Face to Face with Hurricane Camille By Joseph P. Blank
Some scientific knowledge about Hurricane • a tropical storm in which winds attain speeds greater than 75 miles (121 kilometers) per hour. The term is often restricted to those storms occurring over the North Atlantic Ocean. Incipient hurricanes usually form over the tropical N Atlantic Ocean and mature as they drift westward. Hurricanes also occasionally form off the west coast of Mexico and move northeastward from that area. An average of 3.5 tropical storms per year eventually mature into hurricanes along the east coast of North America, usually over the Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico.
Similar storms occurring over the West Pacific Ocean and China Seas are called typhoons and those over the Indian Ocean are called tropical cyclones. Hurricanes are given girls' names and typhoons are given serial numbers. The National Weather Service of the United States has used girls' names to identify hurricanes in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico since 1953 and the names were given in alphabetical order. A semi-permanent list of 10 sets of names in alphabetical order was established in 1971. This practice of giving girls' names to hurricanes changed recently. In 1980 a hurricane was given a man's name and was called Hurricane David. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.
Hurricane Camille: The storm lashed Mississippi and Louisiana for two days, Aug. 17---18, in 1969. The death toll was 258.
Text Analysis • Words and expressions • Paraphrase • Translation • Figure of speech
Words and expressions • pummel: to beat or hit with repeated blows. The Koshaks will have to put up with many onslaughts of the fierce storm. • Gulfport: seaport in S. Miss., on the Gulf of Mexico • Miss: abbreviation for Mississippi
batten:to fasten canvas over the hatches of a ship, especially in preparing for a storm • ride it out:to stay afloat during a storm without too much damage • main: a principal pipe, conduit, or line in a distributing system for water, gas, electricity, etc. • Scudded in: driven inland by the wind
sit out the storm: to stay until the end of the storm • kill: to cause (an engine, etc. ) to stop (American English) • more or less: rather; to some extent e. g. We hope our explanations will prove more or less helpful. • to take responsibility for:to consider oneself answerable for • The pattern for the phrase is: to take the responsibility for (of doing) something.
lap: to move or strike gently with a light, splashing sound • crushing: overwhelming • mess:a state of trouble or difficulty Here it refers to the hurricane. • in one mighty swipe: in a big, hard, sweeping blow • skim: to throw so as to cause to bounce swiftly and lightly
m. p. h.: miles per hour • m. p. g.: miles per gallon • r. p. m.: revolutions per minute • g. p. m.: gallons per minute • f. p. s.: feet per second
a hurricane party: a party held especially for watching the hurricane • spectacular: transferred epithet, modifying the "storm" and not "vantage point", meaning impressive to see and strikingly unusual • vantage point: a position that allows a clear and broad view
a lean-to:noun; a shed or other small outbuilding with a sloping roof, the upper end of which rests against the wall of another building. The mattress was set up slanting, the bottom resting perhaps on the door--sill and the top part slanting inwards so that the adults could prop it up with their heads and shoulders, while the kids could sit under it.
festoon:a wreath or garland of flowers, leaves, paper, etc. hanging in a loop or curve • raked its way:metaphor. The word "rake" is used figuratively here meaning to attack and devastate as it moved along
Paraphrase • The place has been here since 1915, and no hurricane has ever bothered it. (para 3) • The house has been here since 1915, and no hurricane has ever caused any damage to it. • We can batten down and ride it out. (para 4) • a metaphor, comparing the house in a hurricane to a ship fighting a storm at sea. We can make the necessary preparations and survive the hurricane without much damage.
Tile electrical systems had been killed by water. (para 11) • The electrical systems in the car (for example the battery for the starter) had been put out by water (just as the generator in the house was doused). • John watched the water lap at the steps, and felt a crushing guilt. (para 17) • As John watched the water inch its way up the steps9 he felt a strong sense of guilt because he blamed himself for endangering the whole family by deciding not to flee inland.
Get us through this mess, will You? (para 17) • The capital "Y" in You shows that the words were addressed to God. "will you" is a rough form of request. Here it indicates a request made out of desperation. Oh God, please help us to get through this storm safely. • She carried on alone for a few bars; then her voice trailed away. (para 21) • Grandmother Koshak sang a few words alone and then her voice gradually grew dimmer and stopped. • Janis had just one delayed reaction. (para 34) • Janis displayed rather late the exhaustion brought about by the nervous tension caused by the hurricane. (A few nights after the storm, she awoke suddenly at 2 a. m., went outside and began to cry softly.)
Translation • English—Chinese translation • Seconds after the roof blew off the Koshak house, John yelled, “Up the stairs – into our bedroom ! Count the kids.” The children huddled in the slashing rain within the circle of adults. Grandmother Koshak implored, “Children, let’s sing!” The children were too frightened to respond. She carried on alone for a few bars; then her voice trailed away .
译文： • 科谢克家的屋顶一被掀走，约翰就大喊道：“上楼——进我们的卧室！数一教孩子是不是都在。”在倾盆大雨中，孩子们挤在一起，大人把他们团团围住。祖母科谢克用一种恳求的语气说道：“孩子们，让我们一起唱支歌吧！”孩子们都吓坏了，根本没有反响。老祖母独自唱了几句，声音越来越小，慢慢就没了。
Figure of speech • Metaphor • Simile • Synecdoche • Personification
Conclusion remarks • Face to Face with Hurricane Camille describes the heroic struggle of the Koshaks and their friends against the forces of a devastating hurricane. The story focuses mainly on action but the writer also clearly and sympathetically delineates the characters in the story. The hero or the protagonist in the story is John Koshak, Jr., and the antagonist is the hurricane.
What does the writer focus on? Camille rain water wind Hit… Overwhelming.. Shot out… Raised tides… Devastated… Demolished… Seized… dumped… Tore…beached… Snapped poles… Smashed apart…… Fell steadily Whipped.. Driven right through.. Huddled in slashing rain Whipped… Mounted to a roar; Overwhelm-ing Roar of passing train Lifted entire roof Blew off house Tore out wall Extinguished lantern… Slightly diminished… Leaking.. Spreading… Rose above the ankles Blast of water hit.. Flinging open the door.., shoving them down … Doused the generator… Killed electrical system.. salty, deep,… Inched its way up… Lap at steps…lapping across the slanting floor Began receding…
House -- shelter People’s actions • Methodically prepared for the hurricane. • with …, began a struggle against… • felt afraid by licking salty water… • tried to escape; save children, failed… • facing danger, help, comfort, encourage each other by showing love.. • second trial to escape by retreating… • Sing a song, felt anger…; rage silently; get mattress up to protect… • Grabbed a door for children’s … • survive after all • stood shocked; • Aids from all over the country • Rebuild their home • reflection over the value of living • Began leaking…, Power failed… • House shook….,Ceiling …falling piece by piece… • Door blew in with an explosive sound; • Gun like report;Windows disintegrated; • Front door broke away, and flung off… • The generator was doused; electrical system was killed; walls collapsed one after another (crumbing, moved, toppled ); staircase broke apart; • Entire roof was lifted and skimmed away; • debris flew as the fireplace and chimney collapsed • bedroom walls disintegrated; • House are shuddering, rocking, moving • the floor tilted; the world .. breaking apart
Conflicts : Human vs. Nature LESSON ONE • Protagonist ---Antagonist • Man nature • Man man • Man himself • Face to face with disaster: • Hurricane Camille /typhoon/volcano/earthquake • Pollution/global warming/population explosion/disease/ • Nuclear weapon/warfare/energy exhaustion/economic crises/ Neighbors, friends,wife and husband, brother and sister, parents and children …