Read the following four texts. Answer the questions below each text by choosing [A], [B], [C], or [D]. Mark your answers on ANSWER SHEET 1. (40 points)
In spite of “endless talk of difference,” American society is an amazing machine for homogenizing people. There is “the democratizing uniformity of dress and discourse, and the casualness and absence of deference” characteristic of popular culture. People are absorbed into “a culture of consumption” launched by the 19th-century department stores that offered “vast arrays of goods in an elegant atmosphere. Instead of intimate shops catering to a knowledgeable elite,” these were stores “anyone could enter, regardless of class or background. This turned shopping into a public and democratic act.” The mass media, advertising and sports are other forces for homogenization.
Immigrants are quickly fitting into this common culture, which may not be altogether elevating but is hardly poisonous. Writing for the National Immigration Forum, Gregory Rodriguez reports that today’s immigration is neither at unprecedented levels nor resistant to assimilation. In 1998 immigrants were 9.8 percent of population; in 1900, 13.6 percent. In the 10 years prior to 1990, 3.1 immigrants arrived for every 1,000 residents; in the 10 years prior to 1890, 9.2 for every 1,000. Now, consider three indices of assimilation -- language, home ownership and intermarriage.
The 1990 Census revealed that “a majority of immigrants from each of the fifteen most common countries of origin spoke English ‘well’ or ‘very well’ after ten years of residence.” The children of immigrants tend to be bilingual and proficient in English. “By the third generation, the original language is lost in the majority of immigrant families.” Hence the description of America as a “graveyard” for languages. By 1996 foreign-born immigrants who had arrived before 1970 had a home ownership rate of 75.6 percent, higher than the 69.8 percent rate among native-born Americans.
Foreign-born Asians and Hispanics “have higher rates of intermarriage than do U.S.-born whites and blacks.” By the third generation, one third of Hispanic women are married to non-Hispanics, and 41 percent of Asian-American women are married to non-Asians.
Rodriguez notes that children in remote villages around the world are fans of superstars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Garth Brooks, yet “some Americans fear that immigrants living within the United States remain somehow immune to the nation’s assimilative power.”
Are there divisive issues and pockets of seething anger in America? Indeed. It is big enough to have a bit of everything. But particularly when viewed against America’s turbulent past, today’s social indices hardly suggest a dark and deteriorating social environment.
21. The word “homogenizing” (Line 2, Paragraph 1) most probably means ________.
22. According to the author, the department stores of the 19th century ________.
[A] played a role in the spread of popular culture
[B] became intimate shops for common consumers
[C] satisfied the needs of a knowledgeable elite
[D] owed its emergence to the culture of consumption
23. The text suggests that immigrants now in the U.S. ________.
[A] are resistant to homogenization
[B] exert a great influence on American culture
[C] are hardly a threat to the common culture
[D] constitute the majority of the population
24. Why are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Garth Brooks mentioned in Paragraph 5?
[A] To prove their popularity around the world.
[B] To reveal the public’s fear of immigrants.
[C] To give examples of successful immigrants.
[D] To show the powerful influence of American culture.
25. In the author’s opinion, the absorption of immigrants into American society is ________.
Stratford-on-Avon, as we all know, has only one industry -- William Shakespeare -- but there are two distinctly separate and increasingly hostile branches. There is the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), which presents superb productions of the plays at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre on the Avon. And there are the townsfolk who largely live off the tourists who come, not to see the plays, but to look at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare’s birthplace and the other sights.
The worthy residents of Stratford doubt that the theatre adds a penny to their revenue. They frankly dislike the RSC’s actors, them with their long hair and beards and sandals and noisiness. It’s all deliciously ironic when you consider that Shakespeare, who earns their living, was himself an actor (with a beard) and did his share of noise-making.
The tourist streams are not entirely separate. The sightseers who come by bus -- and often take in Warwick Castle and Blenheim Palace on the side -- don’t usually see the plays, and some of them are even surprised to find a theatre in Stratford. However, the playgoers do manage a little sight-seeing along with their playgoing. It is the playgoers, the RSC contends, who bring in much of the town’s revenue because they spend the night (some of them four or five nights) pouring cash into the hotels and restaurants. The sightseers can take in everything and get out of town by nightfall.
The townsfolk don’t see it this way and local council does not contribute directly to the subsidy of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Stratford cries poor traditionally. Nevertheless every hotel in town seems to be adding a new wing or cocktail lounge. Hilton is building its own hotel there, which you may be sure will be decorated with Hamlet Hamburger Bars, the Lear Lounge, the Banquo Banqueting Room, and so forth, and will be very expensive.
Anyway, the townsfolk can’t understand why the Royal Shakespeare Company needs a subsidy. (The theatre has broken attendance records for three years in a row. Last year its 1,431 seats were 94 percent occupied all year long and this year they’ll do better.) The reason, of course, is that costs have rocketed and ticket prices have stayed low.
It would be a shame to raise prices too much because it would drive away the young people who are Stratford’s most attractive clientele. They come entirely for the plays, not the sights. They all seem to look alike (though they come from all over) -- lean, pointed, dedicated faces, wearing jeans and sandals, eating their buns and bedding down for the night on the flagstones outside the theatre to buy the 20 seats and 80 standing-room tickets held for the sleepers and sold to them when the box office opens at 10:30 a.m.
26. From the first two paragraphs, we learn that ________.
[A] the townsfolk deny the RSC’s contribution to the town’s revenue
[B] the actors of the RSC imitate Shakespeare on and off stage
[C] the two branches of the RSC are not on good terms
[D] the townsfolk earn little from tourism
27. It can be inferred from Paragraph 3 that ________.
[A] the sightseers cannot visit the Castle and the Palace separately
[B] the playgoers spend more money than the sightseers
[C] the sightseers do more shopping than the playgoers
[D] the playgoers go to no other places in town than the theater
28. By saying “Stratford cries poor traditionally” (Line 2-3, Paragraph 4), the author implies that ________.
[A] Stratford cannot afford the expansion projects
[B] Stratford has long been in financial difficulties
[C] the town is not really short of money
[D] the townsfolk used to be poorly paid
29. According to the townsfolk, the RSC deserves no subsidy because ________.
[A] ticket prices can be raised to cover the spending
[B] the company is financially ill-managed
[C] the behavior of the actors is not socially acceptable
[D] the theatre attendance is on the rise
30. From the text we can conclude that the author ________.