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Unit 15 A Fable for Tomorrow. 主讲人 : 段风丽. The Author:. Rachel Carson (1907-1964),. Background knowledge.

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Unit 15 A Fable for Tomorrow


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    1. Unit 15A Fable for Tomorrow 主讲人: 段风丽

    2. The Author: Rachel Carson (1907-1964), Background knowledge Rachel Carson was born in a small rural Pennsylvania community near the Allegheny River, where she spent a great deal of time exploring the forests and streams around her 65-acre farm. As a young child, Carson's consuming passions were the nature surrounding her hillside home and her writing. She was first "published" at the age of 10 in a children's magazine dedicated to the work of young writers. Other youngsters who first saw their words in print in St. Nicholas included William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    3. Background Knowledge In 1925 Carson entered Pennsylvania College for Women as an English major determined to become a writer. Midway into her studies, however, she switched to biology. Upon graduation from Pennsylvania College, Carson was awarded a scholarship to complete her graduate work in biology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, an enormous accomplishment for a woman in 1929. Carson's distinction in both writing and biology won her a part-time position with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries in 1935 where she was asked to create a series of seven-minute radio programs on marine life called "Romance Under he Waters."

    4. Meantime, she continued to submit writings on conservation and nature to newspapers and magazines, urging from the very beginning the need to regulate the "forces of destruction" and consider always the welfare of the "fish as well as that of the fisherman.“ In 1943, Carson was promoted to the position of aquatic biologist in the newly created U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where she authored many bulletins directed at the American public. One series, known as "Conservation in Action," was devoted to exploring wildlife and ecology on national wildlife refuges in laymen's terms. Another series was entitled "Food from the Sea" and offered information on the proper preparation as well as the advantages of a diet including fish and shellfish to a public unused to eating freshwater fish. Carson was moved to the position of assistant editor and then editor-in-chief of all Fish and Wildlife Service publications. Background Knowledge

    5. Background Knowledge • Carson's first book, Under the Sea-Wind, published in 1941, highlighted her unique ability to present deeply intricate scientific material in clear poetic language that could captivate her readers and pique their interest in the natural world. In 1951, Rachel Carson began working on another book, The Sea Around Us. It became her first best-selling book and won the National Book Award. In 1952, Rachel Carson was able to leave her job at the Fish and Wildlife Service and spend her time writing. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, was published in 1955. It told of the connection of all living creatures in areas where land and ocean meet.

    6. Background Knowlege • Rachel Carson's most famous book, Silent Spring, was published in1962. The idea for the book developed from a suggestion from a friend. Rachel's friend owned a protected area for birds. An airplane had flown over the area where the birds • were kept and spread a powerful chemical called DDT. It was part of a project to control mosquitoes. Many songbirds and harmless insects were killed by the DDT. Rachel Carson and other scientists were very concerned about the harmful effects of DDT and other insect-killing chemicals called pesticides. After World War Two, these poisonous chemicals were widely used to control insects. Pesticides were sprayed almost everywhere including agricultural fields and communities. DDT and other pesticides had become

    7. Background Knowledge • popular with the public and the government because they were so effective. Manufacturing these chemicals had become a huge industry. • In her book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson questioned the right of industrial companies to pollute without considering the effects on the environment. She argued that this kind of pollution would result in ever-decreasing populations of birds and other wildlife. She said this would lead to the loss of the wonderful sounds of nature. The chemical poisoning of the environment, she said, would cause a silent spring. • Rachel Carson did not live to see how her book influenced the government's decision to ban DDT. She died of breast cancer in 1964. She was fifty-six years old.

    8. Chapters of Silent Spring: A Fable for tomorrow The obligation to endure Elixirs of death Surface waters and underground seas Realms of the soil Earth’s green mantle Needless havoc And no birds sing Rivers of death Indiscriminately from the skies Beyond the dreams of the borgias The human Pride Through a narrow window One in Every Four Nature Fights Back The Rumblings of an avalanche The other road 1. 明天的寓言 2. 忍耐的义务 3. 死神的特效药 4. 地表水和地下海 5. 土壤的王国 6. 地球的绿色斗篷 7. 不必要的大破坏 8. 再也没有鸟儿歌唱 9. 死亡的河流 10. 自天而降的灾难 11. 超过了波尔基业家族的梦想 12. 人类的代价 13. 通过一扇狭小的窗户 14. 每四个中有一个 15. 大自然在反抗 16. 崩溃声隆隆 17. 另外的道路 Background Knowledge

    9. Background Knowledge • Two memorials honor RachelCarson: 1. Rachel Carson National • Wildlife Refuge in Maine. • 2. Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale, Pennsylvania, the home she lived in when she was a child. Education programs are offered there that teach children and adults about her environmental values. • Rachel Carson's voice is alive in her writings that express the wonder and beauty of the natural world. And her worldwide influence continues through the activities • of the environmental protection movement she started

    10. Type of Reading One • As indicated by the title, the passage is written in the form of a fable. • A fable is a brief tale, either in prose or in verse, dealing with fundamental things in life, often told to teach a moral lesson. People or animals as well as inanimate objects can be the central figures. The subject matter of a fable has to do with supernatural and unusual incidents and often draws its origin from folklore.

    11. Writing Style and Structure of Reading One • This passage is unique in its presentation of the subject matter and in its writing style in the fable tradition. • The writer’s strategy is to avoid identifying the real subject matter at the beginning. Her purpose is not just to inform but to convince the reader of the serious effects of pollution resulting from the massive and indiscriminate use of fertilizers and pesticides, a problem which most Americans were ignorant of until Carson gave this warning. The writer creates a mystery deliberately and thereby arouses the reader’s concern as well as curiosity.

    12. Writing Style and Structure of Reading One • The opening sentence is an echo of a typical fable which usually begins with “There was once a…” • The language is vivid, colourful and descriptive. The reader can easily visualize the beauty of the land and the ugliness of the lifeless community before and after the strange blight. • There are lyrical touches in some places with the rhythm of poetry. Examples: These too, were silent, deserted by all living things. Even the streams were now lifeless. Anglers no longer visited them, forhad died.

    13. Writing Style and Structure of Reading One 2. The Outline of Reading One: The content of the whole passage is organized in a patter of comparison and contrast. (1) Paras. 1-2 The writer unfolds before the reader a poetic picture of a land of beauty, of plenty and of prosperity before the use of insecticides. • Paras. 3-6 The writer presents the reader another picture, a picture of how the land of milk and honey has become ugly and barren after the use of chemical fertilizers.

    14. Writing Style and Structure of Reading One • Paras. 7-8 The writer sets out the cause of all these changes and puts the responsibility where it belongs---on man himself. • Paras. 9 The writer gives us the grave warning in fable form, In other words, the moral is “A grim spectre has crept upon us almost unnoticed. It is high time that man took action to avert the disaster.”

    15. Questions • What is a fable? Can you tell us one of the fables you have read or heard? • What does the title “A Fable for Tomorrow” suggest to you? 3. List all the possible problems facing us in the future. Which one are you most concerned about?

    16. Detailed Study of Reading One • Language Points: 1.1. The town lay in the midst ofa checkerboard of prosperous farms,… (line 2) in the midst of---(lit or old use) the middle part or position a checkerboard of… 纵横交错的…, 阡陌纵横的… eg. a checkerboard of cultivated fields checkerboard can be used as a verb: eg. Canals checkerboard the countryside on both sides of the dam.

    17. Detailed Study of Reading One 1.2. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set upa blaze of colour that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines. flame can be used as a verb: eg. The fireplace flamed the opposite wall. The rising sun flamed the eastern sky. a blaze of eg. A blaze of glory 一阵荣华 in the blaze of publicity 在公众瞩目之下 the blaze of day 白昼的光辉 in a blaze of fury 狂怒之下 The restaurant was a blaze of light and color. 饭店灯火通明, 五彩缤纷.

    18. Detailed Study of Reading One set up a.) If you set something up, you make the preparations that are necessary for it to start. eg. The government were setting up an inquiry into the affair. b.) If you set up a structure, you place it or build it somewhere. c.) If you set up home or set up house, you buy a house or flat ad start living in it. d.) If something sets up a process or series of events, it causes it to begin. eg. It may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction. e.) If you set up somewhere, you establish yourself in a new home or business. eg. She left her parent’s home and set up on her own.

    19. Detailed Study of Reading One set-up, set-ups A particular set-up is a particular system or way of organizing something. eg. I’ve only been here a couple of days and I don’t quite know the set-up. backdrop the conditions existing when something happens or happened. eg. Indochina is the backdrop for this story. The events of the 1930’s provided the backdrop for the movie.

    20. Detailed Study of Reading One 1.3. Then foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed the fields, half hidden in the mists of the autumn mornings. mist---clouds of very small drops of water floating in the air, near or reaching to the ground; thin fog. eg. The mountain top was covered in mist. The windows misted up. The sun hung low over the misted trees. (太阳低悬在薄雾笼罩的树梢之上.) A mist of prejudice spoiled his judgment. (偏见的迷雾减弱了他的判断能力.) The origin of the custom is lost in the mists of time. (形成这种习俗的原因已湮没在时间的迷雾中.) eyes misted with tears.

    21. Detailed Study of Reading One 1.4. Along the roads, laurel, viburnum and alder, great ferns and wild flowers, delighted the traveller’s eye through much of the year. delighted one’s eye 使…赏心悦目 viburnum

    22. Detailed Study of Reading One alder laurel

    23. Detailed Study of Reading One 1.5. Others came to fishthe stream, which flowed clear and cold out of the hills and contained shady pools where trout lay.fish All is fish that comes to his (or my, your) net. a loose fish as mute as a fish cry stinking fish Fish begins to rot from the head.

    24. Detailed Study of Reading One fish like a fish out of water have other (or bigger) fish to fry Never offer to teach fish to swim The best fish smell when they are three days old The best fish swim (or are) near the bottom. There’s as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it. Make fish of one and flesh (or fowl) of another Fish or cut bait

    25. Detailed Study of Reading One 1.6. So it had been from the days many years ago when the first settlers raised their housed, sank their wells and built their barns. Parallelism a.) When a sentence contains two or more parts of the same form and grammatical function, it is one with parallel constructions. Parallel sentences are emphatic and forceful. b.) When a sentence contains two parallel clauses similar in structure bt contrasted in meaning, it is a balanced sentence. Balance sentences are impressive because of the contrast, and pleasing to hear because of the rhythm. eg. On hearing the news, he was angered, and I was saddened.

    26. Detailed Study of Reading One 1.7. Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change. blight Blight is a plant diseases that destroys, withers and prevents the growth of plant life. The following is a lost of words the writer used to repeat the key idea “blight” evil spell much illness mysterious maladies new kinds of sickness sickened and died sudden and unexplained death a shadow of death would be stricken suddenly

    27. Detailed Study of Reading One 1.8. Some evil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens. spell a.) a condition caused by magical power b.) an unbroken period time eg. a spell of bad weather a hot spell flock a.) a group of sheep, goats, or birds b.) a crowd; large number of people c.) the group of people who regularly attend a church

    28. Detailed Study of Reading One 1.9. … and many real communities have already suffered a substantial number of them. substantial a.) solid; strongly made eg. a substantial desk b.) noticeable; important; of some size or value eg. a substantial amount of money 一大笔款 have a substantial wait 等候许久 a substantial farmer 富裕的农民 substantial life 物质生活

    29. Detailed Study of Reading One 1.10. A grim spectre has crept upon us almost unoticed, and this imagined tragedy may easily become a stark reality we all shall know. spectre / or specter a.) a spirit without a body; ghost b.) a frightening image or idea which you have in your mind eg. the spectre of another world war stark a.) Something that is stark is very bare and plain in appearance eg. the stark black rocks ad deserted beaches

    30. Detailed Study of Reading One b.) stark means harsh and unpleasant. eg. grim stark poverty Those are the stark facts of the matter. stark reality

    31. Detailed Study of Reading One II. Home work: • Complete the rest of the exercises in Work Book. • Preview reading two and answer the questions in Work Book.