2Study Focus1. To know the background of the essay and introduction of the author.2. To analyze the features of the essay. (style, tone, diction)3. To appreciate alliteration and rhyme.
3Part One Pre-reading Tasks Introduction to the AuthorDefinition of Black HumorBackground of the Text
4Introduction to Mark Twain (whose real name was Samuel Clemens) was born in Missouri and grew up close to the banks of the Mississippi River. Clemens started out as a printer, then turned to piloting a steamboat on the Mississippi River until the American Civil War.
5In 1861, Clemens served briefly as a soldier in the Confederate army In 1861, Clemens served briefly as a soldier in the Confederate army. Later that year, Clemens moved to Nevada and began writing articles as a newspaper reporter.In 1863, Clemens began signing his articles with the pseudonym Mark Twain. He took it from the call of the pilots on the river steamers, which indicated that the water was twelve feet deep, a safe depth for a steamer.
6In 1865, Twain finished his first story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", which became an instant hit.In 1870, Twain married Olivia Langdon, and they later moved to Hartford, Connecticut.In his later years, Twain became a celebrity, becoming known for wearing white suits wherever he went.
7Although known primarily as a humorist during his life, scholars now regard his work as some of the best and most authentic in American literature. His portraits of pre-civil war America, and his use of spoken language in his novels dominate Twain's legacy.His works are famous for his black humor.
8Black HumorBlack humor is a literary term that refers primarily to a kind of bitter and often outrageous satire.Much black humor is directed against greed, narrow-mindedness, complacency, and hypocrisy.
9Black humor frequently satirizes society's institutions, including government bureaucracies, the military, and large corporations, depicting them as dehumanizing organizations.Black humorists often attack the absurdity they see in life itself, as well as society's ills. The awareness of human mortality is basic to black humor, giving many of the works a desperate, even hopeless attitude.
10Main MasterpiecesThe Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County-- a story about fair competition 《加利韦拉县驰名的跳蛙》The Adventures of Tom Sawyer，1876The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnThe Million-pound Bank-note 《百万英镑》Roughing It, 1872 《艰苦岁月》The Gilded Age，1873 《镀金时代》Life on the Mississippi 《密西西比河上》
11Supplementary Reading Materials The Prince and the Pauper，1881 《王子和贫儿》Following the Equator， 1897 《赤道旅行记》What Is Man？ 长篇论文《人是怎么回事》The Mysterious Stranger 《神秘的来客》Autobiography 《自传》
12Background of the TextThe 1890s was a dark and gloomy period for Mark Twain.1. Because of his unwise investment, he went bankrupt. And in order to pay off his creditors, he undertook a round-the-world speaking tour aimed at making some money.2. When he had almost completed it, he learned that his favorite daughter, Susy, had died.
143. Before he could recover from this, his beloved wife, who had been his first reader for the 34 years of their married life, died too.4. So, he became more and more bitter and his last writings were savagely satirical and pessimistic.
15The whole social background---- the three decades after the Civil War of the United States were characterized by cut-throat competition, child labor, robber barons and labor riots, corruption and unethical business practices, spread of the jungle law and racial conflicts and imperialist wars.
16To Mark Twain, who had always been concerned with the problem of the human conscience, these things revealed the terrible deficiencies of the human race.To remedy this deplorable situation, he began to use his pen as a sharp lance first to pierce the boils of human pomposity.
17Part Two While-reading Tasks Preview QuestionsStructure of the TextLanguage StudyIdiomatic Expressions
18Preview Questions 1. What is the main idea of this essay? 2. Is Mark Twain serious when he says that he has done many months of painstaking and fatiguing work in the London Zoological Garden?3. What specific human traits and dispositions does he condemn?
19Structure of the TextPart I (para. 1-2): the thesis statement and the method of proving itPart IISection 1(para. 3-7): the comparison between the traits and dispositions of man and those of animalsSection 2 (para. 8-17): argument about man’s superiority, reasoning ability, and other traits.Part III (para. 18): a brief summing-up
20Characteristics of the Essay Mark Twain pretends to be reporting on a scientific experiment, imitating the formal language academics are fond of using, such as big words, long sentences, serious tone, etc. to achieve the humorous effect.
21Language Study traits and dispositions: characteristics; features to oblige sb. to do sth.: to force sb. to do sth.renounce (v.) to abandon or rejectallegiance (n.) loyalty, esp. to a nation or a cause
22to proceed toward a conclusion: in the process of coming to a conclusion to subject sth. / sb. to sth.沙漠化使这一带的居民饱受煎熬。The desertification subjected people living in that area to great hardships.他们遭受了非常残酷的折磨。They were subjected to very cruel tortures.
23postulate (fml) n. assumption; theory; hypothesis to present oneself: to happen or exist机会来临时，你必须牢牢把握。When the opportunity presents itself you must seize it and hold it tightly.The British nobility:duke, marquis, earl (count), viscount, barone.g. the Count of Monte Cristo
24Grown-up animals and their children Youngbull/ cowcalf/ calvesgoatkidsheeplambcatkittenchicken/ birdchickduckducklingwolf/ bearcubpigpigletliongoosegoslinghorsefoal, coltdogpuppy
25to be descended from sb. : to be related to sb to be descended from sb.: to be related to sb. who lived a long time ago我母亲声称她是亚伯拉罕● 林肯的后代。My mother claims she is descended from Abraham Lincoln.C.f. These ideas descend from those of the ancient philosophers.rabid (adj.) uncontrollable (related to rabies)
26to have not scrupled to do sth. : to have not hesitated to do sth to have not scrupled to do sth.: to have not hesitated to do sth. because of troubled conscience or embarrassment from moral considerationsto cheat sb. out of sth.: to trick or deceive sb. in order to get an advantagee.g. to cheat sb. out of his money / job / landc.f. to trick sb. out of sth.
27to appease: to satisfy or relieve ( hunger, thirst, desire, etc.) appetite (n.)to have a big/ huge ~to lose/ ruin/ spoil one’s ~to give sb. an appetiteappetizing (adj.)appetizer (n.)
28furnish (vt.) to supply, provide to furnish sb. (with) sth.avaricious: (adj.) extremely fond of accumulating wealthavarice (n.) greedmiserly (adj.) tight-fisted, stingymiser (n.)misery (n.) suffering, discomfort
29harbor (vt.) to keep bad thoughts, fears or hopes in your mind for a long time 我想他对我怀恨在心。I think he’s harboring some sort of hatred against me.C.f. to harbor criminals / murderersto brood over sth.: to think about sth. for a long time because it makes you angry or worried
30revenge (n. ) sth. you do in order to punish sb revenge (n.) sth. you do in order to punish sb. who has harmed or offended youto get / take revenge on sb.他放火烧了工厂，报复他的老板。He took revenge on his employers by setting fire to the factory.Hamlet swore he would revenge his father's death.revengeful (adj.)
31to allow sb. no hand in doing sth. : to deny sb to allow sb. no hand in doing sth.: to deny sb. the right to participate in doing sth.Pay attention to the different meanings of “loose”He was worried about his son’s loose conduct.He tied a stone to the loose end of the rope and let it down to the ground.She was anxious to cut herself loose from her family.
32the saving grace: the one good thing that makes sb. or sth. acceptable Beautiful photography was the saving grace of an otherwise awful film.indecency indecentvulgarity vulgarobscenity obsceneto be alive to: to be conscious or aware of
34to have occasion to do sth: to have the need or necessity to do sth. prior (n.) the man in charge of a priory, a house for monks which is smaller and less important than an abbeyto inquire into sth: to ask questions in order to have more information about sth
35King John of England (1199-1216) The youngest son of Henry II.During his brother Richard I’s absence on the third Crusade, John had himself declared king and later held his brother in captivity. He was believed to have murdered his nephew Arthur I of Brittany.This and many other cruel things he did made him extremely unpopular, and finally a civil war resulted during which he died, presumably poisoned.
36to render sth. useless;to render sb. harmless / untroublesome:to make sth./ sb. useless, etc. / to prevent sb. from making trouble他太胖了，以致于弯不下腰。His fatness renders him unable to bend down. She was rendered a handsome reward for what she did for the company.Rendering poetry into other languages is difficult.
37The Middle Ages:from the fall of the western Roman Empire (395 AD) to the Italian renaissance in the 14th century or to the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492.Historians call the early Middle Ages the “Dark Ages” because it was a period marked by confusion, disorder, religious persecution and the breakdown of civilization in Western Europe.
38King Richard I,King of England ( ), otherwise known as the Lion-hearted. He was the second son of Henry II and the elder brother of King John. A symbol of bravery, he spent only six months of his 10-year reign in the kingdom; the rest he spent on Crusades or as a hostage in Austria.
39to set fire to sth.: to make sth. start burning c.f. to make/ light a fire; to build a fireto fine sb. some money for sth.“For having four pheasant eggs in his possession without being able to satisfactorily explain how he got them”:(euphemism) for stealing four pheasant eggs
40inflict (vt.) to make sb. suffer sth. unpleasant to inflict sth. on/ upon sb.他让妻子和孩子受了很多苦。He inflicted a great deal of suffering on his wife and children.unhumanly moderate: reasonable, not so violent, not so excessive or extreme, unlike human beingsc.f. unhuman & inhuman
41splinter (n.) a small sharp piece of wood, glass, or metal that has broken off a larger piece E.g. I’ve got a splinter in my finger.splinters of glassto be done doing sth.: to finish doing sth.in that distinction: in that distinguishing factor; in that respect
42to engage in: to participate in to deal in: to be occupied inthe atrocity of atrocities: the greatest or the worst atrocityatrocious (adj.)Compare the following words:kill, butcher, murder, assassinate, massacre, slaughter
43“There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner…” Not a single piece of land is in the hands of its original owner. Every piece of land has been stolen.to hold sb. in bondage: to keep sb. in the state of being a slave
44patriot (n.)patriotic (adj.) patriotism (n.)to set oneself apart from others: to make oneself feel that he is different from and better than other peopleto sneer at: to scorn at; to mock at; to laugh at contemptuously
45“Man is the only Patriot. …other people’s countries.” It is claimed that man is the only Patriot. Only man is capable of such a noble sentiment. He keeps himself away from others, occupies a piece of land, calls it his own country, and thinks that he is better than all others, then he puts up a flag and gathers together a group of killers and steals land from others.
46to work for… with one’s mouth: to pay lip service to…; to give empty promises to… “and in the intervals between … with his mouth.”And when they are not fighting each other, they will start talking about peace and universal brotherhood, but without any sincerity.
47to make a graveyard of: to cause the death of many people in this area to smooth the path to sth.: to make it easy for sb. to do sth.to be at sth.: to be engaged in a certain activity
48CaesarIn the time of the Caesar’s, the early Christians were cruelly persecuted by the Romans.
49Mohammed The founder of Islam. In Mohammed’s time, the Muslims were cruelly persecuted.
50InquisitionInquiry or investigation. Specifically, it refers to the former court in the Roman Catholic Church directed at the suppression of heresy.
51Queen Mary: ( )Commonly known as Bloody Mary, queen of England.In Mary’s day, the Protestants were persecuted.
52questionable taste: poor judgment on the part of God (God does not seem to know what is good and what is bad)
53Idiomatic Expressions to renounce one’s allegiance to the Darwinian theoryto subject sb. to sth.to be descended from sth./sb.to have not scrupled to do sth.to cheat sb. out of sth.to harbor insultsto brood over injuriesto take revenge on sb.
54by consent of sb.to allow sb. no hand in doing sth.saving graceto be confined to sb.to have occasion to do sth.to inquire into sth.to be fined some money for doing sth.to inflict pain /suffering on sb.to be done doing sth.to make a meal of sth.
55to hold sb. in bondageto set oneself apart from othersto sneer at sb.odds and ends
56Part III After-reading Discussion 1. What is the statement of the whole essay?2. Should we take Mark Twain’s views seriously? What is his purpose to write this essay?3. Mark Twain wrote this essay a century ago. Would you say that the human race has changed for the better or for the worse?
57Translation (P472)1. I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. One of my front teeth is loose.2. Your translation is a bit too loose. You ought to be more faithful to the original.3. Fashion come and go. A few years ago everybody was wearing tight jeans, but now loose shirts and pants are back.4. He has a pretty loose tongue. You can’t expect him to keep a secret.
585. They know they can always expect us to render assistance to them. 6. The vacation by the seaside rendered her healthy again.7. They hoped that they could somehow rendered those countries at least neutral.8. It is really an art to properly render one language into another.9. How do you render it into easy informal English?
5910. Harboring a wanted man is a crime, punishable by law. 11. People still harbor a deep suspicion about their motives.12. In the course of the construction we came across many technical difficulties.13. In the course of the war, many women went to work in factories to replace the men.
6014. We must have a good balance between economic development and social justice in the course of modernization.15. Man is the only animal that makes a moral distinction between right and wrong.16. This distinction between men and women is artificial, not at all scientific.17. What is the distinction between macroeconomics and microeconomics?
6118. Many towns and cities have lost their traditional beauty 18. Many towns and cities have lost their traditional beauty. But Pingyao is an exception in that distinction. Ironically, it has been able to retain its beauty because for years it was too poor to modernize the city.19. He is one of the most important writers in contemporary China. He has published many works of distinction.
62P4781. I think he is very talented as an actor, not as a director, I mean.2. This information impressed them. But still they seemed suspicious.3. Nobody said anything. But in the way they looked at me I could see they were all sympathetic.
634. The office of chairman of the department is on the first floor, that is, at ground level. 5. The manager says the company has to reduce its labor costs—in other words some of us are going to lose our jobs.6. Rachel Carson’s style was clear, lively and informative but not preachy.7. Many students choose Saturday for sports or social activities. Sunday, on the other hand, seems to be the best day for study.
648. I couldn’t understand why he was so keen on medicine; but I see it all now. 9. It’s going to look all right, isn’t it? I mean, our going without being invited.10. You mean it might have been someone else who murdered the boy’s father?