(1)The earliest settlers came to the North American continent to establish colonies that were free from the controls that existed in European societies. They wanted to escape the controls placed on their lives by kings and governments, priests and churches, noblemen and aristocrats. The historic decisions made by those first settlers have had a profound effect on the shaping of the American character. By limiting the power of the government and the churches and eliminating a formal aristocracy, they created a climate of freedom where the emphasis was on the individual. Individual freedom is probably the most basic of all the American values. By freedom, Americans mean the desire and the ability of all individuals to control their own destiny without outside interference from the government, a ruling noble class, the church, or any other organized authority.
(2) There is, however, a price to be paid for this individual freedom: self-reliance. It means that Americans believe they should stand on their own feet, achieving both financial and emotional independence from their parents as early as possible, usually by age 18 or 21.
(3) A second important reason why immigrants have traditionally been drawn to the United States is the belief that everyone has a equal chance to enter a race and succeed in the game. Because titles of nobility were forbidden in the Constitution, no formal class system developed in the U.S.
(4) There is, however, a price to be paid for this equality of opportunity: competition. If much of life is seen as race, then a person must run the race in order to succeed; a person must compete with others. The pressures of competition in the life of an American begin in childhood and continue until retirement from work. In fact, any group of people who does not compete successfully does not fit into the mainstream of American life as well as those who do.
(5) A third reason why immigrants have traditionally come to the United States is to have a better life. Because of its abundant natural resources, the United States appeared to be a “land of plenty where millions could come to seek their fortunes. The phrase “going from rags to riches” became a slogan for the American dream. Many people did achieve material success. Material wealth became a value to the American people, and it also became an accepted measure of social status.
(6) Americans pay a price, however, for their material wealth: hard work. Hard work has been both necessary and rewarding for most Americans throughout their history. In some ways, material possessions are seen as evidence of people’s abilities. Barry Goldwater, a candidate for the presidency in 1964, said that most poor people are poor because they deserve to be. Most Americans would find this a harsh statement, but many might think there was some truth in it.
(7) These basic values do not tell the whole story of the American character. Rather, they should be thought of as themes, as we continue to explore more facets of the American character and how it affects life in the United States.
41. Para.4 seems to suggest that __________.
A. Americans are born with a sense of competition
B. the pressure of competition begins when one starts work
C. successful competition is essential in American society
D. competition results in equality of opportunities
42. Which of the following methods does the author mainly use in explaining American values?
D. Cause and effect
D. Process analysis
(1) The Nobels are the originals, of course. Alfred Nobel, the man who invented deadly explosives, decided to try and do something good with all the money he earned, and gave prizes to people who made progress in literature, science, economics and —perhaps most importantly—peace.
(2) Not all rewards are as noble as the Nobels. Even though most countries have a system of recognizing, honoring and rewarding people who have done something good in their countries, there are now hundreds of awards and award ceremonies for all kinds of things.
(3)The Oscars are probably the most famous, a time for the (mostly) American film industry to tell itself how good it is and an annual opportunity for lots of big stars to give each other awards and make tearful speeches. As well as that there are also the Golden Globes, evidently for the same thing.
(4) But it’s not only films---there are also Grammies, Brits, the Mercury Prize and the MTV for music. In Britain, a writer who wins the Booker Prize can expect to see their difficult, literary novel hit the bestseller lists and compete with the Da Vinci Code for popularity. The Turner Prize is an award for British contemporary artists—each year it causes controversy by apparently giving lots of money to artists who do things like displaying their beds, putting animals in glass cases or—this year—building a garden shed.
(5) Awards don’t only exist for arts. There are now awards for Sports Personality of the Year, for European Footballer of the Year and World Footballer of the Year. This seems very strange—sometimes awards can be good to give recognition to people who deserve it, or to help people who don’t make a lot of money carry on their work without worrying about finances, but professional soccer players these days certainly aren’t short of cash!
(6) Many small towns and communities all over the world also have their own award ceremonies, for local writers or artists, or just for people who have graduated from high school or, got a university degree. Even the British Council has its own awards for “Innovation in English Language Teaching”.
(7) Why have all these awards and ceremonies appeared recently? Shakespeare never won a prize, nor did Leonardo Da Vinci or Adam Smith or Charles Dickens.
(8) It would be possible to say, however, that in the past, scientists and artists could win “patronage” form rich people—a king or a lord would give the artists or scientists money to have them paint their palaces or help them develop new ways of making money. With the change in social systems across the world, this no longer happens. A lot of scientific research is now either funded by the state or by private companies.
(9)Perhaps award ceremonies are just the most recent phase of this process.
(10) However, there is more to it than that. When a film wins an Oscar, many more people will go and see it, or buy the DVD. When a writer wins the Nobel Prize, many more people buy their books. When a group wins the MTV awards, the ceremony is seen by hundreds of thousands of people across the world. The result? The group sells lots more records.
(11) Most award ceremonies are now sponsored by big organizations or companies. This means that it is not only the person who wins the award who benefits---but also the sponsors. The MTV awards, for example, are great for publicizing not only music, but also MTV itself!
(12) On the surface, it seems to be a “Win-win” situation, with everyone being happy, but let me ask you a question—how far do you think that publicity and marketing are winning here, and how much genuine recognition of achievement is taking place?
43. What is the author’s tone when he mentions awards such as the Oscars, the Golden Globes and Grammies (Paras. 3 & 4)
44. According to Para. 4, what would happen to award winning writers?
A. They would enjoy a much larger readership.
B. They would turn to popular novel writing.
C. They would continue non-fiction writing.
D. They would try controversial forms of art.
45. Which of the following statements best sums up Para. 6?
A. Awards ceremonies are held for local people.
B. Awards ceremonies are held on important occasions.
C. Awards ceremonies are held in certain professions.
D. Awards ceremonies are held for all sorts of reasons.
46. According to Para. 8, one difference between scientists and artists in the past and those at present lies in_____________.
A. nature of work
B. personal contact
C. source of funding
D. social status
47. It can be concluded from Para. 12 that the author thinks awards ________.
A. promote market rather than achievements
B. do good to both market and popularity
C. help those who are really talented
D. are effective in making people popular
(1) Knowing that Mrs. Mallard suffered from a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.
(2) It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences. Her husband’s friend Richards was there, too. It was he who had been in the newspaper office when news of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of “killed”. He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram.
(3) She wept at once, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of sadness had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.
(4) There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.
(5) She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. The notes of a distant song which someone was singing reached her, and countless sparrows were twitering in the eaves).
(6) There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled above the other in the west facing her window.
(7) She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.
(8) She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength. But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky. It was not a glance of reflection, but rather indicated a suspension of intelligent thought.
(9) There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. What was it? She did not know; it was too subtle and elusive to name. But she felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air.
(10) Now her bosom rose and fell tumultuously. She was beginning to recognize this thing that was approaching to possess her, and she was striving to beat it back with her will-as powerless as her two white slender hands would have been.
(11) When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: Free, free, free! The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes. They stayed keen and bright. Her pulses beat fast, and the coursing blood warmed and relaxed every inch of her body.
(12) She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. And she opened and spread her arms out to them in welcome.
(13) There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature.
(14) And yet she had loved him-sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in face of this possession of self-assertion, which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!
(15)“Free! Body and soul free!” she kept whispering.
(16) Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole, imploring for admission. Louise, open the door! I beg; open the door-you will make yourself ill. What are you doing, Louise? For heavens sake open the door.
(17) Go away. I am not making myself ill. No; she was drinking in a very elixir(长生不老药) of life through that open window.
(18) Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her. Spring days, and summer days, and all sorts of days that would be her own. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.
(19) She arose at length and opened the door to her sisters importunities. There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory. She clasped her sisters waist, and together they descended the stairs. Richards stood waiting for them at the bottom.
(20) Some one was opening the front door with a latchkey. It was Brently Mallard who entered, a little travel-stained, composedly carrying his gripsack and umbrella. He had been far from the scene of accident, and did not even know there had been one. He stood amazed at Josephines piercing cry; at Richards quick motion to screen him from the view of his wife.
(21) But Richards was too late.
(22) When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease-of joy that kills.
48. How did Mrs Mallard get the news of her husband’s death?
A. Her husband’s friend told her.
B. She had read it from the paper.
C. Her sister Josephine told her.
D. Her doctor broke the news to her.
49. When Mrs Mallard was alone in her room, she ___________.
A. sat in an armchair all the time
B. sat with her back facing the window
C. sat and then walked around for while
D. sat in a chair and cried all the time.
50. How did she feel about her love towards her husband?
A. She hated her husband.
B. She was indifferent now.
C. She found it hard to describe.
D. She had loved him all along.
SECTION B SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
In this section there are five short answer questions based on the passages in Section A. Answer the questions with NO MORE THAN TEN WORDS in the space provided on ANSWER SHEET TWO.
51. Of all the values mentioned in the passage, which one is regarded as the most fundamental?
52. What can be inferred from the sentence “Not all awards are as noble as the Nobels.” according to Para. 2?
53. What conclusion can be drawn from Para. 5?
54. What was Mrs Mallard’s mood when she was left alone in the room?
55. The doctors said that Mrs Mallard died of heart disease — of joy that kills. What do you think is the real cause of her death?
PART V READING COMPREHENSION
SECTION A MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
41. D. successful competition is essential in American society
42. B. Cause and effect.
43. C. Sarcastic.
44. A. They would enjoy a much larger readership.
45. D. Awards ceremonies are held for all sorts of reasons.
46. C. source of funding
47. B. promote market rather than achievements
48. C. Her sister Josephine told her.
49. B. sat in an armchair all the time
50. A. She was indifferent now.
SECTION B SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
51. Individual freedom.
52. Some awards aren’t rewards for real achievements.
53. Some awards for sports fail to achieve positive social effects.
54. Her mood changed from distress to excitement and joy.
55. The real cause was her extreme disappointment.2018年英语专四阅读真题及答案