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Readings Booklet 

June 2000 

English 30 

Part B: Reading 
Grade 12 Diploma Examination 



Copyright 2000, the Crown in Right of Alberta, as represented by the Minister of Learning, Alberta 
Learning, Student Evaluation Branch, 11160 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5K 0L2. All rights 
reserved. Additional copies may be purchased from the Learning Resources Distributing Centre. 

Special permission is granted to Alberta educators only to reproduce, for educational purposes and 
on a non-profit basis, parts of this examination that do not contain excerpted material only after the 
administration of this examination. 

Excerpted material in this examination shall not be reproduced without the written permission of the 
original publisher (see credits page, where applicable). 

June 2000 

English 30 
Part B: Reading 
Readings Booklet 

Grade 12 Diploma Examination 


Part B: Reading contributes 50% of 
the total English 30 Diploma 
Examination mark. 

There are 8 reading selections in the 
Readings Booklet and 70 questions in 
the Questions Booklet. 

Time: 2 hours. This examination was 
developed to be completed in 2 hours; 
however, you may take an additional 
Vi hour to complete the examination. 


• Be sure that you have an English 30 
Readings Booklet and an English 30 
Questions Booklet. 

• You may not use a dictionary, 
thesaurus, or other reference materials. 

Budget your time carefully. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2015 

I. Questions 1 to 7 in your Questions Booklet are based on this poem. 


When I was young and knew no better 
I was always wanting to compare this to that: 

Hearts might be cold as ice cream cones; 

Water shone like flashlights; 

5 Autumn leaves were mustard 
On the sky’s blue china plate. 

But now I know different. 

Now I know that nothing is like nothing else. 

A white plate is a white plate, smooth, glossy; 

10 Snow is another whiteness: not powdery. 

Not like wool or silk or feathers. 

But like itself, cold, dense, soft. 

And yet sometimes hard, sometimes pointed. 

Reflecting the sky, which is not like blue nylon, 

15 But has its own special colour, texture, absence of texture. 
And there are so many objects. 

So many whites, blues, transparencies. 

That the eye and the mind must be careful. 

Must work very hard not to be confused by them. 

20 And when I get beyond objects 

(Seashells, mirrors, bottles of ginger ale, 

Daisy petals, and all the rest) 

And try to consider minds and motives 
And poetry and politics 
25 And work and friendship — 

Then language is difficult indeed. 

Since minds are never alike 
And never like snow. 

Elizabeth Brewster (1922- ) 
Bom in New Bmnswick, the recipient 
of the Saskatchewan Arts Boards, Lifetime Award 
for Excellence in the Arts in 1995 and shortlisted for 
the Governor General’s Award in 1996 


II. Questions 8 to 16 in your Questions Booklet are based on this excerpt from 
a book. 

The author recounts his travels in the mid-1930s in Andalusia, an old province in 
southern Spain. 


In an afternoon of gale and storm we left Algeciras and took the motor-bus 
for Seville, a hundred miles to the north. Africa and the Straits had disappeared in 
a driving whirl of cloud and the sky was the colour of octopus ink. Our road was 
a bad one, narrow, cratered and steep, and it took us straight up into the Sierra de 
5 los Gazules, a dark region of craggy forests where no birds sing. 

From a distance these mountains look like a herd of driven animals, lean, 
diseased and beaten to the bone. Near at hand they revealed a shuttered, 
oppressed world, particularly so this stormy day, under its heavy sky. There was 
something about the streaming rocks and wet, lead-coloured trees that gave one a 
10 sense of unnatural freedoms, of a desolate secret life. Indeed, as one expected, it 
was a place of bandits; and we had two Civil Guards, fully armed, riding with us 
for our protection. 

These two did not impress us, however. They were green, sick-looking 
youths and they rode with an air of misery. As we bumped up the rocky forest 
15 road they crouched low and peered anxiously out of the windows, while yellow 
home-made cigarettes hung wet from their loose lips. They were here on 
sufferance^ of course, and they knew it. For the bandits were as indigenous to 
these parts as the wild boar and stag, and when they struck they did so with the 
fine assurance of those who are indulging an ancient privilege. Moreover, their 
20 ranks had been stiffened of late by an influx of escaped prisoners and political 
outlaws. Oh, yes, they were bad men, said a neighbour, hugging his fat lap. 

Along this very road, this very winter, several unhappy travellers had been 
shamefully murdered. It was a natural peril of the mountains. But the sehores^ 
were not to fear; the Civil Guards were valiant, and the bandits never attacked 
25 foreigners anyway, it was not their custom. 

On this occasion, somewhat to our disappointment, we were not attacked at 
all. It was not bandit weather; and we did not see so much as a living creature in 
all those mountains. When at last we came out of them and descended into the 
plain, the Civil Guards said how lucky we were, and we said how lucky they were, 
30 and in an atmosphere of mutual congratulation they left us and took another bus 
back to the coast. 


^on sufferance — allowed or tolerated but not actually supported or encouraged 
^sehores — gentlemen 


The storm here left us also. As neat as a ruled line drawn across the sky, the 
black clouds ended and radiant blue began. We came to Alcala de los Gazules, a 
terraced town of bright white houses hung with red flowers and roofed with gold. 
35 White pigeons floated like thistledown in the sky above, and sunshine came off 
the walls with the force of an electric flare. We stopped here, and sat by the 
roadside, drinking wine and screwing up our eyes. 

Later we began to cross the plain that rolls gently towards the Guadalquivir. 

It was brown as a camel and smelt of fine herbs. There were walled farms here 
40 and there, and wooden crosses by the roadside; herds of black bulls roamed slowly 
in bronze pastures, a castle stood up sharply from the cone of a dead volcano, and 
above, in the wide sky, two white flamingos flew. 

The day set fair, and the Sierras receded like a distant battle, dropping low on 
the distant horizon in a torment of rock and cloud. Our bus driver was a cautious 
45 man and maintained a humble speed. We bucked through craters, and swerved 
round wandering cattle, and by late afternoon approached the fortress town of 
Medina Sidonia whose Duke once led a fleet to capture Britain. The town stood 
now, stark on its weathered rock, wrecked like a galleon decaying in the sun. We 
circled it slowly, and picked up a few survivors, and by dusk had arrived among 
50 the ornate villas and pungent wine smells of Jerez de la Frontera. 

The worst part of our journey was over. We had come a long and brutish 
road, taking over four hours to travel sixty miles. Now, in the dark, we ran 
smoothly up the Guadalquivir valley. The driver switched on Radio Sevilla, and 
sang to it, and by nine o’clock we arrived among the spread lights of that city. 

55 We entered Seville in style, leaving the bus station through a double row of 
porters, cab-drivers and hotel-touts^ all drawn up to greet us. As we walked down 
between their ranks we were assailed by cries of welcome, admiration, promises 
and advice, names of hotels and details of food and beds. 

We lost our nerve, and picked a man at random, and drove off with him to a 
60 hotel of some style, though moderately priced. After supper we went out into the 
streets, which were still light and gay, and full of people, in spite of the late hour. 
Old men sat in the wide windows of their clubs watching the girls go by. Taverns 
and bars threw open their doors to us, and the windows of the shops were packed 
with pretty emblems of the city — tambourines, castanets, embroidered shawls, 

65 flamenco dolls, holy images and glittering chandeliers. 

The effect of such tinselled knick-knacks, displayed with such bright 
assurance, acts as an immediate aphrodisiac upon the senses. The effervescence in 
the streets, the floating music, the flowers and towers and azulejos^ and 


^hotel-touts — people who use hotels to solicit business 
‘^azulejos — tiles 


orientalisms are part of it too. In no time the city has one in thrall. It is all part of 
70 the special femininity of Seville, a mixture of gaiety and languor. For among so 
much that is harsh and puritan in this country, Seville is set apart like a mistress, 
pampered and adored. It is the heart of Andalusia, and of the Andalusians. It is 
the first charge on their purse and passions. In spite of war, hunger, decay and 
cruelty, ways are still found to preserve the softer bloom of this city, its charm and 
75 professional alegria.^ Not only in its own province, but throughout all Spain, men 
turn to Seville as a symbol; it is the psyche of their genius, the coil that regenerates 
their sharpest pleasures and instincts. The miner from the Asturias and the 
fisherman from Cartagena, though never having set foot in it, will speak of the city 
with jealousy and love. So Seville remains, favoured and sensual, exuding from 
80 the banks of its golden river a miasma^ of perpetual excitement, compounded of 
those appetites that are most particularly Spanish — chivalry, bloodshed, poetry 
and religious mortification.^ 

Thus one sees, often in the meanest streets, the ritual furniture that builds up 
the myth, the cracked walls dressed with green-leafed flowers, the watered patios 
85 whispering with tiny fountains, the writhing Christs and brooding Virgins lit by 
perpetual lamps. One sees the ragged schoolgirls dancing in gutters, intense and 
sexual, weaving their hands like snakes; sees the doomed bull-fighter kneeling at 
Mass, hears the death-shout in the Ring, and bursts of superb singing in the night. 

Seville of sweet wines and bitter oranges, of dandy horsemen bearing their 
90 girls to the parks, of fantastic villas and radiant whores, of finery, filth and 

interminable centred around the huge dead- weight of the cathedral: this is 
the city where, more than in any other, one may bite on the air and taste the 
multitudinous flavours of Spain — acid, sugary, intoxicating, sickening, but 
flavours which, above all in a synthetic world, are real as nowhere else. 

Laurie Lee (1914-97) 
British author; immortalized English country 
life in the popular autobiographical 
account. Cider with Rosie 

^alegria — happiness 
^miasma — an atmosphere 

^mortification — discipline of the body and the appetites by self-denial 


III. Questions 17 to 28 in your Questions Booklet are based on this excerpt from 
a play. 

KING JOHN has just arrived in France in order to challenge KING PHILIP’S support 
of young ARTHUR’^ right to the throne of England. ELINOR supports KING JOHN’S 
claim to the throne, while CONSTANCE vehemently defends the claim put forth in 
favour 6>/ ARTHUR. AUSTRIA supports France’s position, while the BASTARD 
supports KING JOHN. The members of the English party have travelled to France 
to declare their positions. They meet the French party outside the gate ofAngiers, 
a town held by England. 



KING JOHN — King of England (1167-1216) 

KING PHILIP — King of France 
ELINOR — mother of King John 

CONSTANCE — sister- in- law of King John, wife of the deceased Geoffrey, and 
the mother of Arthur 

BASTARD — Philip Faulconbridge, the illegitimate son of the former king, Richard 
the Lion-hearted 

BLANCH — Blanch of Spain, King John’s niece 
AUSTRIA — Limoges, Duke of Austria 
ARTHUR — King John’s nephew 

{Enter KING [JOHN] of England, BASTARD, QUEEN [ELINOR], BLANCH . . . 
and others.) 

KING JOHN: Peace be to France, if France in peace permit 
Our just and lineal entrance to our own. 

5 If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven. 

Whiles we, God’s wrathful agent, do correct 
Their proud contempt that beats His peace to heaven. 

KING PHILIP: Peace be to England, if that war return 
From France to England, there to live in peace. 

10 England we love, and for that England’s^ sake 
With burden of our armor here we sweat. 

This toil of ours should be a work of thine. 

But thou from loving England art so far 


^England’s — i.e., Arthur’s (since Philip takes him to be the lawful King of England) 


That thou has under- wrought his lawful king, 

15 Cut off the sequence of posterity, 

Outfaced infant state,^ and done a rape 
Upon the maiden virtue of the crown. 

Look here upon thy brother Geoffrey’s face. 

These eyes, these brows, were molded out of his; 

20 This little abstract doth contain that large 

Which died in Geoffrey, and the hand of time 
Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume. 

That Geoffrey was thy elder brother bom. 

And this his son. England was Geoffrey’s right 
25 And this^ is Geoffrey’ s in the name of God. 

How comes it then that thou art called a king. 

When living blood doth in these temples beat. 

Which owe"* the crown that thou o’ermasterest? 

KING JOHN: From whom hast thou this great commission, France, 
30 To draw my answer from thy articles? 

KING PHILIP: From that supernal^ judge that stirs good thoughts 
In any breast of strong authority. 

To look into the blots and stains of right. 

That judge hath made me guardian to this boy,^ 

35 Under whose warrant I impeach^ thy wrong 
And by whose help I mean to chastise it. 

KING JOHN: Alack, thou dost usurp authority. 

KING PHILIP: Excuse it is to beat usurping down. 

ELINOR: Who is it thou dost call usurper, France? 

40 CONSTANCE: Let me make answer: thy usurping son. 

ELINOR: Out, insolent! Thy bastard shall be king 
That thou mayst be a queen and check the world! 
CONSTANCE: My bed was ever to thy son as tme 
As thine was to thy husband, and this boy 
45 Liker in feature to his father Geoffrey 

Than thou and John in manners, being as like 
As rain to water, or devil to his dam.* 


^Outfaced infant state — intimidated a child king 

^this — may refer to Arthur, John’s crown, or the city of Angiers, depending on what the actor indicates 

"*owe — own 

^supernal — heavenly 

^this boy — Arthur 

^impeach — accuse 

*dam — mother 


My boy a bastard! By my soul I think 
His father never was so true begot. 

50 It cannot be and if thou wert his mother. 

ELINOR: There’s a good mother, boy, that blots thy father. 

CONSTANCE: There’s a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee. 

AUSTRIA: Peace! 

BASTARD: Hear the crier. 

55 AUSTRIA: What the devil art thou? 

BASTARD: One that will play the devil, sir, with you. 

An ’a may catch your hide and you alone. 

You are the hare of whom the proverb goes. 

Whose valor plucks dead lions by the beard. 

60 I’ll smoke your skin-coat,^ an I catch you right. 

Sirrah, look to’t; i’ faith, I will, i’ faith. 

BLANCH: O well did he become that lion’s robe. 

That did disrobe the lion of that robe! 

BASTARD: It lies as sightly on the back of him 
65 As great Alcides’^® shows upon an ass. 

But, ass. I’ll take that burden from your back. 

Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack. 

AUSTRIA: What cracker^^ is this same that deafs our ears 
With this abundance of superfluous breath? 

70 King Philip, determine what we shall do straight. 

KING PHILIP: Women and fools, break off your conference. 

King John, this is the very sum of all: 

England and Ireland, Anglers, Touraine, Maine, 

In right of Arthur do I claim of thee. 

75 Wilt thou resign them and lay down thy arms? 

KING JOHN: My life as soon! I do defy thee, France. 

Arthur of Britain, yield thee to my hand. 

And out of my dear love I’ll give thee more 
Than e’er the coward hand of France can win. 

80 Submit thee, boy. 

ELINOR: Come to thy grandam, child. 

CONSTANCE: Do, child, go to it grandam, child; 

Give grandam kingdom, and it grandam will 


^smoke your skin-coat — thrash you (also alluding to King Richard’s lion skin, which Austria is wearing) 
^®Alcides — Hercules, who wore the skin of the lion he had slain 
^^cracker — boaster 



Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig. 

There’s a good grandam. 

ARTHUR: Good my mother, peace! 

I would that I were low laid in my grave. 

I am not worth this coil that’s made for me. 

ELINOR: His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps. 

90 CONSTANCE: Now shame upon you, whe’r she does or no! 

His grandam’ s wrongs, and not his mother’s shames. 

Draws those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes. 

Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee. 

Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be bribed 
95 To do him justice and revenge on you. 

ELINOR: Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and earth! 

CONSTANCE: Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth! 

Call not me slanderer; thou and thine usurp 
The dominations, royalties, and rights 
100 Of this oppressed boy. This is thy eldest son’s son,^^ 

Infortunate in nothing but in thee. 

Thy sins are visited^^ in this poor child; 

The canon of the law^^ is laid on him. 

Being but the second generation 
105 Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb. 

KING JOHN: Bedlam,^^ have done. 

CONSTANCE: I have but this to say. 

That he is not only plagued for her sin. 

But God hath made her sin and her the plague 
110 On this removed issue,^^ plagued for her 
And with her plague; her sin his injury. 

Her injury the beadle^^ to her sin. 

All punished in the person of this child. 

And all for her; a plague upon her. 


^Aoil — fuss 

^^eldest son’s son — oldest grandson, a biblical form (not the son of your oldest son, which Arthur 
was not) 

^Nisited — punished 

^^The canon of the law — i.e., that the sins of the parents be visited upon their children to the third and 
fourth generation 
^^Bedlam — lunatic 
Wemoved issue — distant descendant 

^%eadle — a parish official who meted out corporal punishment, to prostitutes in particular 


115 ELINOR: Thou unadvisM scold, I can produce 
A will^^ that bars the title of thy son. 

CONSTANCE: Ay, who doubts that? A will! A wicked will; 

A woman’s will; a cankered grandam’s will! 

KING PHILIP: Peace, lady! Pause, or be more temperate. 

120 It ill beseems this presence to cry aim^® 

To these ill-tunM repetitions. 

Some trumpet summon hither to the walls 
These men of Anglers. Let us hear them speak 
Whose title they admit, Arthur’s or John’s. 

125 {Trumpet sounds. Enter a Citizen upon the walls.) 

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) 

will — the last testament of King Richard I, which named his brother John as heir to the throne 
^Vry aim — give encouragement 


IV. Questions 29 to 36 in your Questions Booklet are based on this poem. 



Incorrigible/ brash, 

They brightened the cinder path of my childhood, 
Unsubtle, the opposite of primroses,^ 

5 But, unlike primroses, capable 

Of growing anywhere, railway track, pierhead. 

Like our extrovert friends who never 
Make us fall in love, yet fill 
The primroseless roseless gaps. 

10 Cats 

Incorrigible, uncommitted. 

They leavened the long flat hours of my childhood. 
Subtle, the opposite of dogs. 

And, unlike dogs, capable 
15 Of flirting, falling, and yawning anywhere. 

Like women who want no contract 

But going their own way 

Make the way of their lovers lighter. 


20 Incorrigible, unmusical, 

They bridged the surrounding hedge of my childhood, 
Unsubtle, the opposite of blackbirds. 

But, unlike blackbirds, capable 
An}rwhere they are of endorsing summer 
25 Like loud men around the comer 

Whom we never see but whose raucous 
Voices can give us confidence. 


hncorrigible — that which cannot be corrected, improved, or changed 
^primroses — delicate spring flowers that grow in sheltered places 
^Corncrakes — birds of the crow family 


The Sea 

Incorrigible, ruthless, 

30 It rattled the shingly"* beach of my childhood. 

Subtle, the opposite of earth. 

And, unlike earth, capable 
Any time at all of proclaiming eternity 
Like something or someone to whom 
35 We have to surrender, finding 
Through that surrender life. 

Louis MacNeice (1907-63) 
An Irish poet and classicist known for 
writing informal and socially relevant verse 

'‘shingly — gravelly, stony 


V. Questions 37 to 47 in your Questions Booklet are based on this excerpt from 
a novel. 

This novel is set in the mid-1950s in a middle class suburb of New Orleans. The 
narrator is a somewhat aimless and unambitious thirty-year-old who likes to go to 
the movies. Although he now lives alone, he lived with his aunt for 15 years. Kate, 
a young woman who is the aunt’s stepdaughter, has recently suffered a severe 
depression. Impulsively, and without telling anyone, the narrator went with Kate 
by train to Chicago. The aunt has frantically summoned them back, and upon their 
arrival, she addresses the narrator in her home. 


“I am not saying that I pretend to understand you. What I am saying is that 
after two days of complete mystification it has at last dawned on me what it is I 
fail to understand. That is at least a step in the right direction. It was the novelty 
of it that put me off, you see. I do believe that you have discovered something 
5 new under the sun.”^ 

It is with a rare and ominous objectivity that my aunt addresses me 
Wednesday morning. In the very violence of her emotion she has discovered the 
energy to master it, so that now, in the flush of her victory, she permits herself to 
use the old forms of civility and even of humor. The only telltale sign of menace 
10 is the smile through her eyes, which is a bit too narrow and finely drawn. 

“Would you verify my hypothesis? Is not that your discovery? First, is it not 
true that in all of past history people who found themselves in difficult situations 
behaved in certain familiar ways, well or badly, courageously or cowardly, with 
distinction or mediocrity, with honor or dishonor. They are recognizable. They 
15 display courage, pity, fear, embarrassment, joy, sorrow, and so on. Such anyhow 
has been the funded experience of the race for two or three thousand years, has it 
not? Your discovery, as best as I can determine, is that there is an alternative 
which no one has hit upon. It is that one finding oneself in one of life’s critical 
situations need not after all respond in one of the traditional ways. No. One may 
20 simply default. Pass. Do as one pleases, shrug, turn on one’s heel and leave. 

Exit. Why after all need one act humanly? Like all great discoveries, it is 
breathtakingly simple.” She smiles a quizzical-legal sort of smile. . . . 

“I am sorry that through a misunderstanding or thoughtlessness on my part 
you were not told of Kate’s plans to go with me to Chicago. No doubt it was my 
25 thoughtlessness. In any case I am sorry and I hope that your anger — ” 


Something new under the sun — a Biblical allusion to “There is no new thing under the sun,” which implies 
that everything possible has already been experienced 










“Anger? You are mistaken. It was not anger. It was discovery.” 

“Discovery of what?” 

“Discovery that someone in whom you had placed great hopes was suddenly 
not there. It is like leaning on what seems to be a good stalwart shoulder and 
feeling it go all mushy and queer.” 

We both gaze down at the letter opener, the soft iron sword she has 
withdrawn from the grasp of the helmeted figure on the inkstand. 

“I am sorry for that.” 

“The fact that you are a stranger to me is perhaps my fault. It was stupid of 
me not to believe it earlier. For now I do believe that you are not capable of 
caring for anyone, Kate, Jules, or myself. ...” She seems to notice for the first 
time that the tip of the blade is bent. “I honestly don’t believe it occurred to you to 
let us know that you and Kate were leaving, even though you knew how 
desperately sick she was. I truly do not think it ever occurred to you that you were 
abusing a sacred trust in carrying that poor child off on a fantastic trip like that or 
that you were betraying the great trust and affection she has for you. Well?” she 
asks when I do not reply. 

I try as best I can to appear as she would have me, as being, if not right, then 
wrong in a recognizable, a right form of wrongness. But I can think of nothing 
to say. 

“Do you have any notion of how I felt when . . . she vanishes without a 

We watch the sword as she lets it fall over the fulcrum of her forefinger; it 
goes tafft on the brass hinge of the desk. Then, so suddenly that I almost start, 
my aunt sheathes the sword and places her hand flat on the desk. Turning it over, 
she flexes her fingers and studies the nails, which are deeply scored by 
longitudinal ridges. 

“Were you intimate with Kate?” 



“Not very.” 

“I ask you again. Were you intimate with her?” 

“I suppose so. Though intimate is not quite the word.” 

“You suppose so. Intimate is not quite the word. I wonder what is the word. 
You see — ” she says with a sort of humor, “ — there is another of my hidden 
assumptions. All these years I have been assuming that between us words mean 
roughly the same thing, that among certain people, gentlefolk I don’t mind calling 
them, there exists a set of meanings held in common, that a certain manner and a 
certain grace come as naturally as breathing. At the great moments of life — 
success, failure, marriage, death — our kind of folks have always possessed a 



native instinct for behavior, a natural piety or grace, I don’t mind calling it. 
Whatever else we did or failed to do, we always had that. I’ll make you a little 
confession. I am not ashamed to use the word class. I will also plead guilty to 
another charge. The charge is that people belonging to my class think they’re 
70 better than other people. You’re damn right we’re better. We’re better because 
we do not shirk our obligations either to ourselves or to others. We do not whine. 
We do not organize a minority group and blackmail the government. We do not 
prize mediocrity for mediocrity’s sake. Oh I am aware that we hear a great many 
flattering things nowadays about your great common man — you know, it has 
75 always been revealing to me that he is perfectly content so to be called, because 
that is exactly what he is: the common man and when I say common I mean 
common as hell. Our civilization has achieved a distinction of sorts. It will be 
remembered not for its technology nor even its wars but for its novel ethos. ^ Ours 
is the only civilization in history which has enshrined mediocrity as its national 
80 ideal. Others have been corrupt, but leave it to us to invent the most 

undistinguished of corruptions. No orgies, no blood running in the street, no 
babies thrown off cliffs. No, we’re sentimental people and we horrify easily. 

True, our moral fiber is rotten. Our national character stinks to high heaven. But 
we are kinder than ever. No prostitute ever responded with a quicker spasm of 
85 sentiment when our hearts are touched. Nor is there anything new about thievery, 
lewdness, lying, adultery. What is new is that in our time liars and thieves and 
whores and adulterers wish also to be congratulated and are congratulated by the 
great public, if their confession is sufficiently psychological or strikes a 
sufficiently heartfelt and authentic note of sincerity. Oh, we are sincere. I do not 
90 deny it. I don’t know anybody nowadays who is not sincere. . . .” Now my aunt 
swivels around to face me and not so bad-humoredly. “I did my best for you, son. 

I gave you all I had. More than anything I wanted to pass on to you the one 
heritage of the men of our family, a certain quality of spirit, a gaiety, a sense of 
duty, a nobility worn lightly, a sweetness, a gentleness with women — the only 
95 good things the South ever had and the only things that really matter in this life. 

Ah, well. . . . But how did it happen that none of this ever meant anything to you? 
Clearly it did not. Would you please tell me? I am genuinely curious.” 

I cannot tear my eyes from the sword. Years ago I bent the tip trying to open 
a drawer. My aunt looks too. Does she suspect? 

100 “That would be difficult for me to say. You say that none of what you said ever 
meant anything to me. That is not true. On the contrary. I have never forgotten 
anything you ever said. In fact I have pondered over it all my life. My objections, 
though they are not exactly objections, cannot be expressed in the usual way. To 
tell the truth, I can’t express them at all.” 


^ethos — the fundamental values or character of a group 



“I see. Do you condone your behavior with Kate?” 

“Condone?” Condone. I screw up an eye. “I don’t suppose so.” 

“You don’t suppose so.” My aunt nods gravely, almost agreeably, in her wry 
legal manner. . . . 

After a long silence she asks: “You have nothing more to say?” 

110 I shake my head. . . . 

“One last question to satisfy my idle curiosity. What has been going on in 
your mind during all the years when we listened to music together, read the Crito^ 
and spoke together — or was it only I who spoke — good Lord, I can’t remember — 
of goodness and truth and beauty and nobility?” 

115 ... There is nothing for me to say. 

“Don’t you love these things? Don’t you live by them?” 


“What do you love? What do you live by?” 

I am silent. 

120 “Tell me where I have failed you.” 

“You haven’t.” 

“What do you think is the purpose of life — to go to the movies and dally with 
every girl that comes along?” 


125 A ledger lies open on her desk, one of the old-fashioned kind with a marbled 
cover, in which she has always kept account of her properties, sundry service 
stations, Canadian mines, patents — the peculiar business accumulation of a 
doctor — left to her by old Dr. Wills. “Well.” She closes it briskly and smiles up 
at me, a smile which, more than anything which has gone before, marks an ending. 

130 Smiling, she gives me her hand, head to one side, in her old party style. But it is 
her withholding my name that assigns me my new status. So she might have 
spoken to any one of a number of remotely connected persons, such as a Spring 
Fiesta tourist encountered by accident in her own hall. 

Walker Percy {\9\6-90) 
Bom in Alabama, Percy worked as a doctor 
until he contracted tuberculosis. The Moviegoer, 
his first novel, won the National Book Award (1962). 

^Crito — a dialogue by Plato. Named in honour of Crito, the friend of Socrates who tried to arrange for 
Socrates’ escape from prison 



Questions 48 to 56 in your Questions Booklet are based on this excerpt from 
a play. 

from SEEDS 


PAT — a man in his mid-forties 
ISA — his wife, about thirty-five 

TIME: 1950, a windy Thanksgiving Eve 
PLACE: A southern Alberta farmhouse kitchen 

The play opens with ISA and PAT seated at a table. Nearby, out-of-doors, 
comes the wailing of a dog. (Much of the time the characters speak aloud 
their private memories, longings, and regrets that they do not share with 
each other.). . . 

5 A flock of wild geese flies over. Their sounds grow vibrantly, musically, 

abstracting into a long thin sound, an extended note. Piercing memory. 

ISA (In a whisper): I never told you I saw him first did I? Mind you I’d never 
seen him before. . . . Just a young man with a young face. He was standing 
outside the pool hall asking for work. Oh you’ve seen the like. But he was 
10 different somehow. He wore that sailor’ s cap on his head. He had a dandy 
pair of boots. He had a blue bundle on his back and his shoulders stood 
apart just so. He had a look in his eyes. You wouldn’t have noticed. I saw 
it first thing. Curious, faraway. ... Well he caught my eye. He came out 
the very next day. I was glad when you decided to take him on. Glad for 
15 him. (pause) Those eyes. . . 

PAT: He came in the spring. 

ISA: Where did he go? 

PAT: I remember . . . 

ISA: I don’t know. 

20 PAT: In April. 

ISA: You said he disappeared along the river. Gone. Said his warm goodbyes 
to me and went. I wanted to cry. I didn’t want you to see me crying . . . 

Did you? 

PAT: You were hanging clothes. In the wind. I was plowing in the field. There 
25 was dust blowing and I saw him. . . . Coming across the stubble out of 

nowhere. ... I’m not a superstitious man. But the dog started to howl. . . . 











ISA: Time will cure the pain. 

PAT: He walked beside me in the field. Just a scruffy kid with a bag on his back. 
He had a grubby blue hat with anchors. He had a good pair of boots on his 
feet. . . . “Got work, mister?” he said. He wouldn’t look at me. Something 
in his eyes. Like a pony in a storm. 

ISA: Time cures most things. Most things. My sister Elly lost an eye when she 
was a girl. Her left one. They were green. She was sixteen years old. She 
wanted to die. She told me so. She has a glass one now and I helped her 
accept it. But that’s a secret. So I can’t tell you. 

PAT: “A dollar a week and I don’t promise when. Long hours, simple meals. 

Bed in the bam but don’t smoke there. Got that?” He nodded. I couldn’t 
afford him. But I had a whole mess of little jobs that needed doing. He 
laughed and said he was starving for exercise. “Good thing,” I said. “There’s 
a crop to put in too if my farm don’t blow away.” 

ISA: She comes every Thanksgiving. . . . Dear Elly. She doesn’t like me. In fact 
she hates me. Bitterly. 

PAT: He was a good worker. He had pretty good hands. He worked up a sweat 
and ate [heartily]. He minded me. 

ISA: She hates me because I’m so happy. When we were growing up she hated 
me because I was so pretty. 

PAT: He showed me respect. Like a son. Didn’t you see that? 

ISA: I can’t help it. I guess I’m just a lucky person. I heard my mom say a 
hundred times that when I was bom I let out a big giggle instead of a cry. 

It must be a gift. Like singing or playing harmonica. I had a song I used 
to sing. . . . 

She sings. A song, light as a breeze, and a little melancholy. 

PAT {After a pause): You’ve always had a pretty voice. The boy liked it too. 

Once when we were working near the house we heard you singing. . . . Like a 
lark. He smiled and asked me how we ever got together. Because you’re so 
pretty and I look like a rusty manure shovel. That’s what he said. That’s a 
good question, eh Isa? . . . 

ISA: I was working at the store in Maybutt. You came in for your mail and 
supplies. Dropped your hands flat on the counter and ordered flour, sugar, 
beans, and a new shovel. Then you knocked over the licorice jar. You were 
tall and straight, with a rough face, so young, so old. Nervous and awkward 
to look at me. You spoke too quickly, stuttered some. ... I was sixteen. 

You were looking for a wife. 

PAT: He had an eye for you alright. I saw it. Don’t you think I didn’t. He was 
friendly to you. ... He’d seen other places. Cities and seas. You liked 
hearing about them. I didn’t mind. He made you laugh again. Damn you 
woman. It was good to hear you laugh. Well he showed me respect. . . . 











ISA: We got married in the church at New Town. Like I knew we would. . . . We 
had our picture taken. [Elly] stood beside me. Her glass eye came out white 
in the photograph. 

PAT: Isa. . . 

ISA: You looked awfully stiff in your borrowed suit. But proud. I was the 
prettiest bride in the whole county. I was. You said I was. You said I was 
pretty by nature and nothing could take that away from me. 

PAT: I know what you’re thinking. Hush your head. He’s never coming back this 
way again, (pause) 

ISA (With a gentle laugh): The first day I gave the shack a good scrubbing. . . . 

You said if you’d known about Dutch Cleanser you would never got married. 
When you were out working I took lunch to you. Remember the first time? It 
was fun. We had egg sandwiches, pickles, saffron cake, sago pudding in 
cups, and lemon tea. . . . 

PAT: I need you, Isa. 

ISA: The people on the next farm came over to welcome me and wish us luck. 

PAT: I’ve just never had the proper words. 

ISA: You and he were friends. 

PAT: Do you still need me even though I’m not a fancy man? . . . 

ISA: I’m a happy person. 

PAT: I’m a fool. 

ISA: I guess I’m just lucky. Oh I was a little lonely at first. The neighbor woman 
came over to visit sometimes and she made me wonder. I tried to like her but 
she was so . . . I mean all she ever did was smoke and yell at her boys for 
pulling the dog’s tail. . . . Her hands were rough too and her face was cracked 
like the bottom of a slough in July. When she yawned or smiled you could 
hear her face squeak! She was just a little older than me. Well one day she 
just up and left. Disappeared right off the farm with the table half set and 
dinner in the stove. Just . . . disappeared. 

PAT: ... He worked with his shirt off. He was brown from the sun and hard from 
the work. He helped the bundle team bring stooks to the thresher. “That your 
boy?” someone asked. Big and strong like I was. ... He had good hands for 
milking like mine. He picked up my knack for animals and weather. He 
looked up to me. He had my moods too. I’m sure he did. He liked being 
alone a lot. He went for long walks like I did. (pause) I still go for walks. 

ISA: I was so surprised. 

PAT: I walk through the crops. 

ISA: He was just a young man but he’d done things and seen places I’d never 

PAT: I watch the grasshoppers spray out in front of me. 



ISA: He sailed on a ship across the ocean. I rafted in the coulee once. He’d seen 
London, and Lisbon, Amsterdam, and Paris. 

110 PAT: I take the heads of grain, shred them between my hands like this, and test the 
seeds with my teeth. 

ISA: In Paris he fed swans on the River Seine. He saw a policeman dressed all in 
white with white gloves standing under a parasol. He said the streets smelled 
of perfume and baked bread. 

115 PAT: Sometimes I walk the fences. Tumble weeds get trapped in the barbed wire. 

I have to pull them free or the fence falls down with the weight and the wind. 

ISA: Once in a restaurant he saw a woman with real roses for earrings and a dress 
with no back or straps, none at all! She was wearing a hat pin in the shape of 
a peacock made out of her own hair. . . . 

120 PAT: Once in the spring I tried to trap the run-off onto the garden. I took a long 
stick and dug little ditches between the rows. But it trickled away into the 
sloughs which slope for two miles and into the coulee. . . . 

ISA: In my mind I’m rowing across the River Seine with my hair back, (pause) 

A faint train whistle. . . . Growing louder and passing. Then silence. 

125 PAT: Your sister will be here tomorrow. 

ISA: Yes. 

PAT: I can’t stand her. 

ISA: I know it. 

PAT: She gets looking at me and I can’t sit comfortable. 

130 ISA: Can’t you? 

PAT: One of her eyes looks crooked. 

ISA: Yes. 

PAT: Don’t know why she comes anyway. 

ISA: She likes to. 

135 PAT: You never talk. 

ISA: Not really. 

PAT: You sit and stare at each other. 

ISA: Do we? 

PAT: Should we go to bed now? 

140 ISA: Soon, (pause) 

Sound of harmonica playing. . . . 

Gordon Pengilly 

A six-time winner of Alberta playwriting competitions and 
a three-time winner of national competitions. Pengilly is 
also a poet, the poetry editor of Dandelion magazine, 
and a regular contributor to CBC Radio Drama. 









Questions 57 to 63 in your Questions Booklet are based on this essay. 


In the 18th century, the French inventor Jacques de Vaucanson proposed a 
bold project to King Louis XV: building an automaton that would reproduce all 
of the functions of the human body, “in order, by contrast, to observe the human 
soul.” At about the same time, the mathematician Pierre Simon de Laplace 
asserted that one could look into the future if one knew the position and speed of 
all of the particles that made up the universe. Scientists long believed that 
breaking down the universe into components would allow them to peer into all of 
its mysteries; it was just a matter of time and calculation. They were wrong. 

Today, new theories are burying those dreams forever. Conceived over the 
past 20 years by mathematicians using computers, the new science of chaos and 
complexity shows that order may be hidden in apparent disorder and that tiny 
events can cause giant upheavals. 

This school of thought has spread across disciplines. Economists, biologists, 
physicists, and astronomers are all trying to unlock the unknown mechanisms that 
may explain “chaotic” phenomena, such as the fluctuation of stock-market 
quotations, the scattering of stars across the sky, the spread of epidemics, and the 
evolution of species through the ages. The way we think about the laws of nature 
is going to change, and so perhaps is our daily life, says James Gleick, a New York 
Times ]oumsLlisi and the author of Chaos, a remarkable best-selling book that 
chronicles these discoveries. 

Unpredictability, or “chaos,” can be found virtually everywhere: in the 
wafting smoke of a cigarette, in the movements of a crowd near a station, in the 
craggy profile of a coastline, or in the turbulence caused by the wing of an 
airplane. It is impossible to calculate the long-term trends of these phenomena; 
though they appear simple, they involve an almost infinite number of variables. In 
fact, no computer will ever be equal to the task because, say the new theories, each 
variable taken individually can have a considerable influence on how a whole 
system behaves. 

This principle was discovered in 1961 by Edward N. Lorenz, a meteorologist 
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, during an attempt to simulate 
weather conditions on a computer. Lorenz had programmed the machine to repeat 
endlessly a series of equations that should always have resulted in simulated fair 
skies. One day, however, the result deviated. Lorenz discovered the reason: A 
single wrong keystroke had changed a digit five places after a decimal point. That 
tiny error, magnified millions of times, had thrown the whole system off kilter. 
Lorenz built his theory on this finding, illustrating it with a famous example: The 











fluttering of a butterfly in Rio de Janeiro, amplified by atmospheric currents, could 
cause a tornado in Japan two weeks later. 

Another key discovery in the study of chaos was the “strange attracter” — a 
mathematical object that enables us to perceive certain levels of order in chaos. 
Imagine plotting the movement of all of the guests at a large cocktail party. 
Programmed into a computer, the graphs would become a mathematical object 
with three dimensions — an “attracter” — that might show, for example, that the 
guests had a tendency to follow particular trajectories even though the crowd 
seemed to be milling about. The computer enhances the invisible dimension of 
time, thus making it possible to build models of disorder and to reveal some of its 

Michel Henon, an astrophysicist at the University of Nice observatory in 
France, was the first to reveal the presence of chaotic phenomena in the movement 
of stars. In trying to build a computer model of the formation of galaxies, he 
discovered that some orbits are completely erratic. “I couldn’t believe my own 
findings,” Henon recalls. “My colleagues and I redid all of the calculations, 
changing computers and programs. The same results appeared. There was no 
doubt.” Other observations bore out the unbelievable: Disorder was discovered in 
the rings of Saturn, in the rotation of Hyperion (a satellite of Saturn), in the orbit 
of Pluto, and even in the trajectory of Earth. 

Many other striking phenomena have been discovered. Several U.S. 
physiologists have found anarchic variations in the rhythms of the human heart 
and in the white-blood-cell count of healthy individuals. Inversely, it seems that 
heart attacks and leukemia are preceded by regular cycles. “Disorder is perhaps a 
way in which the body harmonizes its functions,” says Ary Goldberger, a biologist 
at the Harvard Medical School. “Healthy systems need chaos.” 

Centers for the study of complexity have sprung up all over the world, and 
there have been countless symposia and publications in which scientists produce 
and reproduce their hypotheses about chaos. Seminars and books about 
“managing one’s affairs through instability” have even appeared. “It is a kind of 
fad,” says Henon. “But these theories also have important philosophical 

The mathematics of chaos have thus drawn the outer limits of classical 
rational thought. They suggest a new concept of free will, showing that the acts of 
one individual can affect the course of history. At a time when populations are 
blending, when media are multiplying, when the economy and polity of a country 
sometimes depend on decisions made elsewhere in the world, some way had to be 
found to understand the complexity that surrounds us. It is a matter of time, of 
calculation, and of chance. 

Gilbert Charles 
Twentieth-century journalist 








Questions 64 to 70 in your Questions Booklet are based on this excerpt from 
a novel. 

This story is set in Montreal in the early 1960s. 


Translated from French 

. . . How tired she was of this job! Waiting on rough men who made insulting 
advances, or else others, like Jean Levesque, who made sport of her. Waiting on 
people, always waiting on people! And forever smiling, when her feet felt as if 
she were walking on a bed of hot coals ! Smiling when her aching legs were about 
to give way with exhaustion! Smiling no matter how enraged and miserable she 
might be! 

In repose her face took on a look of stupefaction. For the moment, despite 
her heavy make-up, the image of the old woman she would become was 
superimposed on her childish features. By the set of her lips one could foresee the 
wrinkles into which the fine modeling of her cheeks would dissolve. All youth, 
confidence, vivacity seemed to have fled from her listless, shrunken eyes, leaving 
a vacuum. But it was not only the mature woman that appeared portentously in 
Florentine’s face; even more shocking were the marks of inherited debility and 
deep poverty that she bore. These seemed to rise from the depths of her somber 
pupils and spread like a veil over the naked, unmasked face. 

All this passed in less than a minute. Abruptly Florentine straightened up, 
and the smile returned of itself to her rouged lips, as if it responded not to her will, 
but to some powerful reflex, the natural ally of her challenge to life. Of all the 
confused thoughts that had run through her mind, she retained only one, a 
conviction as clear and sharp as her congealed smile, that she must immediately 
stake ever)^hing she still had to offer, all her physical charm, on one wild chance 
of happiness. As she leaned over the counter to pick up some dirty dishes, she 
caught a glimpse of Jean Levesque’s profile, and it came to her with the force of a 
staggering blow, that whether she wished it or not, she could no longer be 
indifferent to him. She had never been so ready to hate him. Save for his name, 
which she had just learned, she knew nothing about him. Louise, who was a little 
better informed, said that he was employed at a foundry as an electrical machinist. 
From Louise too she had heard that Jean never went out with girls, an item that 
had intrigued her. It was a pleasing thought. 

She glanced down the length of the counter. Out of the comer of her eye she 
could see a row of faces bent over plates, mouths open, jaws chewing, greasy 
lips — a sight that usually infuriated her — and then, at the end of the table, the 
square shoulders of her young man in his well-cut brown suit. One of his hands 











cupped his face; his brown skin was drawn tight over his cheeks; his teeth were 
clenched. Fine lines spread fanwise from his chin to his temples. Young as he 
appeared, light furrows were already drawn on his stubborn brow. And his eyes, 
whether skimming over nearby objects or studying his book, were hard and 

Florentine stole up on him and observed him minutely through half-closed 
lids. His suit was made of English cloth, unlike the stuff to be found in the 
neighborhood stores. It seemed to her that his clothing indicated a special 
character, an almost privileged kind of existence. Not that the youth dressed with 
studied elegance; on the contrary, he affected a certain carelessness. His tie was 
knotted loosely, his hands still bore slight traces of grease, he wore no hat in any 
weather, and his hair was thick and unmanageable from exposure to sun and rain 
and heavy frost. But it was just this negligence in small details that lent 
importance to the expensive things he wore: the wrist watch whose dial flashed 
with every gesture, the heavy silk scarf draped about his neck, the fine leather 
gloves sticking out of his pocket. Florentine had the feeling that if she leaned over 
him she would catch the very essence of the big city, with its well-dressed, well- 
fed, contented people on their rounds of pleasure. She visualized St. Catherine 
Street in Montreal, the windows of the big department stores, the fashionable 
crowd on Saturday evening, the florists’ displays, the revolving doors of the 
restaurants, their tables almost flush with the street behind glittering plate glass, 
the brightly lit theater lobbies, with their long passages beyond the cashier’s cage 
leading up between walls of mirrors, past polished rails and potted plants, up, up 
toward the screen where the most beautiful pictures in the world are shown: all 
that she most longed for, admired, envied, swam before her eyes. Surely this boy 
knew how to have a good time on Saturday night! As for her, when did she ever 
have a good time? On rare occasions, to be sure, she had gone out with young 
men, but only to a cheap movie in the neighborhood, or to some run-down dance- 
hall on the outskirts of town. In return for such paltry entertainment they always 
tried to get their money’s worth in kisses, and thus she could not even enjoy the 
movie because she would be so busy holding them off. Her few trips over to the 
west side of the city with some other girls had not proved enjoyable. On the 
contrary, she had been angry and ashamed to be seen in a group of chattering 
females. Every passing couple had caught her eye and increased her resentment. 
The city was made for couples, not for four or five silly girls with their arms 
interlaced, strolling up St. Catherine Street, stopping at every shop window to 
admire things they would never own. 

But the city beckoned to her now through Jean Levesque. Because of this 
stranger how brilliant were the lights, how gay the crowd! Even the spring no 



longer seemed so far away; the stunted trees of Saint-Henri^ seemed about to turn 
green! But for the extreme constraint she felt in his presence, she would have 
75 cried out: “Let’s be friends; we are made for each other!” And again she felt an 
absurd impulse to bury her hands in his tousled hair. Never before had she met 
anyone who bore so many visible marks of success. He might be nothing but a 
machinist at this moment, but she was confident that he would be prosperous in 
the future, a future with which a strong instinct urged her to ally herself. 

80 She came to, from far away, and asked him in the tough accent she assumed 

for the customers: 

“Well, do you want dessert?” 

Gabrielle Roy (1909-83) 
A teacher, actor, and writer from Saint Boniface, Manitoba, 
who received three Governor General’s Awards (1947, 1957, 1978) 
and the Companion of the Order of Canada (1967). 

^Saint-Henri — poor neighbourhood in Montreal 



Elizabeth Brewster. “Nothing Is Like Nothing Else” from Passage of Summer (The 
Ryerson Press, 1969). Reprinted under the Alberta Government Print Licence with 
CanCopy (Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency). 

Laurie Lee. From A Rose for Winter (London: Hogarth Press, 1973.) Reprinted under the 
Alberta Government Print Licence with CanCopy (Canadian Copyright Licensing 

William Shakespeare. From The Life and Death of King John as found in William 
Shakespeare the Complete Works (Viking, 1969). Reprinted under the Alberta 
Government Print Licence with CanCopy (Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency). 

Louis MacNeice. “Nature Notes” from Across the Board (Macmillan.) Reprinted under 
the Alberta Government Print Licence with CanCopy (Canadian Copyright Licensing 

Walker Percy. From The Moviegoer (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1961). Reprinted under the 
Alberta Government Print Licence with CanCopy (Canadian Copyright Licensing 

Gordon Pengilly. From Seeds as found in Prairie Performance: A Collection of Short 
Plays (NuWest Press, 1980). Reprinted under the Alberta Government Print Licence 
with CanCopy (Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency). 

Gilbert Charles. “Can Butterflies Cause Tornadoes?” from L' Express as found in World 
Press Review, (vol.36, no. 8). Reprinted under the Alberta Government Print Licence 
with CanCopy (Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency). 

Gabrielle Roy. “What Are You Doing Tonight?” from The Tin Flute as found in 
Canadian Literature Two Centuries in Prose (McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 1973). 
Reprinted under the Alberta Government Print Licence with CanCopy (Canadian 
Copyright Licensing Agency). 

English 30: Part B 

June 2000