Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. His Life Barack Obama
He ran for United States Senate in 2004. Several events brought him to national attention during the campaign, including his victory in the March 2004 Democratic primary and his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004. He won election to the U.S. Senate in November, 2004. Barack Obama His Life
Barack Obama His presidential campaign began in February 2007, and after a close campaign in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won his party's nomination. In the 2008 general election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. His Life
Article This is the speech delivered by Obama to some 600,000 supporters in Grant Park, Chicago, when he won the election as the first Afro-American president of the United States. Obama is generally acclaimed as a powerful speaker, and this short speech is a good example. Many commentators found it forceful and lyrical. That is why it is chosen as one of our Intensive Reading texts.
Text Appreciation 3 Detailed Analysis Structure Text Analysis paraphrasing
Structure The speech is well organized. 1.In the opening part (paras.1-4), Obama hails his election as a victory for American democracy. 2.In the central part (paras.5-28), he first looks back on the 21-month-long campaign and expresses his gratitude to all those who have supported him.
3. Then he looks into his future role and calls on all Americans to join him in rebuilding the nation. 4.In the concluding part (paras.29-31), he maps out goals for the United States.
Detailed Analysis Part I: Main Idea What is the dream of American founders? In the sentence “tonight is your answer”, what is the answer after all? What does he want to express in this part?
Detailed Analysis Part II: Main Idea Why do you think Obama congratulates his opponents Senator McCain and Governor Palin? Obama gives his thanks to his wife and shows his love to his other family members and relatives. He even mentions the new puppy given to his daughters. Why does he make these highly personal remarks?
In para.11, Obama says that he was never the likeliest candidate for this office. Why does he say so apart from being black? In para.13,“… we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime—two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. ” What do you know about these challenges?
Why does he pay special compliment to Lincoln? What is Obama trying to do here? How do you understand term“partisanship”? What is Obama’s view about it? When he criticizes it as “petty” and “immature” and poisonous to the nation’s politics, is he expressing the idea that the two-party system of the United States is no good?
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, …”(para.26 ) Do you know the historical background of what Obama is talking about here? In American political rhetoric, what does “tyranny” refer to? Why does Obama use Ann Nixon Cooper’s life story to review the past century’s history—the headaches and the hopes, the struggle and the progress?
Part I: Sentence Paraphrase It's the answer spoken by… Native American, gay, straight, …(para. 3) 1) “Spoke an answer” is not a common collocation. 2) “Native Americans” refers to American Indians. 3) “Gay and straight” refer to the “homosexuals and heterosexuals”. “Homosexuals” usually refer to men.
Part I: Sentence Paraphrase … put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day (para. 4) Note the use of the word “arc” here. It may come from the belief that historical development does not take a straight line. It can be bent by human beings one way or the other.
Paraphrasing Part II: Sentence Paraphrase It's been a long time coming,…(para.5) Paraphrasing: We have waited a long time for this day.
It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy…(para. 12) The younger generation today in the States has sometimes been referred to by some people as “the generation of apathy” meaning they are rather indifferent to what goes on in the world or in the country. Obama says that what young people have done in this election has proved that it is not so; the younger generation does care.
Part II: Sentence Paraphrase … braved the bitter cold and scorching heat… (para. 12) Paraphrasing: …went outside in spite of the extremely hot and cold weather…
Part II: Sentence Paraphrase There will be setbacks and false starts. (para. 15) “False starts” originally means “starting too soon at the beginning of a race”. Here it refers to mistakes or unsuccessful attempts at the beginning in general.
Part II: Sentence Paraphrase And to all those watching tonight…And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright… (para. 19) Many early Puritans came to the North American continent for religious reasons—to build a Christian Paradise on earth, to build a “City upon a Hill”, a “Beacon of democracy and freedom”.
Part III: Sentence Paraphrase … if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, … What progress will we have made? (para. 29) 1)When “should” is used with “if”, it usually refers to a possibility and should be translated as “ 可能 ” ， 而不 是 “ 应该 ”. 2) will have made: This is used in the future perfect tense.
1.Reject: to disagree with (an idea, an argument or a suggestion). In this context, we can’t replace it with “refuse”. reject vt. 拒绝；排斥；抵制；丢弃 n. 被弃之物或 次 品 It is your duty to accept or reject the proposal. 接受或拒绝此提议全由你做主。 表示拒绝的时候 最常用的是 refuse ， reject 相比意思较 强烈 Language Study 4
refuse [ri'fju:z, ri:-] n. 垃圾；废物 vt. 拒绝；不愿；抵 制 vi. 拒 We refuse your claim as it is not our fault. 我方拒绝贵方提出的索赔要求，因为不是我方的过错。 while they may accept it, they may refuse to discuss it. 当他们可以接受的时候，会拒绝讨论这个问题
2.On one’s mind: in one’s thoughts or making one worry( 压在某人心头；使某人牵肠挂肚 ) Cf: I wonder what is going on in his young mind. You seem to have something on your mind. Why don’t you tell me? I know my pa always has my well-being in his mind. To my mind, it is not a good idea to increase our nuclear power stations in such a hurry.
3.Reclaim: to claim again( claim: say that sth is true) Note that the prefix “re-“ here should be stressed and “[‘ri'kleim]” is different from “[ri'kleim]” which is a different word and means sth else(Look it up in the dictionary). reclaim [r ɪ 'kle ɪ m]vt. 开拓；回收再利用；改造某人， 使某人悔改 n. 改造，感化；再生胶 vi. 抗议，喊叫
4.Dismiss: refuse to accept an idea as true or important, e.g. Don’t dismiss these suggestions too quickly. Give them a cry. Most observers dismissed the idea that this earthquake might have been caused by a secret nuclear test. Study the following sentences for the other uses of the word ”dismiss”: He was dismissed by the boss for his serious neglect of duty. （被解雇） Class is dismissed! ( 下课 )
5.“Except for” is not the same as “except”. Cf: We all went to the Temple of Heaven except Xiao Deng. They had a wonderful time except for the weather. We really have achieved a great deal in the past few years except for the environment.
6.To fall back on sth/sb: to use or do sth else after things have failed( 退而求其次地做 某事 ) ， e.g.: If we cannot get enough oil in the international market, we will have to fall back on our own coal. During that energy crisis, even the Queen and the Prime Minister had to fall back on candles.
Extension( Discussion ) 5 Work in groups of four and discuss the following questions: 1.What do you think of the language and style of this speech? Do you find it powerful and convincing? 2.If a Chinese person wins an election, what is he/she expected to say? In what way will the different approaches reflect cultural differences?
Extension 1.Is the eloquence of a politician a reliance guarantee that he/she is going to be a great leader? Are those who are particularly good at winning votes always good at running the country as well? If the answer is no, why then do we have elections?