. Warm-up Questions: 1.Explain your motto in life. 2. Do you find life sometimes paradoxical? Why or why not?? Text Explanations This essay discusses one of the paradoxes in life: ?to let something go" and ?to hold something fast." The author tries to explain in the importance of cherishing beauty when it is offered and to let it go when it is inevitable. Thus ?to let it go" is as important as ?to hold fast" in our lives..
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1. Unit 10 Two Truths to Live By
2. Warm-up Questions:
1.Explain your motto in life.
2. Do you find life sometimes paradoxical? Why or why not?
? Text Explanations
This essay discusses one of the paradoxes in life: “to let something go” and “to hold something fast.” The author tries to explain in the importance of cherishing beauty when it is offered and to let it go when it is inevitable. Thus “to let it go” is as important as “to hold fast” in our lives.
3. Paragraph 1
The theme of the essay is explicitly stated in the first sentence. The author points out that life itself is a paradox: We should cling to its gifts and let go of them in time, which is explained by the rabbis' statement of analogy.
1) "paradox"---a situation which is strange because it involves two qualities that could not be true at the same time. Here, the author means that you need to hold fast to some- thing that you must let go of eventually.
2) "The rabbis of old"---the rabbis in ancient times.
e. g. the knights of old in England
Why does the author quote the saying from the ancient rabbis?
The author intends to use the metaphor to illustrate the paradox. "A man comes to this world with his fist clenched" means that a man holds fast to the gift of life when he is born, but when he leaves this world, he has to let go of it.
5. LANGUAGE WORK
For life is a paradox: it enjoins us to cling to its many gifts even while it ordains their eventual relinquishment.
---For life is a paradox: On one side, it encourages us to hold on to all those beautiful things life can offer us, on the other side, it commands us to let all of them go in the end.
The proposed law enjoins employers to give workers time off to care for sick children and ageing parents.
He enjoined caution about believing what they told us.
7. Paragraph 2---3
In these two paragraphs, the author explains one side of life's paradox and points out that we often fail to see the beauty and wonder of life when we should be holding on to it. As a result it is often too late when we finally realize it.
8. 1) "that breaks through every pore of the earth" (Paragraph 2)-- that emerges every-
where on the earth.
2) "only in our backward glance" (Paragraph 2) ? only as we examine our life in retrospect.
3) "... a beauty '" a love ..." (Paragraph 3) - Be ? ty and love are uncountable nouns,
but here the author uses an indefinite article "a" to suggest a particular event or thing that represents or renders beauty or love.
What is implied in the phrases "when it flowered ... when it was tendered"?
The two phrases mean that one should hold fast to beauty and love at the right time
when they are full of sweetness and being offered
10. LANGUAGE WORK
2. Surely we ought to hold fast to life, for it is wondrous, and full of a beauty that breaks through every pore of the earth. ---must value every day we live, for it is surprisingly good, and from every little hole on the earth something beautiful springs up.
11. a wondrous sight/sound
Our new improved face cream has wondrous effects on tired-looking skin.
Sweat passes through the pores and cools the body down.
Pimples form when pores become blocked with dirt.
The border in this region is porous and many refugees have simply walked across.
12. 3. We remember a beauty that faded, a love that waned. --- We'll always remember a beauty that dimmed or a love that diminished.
By the late seventies the band's popularity was beginning to beginning to wane.
Public interest in environmental issues tends to wane during a recession.
13. Paragraphs 4---5
From Paragraph 4 to Paragraph 7 the author relates one event during his hospitalization that re-teaches him the truth (when and how to hold fast to life).
14. LANGUAGE WORK
4. The required machines were located in a building at the opposite end of the hospital, so I had to be wheeled across the courtyard on a gurney.
I was pushed across the courtyard on a gurney to the other side of the hospital where the necessary equipment was, in order to take some tests.
15. Doctors put her on a respirator and wheeled her downstairs to the intensive care unit.
Every time we have this argument you wheel out the same old statistics, and I'm still not convinced!
She wheeled round and slapped him in the face.
16. Paragraphs 6---7
These two paragraphs describe the immediate impact of the sunlight on the author as he was wheeled across the courtyard. It suddenly dawned on him how beautiful and precious life was and how indifferent people 'were to the gift of life.
17. 1) "... the sunlight hit me." (Paragraph 6) - ... the sunlight suddenly shone upon me with force. Notice the word "hit". It carries the meaning of affecting someone with considerable force.
2) "That's all there was to my experience." (Paragraph 6) - That is the only thing I experienced at that moment - the sunlight.
Notice how the author describes the sunlight: warming, sparkling, brilliant, relish,golden glow, grandeur, splendor.
18. Why does the author describe the sunlight in such an emotional way?
The author uses these words to describe the impact of the sunlight on him, that is, his sudden realization as to how beautiful life is and how heedless of its beauty we often are.
19. LANGUAGE WORK
5. Then I remembered how often I, too, had been indifferent to the grandeur of each day, too preoccupied with petty and sometimes even mean concerns to respond to the splendor of it all. --- Then I remembered how often I, too, had ignored the magnificence of each day, since I was too busy with insignificant and even unpleasant things.
20. This recording does not bring out the full grandeur of Wagner's music.
We were struck by the silent grandeur of the desert.
She's been very preoccupied recently because her mother has been very ill.
My main preoccupation now is trying to keep life normal for the sake of my two boys.
21. Don't be so petty!
It was the pettiness of their arguments that irritated her.
They bought a decaying 16th century manor house and restored it to its original splendor.
So many writers have described the splendors of Venice.
22. Paragraphs 8--9
In these short paragraphs the author sums up the truth revealed to him in the event and urges us to hold fast to the gifts of life. (Notice the imperative mood in Paragraph 9).
1) "The insight gleaned from that experience is really as commonplace as was the experience itself" (Paragraph 8) --- The truth we learn from that experience (the sunlight) is really nothing unusual - it is as common as the sunlight itself.
23. 2) "Never too busy for the wonder ..." (Paragraph 9)--- Never be so busy that you cannot appreciate and admire the wonder of life ... Notice that the verb "be" is omitted in front of "too busy. "
e. g. The manager was too concerned with the present profits to worry about market share in the future.
3) "Be reverent before each dawning day. " (Paragraph 9) --- We should begin each day with respect and admiration for its unfolding beauty and wonder.
24. LANGUAGE WORK
6. The insight gleaned from that experience is really as commonplace as was the experience itself: life's gifts are precious--- but we are too heedless of them. --- What we have learned from that experience is, in fact, nothing special: Life is valuable to all of us, but we seldom give it the attention it deserves.
25. They're leaving on Tuesday - I managed to glean that much from them.
Home computers are increasingly commonplace.
Heedless destruction of the rainforests is contributing to global warming. Heedless of the terrible noise all around, the boy carried on with his work
26. 7. Never too busy for the wonder and the awe of life. --- We should al ways manage to squeeze some time out of our daily routine to show respect to the marvels and wonders of life.
I've always held musicians in awe.
As children we were rather in awe of our grandfather.
The audience was awed into silence by her stunning performance.
We stood there in awed silence.
27. Paragraphs 10 -11
After explaining one side of life's paradox - how to hold fast to life, the author directs his discussion to the other side of the paradox - how to let go.
" . .. whatever we desire with the full force of our passionate being can, nay, will, be ours" (Paragraph 11)--- We can get whatever we want, since we are passionate and full of youthful vitality.
28. LANGUAGE WORK
8. Hold fast to life ... but not so fast that you cannot let go. ---Cherish every day welive, but when it is time to give things up, we should be able to do so.
Hold on tight and don't let go!
I know what he said wasn't strictly accurate but I let it go anyway.
It's a party --- let yourself go!
29. 9. But then life moves along to confront us with realities, and slowly but surely this second truth dawns upon us. --- But then life goes on and we have to face reality. Little by little, we are sure to become aware of the second truth.
It eventually dawned that they would never be coming back.
Realization of the danger soon dawned on us.
We had trusted him for many years, but gradually the truth about him dawned.
30. Paragraphs 12---13
The author explains why we must accept losses and learn how to let go: it is the inevitabilities of life that we must endure from birth to death. This truth is revealed by the author through the inevitable losses we suffer at every stage of life.
31. 1) "At every stage of life we sustain losses--- and grow in the process." (Paragraph 12) At every stage of life we suffer losses
--- but we mature in the process. Notice that the conjunction "and" after the dash indicates that something opposite to what has been mentioned is to follow. Logically we should be weakened by "losses", but in reality we become stronger and more mature because we learn the truth of life in the process.
32. 2) "... when we emerge from the womb and lose its protective shelter. " (Paragraph 12)
… when we are born and lose the protection of our mother's womb.
3) "... a progression of schools ..." (Paragraph 12) --- '" enter schools one after another
in a progressive way (from kindergarten to college).
4) "... childhood homes." (Paragraph 12)--- ... homes where we spend our childhood
5) "as the parable of the open and closed hand suggests ..." (Paragraph 12) --- Here the
author refers to the saying of the rabbis in ancient times mentioned in Paragraph 1.
33. 6) "But why should we be reconciled to life's contradictory demands?" (Paragraph 13) --- But why should we accept and follow life's demands that are contrary to each other? Notice here "life's contradictory demands" refers to the two seemingly opposing truths, that is, we should hold fast to life's gifts and let go of them when the time comes. They seem to be contradictory to each other because we are required to hold fast to what we will have to give up eventually.
The rhetorical question implies that there is no reason for us to cling to what we will inevitably lose.
34. LANGUAGE WORK
10. At every stage of life we sustain in losses ---and grow in the process. --- At every stage of life we suffer losses --- and we mature because of the losses.
She sustained multiple injuries in the accident.
Most buildings sustained only minimal damage in the earthquake.
The company has sustained heavy losses this year.
35. 11. But why should we be reconciled to life's contradictory demands? --- But why should we be prepared to accept life's paradoxical demands?
It's difficult to reconcile such different points of view.
How can you reconcile your fur coat with your love of animals?
It took hours of negotiations to bring about a reconciliation between the two sides.
36. Paragraphs 14---15
As a solution to the paradox the author suggests a wider perspective to view what is transient and what is eternal. This perspective enables us to realize that "our lives are finite," but our deeds, beauty and wonder on the earth are timeless.
37. 1) "... windows that open on eternity" (Paragraph 14) --- ... windows overlooking eternity, i.e. windows through which we can see what is going on eternally. The whole clause means viewing our lives from the perspective of eternity.
2) "The institutions we build endure, and we will endure through them." (Paragraph 15) --- The social systems and customs we create will continue to exist, and we will be remembered together with them.
38. 3) "... but that which they create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on for all time to come." (Paragraph 15)
---… but the beautiful, good, and true things they create will never perish. Here the pronoun "they" refers to "our flesh and our hands", and "that which" is equivalent to "what", but it is more formal.
What does the author hope to convey with his remark about perishable life and enduring beauty?
The author hopes to convey the message that what we let go of is still there if we view life from the perspective of eternity. The beauty and goodness and truth that we create will endure and we will endure through them. Therefore, we should let go of life's gifts in due time.
40. LANGUAGE WORK
12. In order to resolve this paradox, we must seek a wider perspective, viewing our lives as through windows that open on eternity.
In order to get to the bottom of this paradox, we must try to see further and wider. Then we'll be able to realize that human life is something that can last for ever.
41. Her attitude lends a fresh perspective to the subject.
Because of its geographical position, Germany's perspective on the situation in Eastern Europe is rather different from Britain's.
Total investments for this year reached ?53 million, and, to put this into perspective, investments this year were double those made last year.
42. 13. Our flesh may perish, our hands will wither, but that which they create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on for all time to come. ---Our body may die, our hands will become dry and decay, but the beauty, the goodness, and the truth that they have created will continue to exist for eternity.
43. Three hundred people perished in the earthquake.
Sunlight has caused the rubber to perish.
Me, get married? Perish the thought!
Grass had withered in the fields.
There was some debate as to whether the benefit scheme should be withdrawn or simply allowed to wither on the vine.
44. Paragraphs 16 -17
In these two paragraphs the author, having convinced us about the paradox of life, gives us his advice as to what we should do in order to make our lives meaningful and our deeds" timeless," that is, instead of pursuing perishable objects and material wealth, we should pursue ideals ...--- and add love, righteousness, truth, religion, and justice to our material possessions.
45. 1) "Add justice to the far-flung round of human endeavor and you have civilization."
(Paragraph 17) We will have civilization, if we add justice to our continuous effort around the world.
"a round"--- means "a completed course or spell of activities. "
46. 2) "... add to them the vision of humankind redeemed ..." (Paragraph 17) ---... add to them the vision of humankind freed from the power of evil
"vision"--- knowledge and imagination that are needed in planning for the future with a clear purpose
3) "need" (Paragraph 17) -- is a formal word, meaning" poverty."
47. LANGUAGE WORK
14. Pursue not so much the material as the ideal, for ideals alone invest life with meaning and are of enduring worth.---… Do not put too much value on the material, because only ideals can add meaning to life and only ideals can enable us to achieve the eternity of life.
48. The hunters spent hours pursuing their prey.
He's been pursuing her for months and yet she's so clearly not interested.
The press has pursued this story relentlessly.
She is ruthless in pursuing her goals.
49. 15. ... you have a future lighted with the radiant colors of hope. ---... you have a bright
future full of hope.
Be gave a radiant smile when he heard her news.
He was struck by the radiance of her smile.
A single beam of light radiated from the lighthouse