unit three an american love affair
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unit three an american love affair
Unit Three An American Love Affair
  • American people like to move from place to place by driving automobiles. That's why people call America a nation on wheels. Apart from being a useful means of transportation, the modern automobiles offer freedom highly valued by millions of drivers who want to control their own destiny. Even though cars may be the cause of death, injury, and pollution, and the source of traffic jams and urban sprawl, they will continue to be the essential means of individual transport and people will still live with them.
American love affair with cars
  • love affair: a strong enjoyment of sth

Word bank:

sedan; upholstery; column-mounted shifter; door beam

Passenger packaging( air bags); brakes( discs, antilock)

1 American special bond with cars

2 1)accusations of cars

  • 2) cars’ contributions:
  • a. urban growth
  • b. employment
  • 3) solutions to problems pa.7+pa.8+pa.9&10

3 conclusion: we will live with the automobile despite all the problems it has brought about.

Para 1 The author's father enjoyed a middle-class status. He was satisfied with what he had achieved and attempted to rise to a higher socio-economic position.
  • Social landscape: the social hierarchy
  • the political/ intellectual, etc landscape: the general situation in which a particular activity takes place.
  • E.g. 1. a far-reaching change in the political - of the country
  • 2. look across the literary -- of England
Para 2 "Love, revere, social amulets, brag, electrify, smart, beast, Black Beauty, mysterious machines" are the words and expressions that show such a feeling (loyalties)
  • Social amulets: a small piece of jewelry worn to protect against bad luck, disease etc.
  • compare car to amulets: Car can be used to elevate/improve/raise or maintain your status in society, to protect you from being looked down upon, help you do what you wish to do. You treasure cars just as people value their amulets
lent credence to my nicknaming to smart beast Black Beauty: gave validity to the nickname Black Beauty, which I called my first Buick
  • lend: give sth to ~; give sth a particular quality
  • 1.Fear lent support to my limbs.
  • 2.His bruises added/lent credence to his statement that he had been beaten.
  • 3. I lent the old woman my arm as she couldn't walk easily.
  • 4. His soft accent -s a kind of warmth to his words.
  • 5. He lent his skill to the company.
The Green Hornet was a cartoon figure. Philco was a brand of radio. Inside the recesses of the family Philco refers to the sounds the program produced to help people imagine a mysterious car being driven by the main character
  • Recess:
  • 1. a period of time when members of parliament are not meeting
  • 2.凹室, 壁龛 e.g. a recess to hold bookshelves
3.(lit) a secret/ hidden place
  • e.g. 1. psychoanalyst aims to explore the deepest/innermost recesses of the mind.
  • 2. a mountain recess
  • 3. the recesses of philosophy
  • …lament their passing at trade-in-time: feel sorry about having to get rid of a current car when it’s time to buy a new one.
  • lament:1)Express feelings of great sadness about sth
  • E.g. ~ the passing of the good old days
2) Express annoyance or disappointment about sth you think is unsatisfactory or unfair
  • E.g. ~ folly/carelessness
  • Trade-in (AmE): a used item, often a car, given to reduce the price of the new one that you are buying; (part exchange BrE)
  • e.g. He preferred to keep his old sedan rather than acquire sth slightly newer on a trade-in.
  • Para 4 Environmentalists and social engineers see/look at automobiles negatively. The author gives the example of the Duke of Wellington to illustrate how the privileged classes did not encourage common people to have the freedom to move around.
Automobiles are the cause of many problems ---- ugly image of the automobiles commonly accepted.
  • They are the cause of death, injury, and pollution. Therefore they should be abandoned as soon as possible.
  • overlay
  • 1) to be thinly covered with sth.
  • e.g. Iron overlaid with rust
  • 2) add outer appearance to sth that hides its real character
  • e.g. His ordinarily cheerful face was overlaid with gloom
See: imagine, think about
  • e.g. 1. see sb as a potential leader
  • 2. see oneself as brave
  • As I see it/things/the situation, …
  • unsettle: make sth troubled, uncertain or anxious
  • 1. Rumors of a company takeover unsettled shareholders.
  • 2.His life is still ~d.
the great unwashed: ignorant or low-class (group)
  • the accepted party line: the official view taken by a political party. Here refers to the view taken by the public.
  • the party line: the official opinion of a political party
  • line (usually singular) an attitude or belief, esp. one that is stated publicly.
  • E.g. By supporting Roberson, she's going directly against the party-.
  • take a firm /hard /strict/strong/tough etc line on: have a very strict attitude towards sth
  • E.g.a judge notorious for taking a tough line on drug users
  • 1) force out of the usual place.
  • E.g.      Some of the objects on the table had been --d by the thief.
  • 2) make a group of people or animals have to leave the place where they normally live
  • Many of the inhabitants were -d by the rising flood waters.
  • 3) take the place of sth or sb.
  • E.g.Tom has -d Harry in Mary's affections.
  • Contemptible: so unacceptable that you have no respect for the people involved.
  • 1.They were portrayed as - cowards.
  • 2.A ~liar
c.f. contemptuous: showing that you feel that sb or is not important and deserves no respect
  • 1. She threw him a - look.
  • 2. be - of sb for having done sth
  • drive-in (only before noun): a restaurant, cinema etc that allows you to buy food or watch a film without leaving your car (n. adj.)
  • 1.      a fast food –
  • 2.     the convenient ~window at the bank.
Para 5 Automobiles have contributed to the expansion of many metropolitan areas because they make monumental population shifts possible, thus resulting in expanding cities.
  • The last sentence implies that people will continue to move in large numbers by means of automobiles no matter how worried environmentalists are.
  • monumental population shifts: large-scale population movement (from cities to suburbs)
  • monumental
  • 1)(only before noun) extremely large, bad, good, impressive, etc.
  • 1. a - oak
  • 2. a ~traffic jam
2) (achievement, piece of work, etc) is very important and influential, and is usually based on many years of work
  • 1. a ~ contribution to the field of medicine
  • b. Charles Darwin's - "The Origin of Species"
  • 3.The Oxford English Dictionary is a ~ production.
  • The fact remains …: it’s still true…
  • It remains to be seen: it’s not yet certain
  • while environmentalists fret, the multitudes drive on while environmentalists worry about the effects of cars, the majority of people continue to drive them unconcernedly.
the multitude(s) :ordinary people, esp. when they are thought of as not being very well educated
  • Wheel: push/put sth that has wheels (drive)
  • 1. -the bike to the nearest repairing-shop
  • 2.The patient was --ed into the operating room.
  • hop (aboard) a plane/bus/ train, etc: (AmE. inf) get on a plane, bus, train, etc, esp. after suddenly deciding to do so
Para 7 The author deals with the problem caused by automobiles: "Cars hurt people"; The possible solution: "Automobiles have been made much safer by means of various technological advances."
  • Para 9 The problem caused by automobiles: cars are the source of traffic jams and urban sprawl.
  • Millions of drivers are reluctant to give up their freedom of movement because they highly value their freedom and want to control their own destiny. In the world today, people have fewer and fewer choices and this is their own choice, though it is not perfect.
constrict: v. make tighter and narrower, limit(action/behavior)
  • e.g. 1. He hated wearing a tie---he felt it constricted his breathing.
  • 2. While dancing, you should not wear anything that constricts your movements.
  • 3. Too many rules had constricted her lifestyle---she felt trapped in routine.
  • jammed maw
  • 1) (formal) sth which seems to swallow things completely
  • 1. Millions of dollars were poured into the - of defense spending.
  • 2. she fears that the matter will simply be swallowed up by the maw of bureaucracy and that a decision will never be made.
short of: except for
  • 1. He will do anything ~ murders to achieve his ends.
  • 2.Nothing ~ a disaster will prevent our accomplishing this.
  • Integral: forming a necessary part of sth
  • E.g. Her talents are - to the team's good performance.
  • tear up
  • 1) destroy a piece of paper or cloth by breaking it into small pieces
  • 2) damage or ruin a place, esp. by behaving violently.
  • Plus: tear up an agreement/contract, etc.
Para 11 the conclusion the author has made about the future of automobiles: We will live with the automobiles despite all the problems it has brought with it.
  • now (that) (conj.) because of sth or as a result of sth to give an explanation of a new situation.
  • a.I had better tell you the truth, - we have begun talking about it.
  • b.~ I’ve got my own car, I didn’t get as much exercise as I used to.
  • c.She’s enjoying the job more ~ she’s got more responsibility.
Integrate: join in the life and customs of the group or society that you live in so that you are accepted by them; combine things that work well together in order to make an effective system
  • 1. ~ traditional Chinese medicine with western medicine.
  • 2. help the individual ~ into the community.
  • 3. ~ learning with play