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Comunidad: Comunidad Valenciana
Convocatoria: Junio de 1996
Modalidad: LOGSE - Todas
Ejercicio: 1er Ejercicio B
Asignatura: Inglés
Obligatoriedad: Obligatoria
Duración: 60 minutos
Baremo: Reading comprehension: 2 points (1 point each); True/ False: 1 point (0.5 each); Find synonym: 1 point (0.5 each); Multiple choice: 2 points (0.5 each); Composition: 4 points.

Part A. Reading comprehension

Read the following text:

The Western

America's interest in the West was probably influenced by the appearance of tales of adventure in the dime novels1 of the 1860s. In these romantic stories, the cowboy was elevated to hero. One of the most popular authors was Ned Buntline, whose work laid the foundation for western fiction.

With the appearance in 1920 of The Virginian by Owen Wister, the western genre was established. By then, the cowboy was disappearing from the American scene, and the romantic figure was even more appealing. Wister also introduced several other memorable characters, including the villain, the gambler, and the love interest, a school teacher. They became stock characters2 in the novels and the films that followed.

The next year, in The Log of a Cowboy, Andy Adams described a trail drive from Mexico to Montana. Told simply and less dramatically, it was nonetheless popular and influential in the development of the new genre. Adams injected details that rang true, especially in his descriptions of places and real people like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Erarp.

One interesting aspect of the development of the western genre is the fact that most of the authors were easterners. Ned Buntline wrote almost all his novels before he ever went west. Owen Wister, a Philadelphian, was a Harvard graduate. Andy Adams, born in Indiana, was an easterner who went to Texas, worked in a ranch and, eventually, became a trail driver. The western writer was an exception.

1 dime novels: novels that cost one dime (ten cents of a dollar)
2 stock: popular and recurrent

I. Answer these questions using your own words:

  1. According to the author of this passage, how real were the characters in the western novels?
  2. What were the contributions from O. Wister and A. Adams to the western genre?

II. Are the following statements True (T) or False (F)?

  1. Wyatt Earp was a fictional character.
  2. Andy Adams partly wrote from his own experience.

III. Find a word or phrase in the passage which, in context, is similar in meaning to...

  1. a route along a series of pahs or roads.
  2. a person who bets money in a game such as cards.

IV. Choose a, b, c or d in each question below. Only one choice is correct:

  1. The passage is primarily concerned with...
    1. eastern writers.
    2. western genre.
    3. The Virginian.
    4. dime novels.
  2. According to the passage, the event that marked the establishment of the western genre was...
    1. the publication of the dime novel.
    2. the appearance of The Virginian.
    3. the success of Log of a Cowboy.
    4. the descriptions of real people and places.
  3. The author mentions all of the following as easterners except...
    1. Andy Adams.
    2. Ned Buntline.
    3. Mat Materson.
    4. Owen Wister.
  4. The last paragraph discusses...
    1. westerners who wrote novels about the East.
    2. easterners who wrote novels about the West.
    3. trail drives in the old West.
    4. life in the early 1900s.

B. Composition (100-150 words approximately - 10/12 lines)

Choose one of the following two topics:

  1. Try to recall a western film you liked a lot. Talk about the hero, the Indians, the good and the bad guys, etc.
  2. If you had the opportunity to take an arduous, difficult trek (journey) across the Sahara Desert or the Andes Mountains, how would you prepare it? Describe your family's reaction to hearing that it might be dangerous. What arguments would you use to convince them that nothing will happen to you?

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