I Choose an appropriate title for the passage by circling the right
a) The work ethic. c) Work is good for you.
b) For and against work. d) Why work if you don’t have to?
II Decide whether the following statements are True or False and
Justify your answers by quoting the text.
1 According to Agatha Christie the basic reasons why people work haven’t changed since prehistoric times.
2 The author agrees that working is meritorious.
3 She thinks that invention arises from necessity.
4 Women were prudent when they claimed their right to work.
5 Women are now in the same position as women of primitive tribes.
6 Victorian women wanted men to believe that they were weak and delicate.
7 Her grandmothers’ friends led extremely unhappy, servile lives.
8 They could not make decisions for the running of the household.
9 Most women in her grandmothers’ circle were ignorant.
10 Their admiration for men was sincere.
III Complete the following statements with one of the answers suggested.
1 Nowadays, what skilled workers get from their work is … .
a) a good standard of living
b) the opportunity for travel
c) the basic necessities of life
2 George Stephenson’s story proves that idleness … .
a) is enjoyable b) leads to mischief c) can lead to invention
3 When the author writes “Men, not being fools…”, she is expressing … . a) admiration b) amusement c) indifference d) condemnation
4 In primitive tribes the role of men is … .
a) to work in the fields b) to carry heavy loads c) to defend their women
5 It is clear from the text that the author … feminism.
a) approves of b) frowns on c) is indifferent to
6 She believes that nowadays … .
a) men are in an advantageous position
b) women are in an advantageous position
c) men and women share household responsibilities
7 “Victorian women” lived in … .
a) the nineteenth century
b) the first half of the twentieth century
c)the second half of the eighteenth century
8 Agatha Christie … Victorian women’s methods.
a) admires b) disapproves of c) can’t understand
9 According to the author, Victorian women … .
a) were excellent diplomats
b) presumed their husbands were inferior
c) believed in asserting their independence openly
10 The author makes us understand that Victorian women … .
a) behaved conventionally in public
b) behaved conventionally in private
c) believed implicitly in the conventions of their time
IV Find the phrasal verbs and phrases in the text that have the same meaning as the following:
a) left one’s place (Para 1)
b) causing smth to operate (Para 2)
c) has deteriorated (Para 3)
d) began to like (Para 3)
e) continue (Para 3)
f) made their men do what they (women) wanted (Para 4)
g) letting women do what they wanted (Para 4 and Para 5)
i) become less respectable (Para 5)
TEXT 10 GRETEL
By Hal Porter
Hal Porter (1911-1984) – an Australian novelist, playwright, poet and short-story writer.
(A 45-year-old man is recalled to his mother's funeral in the provincial Victorian town where he was born and relives an important emotional incident of his youth. At the age of 12 he had flouted his mother's prohibitions to encounter a beautiful young girl, Gretel, who was briefly staying in a secluded part of the house. Entranced, he gave her a white china necklace. Now, thirty-three years later, he is appalled to learn that Gretel is still in the town, incarcerated in the asylum for the insane where she has always had to live; now aged beyond her years and hideous, she grimly clings to the china necklace.)
“I am here. I am Marcus. May I come in?”
“I am here,” said the voice within.
I turned the handle. The door was locked. This horrified me. Doors in the country were never locked except in the most unorthodox circumstances. Inside doors were never locked. The handle of a large iron key I had never seen before protruded from the brass-rimmed keyhole. I turned it. I opened the door. I fell in love.
Seated with upright but graceful decorum on a low armless cedar chair was the most exquisite being I had, or have since, seen. It was a girl of (10) my age. Her dress was of yellow velvet, the immediate yellow of a sunflower. Her long straight hair, in an era when all hair seemed clipped or cropped, curled or marcelled, was to me the miracle of the miracle. It fell like a shawl of light over her shoulders. It was the hair of Rapunzel, of all immolated princesses, of all the children lost in the snow or woods of ballads. Her hands and arms and face were whiteness without name. Above her head, on the barred skylight, lay fallen petals of almond blossom. How grey their white! On the girl’s lap sat a large doll dressed as she was. It wore a necklace of white beads.
With dark eyes, behind the surface of which were extra shadows, she (20) watched me watching her. She did not move. Then, at last, her lips moved.
“I am Gretel,” she said.
I told her again that I was Marcus.
“I am Gretel. She is Gretel.” She touched the doll’s flaxen poll.
“A good idea,” I said. “And dressed like you! But she has beads.”
I remembered my manners. “I’m sorry you’ve been sick. How soon will you be better?”
She did not answer, but continued to look at me, as I did at her. My love could find no words. Then inspiration came. I remembered that, (30) among a handful of necklaces tossed to my sisters by mother, there was a white china one. “I have a present for you,” I said. How else express love, at twelve? How else at ninety, or ever? “I’ll get it. I’ll be back.” Although blinded, I was wide awake to the need for chicanery.
I locked the door. If mother should escape Miss Stanway before I had decorated my idol with stolen gewgaws, the sin of disobedience would be discovered. I ran to the front veranda. Mother was still enmeshed in Miss Stanway’s tough net of scandal. I stole the necklace. I returned to the last room.
Gretel and Gretel sat as when I had first seen them, beneath the
(40) skylight ruled across by bars, and littered with the petals of spring. I held up the necklace, and smiled and smiled like a dog.
And she smiled.
There are no words to describe how this addition of beauty to a beauty already overwhelming affected me.
immediate– here: very similar to
marcelled[mɑ:'seld]– styled in deep, even waves with a curling iron
a barred skylight –a window in the ceiling, used to admit light, with metal bars placed across it
chicanery[ʃi'keinəri] – dishonest behaviour that is used to deceive people, tricks
gewgaws['ʤu:gɔ:z]- small worthless ornaments, trinkets