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CN English-American literature test paper (April, 2004) Ⅱ

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Ⅱ.Reading comprehension(16 points,4 for each)
Read the quoted parts carefully and answer the questions in English. Write your answer in the corresponding space on the answer sheet.

41. “One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”

A. Identify the poem and the poet.
John Donne;  "Death Be Not Proud."

B.What does the word “sleep” mean?  Death.

C. What idea do the two lines express?
Shortly after our death(compared to "sleep"), our soul will enter heaven and live happily forever.

42. “Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!”
(William Wordsworth’s sonnet;   “Composed upon Westminster Bridge” September 3, 1802)

A. What does the word “glideth” in the fourth line mean?
To move smoothly and quietly, as if no effort was being made.

B. What kind of figure of speech is used by wordsworth to describe the “river”?
Personification. Here the river is personified so that it has its own will.

C. What idea does the fourth line express?
Wordsworth emphasizes that the river run freely(in the early morning because there is no barges or steamers or other kind of man-made burdens imposed on it to hinder its running).

43. “With Blue—uncertain stumbling Buzz—
Between the light—and me—
And then the Windows failed—and then
I could not see to see—”

A. Identify the poem and the poet.
Emily Dickinson;   (465)"I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died".

B. What do “Windows” symbolically stand for?
Eyes, for they are considered as the windows of human soul.

C. What idea does the quoted passage express?
The last thing the dying person saw and heard was the fly and its buzz. When the eyes failed, the human soul was closed and the person died.

44. “‘Is dying hard, Daddy?’
‘No, I think it’s pretty easy, Nick, It all depends.”’

A. Identify the work and the author.
Ernest Hemingway; Indian Camp.

B. What was Nick preoccupied with when he asked the question?
Life and death.

C. Why did the father add “It all depends” after he answered his son’s question?
When the father says that dying is pretty easy, he might be thinking about the self-murdered husband. But when he reflects on the wife's miracle survival of the violent pain in the whole process of birth, he adds the final sentence. Dying is both hard and easy, it all depends on individuals.

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