LESSON FIVE. Say Yes. A Profile : Tobias Wolff (1945---- ) .
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He lives with his family in upstate New York and teaches writing at Syracuse University.
In Pharaoh's Army : Memories of the Lost War
In The Garden Of The North American Martyrs
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories
The idea of racism is a theme in the story, for the implication of the husband’s racism is what causes the couple to quarrel. The wife dislikes her husband’s beliefs that African Americans are different from whites. He maintains that it is not that he is prejudiced against African Americans, but that they come from a different culture than white people
they even have their own language.
because it makes him feel happy reveals much about his personality: his belief that African Americans are inherently foreign to whites, and his condescending(亲切却显出优越的）attitude. He needs something completely unlike himself to bring him pleasure.
The husband’snegative response to Ann’squestion of whether he would marry her were she African American indicates the pervasive and destructive nature of his racism.
The husband in the story is generally an unsympathetic character. He appears to have racist feelings and seems to be dishonest with himself. He claims to appreciate the stability of his life with Ann, yet he makes efforts to undermine it. He refuses to take responsibility for his actions. Throughout the evening, he is seen to be less than a genuine person; he does things for effect rather than out of a genuine, sincere desire. In the story, his most significant trait is his rejection of his wife, which she takes quite seriously, much to his surprise. By the end of the story, the husband demonstrates yet another shift in mood: excitement as he realizes that, in certain ways, his wife is unknowable to him. The final scene has him awaiting his wife in their darkened bedroom, imagining that she is a stranger that he seems to embrace, as demonstrated by the excited pounding of his heart.
Tobias Wolff is perhaps best known by the American reading public for his memoir This Boy抯 Life, which was later made into an acclaimed movie, but his literary reputation was first established on the merit of his short stories. He is still primarily known for these short stories, in which he depicts many characters’ voices and a wide range of emotions. Since the early 1980s, Wolff has produced several collections of short stories. These fictions focus on the important relationships and the moral choices in everyday people’s lives: men and women, husbands and wives, parents and children. As scholar Marilyn C. Wesley writes in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Wolff writes about the basic needs of Everyman, written with a respect that Everyman deserves.
1. How do you think the husband and wife will resolve their situation?
Do you think they will resolve it?
Write a scene that takes place the following day.
2. Analyze the husband in terms of whether or not he is a racist character.
3. Write a counterargument to the husband’s statement that African Americans don’t come from the same culture as whites.
1) in words denoting an organ or location below a given body part 在-- 下面
2) in terms denoting a body condition in which substances or functions are at below-normal levels 低于
hypotension 血压过低 hypothermia 体温过低
3) used in the names of chemical compounds that are in a lower state of oxidation（氧化） than a given compound 亚
4) counterpart to a word formed with “hyper”(在--上面，超越， 过于，极度)
hypotension 血压过低 ---- hypertension 血压过高
E.g. Allthings considered, the reform is a success.
thoughtful, careful not to hurt or cause inconvenience
E.g. It is considerate of you not to play
the piano while I was having a sleep.
size , distance, or extent
E.g. He bought a house at a considerable expense.
considering: prep. in view of, having regard to
E.g. She’s very active, considering her age.
break down: collapse, failure in machinery useless,
suffer physical or mental weakening
break in (to): enter a building by force
break away: go away suddenly, give up (idea, belief)
break through: make a way through
break off: stop, pause
His health has broken ____ from overwork.
A. down B. in C. off D. away
E.g. You should feel ashamed of what you have done.
E.g. shameful conduct
shameless: without shame, immodest厚颜无耻的
E.g. shameless exploiter
a secret white supremacist organization at various times in American
history terrorized blacks and white sympathizers with violent acts of
lynching, shootings, and whippings.
pronunciation: kOO klucks klan also Known As: kKK
Imperial Klans of America is headquartered in Powderly, Kentucky;
American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Butler, Indiana;
Knights of the White Kamelia in Jasper, Texas.
Background: The Klan has fragmented into scores of competing factions. Most of these are nominally independent, while a few remain affiliated with one of the umbrella groups listed above.
In 1915, the second Klan era began. As World War I was underway, a strong patriotism developed and anti-Catholic sentiments emerged. Along with these new ideas, white supremacist attitudes, the publication of Thomas Dixon’s novel, The Clansman (1905), and the 1915 movie, Birth of a Nation, by D.W. Griffith, a new Klan emerged.
It was at this time that cross burning became a popular form of intimidation.