2015-7-23 10:00


To date, over 1 billion Barbie dolls have been sold. The average American girl aged between three and 11 owns a staggering ten Barbie dolls, according to Mattel, the American toy giant. An Italian or British girl owns seven; a French or German girl, five. The Barbie brand is worth some $2 billion——a little ahead of Armani, just behind the Wall Street Journal——making it the most valuable toy brand in the world, according to Interbrand, a consultancy. How is it that this impossibly proportioned, charmless toy has endured in an industry notorious for whimsical fad and fickle fashion?

Part of Barbie's appeal is that she has become, according to Christopher Varaste, a historian of Barbie, “the face of the American dream“. Barbie is not a mere toy, nor product category: she is an icon. Quite how she became one is hotly debated among the Barbie sorority. Some think she answers an innate girlish desire for fantasy, role-playing and dressing-up. Others believe that Mattel has simply manipulated girls' aspirations to that end.

Either way, wrapped up in her pouting lips and improbable figure——buxom breasts, wafer-thin waist and permanently arched feet waiting to slip into a pair of high heels——is an apparently enduring statement of aspiration and western aesthetic. She is, according to M.G. Lord, who has written a biography of Barbie, “the most potent icon of American popular culture in the late twentieth century.“

Officialdom has recognised Barbie's iconic status. The Americans included a Barbie doll in the 1976 bicentennial time capsule. Earlier this year, the American government buried her in a “women's health“ time capsule, alongside a pair of forceps and a girdle. As an emblem of Americana she is subject to pastiche, derision and political statement. Andy Warhol made a portrait of Barbie, the Campbell's soup of toy brands. An exhibition in London earlier this year displayed “Suicide Bomber Barbie“ by Simon Tyszko, a British artist. Her hair was blonde, her hair ribbon red, and around her slender waist was wrapped a belt of explosives, attached to a detonator held daintily in her hand.

Barbie has not colonised girls' imaginations by accident. Mattel has dedicated itself to promoting Barbie as “a lifestyle, not just a toy“。 In addition to selling the dolls, Mattel licenses Barbie in 30 different product categories, from furniture to make-up. A girl can sleep in Barbie pyjamas, under a Barbie duvet-cover, her head on a Barbie pillow-case, surrounded by Barbie wall-paper, and on, and on. There are Barbie conventions, fan clubs, web sites, magazines and collectors' events.

“She's so much more than a character brand,“ enthuses a Mattel publicity person, “she's a fashion statement, a way of life.“ (449 words)

1. Which of the following statements is true according to the text?

[A] The average American girl aged between three and 11 owns 10 staggering Barbie dolls.

[B] Wall Street Journal is the most valuable toy brand in the world.

[C] The Barbie brand is the most valuable toy brand in the world.

[D] The Barbie brand is worth more than $2 billion.

2. How did Barbie become an icon according to the text?

[A] Barbie has “the face of the American dream“。

[B] She answers an innate girlish desire for fantasy, role-playing and dressing-up

[C] It is Mattel that manipulated girls' aspirations to that end.

[D] Different people have different explanations.

3. Barbie's iconic status is shown in all the following EXCEPT______.

[A] Barbie doll in the 1976 bicentennial time capsule

[B] She was buried in a “women's health“ time capsule

[C] She is subject to pastiche, derision and political statement

[D] Barbie has colonised girls' imaginations

4. It can be inferred from the text that Mattel is_______.

[A] a man who created Barbie doll

[B] the name of a toy manufacturer

[C] an individual organization

[D] a sorority

5. The best title for the text may be ______.

[A] Barbie dolls in USA

[B] Barbie's appeal

[C] Barbie's appeal and iconic status

[D] Barbie, the most valuable toy brand

1. C 细节题。本题的问题是“根据本文,下面哪项说法正确?“[A]“3到11岁的普通美国女孩都令人惊讶地拥有10个芭比娃娃玩具“与第一段第二句话的意思不符,文中说的是3到10岁的普通美国女孩;[B]“《华尔街期刊》是世界上最有价值的杂志“与第一段第四句话的意思不符;[D]“芭比这个品牌值20多亿美元“与第一段第四句话的意思不符,文中是说值大约20亿美元,不是说20多亿美元。文章第一段提到,芭比这个品牌值大约20亿美元,这使得它成为世界上最有价值的玩具品牌。[C]“芭比这个品牌是世界上最有价值的玩具品牌“是对该句话的改写,为正确答案。

2. D 细节题。本题的问题是“芭比成为世界上的一个偶像,因为 “。题干中的“an i. con“出自文章第二段第二句话中,表明本题与第二段有关。第二段在解释芭比这种现象的原因时指出,有人认为芭比已经成为“美国梦想的表现“,有人认为芭比是一个偶像,有人认为芭比满足了少女对幻想、追星以及穿着打扮的天生渴望,其他人认为,墨泰尔只是巧妙地满足了少女们对那个目标的渴望。这说明,对于芭比成为一个偶像这一点,人们的观点不同。[D]“不同的人们有不同的解释“是对第二段的概括,为正确答案。[A] “芭比有‘美国梦想的表现“’、[B]“她满足了少女对幻想、追星以及穿着打扮的天生渴望“和[C]“正是墨泰尔巧妙地满足了少女们对那个目标的渴望“都只是部分原因,不全面。

3. C 细节题。本题的问题是“下面所有选项都体现了芭比的偶像地位,除了 “。题干中的“iconic status'‘出自文章第四段第一句话中,表明本题与第三段有关。第三段提到,美国人把芭比娃娃玩具放入“200周年纪念的时代文物储放器“中,美国政府把她随同一把钳子和一个腰带一起放入一个“女性健康“时代文物储放器中;第五段提到,芭比并不是偶然俘获少女们的幻想的。这些都是芭比产生的正面效应,说明[A]“芭比玩具被放入1976年的’200周年纪念的时代文物储放器‘中“、[B]“她被放入一个’女性健康‘时代文物储放器中“和[D]“芭比俘获了少女们的幻想“体现了芭比的偶像地位。第四段中间部分提到,作为美国文物的象征,芭比容易成为模仿作品,成为笑柄,成为政治声明,随后提到了有人制作的人体炸弹芭比。这是在讲芭比产生的负面结果,所以[C]“她容易成为模仿作品,成为笑柄,成为政治声明“不能体现芭比的偶像地位。

4. B 推论题。本题的问题是“根据本文i可以推知,墨泰尔 “。题干中的“Mattel“出自文章第一段第二句话中,表明本题与第一段有关。第一段提到墨泰尔时是说“美国玩具制造业巨头墨泰尔“,最后一段是说“墨泰尔的一位发言人充满激情地说……“。由此可知,墨泰尔应该是一家玩具制造企业的名称。[B]“是玩具制造商的名称“与文意符合,为正确答案。[A]“是一个创作芭比娃娃玩具的人“、[C]“是一个个体组织“和[D] “是一个妇女联谊会“都是对墨泰尔的错误推理,与文意不符。

5. C 主旨题。本题的问题是“本文的最佳标题可能是 “。文章第一段提到,芭比这个品牌已经成为世界上最有价值的玩具品牌,接着分析了导致这种吸引力的原因,随后的段落介绍了芭比的偶像地位,指出,她远不只是一个知名品牌,她是一种时尚宣言,是一种生活方式。这说明,本文主要是介绍芭比的吸引力以及偶像地位。[C]“芭比的吸引力与偶像地位“是对全文的概括,为正确答案。[A]“美国的芭比娃娃玩具“太笼统,不能恰当表达本文的主题;[B]“芭比的吸引力“和[D]“芭比,最有价值的玩具品牌“只是第一、二段的内容,比较片面,也不能表达本文的主题。