Langue anglaise – examen 17, Examens de Langue Anglaise. Université Denis Diderot (Paris VII)
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Langue anglaise – examen 17, Examens de Langue Anglaise. Université Denis Diderot (Paris VII)

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Langue anglaise – examen 17 Les principaux thèmes abordés sont les suivants: compréhension, expression, traduction.
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Mrs Amy Shorthouse had seen no reason why she should stay in her working clothes while waiting to be interviewed so that, when called in to Dalgliesh, she was dressed ready to go home. The metamorphosis was striking. Comfortable working slippers had been replaced by a modish pair of high- heeled court shoes, white overall by a fur coat, and head scarf by the latest idiocy in hats. The total effect was curiously old-fashioned. Mrs Shorthouse looked like a relic of the gay twenties, an effect which was 5 heightened by the shortness of her skirt and the careful curls of peroxided hair which lay cunningly arranged on forehead and cheeks. But there was nothing false about her voice and little, Dalgliesh suspected, about her personality. The little grey eyes were shrewd and amused. She was neither frightened nor distressed. He suspected that Amy Shorthouse craved more excitement than her life customarily afforded and was enjoying herself. She would not wish anyone violently dead but, since it 10 had happened, one might as well make the most of it.

When the preliminaries were over and they got down to the events of the evening, Mrs Shorthouse came out with her prize piece of information.

" No good saying I can tell you who did it because I can't. Not that I haven't got my own ideas. But there's one thing I can tell you. I was the last person to talk to her, no doubt about that. No, scrub that 15 out ! I was the last person to talk to her, face to face. Excepting the murderer, of course. "

" You mean that she subsequently spoke on the telephone ? Hadn't you better tell me about it plainly ? I've got enough mystery here for one evening. "

" Smart, aren't you ? " said Mrs Shorthouse without rancour. " Well, it was in this room. I came in at about ten past six to ask how much leave I'd got left on account of wanting a day off next week. Miss 20 Bolam got out my dossier - leastwise1 it was already out come to think of it - and we fixed that up and had a bit of a chat about the work. I was on my way out really, just standing at the door for a few last words as you might say, when the phone rang. "

" I want you to think very carefully, Mrs Shorthouse, " said Dalgliesh. "That call may be important. I wonder if you can remember what Miss Bolam said ? " 25

" Think someone was enticing her down to her death, do you ? " said Mrs Shorthouse with alliterative relish. " Well, could be, come to think of it. "

Dalgliesh thought that his witness was far from being a fool. He watched while she screwed up her face in a simulated agony of effort. He had no doubt that she remembered very well what had been said. 30

After a nicely judged pause for suspense, Mrs Shorthouse said: " Well, the phone rang like I said. That would be about six-fifteen, I suppose. Miss Bolam picked

up the receiver and said 'Administrative Officer speaking.' She always answered like that. Very keen on her position she was. Peter Nagle used to say, 'Who the hell does she think we're expecting to hear ? Khrushchev2 ?' Not that he said it to her. No fear ! Anyway, that's what she said. Then there was a little 35 pause and she looked up at me and said : 'Yes, I am.' Meaning, I suppose, that she was alone, not counting me. Then there was a longer pause while the chap at the other end spoke. Then she said : 'All right, stay where you are. I'll be down.' Then she asked me to show Mr Lauder into her office if I was about when he arrived, and I said I would and pushed off. "

" You're quite sure about her conversation on the telephone? " 40 " Sure as I'm sitting here. That's what she said all right. " " You talked about the chap at the other end. How could you tell it was a man? " " Never said I could. Just assumed it was a chap, I suppose. Mind you, if I'd been closer I might

have known. You can sometimes get an idea who's speaking from the crackly noise the phone makes. But I was standing against the door. " 45

" And you couldn't hear the other voice at all? " "That's right. Suggests he was talking low. " " What happened then, Mrs Shorthouse? "

P.D James A Mind to Murder,1963

1 leastwise = or rather 2 Khrushchev was a famous Soviet Russian leader in the early 1960s

COMPREHENSION

1.a. The text is taken from ( circle the right answer) : a tragedy

a horror story

a science fiction novel

a detective story

1.b.Pick out two words or phrases from the text to justify your answer.

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2.a. Among the following characters, who is actually present or only mentioned in the text? Tick the right boxes.

Characters Present Mentioned Dalgliesh

Mr Lauder

Amy Shorthouse

Peter Nagle

the chap

Miss Bolam

2.b. Where does the conversation take place?

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Justify your answer by quoting from the text.

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2.c. What ids the aim of the conversation ? ( 15 words)

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3.a.Which drawing best corresponds to the way Amy Shorthouse looks when ready to go home after a day's work ?

Number of the drawing: ………………………..

Quote from the text four elements of description corresponding to your choice.

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 .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

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3.b. Use these elements to describe one aspect of her personality( 15 words )

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1 2 3 4

4.a. Chronology of events.

Put the following actions in the chronological order. Write the numbers, from 1 to 5 in the boxes below.

 Miss Bolam talked to a man on the phone

 Then the phone rang

 Amy came to Miss Bolam to talk about a day off

 Amy was asked to welcome Mr Lauder when he came

 They carried on talking about the work for a while

4.b. How does Amy react to being interviewed?

Circle the right answer.

She is ...

puzzled

scared

ill- at - ease

having fun

Justify your answer by quoting two elements from the text.

 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

5. Read the passage from line 32 down to line 42. Underline the right statement about Miss Bolam.

 she had no responsibilities at work.

 her colleagues thought she was doing well.

 Peter Nagle felt superior to her.

 some of her colleagues thought she felt full of her own importance. Justify your answer by quoting from the text.

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6. Focus on Dalgliesh's opinion about Amy and his attitude to her. Say whether the following statements are RIGHT or WRONG. Tick the right answers and justify them by quoting from the text. DO NOT quote the same words twice.

R W

He regards her as a clever person.  

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She would rather have a more exciting life.  

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He realises she is really upset about the situation.  

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He feels she is acting a part.  

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7. Dalgliesh mentions 'a man' (line 42). List three different ways the man is referred to in the text.

 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

8. Read the text from line 40 down to the end. Would you say Amy Shorthouse is a good witness ? (20 — 25 words ) Quote from the text to justify your answer.

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9. Traduction

Translate into French from `No good saying' ( line 14 ) down to '... the murderer, ofcourse.' ( line 16 )

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EXPRESSION ECRITE

Choose one of those two subjects. (200 words)

Subject 1: 'What happened then, Mrs Shorthouse ?'. Continue the conversation.

Subject 2: Nowadays, most people love suspense in books and films. What about you? (250 words)

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