ABITURPRÜFUNG 1997                         Arbeitszeit: 180 Minuten
           ENGLISCH 
      als Grundkursfach


                                Textaufgabe I


                               THE WEST AT WAR

         Each summer, in every culture with a cow, a man  and a mountain, 
      the same thing happens: the man drives  the cow up  the mountain to 
      fresh pasture.  Rod Lucas, 76,  who ranches  outside Jackson  Hole, 
      Wyoming, has  been doing it for  decades -  taking  his cattle from 
 5    the  valley to  alpine meadows.  No more.  He tried,  for  the last 
      time,  a year ago.  But before Lucas was half a mile down the road,  
      there  was a line  of cars in  both directions,  and their  drivers 
      were  screaming at him  and his  herd to get out of the way.  "That 
      was it,"  says Lucas.  "The cow  business as  everybody  knew it is 
10    gone. I need to get out of this tourist country."
         Cows against cars:  one of many  skimishes  unfolding across the 
      mountain  West.   Clashes   that   pit  survivalists1  against  the 
      government are dramatic, political  and well-known.  Other economic 
      and cultural conflicts  are less sensationel but  equally important 
15    in this, Americaīs  fastest-growing region.  Ranchers  lose grazing 
      land to  California  software writers  buying up real estate; small
      towns  with shared  values are  swamped by  chic new settlers.  The 
      West is at war with itself. 
         And so an  old song continues.  Despite  the myths, the West has 
20    never been a peaceful idyll.Indians against settlers; sheep against 
      cows;  union  men  against  the  company  -  there has never been a 
      single conception of what "the West" means. 
         Yet  history  doesnīt  make  the   current  conflicts  any  less
      disturbing.  For established  Westerners,  everything  is fundamen-
25    tally changing - and fast,  as thousands  of newcomers  consume the 
      available  property.  The Westīs  traditional  industries - mining, 
      ranching  and logging2  - are clear losers  in the new order.  That 
      old economy,  based on  "extracting" wealth  from rocks,  grass and 
      trees, is dying, pushed aside by market forces  (itīs a lot cheaper
30    to  raise cows  on feedlots3  in Florida  than on  poor  pasture in 
      Wyoming),  replaced  by highly  skilled workers  in  high-tech com- 
      panies.  Currently, the region's  most rapidly  expanding employers 
      are  museums,  amusement  parks  and  fitness  clubs.  The steepest
      declines  are in  the traditionel  extractive jobs.  So cowpats and
35    coal mining are out; cappucino and cilantro4 are in. 
         The old West wonīt  go quietly.  Its stalwarts  will fight,  and 
      fairly or not,  one of their  main targets  is the  federal govern-
      ment,  blamed  for  regulating  the  old  extractive  industries to
      death.  Throughout the West,  federal rangers have been threatened; 
40    in some towns, militiamen5 openly swagger, guns in holsters.
         Why  canīt  traditional Westerners  live  and let live?  Largely
      because of  an unprecedented population  increase over  the last 10 
      years.  At first glance, this shouldnīt matter. Between the Mexican 
      and Canadian borders,  and between  the Front Range of  the Rockies 
45    to the east  and the Cascades  and Sierra Nevada to the west,  live 
      fewer than  20 million people.  In Western Europe  - about the same 
      size -  there  are  more  than  300 million.  Surely, thereīs  room 
      enough for everyone who wants to live there. 



                                                         PLEASE TURN OVER

                                    - 2 -    
                                     
         Perhaps  not,  for  in  the  West,  "space"  isnīt quite what it 
50    seems.  Yes, there are  vast empty reaches.  But almost  all of the 
      mountain West is arid;  much of it as steep as it is waterless; and 
      in some states  two thirds  or more  of the land  is  owned  by the
      federal government.  So  the  land actually  available  for private 
      development  is  very limited.  That has made  the West  an "oasis" 
55    civilization,  with  its  people  clustered  mainly  in  towns  and 
      cities.
         Take St. George, Utah  (population: 35,000, for now), where, one 
      morning  this  spring,  Jeff  Knowles  was  busy  running  cable-TV 
      hookups6 into new houses in a development called The Legacy.  About
60    40 such subdivisions7 are being built in St. George.  "You drive by 
      one day, and a hillside is wide, open pasture land,"  says Knowles. 
      "Next  time  you  go by,  itīs  all  cleared off8,  and they've got
      housing lots laid out."  That means  plenty of  work  for  cable-TV 
      installers  - but signals a profound change in the town.  "Whatever
65    was unique about St. George,"  says 20-year resident Bob Owens, "is
      being lost."  Or, as it  says on  a  bumper sticker9 in Silver City 
      (where one planned development  would double the size of the town):
      WELCOME TO SILVER CITY. NOW PLEASE GO HOME.

                                             From: Newsweek, 31 July 1995


                                     
      Annotations:
      
      1 survivalists: here: people fiercely defending their traditional
        way of life 
      2 logging: cutting down trees for timber 
      3 feedlot: land on which cattle are fattened for the market
      4 cilantro: a strong-tasting plant used in Mexican cooking
      5 militiamen: men who are hostile to the government and who have 
        formed a private army
      6 hookup: link between pieces of electronic equipment
      7 subdivision (AmE): housing estate (BE)
      8 cleared off: here: freed from trees and bushes 
      9 bumper sticker: a label stuck on the back bumper of a car, 
        usually containing a message or a slogan

 


ENGLISCH als GRUNDKURSFACH  -  Textaufgabe I

WORKSHEET: The West at war

                                                     maximum number of
                                                     points attainable
  I. Questions on the text

     Read all the questions first, then answer them
     in the given order.
     Use your own words as far as is appropriate.


     1. Describe Rod Lucas's experience. What conclusion
        does he draw from it?                                       10
  
     2. What conflicts, past and present, have left their 
        mark on the mountain West? (Refer to 11. 11-22.)            20

     3. Describe the changes the West's economy has 
        undergone in the past few years.                            10

     4. In what ways do Westeners react to these changes?           10

     5. Explain in detail how the present demographic 
        crisis in the mountain West has come about.                 10

     6. What means does the writer use to make his 
        text interesting and convincing?                            10



 II. Composition                                                    40

     Choose  o n e  of the following topics.
     Write about 120 to 150 words.

     1. Economy and ecology: can they be reconciled?

     2. In the past, the American West was another name 
        for unlimited opportunity. Where do you see   
        opportunities for young people today?



III. Translation                                                    40

     Translate the following text into German:     
                                                                 _____

                                                                   160






                                                      PLEASE TURN OVER






           One of the great themes of American history emerges from the 
      story of Americans confronting a huge wild country.  Quite unlike 
      the Old World,  where people had occupied the land for as long as 
      history  could recall,  Americans' encounter  with their land was 
      abrupt  and  often  violent,  consuming  much  of  the  nations's 
      energies.  It has been  said  that America is  a nation  with  an 
      abundance of geography  but  a shortage of history,  and there is 
      some truth  in both  statements.  It took less than  four hundred 
      years  to subdue more  than  three million square miles of terri-
      tory; in fact,  Americans  occupied  the bulk of  their  national 
      domain within the last century and a half. Even today much of the 
      United States remains only  semi-populated  and semi-tamed. It is 
      no wonder that the struggle to conquer America's wilderness looms
      so large in the nation's memory.

                 From: Peirce Lewis, "America's Natural Landscapes", in
                       Luther S. Luedtke  (ed.),  Making America,  1992