 39 « “You too, sweet sister-in-law. How are you liking it here in Henry’s version of paradise?”I was spared from lying …. »
l. 45 « What unimaginable luxury, never to wrestle with whether or why, never to lie awake nights wondering what if. »
1. Do you think having a simple vision of life contributes to happiness? (300 words, +/- 10%)
Il s’agit ici d’un sujet d’argumentation où vous devez donnez votre opinion personnelle en essayant de l’illustrer par des examples concrets ou tirés de vos lectures et de vos connaissances personnelles, même extra-scolaires.
Il fallait commencer par définir selon vous ce que pouvait être « a simple vision of life » : des principes de vie à respecter, un idéal à tenir, une profession que l’on souhaite absolument embrasser….et l’articuler avec la notion de bonheur à atteindre.
IL fallait penser à utiliser les structures et mots de liaison pour donner de la clarté à vos arguments.
2. Imagine the diary entry the narrator wrote after the evening “on the dance floor of the Peabody
Hotel” (l.61). (300 words, +/- 10%)
IL s’agit ici d’écrire une page du journal intime de Laura. Le narrateur ici est « I » et la forme du genre doit être respectée. Votre narration se situe des années avant la scène du texte étudié, Laura est jeune, sans doute pas encore mariée à Henry et on pouvait par example imaginer que les deux frères faisaient la cour à Laura. Le narrateur est logiquement sensible au charme de Jamie… à vous d’imaginer la suite !!