Americans Reading

Anglais Deuxième année Reading

A mong the reasons why immigrants have traditionally come to the USA is to have a better life – that is to raise their standard of living. It was properly the most important reason for leaving their homeland. Because of its abundant natural resources, the United States appeared to be a “land of plenty” where millions could come to seek their fortunes. Of course, most immigrants “didn’t get overnight” and many of them suffered terribly, but the majority of them were eventually able to improve their former standard of living.

A mericans pay a price, however, for their material wealth: hard work. Hard work has been both necessary and rewarding for most Americans throughout their history. Because of this, they have come to see material possessions as the natural reward for their hard work. In some ways, material possessions are seen not only as a clear evidence of people’s work, but also of their abilities. Most Americans believe that if people work hard, they are likely to have a good standard of living.

S ince people’s status in society is frequently measured by how much they own, Americans often feel pressured to buy more than they need. They want to appear as prosperous as everyone else round them, and this means making a continuing effort to buy newer and better material.

I n reality, some people have a better chance for success than others. Those who are born into rich families have more opportunities than those who are born in poorer families. Inheriting money gives a person a real advantage. In spite of laws designed to promote equality of opportunity for all races, many black Americans have fewer opportunities than the average white Americans.

A. Are these sentences true or false? Justify.

  1. American people see their material possessions as a reward for their hard work.
  2. Not all Americans have equal opportunities to become rich.

B. Answer the question.

  • How do American people show that they live a ‘successful’ life?

C. What do the underlined words in the text refer to?

  1. their (§ 1)
  2. its (§ 1)
  3. Those (§ 4)

D. Find in the text words that mean the same as …

  1. mother country
  2. beneficial
  3. forced
  4. flourishing

Key

Exercise A

  1. True . Hard work has been both necessary and rewarding for most Americans throughout their history.
  2. True . In spite of laws designed to promote equality of opportunity for all races, many black Americans have fewer opportunities than the average white Americans.

Exercise B

  • American people show that they live a ‘successful’ life by squandering money on unused things and by buying newer and better material.

Exercise C

  1. ‘their’ refers to immigrants
  2. ‘its’ refers to the USA.
  3. ‘Those’ refers to American people.

Exercise D

  1. homeland
  2. rewarding
  3. pressured
  4. prosperous

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