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Englisch: Zusammenfassung der Abiturthemen 2015
Transcript of Englisch: Zusammenfassung der Abiturthemen 2015
1. American History
Brief Overview of the English-Abitur's Topics
Ze English One
Source: Vindale Research
1. AMERICAN HISTORY
3. HALF BROKE HORSES
2. CRASH (2005)
America is a nation of immigrants, settled by Europeans in the beginning of the 16th century.
Why dID they come, and where did they come from?
Europeans looking for religious freedom
Freedom from persecution
Hoping to build new lives in the New World
Land in America is over-abundant (im Überfluss)
Can be cheaply bought and is easily made profitable
They come from all of Europe:
settles most of Canada,
settle South and Middle America, while the
people start the rest of the north
Hard-working people who placed determination and excellence in their chosen profession above everything else. They believed that the work you do will be repaid with something equally valuable - money, success, and the Love of God. They devoted themselves to being the best and most valuable (to society) people they could be.
Chased out of Britain because they accepted neither the King nor the Pope as spiritual or moral leaders, they shaped one of America's most important ideals.
The American Dream
"You can become whoever you want, wherever you come from and whoever you've been before."
The American Dream is very important to many aspects of the American psychology - but more about that later.
The American Revolution (1765-1783)
The American "States" we know today were British colonies. Well, the Americans didn't like that, because they lived there, but the British didn't. The British just wanted tax money.
So the 'Mericans said let's go
not an actual verb
Repression and Anger
The British impose plenty of "acts" on the Colonies:
(goods like sugar are taxed extensively)
(even minor documents like playing cards must be officially stamped by a British representative)
The problem was not that the taxes were high,
the problem was that the colonies didn't have a say in British politics
The Revolutionary War
Free at Last
In the Treaty of Versailles (1783) , the British officially recognize America as a free, independent nation.
Brief Timeline of the American Revolution
The Colonists start rebelling by refusing to pay the taxes, burning British documents and forming violent groups.
Then the British said "Do you want some
more acts?", and the Colonies said "No",
so the British imposed more acts:
Acts (let's just tax everything, like paper or glass)
The Tea act is the last straw - the "Sons of Liberty" dress up as Native Americans, walk onto British ships in Boston's harbour and throw the tea they brought from Europe into the water (
The Boston Tea Party, May 1773)
A large amount of battles was fought between the British (helped by allies) and the 13 American Colonies (also helped). Ultimately, the Americans won their freedom.
Declaration of Independence
was written during the war, and signed by the 13 before it ended.
Four years later, the Constitution is written and passed - The United States of America now have a number of laws unique to them, voted upon by their very own congress.
However, the quote we all know and love is in the Declaration of Independence - The Constitution merely establishes the government (Congress, Parties, President etc.).
This is, basically, the American Dream put into words. But are all people truly equal in the USA? Now, they might be closer to equality than ever. But there was a time when these words were empty promises for many.
Nightmares and Dreams
From the 17th to the 19th Century, Slavery
was not only legal in the USA - it was
. When the
business started booming in the late 18th/early 19th century, slaves from Africa were used extensively, soon even outnumbering the white population in places, especially the southern US.
In 1861, before the start of Civil war, 15 of the 34 states still allowed to "own" slaves. After the Civil War (1865), Abraham Lincoln (above) abolished slavery in the reunited United States. Black men now had the right to vote, for example, and their votes were worth as much as white ones. But the south remained in a mindset of white supremacy - and so the fight for Civil Rights and equal social standing was about to start very soon.
Racist groups like the KKK form to hunt, harass and kill black people
In the south, separate schools exist for whites and blacks
Blacks are expected to use low-quality products
Teaching in black schools is awful thanks to low budgets
Literacy tests, where black voters have to test their level of reading comprehension and writing, stop many potential voters from actually voting
The Civil Rights Movement
break out all over the US (especially the
) during the
, kickstarted by
' refusal to stand up so a white man can take her seat on the bus.
Martin Luther King Jr, one of the leaders and the symbol for the Civil Rights Movement, gave his "I have a Dream" Speech in 1963, before 250,000 protesters of all races.
In 1964, the Civil Rights Act officially outlawed any sort of segregation or discrimination based on race
The United States of America are a nation constantly striving for equality, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but their values and dreams have come under fire by not only oppressive monarchs, but their own citizens and their privilege.
Though the US-Citizens like living happily, they have a historical problem with sharing their opportunities amongst themselves.
While many strives have been made for racial equality, Native Americans are still often confined to reservations (financially) and live in extreme poverty.
The Video Collection
Released in 2005, Crash is a Drama that deals with social and racial tensions in Los Angeles. It was directed by Paul Haggis and won Best Picture at the 78th Oscars.
Officer Ryan saving Christine Thayer
Cameron Thayer acting out
Farhad almost shoots Daniel
Showing various sorts of racial tension (including the death of Peter)
Two Sides of
Officer John Ryan
reats people of colour worse
Makes racist remarks and especially treats black women the way he wants to, insulting and/or molesting them
Abuses his power as a policeman
Saves Christine Thayer
Seems sorry for what he's done to her (or at the very least in deep thought about his stance)
Treats her very gently and pulls up her skirt so she doesn't feel like she's in danger
Successful, married TV-director
Has a place in high society
Married a wife with an academic background
Agrees with racist remarks of his co-workers
Doesn't stand up for himself or his wife John Ryan molests her
His wife criticizes him for forgetting his background
The Wannabe- (Möchtegern) Gangster
Behaves like a "black" gangster stereotype
Verbally fights the police
Beats up Anthony
The Real Gangster
He confirms all the prejudices anyone could ever have about him
He steals cars and sells them for profit
He doesn't tip
He assaults Cameron and is ready to have him shot (by Peter)
The Good Soul
He leaves Cameron alone without bothering him again
He frees illegal Chinese immigrants even though he could sell them for a lot of money
Tries to report Officer Ryan's racism
Realizes that Cameron is confused
Lets him go with a warning
Saves his reputation
Picks Peter up in his car at night
Immediately notices Peter's clothes
Doesn't believe Peter likes Country music (traditionally "white" music)
Asks Peter to leave his car simply for laughing
Kills Peter when he reaches into his pocket
Burns the evidence
Loves his family
Works and provides for his wife
Owns a shop
Has built up a life in the United States
Is genuinely sorry for all he does in the movie, gives his gun to his daughter
Is often faced with Xenophobia (fear/hate of immigrants)
Quickly gets angry and makes rash decisions without thinking
Is sure Daniel took everything in his shop (even though Daniel worked for free and warned him about the broken door)
Actually pulls the trigger of his gun (is ready to kill Daniel)
Crash just has way too many characters,
Angry and Prejudiced Housewife
Jean judges people by their appearance
She makes racist remarks
She obviously enjoys being privileged compared to her house staff
She abuses their power and is constantly angry at them
She expects her husband to do anything she says
Deeply Lonely Woman
She has no-one who can help her when there are actual problems
She realizes the only "friend" she has is Maria, her latino maid
She realizes that she's been awful to Maria and also recognizes her other "friendships" as empty
Guardian of the Law and Loving Son
He searches for the truth in the case of a black man being killed by a cop
He is not afraid of asking hard questions
He's also ready to tell the truth
Furthermore, he buys his mother groceries and visits her
He reveals vague information (or just lies) so his brother's file is hidden
He also does it for a promotion
Even though Waters doesn't spend a lot of time with his poor family, and doesn't looks for his brother, he is still very shocked when his brother dies. Also, Graham being bribed included making his brother's criminal record disappear - this convinces Waters, showing how deeply he cares for Peter.
L.A. is shown as a perfect "melting pot" of many cultures: The minority of Crash characters is white, and latinos, blacks and asians all have important parts in the plot.
Since Crash is a movie about racial tension, let's have a look at it.
The most obviously racist characters are Officer John Ryan and Jean Cabot.
What motivates them?
Racism is an outlet for her anger
She is depressed and feels lonely
Because she doesn't enjoy her life, she makes the lives of others worse
In a field where she is surrounded by rich white people, she starts blaming minorities for all her problems, even though most come from herself
He treats minorities badly as "revenge" for his fathers' problems
His dad was put out of business because of laws favouring minorities (well, that's what Ryan SAYS)
He abuses his power as a policeman to treat people however he wants
His racism is motivated by his father's sickness and his anger at "The black people" who have ruined his life
In Crash, racism doesn't just "exist" - every person is racist in some way and has personal, unique reasons for it (except maybe Anthony). That does not justify or excuse their behavior - it just explains it.
Half Broke Horses
Released in 2009, HBH is a book about the author's Grandmother:
, a woman who lived in interesting times, and lead a long and eventful life (1901 until about 1970)
The Book's Content
Timeline of Lily's Life
The novel shows more than fifty years. Before we start with the plot summary, here is a brief overview found on paperzz.com:
The pages (in brackets) are not perfect for the edition used in Baden-Württemberg.
"The Miraculous Staircase"
Age of Lily: Childhood
She talks a lot about life on her homestead
Like, a lot - we get it, it's tough and hot and there's plenty of work, shut up about it
She talks about her family
Father loves animals, teaches his children how to handle them, has a limp and is intelligent
Mother is very religious and from a wealthy background, wants Lily to find a good husband
Lily complains that marriage is most important to her mother, while Lily values education more
Lily decides to live for a "purpose" and not waste her time on empty/useless things
When her house is destroyed, she, like her mother, thinks it was God's will
But God wands the family to move and isn't punishing them
Nothing much happens in this chapter. It's just important to understand Lily.
The Caseys move to a new farm
Lily, once again, shows how much she loves learning
However, her brother's education is much more important to the family
Still, she is enrolled in the Loretto Academy when she's about 13
She has trouble getting along with authority
She likes the chief nun, Mother Albertina
Albertina tells Lily she doesn't HAVE to get married
Lily can either become a nurse, a secretary or a teacher
Lily decides to be a teacher
Her father takes the money he should pay for the school and buys dogs
Lily has to leave
Soon, she starts working as a teacher (She passes an exam, and all the men are fighting in WW1)
Lily's life changes in this chapter. She starts working. But the world she lives in is shown to be sexist: Male educations are more important, and a woman can never be as successful as a man, even if she's smarter. But Lily faces this challenge and tries to make the best of it. Being a teacher is her "calling" - what she really wants to do.
Lily goes away from home to teach while the WW1 soldiers are gone
Four weeks of riding, she almost gets robbed by a native American woman
She arrives in a little village where a male superintended (Macintosh) gives her a job in a one room school
Lily just loooves teaching
During the next three years, she regularly switches schools and towns, but because she doesn't even have an 8th-Grade education, she's fired when the war ends
She comes back home and decides to head off to Chicago
Lily is always in search of challenges and opportunities
She starts working as a maid but annoys her rich employers
A friend she meets and grows close to dies while working in a factory
Lily is shocked, and also cuts her hair short out of fear (the friend's hair got caught in a machine)
She meets a salesman (Ted), they date, fall in love, and soon they marry
They create a combined account in the bank and start saving money for their future together
By chance, Lily finds out that Ted is married already and leaves him after he actually takes their money
She writes a letter to his wife, telling her everything
Lily leaves Chicago after having spent 8 years there, getting her degree
She will now study the teacher's work in an actual University
"The Red Silk Shirt"
This chapter shows that Lily cares about being needed. This is something she doesn't get by working as a maid, so she tries to find it with Ted, who then turns out to be a bigamist and, well, terrible, lying person altogether.
She leaves Chicago because she wants to feel like she's doing something valuable with her life - and for her, that's teaching children something.
Lily returns home, but it doesn't feel the same
It hasn't really changed, but she has
She goes to College to get her teacher's diploma
There, after only one semester, she gets a call from Red Lake, they want her to teach again
She goes back to Red lake and starts teaching
Before giving her her first paycheck, two men from the town want her to pass a test first: "Ride that horse, ma'am."
She rides that horse like a boss
She gains the town's respect and admiration
They love her for her strength (and general awesomeness)
She buys an expensive red silk shirt
It symbolizes her success and devotion, and also how special she is
She starts winning horse races
There, she meets a man called
Lily loves how calm and quiet he is
They have many things in common (harsh upbringing)
He teaches her how to drive, and the really like each other
Lily's sister Helen, an actress, writes a letter from Hollywood
One of her suitors got her pregnant
Lily calls her over and is fired for having a pregnant and unmarried sister in her family
Lily stands by Helen anyways
Helen soon hangs herself, which deeply saddens and shocks Lily
This chapter shows that Lily works hard for he success and is a woman who doesn't fit the traditional notion of what a woman "should be" - and she's loved for it. But some parts of ancient thought (only married women can be pregnant!) remain, and are bad for women who find themselves in unfavorable positions. Lily can work all she wants - there are some challenges she can not overcome, like strong, almost traditional sexism. Lily lives in a world where she can play poker or teach or drive a car... but an unmarried woman who is pregnant is still seen down upon by society.
Lily seeks finds new hope after her sister's death
She decides to have children of her own, so she marries Jim
They move to Ash Fork, a bustling town, where they build their new garage business
Even though Lily is eight months pregnant soon, she doesn't want to stay at home
Feeling busy and needed is very important to her
Rosemary is born, Lily's first child (and the author's mother)
A year and a half later, Little Jim is born
Due to Big Jim's goodwill (doing repairs for free if the clients are very poor), the family is going bankrupt
Mr. Lee hides his illegal alcohol (which he used to sell during the Prohibition) in Lily's home
She decides to sell parts of it for cash
That makes just enough money to keep the family financially stable
Meanwhile, the Camel Brothers try to ship their sheep away
The lambs are separated from their mothers, it's total anarchy
Big Jim solves the problem, and Rosemary gets to keep the lamb that's left
A heavy drinker comes to buy alcohol from Lily
She refuses to sell it and scares him off with her revolver
Police comes to investigate, they suspect the selling of alcohol in Lily's house
Rosemary is so scared when she sees them that she starts crying and they leave (because Lily seems so innocent)
The Camel Brothers get Jim a better job once they return
A terrible drought first stops the profits, but then massive rains come
This chapter shows that Lily is ready to do whatever is necessary to earn money - even if it isn't exactly legal. She lives by her own rules and laws and her ultimate goal is being successful, free and financially stable - and not "being a good citizen in the eyes of the law."
To Lily, her dreams, hopes and children are the most important things in the world.
Lily and Jim get an even bigger farm to keep the ranching prosperous
They now own one of the largest amounts of land in Arizona
Lily still tries to earn as much money as possible on the side
She writes stories for pulp fiction magazines and collects bottles with her kids
Before turning 39, Lily decides to take some flying lessons
She loves them and decides to teach again so she can afford them
She starts teaching in a very small Mormon town
Her children are part of the class
The town has VERY Mormon traditions
None of the girls can decide who they'll marry, and they get married off at thirteen (or even younger)
Lily starts educating them about their freedoms
Uncle Eli, the patriarch of the town, tells her to stop
She doesn't, because she's Lily
In fact, she starts teaching even harder
Eli follows her to her home and stares at her from the outside
She shoots her revolver in his general direction (right next to his head) and scares him away
She's fired, but she soon finds a new job that pays even better
She starts using her car as a taxi as well
She meets Bostonites, but she doesn't like their lavish, wasteful lifestyle
In her new town, the deputy's son sexually harasses the other girls in class, and Lily beats the boy as punishment
She's going to lose her job AGAIN
She cries in front of Rosemary and is angry at herself for showing weakness
This chapter showcases Lily's love for hard work yet again, but also shows a different side of her: She can be very unreasonable. Her views and beliefs are so strong that she forgets everything when she has a point to prove - forgets her job, her financial problems, everything. And she always picks fights with people. This is, partly, the American Way of Life - the "prosper without paying attention to what the others are saying". As such, Lily is the perfect American. She acts first and thinks later, does what her heart tells her to and always tries to keep doing the "right thing". Even at the cost of her success and happiness.