“Family” is of course an elastic word.But when British people say that their society is based on family life, they are thinking of “family” in its narrow, peculiarly European sense of mother, father and children living together alone in their own house as an economic and social unit. Thus, every British marriage indicates the beginning of a new and independent family—hence the tremendous importance of marriage in British life.
For both the man and the woman, marriage means leaving one’s parents and starting one’s own life. The man’s first duty will then be to his wife, and the wife’s to her husband.He will be entirely responsible for her financial support, and she for the running of the new home. Their children will be their common responsibility and theirs alone. Neither the wife’s parents nor the husband’s, nor their brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles, have any right to interfere with them—they are their own masters.
Readers of novels like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will know that in former times marriage among wealthy families was arranged by the girl’s parents, that is, it was the parents’ duty to find a suitable husband for their daughter, preferably a rich one, and by skillful encouragement to lead him eventually to ask their permission to marry her. Until that time, the girl was protected and maintained in the parents’ home, and the financial relief of getting rid of her could be seen in their giving the newly married pair a sum of money called a dowry(嫁妆). It is very different today. Most girls of today get a job when they leave school and become financially independent before their marriage. This has had two results: a girl chooses her own husband, and she gets no dowry.
1.What does the author mean by “‘Family’ is of course an elastic word”?
A.Different families have different ways of life.
B.Different definitions could be given to the word.
C.Different nations have different families.
D.Different times produce different families.
2. For an English family, the husband’s duty is ().
A.supporting the family while the wife is financial
B.defending the family while the wife is running the home
C.financial while the wife is running the home
D.independent while the wife is dependent
【精析】C 题干的大意是：对于一个英式家庭，丈夫的责任在于。从文中可找出关键句 “The man’s first duty...”和“responsible for her financial support”，此句意思是 “男人应是女人的财政支柱”，financial的意思是“财政的，金融的”。注意 “she for the running of the new home”的意思是“女人负责新家的运行”。故选C。
3.Everything is decided in a family ().
A.by the couple
B.with the help of their parents
C.by brothers and sisters
D.with the help of aunts and uncles
【精析】A 题干的大意是：在家庭中一切事物决定。由第二段最后一句“neither...nor...nor...have any right to interfere with them.”此处的“them”是指夫妻俩，neither...nor...是否定形式，此句意为“……都没有权力干涉夫妻俩的事情——他们是自己的主人”，故此题的正确答案是A。
4.What is TRUE concerning the book Pride and Prejudice?
A.It is the best book on marriage.
B.It is a handbook of marriage.
C.It gives quite some ideas of English social life in the past.
D.It provides a lot of information of former time wealthy families.
5.With regard to marriage in Britain, present day girls differ from former time girls in ().
A.the right to marry
B.more parental support