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Lesson 2 The Woods Were Tossing with Jewels. I. Preparation 1. The Author: A Childhood in the Florida Wilderness by Marie St. John, written for her son, Tom, and edited and illustrated by her daughter, Charlotte St. John Evans. 2. Cultural background. Palmetto, Florida.

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Lesson 2 the woods were tossing with jewels
Lesson 2The Woods Were Tossing with Jewels

  • I. Preparation

  • 1. The Author:

    A Childhood in the Florida Wilderness

    by Marie St. John, written for her son, Tom, and edited and illustrated by her daughter, Charlotte St. John Evans


2 cultural background
2. Cultural background

  • Palmetto, Florida


Palmetto florida
Palmetto, Florida


3 outline organization and development
3. Outline (Organization and Development)

  • Part 1 (para.1-12)

  • 1) The purpose of taking a claim on an offshore island (para. 1) 5 w’s

  • 2) Family background (para. 2-4)

  • 3) Unforgettable trip (para. 5-19)

  • 4) Watson, w infamous outlaw (para.14-16)


  • Part 2: Life on a small island, Gopher Key (para.20-29)

  • Part 3: Father’s courage beat the outlaw, Watson (para.30-36)

  • Part 4: Conclusion: The key to those wonderful times. (para.37)


Ii discourse analysis
II. Discourse analysis

  • 1. About the title

  • The title of this article could be one of the followings:

  • 1) My Childhood in the Florida Wildness

  • 2) My Father, a Man of enterprise

  • 3) Life in the Florida Wildness

  • 4) The Woods Were Tossing with Jewels

  • Then why does the author chooses the last one?

  • What does the author want to tell the readers?


Para 1 purpose of father s decision
Para. 1: purpose of Father’s decision

  • 1. What do you know about the father from the first paragraph?

  • He grew up in a rural environment and his childhood experience helped him form his simple and natural lifestyle.


2 stake a claim
2. stake a claim:

  • If you stake a claim, you say that something is yours or that you have a right to it.

  • Also, stake out a claim: Indicate something as one's own. This term, dating from the mid-1800s, originally meant "register a claim to land by marking it with stakes (=posts)."


  • e.g.

  • Now is the Time to Stake a Claim on the Used Saab SUV(现在正是购买越野绅宝的好时机.)

  • I'm staking a claim to the drumstick.

  • She staked out a claim for herself in the insurance business.



Para 2 4 father s adventurous life
Para. 2-4: Father’s adventurous life

  • 1. carriage house - a small building for housing coaches and carriages and other vehicles


  • 2.academy: a secondary or college-preparatory school, especially a private one

  • But I the article it was a secondary school, from grade 9-12 at that time (19th century).


  • 3. A sheriff, in U.S. , is a person who is elected to make sure that the law is obeyed in a particular county.


4 no mean job not a poor job
4. No mean job: not a poor job

  • mean:adj.

  • a. Low in quality or grade; inferior.

  • b. Low in value or amount; paltry

  • e.g.

  • There is no mean jobs, but mean persons.

  • She paid no mean amount for the new shoes.


  • 5. uninviting: not pleasant or attractive; disagreeable

  • e.g.

  • I found myself thrown among strange people; everything here was grim and uninviting, with teachers continually shouting at me, and myself constantly feeling awkward and uncomfortable.


  • 6. panther: The leopard, especially in its black unspotted form



Siren song siren call
siren song: = siren call

  • the enticing appeal of something alluring but potentially dangerous

  • e.g.

  • Deep in his life-processes Life itself sang the siren song of its own majesty, ever a-whisper and urgent, counseling him that he could achieve more than other men, win out where they failed, ride to success where they perished.

  • Obviously Iraqi oil is a siren song to Bush and his followers.


  • 8. But these marks of wild country called to my father like legendary siren song:

  • The attractions of the Florida wilds are compared to the beautiful and seductive voice of women, but in this case following the lane of the siren song has a happy outcome.

  • Unpleasant as the wild country was, my father was deeply attracted simply because of his qualities of enjoying the challenge.


9 covered wagon
9. Covered wagon legendary siren song:


10 gentle folks persons of good family and relatively high station
10. Gentle folks: Persons of good family and relatively high station.

  • e.g.

  • The handsome old man stood motionless, holding a cup of coffee, looking down from the height of his tall figure with friendly serenity at the gentlefolks, obviously understanding nothing of their conversation and not caring to understand it.


11 guavas
11. Guavas station.番石榴


12 in season in good time or sufficiently early for the purpose
12. in season: station.in good time, or sufficiently early for the purpose.

  • e.g.

  • If his meal is not ready in season, he takes his rifle, hides to the forest, shoots his own game, lights his fire, and cooks his meal.

  • ≠out of season: not in a proper season or time; untimely;

  • e.g.

  • The fruit is very cheap as it isout of season.


  • 13. idyllic station.: pleasing or picturesque in natural simplicity; excellent and delightful in all respects

  • e.g. I enjoy theidylliccampus life.


Para 5 19 the unforgettable trip
Para. 5-19: the unforgettable trip station.

  • 1. “I’m afraid day’s going to catch us,” I explained, wondering what great disaster might befall us if it did:

  • As a little girl, I believed my father’s words, and was genuinely afraid of the possible disaster – if we did not hurry up, the day would catch us and terrible things might happen.


2 befall happen to
2. befall: station.happen (to)

  • e.g.

  • She feared some evil might befall.

  • He promised that no harm would befall her.


3. Key up: station.to make intense, excited, or nervous

e.g.

  • When my brother left the house he was all keyed up. The examination had been on his mind for weeks.


  • 4. Porch: station. a structure attached to the exterior of a building often forming a covered entrance

    e.g. They liked to sit on the porch to talk about business matters .



6 cot a narrow bed made of canvas
6. cot: equipment and food suppliesa narrow bed made of canvas


7 apiece adv each
7. apiece: equipment and food supplies adv. = each

  • If people have a particular thing apiece, they have that number each. (num. + n. + apiece)

  • e.g.

  • The teacher gave the boys a picture book apiece.

  • These apples are sold at ten cents apiece.


8 dutch oven
8. Dutch oven equipment and food supplies


9 little stores all alone
9. equipment and food suppliesLittle stores, all alone


10 adjoin share a boundary lie next to
10. adjoin equipment and food supplies: share a boundary; lie next to

  • e.g.

  • Canada adjoins the U.S.

  • No meals are served in these houses, but generally a public eating place adjoins them


11 bay horse reddish brown horse
11 equipment and food supplies. bay horse: reddish brown horse

  • Bay is a color of the hair coats of horses, characterized by a body color of dark red (known as blood bay) to deep brown, with black points (mane, tail, lower legs, and sometimes the muzzle and tip of the ears). Bay is a favorite color among ranchers and horse enthusiasts.


Bay horse
Bay horse equipment and food supplies


  • 12. This third day out, and the days to come, found us in the unsettled wilds of Florida.

  • The structure varies a little in this sentence, to avoid monotony. Otherwise it would start with “we” again.

  • We were in the unsettled wilds of Florida, the third day out, and the days to come.


13 strike camp
13. Strike camp the unsettled wilds of Florida.

  • To strike camp: to remove/lower all tents. The opposite of “strike camp” is “pitch camp” as is later found in Para. 11.


  • 14. What with… and (what with )… the unsettled wilds of Florida. : (spoken) used when you are giving a number of reasons for a particular situation

  • e.g.

  • What with overwork and what with hunger, he became sick at last. (一半由于工作过度,一半由于饥饿,他终于病倒了。)


15 as an added treat
15. as an added treat the unsettled wilds of Florida.

  • treatn.: something fine and delicious, especially a food

  • idioms:

  • my treat我請客

  • treat someone like dirt把某人看得一文不值

  • Dutch treat: AA 制 (An outing or date on which each person pays his or her own way. To “go Dutch” is to go on such a date.)


  • 16. cabbage palmetto the unsettled wilds of Florida.: a cabbage palm with fan-shaped leaves that is native to coastal southeastern United States


Cabbage palmetto
Cabbage palmetto the unsettled wilds of Florida.


17 the heart of the cabbage palmetto
17.the heart of the cabbage palmetto the unsettled wilds of Florida.

  • Cut out the heart of the cabbage palmetto. Strip off the outer hard tough fronds to reach the actual white heart. This is the most tender part and should be cut into 1/2-inch strips or cubes. Cook slowly in very little water for 20-30 minutes, adding two tablespoons of sugar and salt to taste. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.


18 outhouse an outdoor toilet
18. Outhouse the unsettled wilds of Florida.: an outdoor toilet


  • 19. Redbirds, tanagers,…, leaving a child with the impression that the woods were tossing with jewels:

  • The author compares the birds to jewels because of their brightly colored plumage, and since the birds flew back and forth across the trail, the author felt as a little girl that the woods were tossing with jewels. As we read on, we will find other jewels.


20 acquaint
20. acquaint: impression that the woods were tossing with jewels:

  • 1)To cause to come to know personally:

  • 2)To make familiar:

  • 3)To inform:

  • e.g.

  • Let me acquaint you with my family.请让你认识一下我的家人

  • I acquainted myself with the controls.我熟悉了一下规定

  • Please acquaint us with your plans.请告诉我们你的计划


Warning
impression that the woods were tossing with jewels:Warning:

  • “Acquainted” has lost its passive sense, is now usually used as an adjective.

  • e.g.: “我是去年认识他的。”

  • 不能译作: I acquainted him last year. 或I was acquainted with him last year.第一句是语态错误, 第二句混淆了“状态”和“动作”, 只能译成:I got [became] acquainted with him last year. 或I made his acquaintance last year


21 seclude keep away from others isolate
21. Seclude: impression that the woods were tossing with jewels:keep away from others (= isolate)

  • e.g.

  • He secluded himself in his study to write a book.

  • I told my father all about it, and why I felt it was necessary that I should seclude myself, and my reason for not seeing my friends.


  • 22. … from time to time he was halfheartedly sought for trials, though few crimes seemed to lead directly to his doors:

  • Occasionally the law officials would make some efforts without real earnest to investigate Watson and to bring him to court, but there seemed to be little concrete evidence to prove that he was responsible for certain illegal activities.


23 susceptible
23. susceptible: trials, though few crimes seemed to lead directly to his doors:

  • If you are susceptibleto someone or something, you are very likely to be influenced by them.

  • e.g. young people are the most susceptibletoadvertisements.

  • James was extremely susceptibleto flattery.


24 bayou a swampy arm or slow moving outlet of a lake term used mainly in mississippi and louisiana
24. bayou trials, though few crimes seemed to lead directly to his doors:: a swampy arm or slow-moving outlet of a lake (term used mainly in Mississippi and Louisiana)

  • Buffalo bayou in Huston


25 invalid n adj
25. invalid: trials, though few crimes seemed to lead directly to his doors:n.; adj.

  • An invalid is someone who needs to be cared for because they have illness or disability.

  • Sick or disabled (adj.)

  • e.g.

  • I hate being treated as an invalid.

  • The house is specially for invalid soldiers.


26 intrigue fascinate
26. intrigue trials, though few crimes seemed to lead directly to his doors:: (= fascinate)

  • to arouse the interest or curiosity of


  • e.g. trials, though few crimes seemed to lead directly to his doors:

  • The news intrigued us all.

  • He was intrigued with the novelty of the story.

  • Warning:

  • He is intrigued with that woman.(他和那个妇女私通)


  • 27. Not without trepidation trials, though few crimes seemed to lead directly to his doors:

  • The double negative “not without” conveys a weaker affirmative than would be conveyed by the positive preposition “with” by itself, that is papa was a little nervous when making arrangements with Watson.


About double negatives
About double negatives trials, though few crimes seemed to lead directly to his doors:

  • Double negatives have two linguistic functions: to intensify the tone or to soften the tone.

  • e.g.

  • You can’t make something out of nothing.

  • What’s done cannot be undone. (已经做了的事后悔也无用。)

  • No law, no liberty. (无法律则无自由)

  • Not without reason, Jack quitted his job.


  • 28. trials, though few crimes seemed to lead directly to his doors:The stranglehold Watson had over …that our state was to suffer through its history:

  • The control Watson had over this part of Florida was much similar to the dishonest or illegal activities of the law-enforcing officials and governors which Florida witnessed in the twentieth century.



Para 20 29 life on a small island
Para.(20-29): Life on a small island murderer for our nearest and only neighbor, about thirty miles away:

  • 1. sheepshead: (红鲈)large (up to 20 lbs) food fish of the eastern coast of the United States and Mexico


  • 2. blind murderer for our nearest and only neighbor, about thirty miles away:: n. a hiding place sometimes used by hunters (especially duck hunters)

  • e.g.

  • The hunter waited patiently in the blind.

  • The girl was shocked when she found a man behind the blind.


  • 3…. and of the thousands of ducks that …in a dozen or more to be smothered in sage:

  • This sentence can be reconstructed into the following one:

  • … and he would bring in a dozen or more to be smothered in sage of the thousands of ducks that quacked us awake at dawn.

  • Could find another preposition to replace “of”?


4 quack
4. quack more to be smothered in sage:

  • When a duck quacks, it makes the noise that ducks typically make.

  • e.g.

  • There were ducks quacking on the lawn.

  • N.B. a quack doctor

  • quack remedies/cures


  • 5. more to be smothered in sage:King Richard in his gluttony never sat at a table more sumptuous than ours was three times a day…:

  • We had abundant food on the island, and even the meals enjoyed by King Richard, who was famous for his love of food, could not possibly compare with ours. The narrator was very contented with the simplicity of life and grateful for the adequacy of food supplies on the island.


6 a tunnel of mangroves
6. a tunnel of mangroves: more to be smothered in sage:

  • A tunnel-like passage formed by the tangled masses of mangrove roots

  • Enjoy the photos of tunnel-like mangroves given below:


7 dessert
7. dessert more to be smothered in sage:

  • dessert: the last course of a meal

  • desert: arid land (noun); to abandon (verb)

  • e.g.

  • If you live in a desert, it is a good idea to own a camel.

  • Clyde deserted school and joined the circus.

  • Jack deserted school and joined the circus.

  • Chocolate ice cream is my favorite dessert.


8 sometime
8. sometime more to be smothered in sage:

  • Sometime: at some time (ad.); former (a.)

  • some time: an unspecified amount of time (n.)

  • e.g.

  • I will get to it sometime.

  • There are five sometime presidents of the United States still living.

  • I would spend some time pondering your plan.


  • 9. The hard-packed shell was like pavement: more to be smothered in sage:

  • The shells were pressed firmly into the ground, resembling the hard surface of a road.

  • packed: pressed together firmly.

  • Look at the huge sea shell, which is about 50kgs in weight.


10 unrelenting relentless
. more to be smothered in sage:10. unrelenting:= relentless

  • If you describe someone’s behavior as relenting, you mean they are continuing to do something in a very determined way, often without caring whether they hurt or embarrass other people.

  • If you describe something as relenting, you mean that it continues without stopping.


  • e.g. more to be smothered in sage:

  • It was forecast that the unrelenting ice storm had swept that area for over 10 hours.

  • They were unrelenting in their support for the local community.




12 para 29 love of family
12. Para. 29: love of family were the cook, the spinster, the doctor, and if they had kids, the teacher, as shown by the author’s mother.

  • This paragraph further shows the love and trust within the family. When the author wanted her baby sister so much, we can clearly feel her love; and when the father placed the baby into her arms, we can clearly feel the trust. And the important thing is that these precious qualities had always been and will always be there in the family.


  • 13. bond: were the cook, the spinster, the doctor, and if they had kids, the teacher, as shown by the author’s mother. a connection based on kinship or marriage or common interest

  • e.g.

  • I do admire the bond of affection between the sisters. (我真羡慕她们的姊妹之情)

  • Our common tastes form a bond of union between us.(我们的趣味相同,使我们结合在一起)

  • ★One’s word is (as good) as one’s bond.(说话有信用)



15 mishap bad luck an unfortunate accident
15. mishap: mishap:bad luck; an unfortunate accident

  • e.g.

  • He arrived without any mishap, and, having finished his business, set out on his return.

  • Look at the picture. With a mishap, the lovely books were damaged by the tasty coffee.


16 let the matter drop to do or say nothing more about something
16. mishap:Let the matter drop: to do or say nothing more about something.

  • e.g.

  • Being at a low point in my life at that time, and not willing to fight the battle myself to get the book reprinted, I let the matter drop.

  • Satisfied, the administrator let the matter drop. He didn't try to alert the female professor to her mistake.


Part 3 father s courage para 30 36
Part 3 Father’s courage (para.30-36) mishap:

  • 1. … and what with papa’s field … to send to market:

  • This sentence can be reconstructed as follows:

  • … and we soon had produce and what with papa’s field to send to market.


  • 2. produce: mishap:farm products, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, considered as a group

  • e.g.

  • A FISHERMAN who lived on the produce of his nets, one day caught a single small Fish as the result of his day's labor.

  • The superior quality of our agricultural produce was maintained through the increased supply of manure.


3 arise rise
3. arise, rise mishap:

  • “Rise” is widely use to refer to upward action, while “arise” is nowadays used metaphorically.

  • e.g.

  • The question then arises as to what we are going to do once we get the equipment?

  • The people were on the point of sinking under the heavy burden when a revolutionary leader arose among them.


4 let the matter drop to do or say nothing more about something
4. mishap:Let the matter drop: to do or say nothing more about something.

  • e.g.

  • Being at a low point in my life at that time, and not willing to fight the battle myself to get the book reprinted, I let the matter drop.

  • Satisfied, the administrator let the matter drop. He didn't try to alert the female professor to her mistake.


  • 5 mishap:. Settle/balance/square (an) accounts with someone: punish and so get revenge

  • e.g.

  • I settled accounts with Jim for speaking rudely to me at the party. Jim在聚会上对我说粗话一事,我找他算了帐.


6 sit tight to be patient and await the next move
6. mishap:Sit tight: to be patient and await the next move

  • If you sit tight, you remain in the same place or situation and do not take any action, usually because you are waiting for something to happen.

  • e.g.

  • About all we can do is to sit tight and wait for whatever may come.

  • He had nothing to do but to sit tight and let her do the work.



8 strident unpleasantly loud and harsh
8. strident: unpleasantly loud and harsh everything:

  • e.g.

  • "Ma," she shouted suddenly, in her shrill, strident treble, "I see Martin coming'.


9 break come into being or emerge
9. everything:break: come into being or emerge

  • e.g.

  • Light broke over the horizon.

  • Voices broke in the air.

  • Hearing the praise, a naughty smile broke on the boy’s face.


10 bead a small metal knob on the muzzle of a firearm such as a rifle used for sighting
10. bead: everything: A small metal knob on the muzzle of a firearm, such as a rifle, used for sighting.

  • draw a bead on: aim with a gun

  • e.g.

  • The hunter drew a bead on the rabbit.


11 nonchalant casual
11. nonchalant everything::=casual

  • If you describe someone as nonchalant, you mean that they appear not worry or care about things and that they seem very calm.

  • e.g.

  • He appeared nonchalant in court even when the judge spoke to him.

  • The girl was nonchalant about her role in the play.


Part 4 conclusion the key to those wonderful times para 37
Part 4. Conclusion everything:: The key to those wonderful times. (para.37)

  • 1. Today I can see in my grandsons and great-grandson some…:

  • The pattern of this sentence is : see something in …

  • Today I can see some of those qualities of courage and caring that my father had in abundance.


2 a brief summary
2. A brief summary: everything:

  • In paragraph 12, the author compares the flying birds as jewels tossing with the woods. Reaching the end of the article, we can see those qualities of courage and caring are the jewels with which the woods were tossing.



  • Thank you! see that to the author thinks that self-reliance, freedom, courage, hard, simple life and love of nature and love of family are the precious


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