Unit Four • American Dream
What is American Dream? • The belief that everyone in the US has the chance to be successful, rich and happy if they work hard---Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary • An American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism平均主义 and esp. material prosperity---Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
A phrase connoting hope for prosperity and happiness, symbolized particularly by having a house of one's own. Possibly applied at first to the hopes of immigrants, the phrase now applies to all except the very rich and suggests a confident hope that one's children's economic and social condition will be better than one's own. ---American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
The American Dream is the faith held by many in the US that through hard work, courage, and determination one can achieve a better life for oneself, usually through financial prosperity. (eg. a college education, a steady job, a nice house /and a family to fill it, and live better than their parents did)
These were values held by many early European settlers, and have been passed on to subsequent generations. What the American Dream has become is a question under constant discussion, and some believe that it has led to an emphasis on material wealth as a measure of success and/or happiness. • Now people look towards a new American Dream with less focus on financial gain and more emphasis on living a simple, fulfilling life.
Literary works • Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832 –1899) • 19th-century American author who wrote over 130 dime novels. • Many of his works have been described as rags to riches stories, illustrating how down-and-out boys might be able to achieve the American dream of wealth and success through hard work, courage, determination, and concern for others. • He is noted as a significant figure in the history of American cultural and social ideals.
Literary works • The Jungle (1906) by Upton Sinclair • The Great Gatsby (1925) by Scott F. Fitzgerald • A Farewell to Arms (1929) by E. Hemingway • Death of a Salesman (1949) by Arthur Miller • The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger • Suggested Movie: The Pursuit of Happyness
Immigration to the United States The United States has become the home of immigrants from all over the world. --- in search of a place to practice their religion freely --- seek asylum from political or economic persecution ---in hopes of building a better life for themselves and their families
This map shows the numbers of people (in thousands) who immigrated to the US between 1820 and 1990.
Ellis Island • Ellis Island was the first stop for most immigrants from Europe in late 19th and early 20th centuries. • Entrance to the museum.
Located in New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island is a symbol of immigration in the United States. For decades, immigrants were quarantined on the island until their entry was approved. Today Ellis Island is a museum that commemorates the millions of United States citizens who entered the country there.
Citizenship Ceremony • About 1,500 immigrants recite the Oath of Allegiance to the US during a citizenship ceremony. As part of the oath, immigrants must promise to give up any foreign allegiance and to obey the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Read the following quotations and give your interpretation • All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers. ---Orison Swett Marden • If you can imagine it you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it. --- William Arthur Ward • What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible. ---Theodore Roethke • Luck is when opportunity knocks and you answer. ---Anonymous
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.--- Henry David Thoreau • Within our dreams and aspirations we find our opportunities. --- Sue Ebaugh • If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. --- Henry David Thoreau • You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?" ---George Bernard Shaw
Text Organization • 1.How many parts can the text be divided into? And what’s the main idea of each part? • roughly two parts • The first part revolves around the life story of Tony Trivisonno. ( from Para 1 to Para 29) • The main idea: with determination, vision and perseverance, Tony Trivisonno fulfilled his American dream.
The second gives the author’s reflections on the story of Tony (from Para 30 to Para 33). In this part, the author gives his own understanding of why Tony could make his dream come true.
Text Organization • 2. As is already mentioned, the first part of the text centers on the life story of Tony.The story is, actually, made up of several events which go a long way towards Tony’s realizing his ambition. Go through the first part again and list the main events.
1)Tony volunteered to work as a help at Mr. Crawford’s house. 2)Tony asked for a job clearing snow at Mr. Crawford’s factory. 3)Tony learned to become a skilled worker. 4)Tony bought a house with Mr. Crawford’s help. 5) Tony bought a farm and sent for his family back in Italy.
Language Study • comprehend understand sth. fully 全面了解、理解、领会 • I cannot comprehend how you could have been so stupid. • He comprehends that he must improve his work, or fail the course.
比较comprehensible和 comprehensivecomprehensible capable of being understood; clear, intelligible能理解的a book that is comprehensible only to specialists Her writing is quite comprehensible.
Comprehensive:that includes nearly everything（几乎）包罗万象的；全面的She has a comprehensive grasp of the subject.Our company has a comprehensive health plan that covers expenses for doctors, hospital, medicine and dentalcare.
turn away refuse to allow sb. to enter a place; refuse to give help or support to sb. 不准某人进入某处；拒绝帮助或支持某人 • The security guard turned away people who didn’t have invitations to the party. • Hundreds of people had to be turned away from the stadium because it was full.
assume accept sth. as true before there is proof 假定；假设；设想；以为 • I assume that the present situation is going to continue. • We must assume him to be innocent until he is proved guilty.
assume ignorance, indifference, an air of concernThe look of innocence she assumed had us all fooled.begin to act in or exercise sth; undertake; take on 开始从事；承担；担任The winner of the election assumed the office of senator.
compliment sb. on sth. express praise or admiration of sb.（对某人）表示赞美或敬佩I comprehended her on her skillful performance. She complimented the nine-year-old boy on his good manners.
work out calculate sth. 计算；算出I’ve worked out your share of the expenses at $10. develop, formulate 想出；制订出The president worked out a solution to the company’s problems.
capacity 1) the ability to contain, hold or absorb 容量，容积a hall with a seating capacity of 2000That restaurant has a 100 seat capacity.2) ability to produce, experience, understand or learn sth. 生产、体会、理解或学习的能力She has an enormous capacity for hard work.This book is within the capacity of younger readers.
turn sb./sth. down reject or refuse to consider (an offer, a proposal, etc. or the person who makes it) 顶回或拒不理会（好意、建议等或提议的人）--He tried to join the army but was turned down because of poor health.--He asked Jane to marry him but she turned him down/turned down his proposal.
delighted very pleased; showing delight 非常高兴的；显示愉快的I’m delighted at your success/to hear of your success/that you succeeded.I am delighted to accept your invitation to dinner.“Will you come to the party?” “I’d be delighted to!”
for sale available for purchase 待售；供出售We don’t want our car anymore; it is for sale.比较 on sale available for a lower price than usual 廉价出售；降价销售I bought this coat on sale, for $20 less than the original price.
wreck sth. or sb. ruined 被严重破坏之物；受到了严重损害的人After the accident, his car was a wreck.He is a wreck after drinking for so many years.a ship lost at sea 海上失事船只Some divers like to dive for wrecks in the ocean.
call on visit sb. 拜访，访问We called on our new neighbors last weekend. request that sb. do sth. 要求The governor called on the state residents to conserve water.
down payment a part payment at the time of buying sth. 定金We made a down payment on the refrigerator and agreed to monthly payments on the rest.
odds and ends a mix of items, bits and pieces 零星东西；残剩的东西We moved all our things from one apartment to another, except for a few odds and ends, like an old lamp.
send for ask for sb. to come, summon 派人去叫；召唤send for a taxi, an ambulance, a doctorsend for sb. to repair the TV
hunt 1)search for 搜寻；寻找I hunted for my hat everywhere and finally found it.Police are hunting an escaped criminal.2) chase and capture or kill 打猎Every autumn, many people hunt deer in this area.
sponsor 1) a person, business, or group that helps pay for sth. (cultural or sporting event, TV shows, etc) 发起人；赞助者，资助者The sports equipment store is the sponsor of the local baseball team; it pays for uniforms and transportation.2) act as a sponsor 发起；赞助，资助A beer company sponsored the baseball game by paying for television advertising.
check on sth. examine sth. to discover if it is true, safe, correct, etc. 检查某事物（是否真实、安全、正确等）I checked on my facts before going to the meeting.
see (to it) that make sure that 一定注意到…；务必…See to it that you’re ready on time.
homey like home; cosy 像家一样的； 舒适惬意的-y 这是一个口语色彩特别浓厚的后缀，常用来构成临时语，表示“有点…的”“带有…味道或色彩的”等意思。Examples:It was all very neat and christmasy. She looks actressy. He is unquestionably brainy, determined and decided.There is something goosey about him.
stature one’s height 身材，身高Most professional basketball players are tall in stature.level of respect, reputation 名望，地位He is a man of great stature in the government.
runga step on a ladder 阶梯To be safe, you should go up a ladder one rung at a time.a position or level of importance in a group or organization 职位的高层She has reached the highest rung of management and won’t be promoted any more at work.
after all in spite of what has been said, done or expected 毕竟；终究So you’ve come after all. After all, what does it matter?
Quotes • Do not, for one repulse, give up the purpose that you resolved to effect. (W. Shakespeare)不要只因一次失败，就放弃你原来决心想达到的目的。 • Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live. (Mark Twain)不要放弃你的幻想。当幻想没有了以后，你还可以生存，但是你虽生犹死。
Ideal is the beacon. Without ideal, there is no secure direction; without direction, there is no life.( Leo Tolstoy) • 理想是指路明灯。没有理想，就没有坚定的方向；没有方向，就没有生活。(俄国作家 托尔斯泰)
If you would go up high, then use your own legs! Do not let yourselves carried aloft; do not seat yourselves on other people's backs and heads. (F. W . Nietzsche , German Philosopher) 如果你想走到高处，就要使用自己的两条腿！不要让别人把你抬到高处；不要坐在别人的背上和头上。(德国哲学家 尼采.) • Living without an aim is like sailing without a compass. (Alexander Dumas, French Writer) 生活没有目标就像航海没有指南针。 (法国作家 大仲马. A.)