【解説】2009年センター試験第5問C「四コマ漫画」

この記事は約8分で読めます。

問題次の漫画の内容に最も近いものを、下の1~4のうちから1つ選べ。

1. Everyone in the Johnson family was working hard moving to their new house. Some people were carrying boxes. One of the helpers was struggling with a large box but was able to put it down. As he slid it under a table, a box on top of the table hit a vase, which fell and broke into many little pieces. Naturally, Mrs. Johnson became very upset, as the vase was one of her favorites.
2. Everyone was rushing because the Johnsons were moving. The boxes were being packed and the helpers were talking them to the truck. One of the men was about to drop a heavy box, so he rushed to set it on a nearby table. As he did, a vase fell into the floor, cracking. Mrs. Johnson was obviously furious, even though the vase did not break into pieces.
3. The Johnsons were busy moving. One of the helpers was carrying a box and put it on a table with another large box. However, he did not notice that there was a vase sitting behind that box. When he pushed the box further onto the table, the vase fell and broke on the floor. Understandably, Mrs. Johnson was very angry her that favorite vase had been broken.
4. The Johnsons were moving and Mrs. Johnson was telling the helpers where to put boxes. One of the helpers put a box on a table. Little did he know that there was a vase on the table, behind another box. When he pushed the box, the vase broke and fell off the table. Not surprisingly, Mrs. Johnson was broken-hearted, as it was one that she liked very much.

【解説】

1. Everyone in the Johnson family was working hard moving to their new house. Some people were carrying boxes. One of the helpers was struggling with a large box but was able to put it down. As he slid it under a table, a box on top of the table hit a vase, which fell and broke into many little pieces. Naturally, Mrs. Johnson became very upset, as the vase was one of her favorites.

ポイントは he slid it under a table ですね。この it は a large box を指しています。slid
は「スライド」で「滑る・~を滑らせる」の意味。野球とかでも「スライディング」とか言いますよね。

問題は under the table です。この under を見た瞬間に違和感を感じられればよいですね。机の下に箱を滑らしてはいませんよね。1.は不正解です。

さらに言うと One of the helpers was struggling with a large box も、漫画には出てきていませんね。struggle は「戦う・奮闘する」という意味です。この文からも不正解とわかります。まぁ、実際は
under という英単語からこの選択肢を消すのが実践的でしょうけどね。

2. Everyone was rushing because the Johnsons were moving. The boxes were being packed and the helpers were talking them to the truck. One of the men was about to drop a heavy box, so he rushed to set it on a nearby table. As he did, a vase fell into the floor, cracking. Mrs. Johnson was obviously furious, even though the vase did not break into pieces.

パッと目につくのは the vase did not break into pieces です。特に did not break に違和感が感られるでしょう。

「into ( in / to ) pieces / こなごなに」に関しては、この最後の絵をどう見るか個々人によって違うかも知れません。そういった意味で限りなく「黒」に近い「グレー」といったところでしょうか。

それよりは As he did, a vase fell into the floor の部分の方がこの選択肢を否定しています。As he did の did の内容は、前文の he rushed to set it on a nearby table のことです。つまり、すぐ近くのテーブルに急いで置いたとき、花瓶が床に落ちたのです。

漫画を見てみると、箱をテーブルに置いてそのあと押したときに花瓶が床に落ちています。

さらに crack は動詞で「割れる」という意味ではあるが、名詞で「ヒビ・割れ目」といった意味なので、イメージとしては「亀裂が入って割れる」感じなのではないだろうか?

以上より選択肢2は不正解です。しかし、そこまできっちり意味をとって選択肢を絞らなくても、did not break で、なんかあやしいなぁ程度で次の選択肢にすすんでもらってもいいだろう。

3. The Johnsons were busy moving. One of the helpers was carrying a box and put it on a table with another large box. However, he did not notice that there was a vase sitting behind that box. When he pushed the box further onto the table, the vase fell and broke on the floor. Understandably, Mrs. Johnson was very angry her that favorite vase had been broken.

特に問題ないですね。書いてあることが漫画どおりです。一応、次の4に関係するので、the vase fell and broke on the floor だけ、少し頭に入れておいてください。

4. The Johnsons were moving and Mrs. Johnson was telling the helpers where to put boxes. One of the helpers put a box on a table. Little did he know that there was a vase on the table, behind another box. When he pushed the box, the vase broke and fell off the table. Not surprisingly, Mrs. Johnson was broken-hearted, as it was one that she liked very much.

ポイントは Mrs. Johnson was broken-hearted ですね。失恋のことを「ブロークンハート」と言いますよね。そこから考えたらわかると思いますが、broken-hearted は「悲嘆にくれた」という形容詞の意味です。この漫画の最終コマをどう見ても、「悲嘆にくれた」ではないですね。4.は不正解ですね。

もしかすると、あの最終コマの Mrs. Johnson の様子が「悲嘆にくれた」であるというひねくれた人がいるかもしれません。この選択肢が間違いであるというもうポイントがもう1つありまして、それが the vase broke and fell off the table です。

ここの表現を見て、さっき 3.で似たような表現があったなぁと思うことができれば最高です。

3. the vase fell and broke on the floor / 花瓶が床に落ちて割れた
4. the vase broke and fell off the table / 花瓶が割れてテーブルから落ちた

3. の文は the vase fell on the floor and the vase broke on the floor ということです。それに対して
4. は the vase broke and the vase fell off the table ということです。

まぁ、そこまで突き詰めて考えなくても fell と broke の順番を考えたら、4. は「割れて」から「落ちて」いるので、漫画と違うということで違うとわかるでしょう。

【正解】3

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