mong the reasons why
immigrants have traditionally come to the USA is to have a better life –
that is to raise their standard of living. It was properly the most
important reason for leaving their homeland. Because of its abundant
natural resources, the United States appeared to be a “land of plenty”
where millions could come to seek their fortunes. Of course, most
immigrants “didn’t get overnight” and many of them suffered terribly,
but the majority of them were eventually able to improve their former
standard of living. A
mericans pay a price, however, for
their material wealth: hard work. Hard work has been both necessary and
rewarding for most Americans throughout their history. Because of
this, they have come to see material possessions as the natural reward
for their hard work. In some ways, material possessions are seen not
only as a clear evidence of people’s work, but also of their abilities.
Most Americans believe that if people work hard, they are likely to
have a good standard of living. S
ince people’s status in society is
frequently measured by how much they own, Americans often feel
pressured to buy more than they need. They want to appear as prosperous
as everyone else round them, and this means making a continuing effort
to buy newer and better material. I
n reality, some people have a better
chance for success than others. Those who are born into rich families
have more opportunities than those who are born in poorer families.
Inheriting money gives a person a real advantage. In spite of laws
designed to promote equality of opportunity for all races, many black
Americans have fewer opportunities than the average white Americans.
A. Choose the best answer according to the text
1. Traditionally, immigrants have been able to raise their standard of living by coming to the USA because...
- the rich shared their wealth with the poor. ( )
- Americans don’t give much importance to money. ( )
- there were lots of natural resources there. ( )
2. Americans see their material possessions as...
- a reward for their hard work. ( )
- a reward from the government. ( )
- a reward from the rich families. ( )
B. Are these statements “true” or “false”? Justify
- Rich people are not the only ones who care about material possessions.
- Not all Americans have equal opportunities to become rich.
C. Find in the text words or expressions which mean the same as
- very quickly