Unit 13What Life Means to Me Teaching objectives • Appreciating Jack London and his works. • Learning to analyze and criticize literary works • Understanding the use of figurative language. • Master the language points.
What Life Means to Me Jack London Jack London • Born out of wedlock on January 12, 1876 deserted by his father • His father ,a roving astrologer(占星家),his mother ,a spiritualist(迷信招魂术者) • poverty –stricken childhood • at the age of ten : an avid reader, the works of Flaubert, Tolstoy and other major novelists.
at fourteen, graduated from grammar school. • At 15. Seaman,Prince of the Oyster Pirates • 1894 , protest the wretched working conditions • sentenced to the Penitentiary (罪犯)教养所 • 1896. enrolled at the University of California kicked out of school for his involvement in the Socialist Labor Party . • nineteenth century—Darwinism, Social Darwinism, Nietzscheism, and Marxism.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) German idealist philosopher, prof. Of philology.
1.theory of the "beyond - man" or "superman." perfect in both mind and body, unmatched in strength and intelligence, not encumbered by religious or social mores. • 2.Condemning the traditional morality (esp. the Christian ethic) as the code of slavish masses • 3. Superman would be above good and evil and would eradicate decadent democracy.
Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) German socialist and philosopher.
1.Proponent of scientific socialism and dialectical materialism. • 2.History of class struggles, every social order based on class division contains the germ of its own destruction. • 3.Theory of surplus value :the value of a commodity is determined by the quantity of labour(measured in time) required for its manufacture.
4.the overthrow of the capitalist system by the workers of the world. • 5.Through socialism, ownership of the means of production and distribution are communally owned rather than privately owned.
Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882) English naturalist
On the Origin of Species, Survival of the Fittest' • a strange amalgamation（融合）of ideas: • 1.a humanitarianism • 2. belief in class solidarity • 3. an admiration for individual heroes.
1900, the Klondike gold rush , married Bessie Maddern. The Call of the Wild(1903), 1903 The People of The Abyss • 1904 Sea Wolf • 1905, married his former secretary • traveled to Korea as a correspondent to cover the war between Russia and Japan (1904-05). • The Iron Heel (1908) Martin Eden (1909). White Fang, 1906
Between 1907 and 1909, sailed around the world. • never miss his early morning 1,000-word writing stint, and between 1900 and 1916 :completed over fifty books. • ran twice for Mayor of Oakland as a candidate of the socialist party • 1916 of kidney failure, a result of his serious and lifelong problems with alcohol. • socialism as the savior of the working class • writer , sailor, gold prospector, rancher
Warm-up questions • 1. Have you ever read any works by Jack London? Which one impressed you the most? Why? Share your ideas with others. • 2.Do you find any special characteristics about the heroes created by Jack London in his fiction world? • 3.How much do you know about Jack London, as a social being and as a man of letter? How has he been evaluated in the mainstream of the American literature?
Jack London's "Credo" "I would rather be ashes than dust!I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot.I would rather be a superb meteor,every atom of me in magnificent glow,than a sleepy and permanent planet.The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.I shall use my time"----Jack London (1876 - 1916)
Comments on London’slife philosophy • the struggle to survive with dignity and integrity • combative • love of knowledge • love for the whole humankind • Rebellious ,individualism,superman ,strong will,freedom
Hope for human civilization. • Father of American proletariate literature • Realist,spokesman of socialism • Great thinker • His writings inspired later writers like John Steinbeck and Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway, and Robert Ruark, Sinclair
Comments on London’s life philosophy • his strong drive toward individualism and capitalist success. • an autodidact, his ideas lacked consistency and precision. • women's suffrage ,independent and strong female characters ,patriarchal toward his two wives and two daughters. • his life and writings: the contradictions in the American character
strong man ,idea,will wins. • description of natural surrounding: risk,man overcomes nature,. Old man---suffering,failure.struggle • love of life, survive,perseverance. • socialism, his ‘holy grail.’
Organization and development: • 1.time adverbials • 2.description of his widening contact with various members of the upper society. • 3.the truth about the so –called upper society and gradually changes of his outlook.
Organization of the text • 1. Analysis of the text The text is an autobiographical description of Jack London’s quest for the meaning of life；thefrustration and disillusionment he experienced in the process of finding out the meaning of life; and his ideological transformation. The change in his outlook was drastic, but the path has been long and devious
For a better understanding of the text, we may trace chronologically the life experiences of J. London and see how he understood the meaning of life at different stages of his life: • A naive child • Anxious to climb up into the upper society (having enthusiasm, ambition, ideals; cherishing romantic ideas about upper class ) • ↓ • to enter
Newsboy (at 10) climbing the first rung of “business ladder” ↓ Oyster pirate (16) believing in the law of the jungle ↓ A hard labourer(muscle seller) game of capitalism; the survival of the fittest (cruelly exploited) ↓ A tramp, beggar (at 18) slipping back the rung of ladder,
Be scared into thinking realizing the truth of “commodities” in society • “muscle seller” vs “brain vendor” • ↓ • A knowledge pursuer • determined to become a brain vendor • ↓ • A successful writer • disillusioned with the upper class:- materialism, - hypocrisy callousness (moral paralysis ) • - intellectually ignorance- corruption
(down in the cellar, beneath the point at which • had started) • determined socialist • with a proletarian outlook • resolving to topple over the society he had once been so eager
Dictionary work: • 1.crude: lacking tact, refinement, or taste. 粗野的缺乏机智、文雅或品味的 • 2. rough: characterized by violent motion; turbulent: 狂暴的具有猛烈运动特征的. • 3.raw: unpleasantly damp and chilly: 阴冷的， 阴潮的又湿又冷使人不快的： • raw weather.干冷的天气 • 4.travail: work, especially when arduous or involving painful effort; toil. • 艰苦劳动工作，尤指费力的或需要作出巨大努力的工作；辛劳
5. forsooth :in truth; indeed • 6.a meager existence of scraping and scrimping—a poor life of thrift and frugality • meager---insufficient, poor, scanty. • He led a from-hand-to mouth life on his meager income. • It was near the end of the month and Johnny could only afford meager meals. • scrimp:vi.(=skimp)节俭, 节省,吝啬,克扣 • recompense.
They scrimped on butter as best as they could.他们尽量节省奶油。 • 节省, 节缩, 过度减少:scrimp one's household,节缩家用 • 7.remunerate: to pay (a person) a suitable equivalent in return for goods provided, services rendered, or losses incurred; • to compensate for; make payment for:赔偿；酬报：remunerate his efforts.报偿他的努力 • remunerate a person for his trouble • 给某人的辛苦以报酬
8.by means of a rebate—by getting a rebate • 9. fulminate: to issue a thunderous verbal attack or denunciation: • 大声呵斥，谴责发出大声斥责或谴责声： • fulminated against political chicanery.强烈谴责政治欺骗 • To explode or detonate.爆炸或爆发 • 10.pitch in: 开始大干特干; 拼命地干起来 • start to work eagerly ,esp. in a group . • Let’s pitch in and get the work done before dark.
11.replenish----fill up (store of goods )again ( a formal word). to fill or make complete again; add a new stock or supply to: 补充把…再装满或再备足；给…新添备料或供给： • replenish the larder.给食橱重新装满食物 • to inspire or nourish:鼓舞；使充满活力： • The music will replenish my weary soul. • 音乐使我疲惫的精神充满活力
12.a muscle bankrupt: a person who is no longer strong enough to do anything . • A person may also be morally bankrupt, • Shutter: :装上百叶窗或以百叶窗关闭：locked the doors and shuttered the windows. • To cause to cease operations; close down: • shuttered the store for the holiday.节日期间商店关门 • 13.vender: one that sells or vends: a street vender; vendors of cheap merchandise. • a vending machine.(投币或自动售货机)
Language points: • 1 .both of the flesh and the spirit---- both of the body and the mind • above me towered the colossal edifice of the society---The tremendous structure of society stood high above me. • Many skyscrapers tower above all other buildings in Shanghai.
colossal: huge, gigantic, huge. This word can be used to describe a building, an amount of money, a statue, etc. • resolve: make a determined decision. • She resolved to win first place at the coming ping-pong (table tennis) championship. • ascertain—make certain . • As soon as you decide to travel by car, you must ascertain that the car is in good working condition.
5.handicap: 障碍；不利条件 • Blindness is a great handicap.失明是一种重大的残疾。 • Poor eyesight is a handicap to a student. 视力不好对学生来说是一个障碍。 • Being small is a handicap in a crowd like this. 在这样一群人中，个子小吃亏。 • Lack of money handicapped him in his business badly. • 缺少资金对他的生意十分不利。;缺少资金使他的企业不能发展。 • a handicapped child 残废的儿童
6.rung:（地位上的）一级 • the highest rung of the ladder 职业上的最高层 • the lowest rung of the ladder 职业上的最低层 • 7.outfit: A set of clothing, often with accessories. 全套服装一套服装，常带装饰品 • This store outfits skiers.这家商店有滑雪设备 • 8.crew: A group of people working together; a gang: 一群，一帮；一帮人： • a crew of stagehands.一群舞台工作人员
9.hulk:废旧船体 • 10.a betrayal of trust----unfaithfulness to the trust people have in him • 11. by the purchase of senators….-----by bribing senators…. • 12.be wont to ---be likely to(do or happen); be in the habit of (formal and old-fashioned use). • She is wont to groan at the sight of a D on her report card.
13.fellowship: referring to the good times the son of the factory owner had with his friends • Friendship; comradeship.友谊；交情 • 14.displace—take the place of. • Clara, the experienced secretary ,was displaced by an energetic young woman.\ • E-mail has almost displaced the regular postal service. • 15.he was making an electrician out of me---he was training me to be an electrian
16. he was making fifty dollars per month out of me----he was gaining fifty dollars by employing me. He was trying to make a good chess player out of his son. • She made a skirt out of the curtain. • 17.disincline--- make somebody have a feeling of dislike or unwillingness. • Too much pressure from his parents disinclined the body towards his studies. 18.sweating bloody sweats---toiling and sweating • sweat blood---work unusually hard.
19.the subterranean depth of misery: the greatest misery one can think of • hidden; secret:隐藏的，秘密的： • subterranean motives for murder.进行谋杀的秘密动机 • subterranean depth: very deep under the earth ,the intensity of the misery • 20.the pit: deep hole in the earth, esp. one from which some material is dug out, • abyss—hole so deep as to appear bottomless • human cesspool---the cesspool where human beings are thrown into
shambles ----butcher’s slaughter house house; scene of carnage or slaughter of men. • Charnel-house ---place where dead human bodies or bones are piled • By using the pit ,the abyss ,etc, to describe ‘ our civilization’, London means that it is that part of ‘our society’ that is the worst ,the most undesirable, the most unfortunate, the most wretched that one can think of.
21. the naked simplicities---the plain and simple truth • 22.diminish: To make smaller or less or to cause to appear so. • His illness diminished his strength.他的病削弱了他的体力。 • 22.diminish: To make smaller or less or to cause to appear so. • His illness diminished his strength.他的病削弱了他的体力。 • 23.fetch: to bring in as a price: • fetched a thousand dollars at auction.拍卖卖得一千美元
24.longshoreman: a dock worker who loads and unloads ships. • 25.roustabout: a laborer employed for temporary or unskilled jobs, as in an oil field.