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2005-11-25 14:37 新航道 

  Section Ⅱ Reading Comprehension

  Part A

  TEXT 1

  FINE GAEL, Ireland's main opposition party, has a new leader. Having unceremoniously deposed John Bruton, a former prime minister, on January 31st, it quickly put in his place the man who had plotted his downfall, Michael Noonan. He is a skilled parliamentarian with wide ministerial experience, and a master of the quotable sound bite, not to say of the knife. But can he bring his party back to office?

  Mr. Bruton had been ten years in the job, including 2 1/2 years at the head of a coalition government in the mid-1990s. He was a man of substance, but suffered, said party critics, from a "charisma deficit". Mr. Noonan, at 57 four years older, has both substance and image, and a keen desire for power. But he inherits a demoralized party, unsure of its identity and role in Irish politics, and divided by the manner of his succession. He has not long to turn it round: a general election is due by June 2002, and the prime minister, Bertie Ahern, leader of Fianna Fail, may be tempted to call one sooner.

  Part of Fine Gael's trouble has been an inability to distinguish itself from Fianna Fail. Fine Gael laid the foundations of the new Irish state in the 1920s. But Fianna Fail built it up and, having first taken office in 1932, has been in government for some 50 of the years since. Fine Gael has been out of office for most of the past 14 years. Both parties are essentially conservative and centrist, both rooted in the nationalist past. Their hostility goes back to the civil war that sprang up when nationalists split over the terms of the treaty that brought freedom from Britain. But the recent modernization of Irish society has made their similarities far bigger than their differences.

  Both are catch-all parties, with support across all social classes, age groups and regions. Fianna Fail, however, is better at winning it. On social and moral issues, Fine Gael has usually shown itself readier for change than Fianna Fail, notably in such controversial areas as reform of the anti-contraception law and the legalization of divorce.

  One or other party has served in every government since 1922. But never both together. That iron law of Irish politics, it seems, remains. Yet the political landscape is not what it was. After the 1989 election, Fianna Fail accepted coalition with minor parties as the price of power. Since then it has swung according to its partners: centre-right, centre-left and now, since 1997, right again with the Progressive Democrats. Fine Gael must link up with Labor if it wants power. No wonder Mr. Noonan's first step as leader was to make noises about social justice.

  21. In the opening paragraph, the author introduces his topic by

  A. posing a contrast

  B. justifying an assumption

  C. presenting a doubt

  D. explaining a phenomenon

  22. "The manner" of the 2nd paragraph refers to

  A  Noonan's mastering of the quotable sound bite.

  B  his power desire

  C  too substantial

  D  Charisma deficit

  23.Michael Noonan became the leader of FINE GAEL through

  A  rebellion

  B  coalition

  C  election

  D  negotiation

  24.  It can be inferred from the text that

  A  there is still some time to change FINE GAEL's image.

  B  Fianna Fail and FINE GAEL will have a large difference in many aspects.

  C it is hopeful Fianna Fail probably win the election.

  D Fianna Fail, like FINE GAEL, is also conservative and reformist.

  25.  What can we infer from the passage?

  A  FINE GAEL built the foundations of the England at the beginning.

  B  Who will form the next government is unclear.

  C  FINE GAEL is less influential than its rival.

  D  FINE GAEL governed the Irish State longer than Fianna Fail.

  TEXT 2

  ARE burgers and fries a product of the profound social changes of the past 50 years, or were they to a large extent responsible for them? The author of this diatribe against multinational restaurant brands opts for the latter explanation. "There is nothing inevitable about the fast food nation that surrounds us," he concludes. "The triumph of  McDonald's and its imitators was by no means pre- ordained." But it happened nevertheless and, in his view, it is to be blamed for many of the evils of modern America and their global spread. The emergence of the corporate colossus, followed inexorably by its deionization, is a familiar pattern in American business history.

  The modern phenomenon of fast food originated in California just before the Second World War. Its first manifestation was kerb service, with meals delivered to motorists by comely young carhops. Richard and Maurice McDonald, who ran a drive-in burger bar in San Bernardino near Los Angeles, became tired of having constantly to replace their carhops and wash up crockery and cutlery. In 1948 they decided to make customers serve themselves, while restricting the menu to items that could be prepared by unskilled cooks and eaten without plates, knives or forks.

  The McDonald brothers were soon bought out by the entrepreneurial Ray Kroc, who franchised their name and techniques so successfully that there is now scarcely a corner of the world that is free from their trademark golden arches, invariably spawning a cluster of rival chains selling hamburgers, pizzas, or fried chicken, doled out by smiling teenagers willing to accept minimal pay. They are cheap, cheerful, popular, and children love them.

  So just what is Mr. Schlosser's beef? Apart from his nutritional reservations——too much fat, salt and sugar——he documents how, as the chains expanded, they were able to dictate terms to the suppliers of potatoes and ground beef, their staple ingredients. This caused an upheaval in agribusiness, as a few large suppliers quickly forced less efficient producers out of the market. The drive to keep down costs and increase the speed of production led to the employment of cheap unskilled labor and to the widespread toleration of dangerous and unhygienic practices among growers and processors, which regulatory bodies have failed to police.

  Mr. Schlosser, who is a skilful and persuasive investigative reporter, sees all this as a damaging corruption of the free market. He is especially incensed by promotional techniques aimed at impressionable children. A 1997 giveaway of Teenie Beanie Babies increased the sale of McDonalds' Happy Meals from 10m a week to 10m a day. And a survey found that 96% of American schoolchildren could identify Ronald McDonald, the chain's mascot. Only Santa Claus scored higher.

  26.The example of McDonald is to be concluded that

  A  the fast food is the great social change of the past 50 years.

  B  the success of multinational brands was destined.

  C  the corporate demonizing contributed some social changes.

  D  McDonald is popular in America.

  27. The word "kerb service"(line 2, Para 2) equates to

  A  restaurants' service

  B  hotel service

  C  family service

  D  motor restaurant

  28.What does the author mean by "mascot"(last line, Para 3)?

  A. benefit

  B. danger

  C. shortcoming

  D. feedback

  29. The writer airs Mr. Schlosser's opinion in the 4th  paragraph in order to

  A  list the nutritional reservation.

  B  be for the proper dictate terms.

  C  ask the police to regulate the productive process.

  D  criticize fast-food for being junk food.

  30. McDonald's is successful

  A  and defeats a lot of other rivals.

  B  and the world is full of its subsections.

  C  because it doesn't need the cutlery.

  D  because it is cheap and highly nutritional.