Reference text : « On the Threshold of a New World »
To begin with, we are _____ here with a narrative whose focaliser is undefined: ____ it’s anautobiography and in that case, Mark Helprin is narrating his own story, __ it’s a piece of fiction in which the narrator’s name remains unknown to us.
All we know about him is that he ___ speak severallanguages; the fact that he ___ speak Hebrew and Yiddish may suggest he is __ Jew = he is __ Jewish = he is of Hebraic extraction. His country of origin is also unspecified, although his dreaming of“the Norwegian woman” toward the end of the text tends to indicate he comes from _______. Knowing he’s coming alone, with _____ a wife ___ kids, we can assume he must still be relatively young, maybe _____ ___ or __ ____ ___ (= maybe in his 20s or in his 30s).
The scene takes place (= unfolds) on Ellis Island, ___ (= a certain distance away from) the harbour of NY, after the man has justbeen disembarked from a packed (= bondé) ferry coming from overseas. He is certainly a ____-class traveller, given his job as a “writer of books” hardly makes any money (= hardly enables him to ____ ________).
The time and location are highly significant in historical terms:
First, with the help of the picture, on which we can see the ______ ____ _____ (= the WTC) which we know hasbeen destroyed __ 9/11 2001, we know the story happens _____ 2001. Also, given that the narrator is a migrant, we know the time period must be over the 19th or 20th century. In fact, the key is when thenarrator describes Manhattan as “_____” (of trees) and not forests of skyscrapers. We know that the first high-rises were built around the 1880s and that the Empire State Building, made of ironconcrete and comprising more than 100 stories, was completed in 1910. So we can circumvent the time as the early 20th century (= the ______ ___ the 20th century).
At the time, Ellis Island had a...