Le sujet :
Le corrigé :
1. Rufus is Philly’s son and Algy is his father (Philly’s husband), Connor is Nancy Master ‘s son and Hayden is her husband. Alex is Victoria’s son.
2. The three boys are all in the same class at school. Rufus and Alex are old friends and Connor is new at the school.
3. The scene takes place in London, in a “good” neighbourhood. The women are having coffee at Nancy’s house, in her “drawing room”.
4. Nancy has been living there for six months and has moved to England from Dallas, Texas, in the USA.
5. She has very expensive furniture (“acres of mahogany”) and lots of expensive “state-of-the-art” technological gadgets, such as a huge TV set and a sound system.
6. a) Hayden works long hours in the City : a taxi collects him at 6.00 AM and he gets home around eight in the evening.
b) There was a misunderstanding between Nancy and Philly: she thought he returned from work at 6.00 PM.
7. Nancy controls her husband’s diet, and doesn’t allow him to drink alcohol during the week. She makes him exercise at the week-end: they go jogging.
8. Victoria is being sarcastic. She doesn’t think Hayden’s life is fun at all: he works very long hours and when he gets home, he isn’t allowed to indulge or relax. Nancy makes sure he eats healthy food, she stops him from drinking and she makes him do sport at the week-end. In the reader’s opinion, Victoria disapproves of their American lifestyle: they are too health-conscious and hardworking.
9. Nancy has done everything to avoid embracing the British culture: she has enrolled at the American Library, found an American GP. Her son is only at the local school because the American school was full. And she is looking for an American hairdresser because London “salons are a little… dull”.
10. a) Ute is an au-pair who works for Nancy; Consuela is Victoria’s cleaning-lady.
b) Victoria is respectful of her paid help: she enquires about Ute, because she is interested in her welfare. Nancy doesn’t have the same point of view. She expects too much of Ute: she must do the shopping, the cleaning, the ironing, as well as help Connor with his homework. She is critical of Ute, and doesn’t take her feelings or abilities into consideration. She pays for a service, and expects perfection.
11. Philly is more likely to feel closer to Victoria: “Philly choked on her biscuit. Victoria translated” (l.54-55)“Philly and Victoria exchanged a glance” (l.58).
12. “An attempt at conversation” : the three women have little in common, apart from their sons being in the same class; Nancy is very American and doesn’t understand the values of the other two women. Quote: “There followed a stilted (=difficult, uneasy) attempt at conversation” (l.18)
Subject 1 (a+b)
a) Suggestion: Popularity shouldn’t depend on what you have. Material possessions or how rich your parents are do not make you more or less interesting. Only shallow people will be interested in you for your clothes, your video-games. Real friends will look deeper at your human qualities : if you are a good friend, if you are generous and caring, if you are a good listener, or if you are funny and jolly and make your friends laugh.
b) A prestigious job is not necessarily a well-paid job. It could be a job which gives you public recognition, or a job that is useful to your community. Examples : people who work for NGOs or scientist who look for cures for diseases. You needed to describe the job and give the reasons why you think it is prestigious.
Suggestion: An individual is responsible for his or her own learning because no one else can learn for them. If you are growing up in a wealthy western society, then you have lots of opportunities to learn and succeed. However, not everyone has the same opportunities in life, or the same abilities. For some people it can be more difficult to remember lessons or understand coursework. For others, their social environment or family background make it less easy for them to succeed. In the text, Ute is an au-pair in England: it is suggested she hasn’t learned the language yet (that is why au-pairs travel to a foreign country). Learning takes time. You have to make allowances for that.