Presentation on theme: "Lesson 4 Nettles Preparation: Author: Alice Munro"— Presentation transcript:
1Lesson 4 Nettles Preparation: Author: Alice Munro She was born in Wingham, Ontario, Canada on 10 July Nearly all of AliceShe began writing in her teens. She published her first story in 1950 while a student at Western Ontario University. While at school, she also worked as waitress, tobacco picker and a library clerk.
2Munro’s fiction is set in southwestern Ontario, but her reputation as a brilliant short-story writer goes far beyond the borders of her native Canada.
3Her accessible, moving stories offer immediate pleasures while simultaneously exploring human complexities in what appear to be effortless anecdotal re-creations of everyday life. In one novel and eight collections of stories she has established herself as a major voice among fiction writers.
4Alice Munro at Giller Prize ceremony of 2004. (CP file photo)
7Ontario is Canada's second largest province, covering more than one million square kilometers, an area larger than France and Spain combined. More than 12 million people live in Ontario. The province is bounded by Quebec on the east, Manitoba on the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay on the north, and the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes on the south.
84. About the story “ Nettles” The short story “ Nettles”, which first appeared in New Yorker in 2000, is included in this book. In this story, the author uses first person narration. The plot of story evolves around a middle-aged woman’s reunion with a childhood boy friend in 1979, but it moves back and forth between past and present. Like most other stories by Munro, the leading actor is a woman.
9The “I” in the story should not be taken as the author herself although the subject matter of Munro’s stories has often developed from her own experience. Munro has explained in various interviews that her stories are not autobiographical, but she does claim an “emotional reality” for her relatively poor provincial southwestern Ontario town during the depression, going through the rebelliousness
10and idealism of adolescence, discovering sex, leaving home, falling in love, getting married, having children, getting divorced, and getting along in a variety of complicated relationships, all inform the fiction she creates. “Nettles” is no exception. Her fictional world ranges across the whole breadth of Canada, but her stories that take place in Ontario are rooted in recollected by a perceptive adult memory.
11II. Outline Part 1(para. 1-2): Meeting again by chance in 1979 Part 2 (para. 3-15): Childhood memory, her friend, Mike.Part 3 (para ): The detailed story that happened in 1979Part 4 (para 94-95): conclusion--- a new perception of love
12III. ThemeLife is not always smooth; love is not always sweet. Nettles are here and there in the journey of people’s life .
13IV. Detailed Study of the Text Part 1 (para.1-2)1. Nettle:any of numerousplants havingstinging hairs thatcause skinirritation oncontact
142. Why does the author choose “Nettle” as the story’s title? 3. counter - a piece of furniture that stands at the side of a dining room; has shelves and drawerse.g.The counter is covered witha plastic cloth.
154. ketchup - thick spicy sauce made from tomatoes e.g.I enjoy the taste of thefresh ketchup.
16Part 2: (para.3-15)1. pen n. :a fenced enclosure for animals; any of various enclosures, such as a bullpen or playpen, used for a variety of purposesv. :to confine in or as if in a pen (= enclose)e.g.He was kept chained in a pen at the rear of the fort, and here Beauty Smith teased and irritated and drove him wild with petty torments.
182. mug: n. with handle and usually cylindrical e.g.Bear mugCoffee mugHe asked me to make him a mug of coffee. 他要我给他弄杯咖啡。I've Latin to take for the examination, I suppose I must mug it up somehow 我要考拉丁文了，我想我得临时抱一下佛脚了。
193. boarding house: a private house that provides accommodations and meals for paying guests (公寓） e.g.He had no wife and nohome save his two-roomoffice in a boarding house.
204. at hand: A) close by; near. B) soon in time; imminente.g.I haven‘t my photograph album at hand, but I’ll show it to you later. 我的照像簿不在手边，以后我再拿给你看。As the selling season is at hand, lots of fresh orders will pour in. 由于销售旺季即将来临，大量新订单会源源不断地涌来。
215. cab: a taxi can be called a cab, but here is a compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits.e.g.Shall we walk or takea cab? 我们走路还是坐出租车？
226. racket: n. a loud and disturbing noise (≈ noise) A racket is a wooden paddle, as one used in table tennis. Here it refers to “loud noise”e.g.My neighbors are making an unholy racket. 我的邻居们吵闹得厉害。The students kicked up no end of a racket in the street. 这些学生在街上大吵大闹.What's your racket? 你是干哪一行的?
237. sour: v. go sour or spoil adj. having a sharp biting taste e.g.The milk has turned sour. 这牛奶发酸了。She gave me a sour look.她狠狠地瞪了我一眼。What a sour face she has! 她的脸色多难看！Every white hath its black, and every sweet its sour. [谚]有白必有黑，有甜必有苦；事物各有缺陷。
248. damp: adj. slightly wet; (= moist; ≈moist) e.g.The clothes are damp with perspiration.Her eyes were moist with tears.I don't like damp weather.我不喜欢潮湿的天气。
259. skunk: n.American cat-like animal typically ejecting an intensely malodorous fluid when startled;
2610. Our farm was small – nine acres: Nine acres are 54 mu. Owing to Canada’s vast land, a farm of this size is considered rather small.
2711. Each of the trees on the place had an attitude and presence – the elm looked serene and oak threatening, the maples friendly, the hawthorn old and crabby:
28In the eyes of the little girl, every tree existed like a person that had a distinct character. In the previous sentence the narrator says that the farm was small enough for her to have explored every part of it. She was familiar with everything on the farm including the trees. The use of personification of the trees reveals the close and harmonious relationship between nature and the narrator.
2912. serene: unaffected by disturbance; calm and unruffled e.g.The school campus is charmingly simple and serene. 恬静宜人的校园.She was always calm and serene. 她总是平静而安详 .
3012. crabby - perversely irritable (= ill-tempered, bad-tempered) e.g.The crabby guy never said “No” ,whenever he came across difficulties.
3113. stony: covered with or full of stones fall on stony ground无效, 没有结果(象种子落在石头上一样, 来自《圣经》)e.g.Two of the tyres punctured on the stony road. 有两个车胎在碎石路上扎破了.Warnings about the disastrous effect on the environment fell on stony ground.
3214. wade - walk (through relatively shallow water) e.g.Can we wade across the river to the other side?No lives were lost, and we could wade ashore in safety.I finally waded through the dull book. 我终于啃完这本枯燥无味的书．
3315. scum: n. a covering of usu 15. scum: n. a covering of usu. unpleasant material that forms on the surface of liquidScummy: adj. covered with scume.g.Be careful of the scummy surface of the polluted pond.Look at that scummy table. Let’s move to another one.
3416. plow: (AmE) move in a way resembling that of a plow cutting into or going through the soil (= plough BriE.)e.g.The ship plowed through the water.
3517. They might have followed the boys out … but somehow when they have all got together , the game had taken shape:The subjunctive mood is used here, suggesting that the girls was not sure how the boys and girls got together, but she knew one way or another they had all got together and made up this game of war.
3618. harassment: a feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented e.g.Without him, travel is a bitter harassment.
3719. take shape: to take on a distinctive form (= take form) e.g.Our plans began to take shape.The new building is beginning to take shape.After years hard working, a modern international port city landscape has taken shape.
3820. call out - utter aloud; often with surprise, horror, or joy (= cry out, shout) e.g.She did not call out because she wished to surprise him, and then she did.When I call out your name, there is nothing to fear coz I will be there …
3921. dress - apply a bandage or medication to (≈care for, treat, bandage ) e.g.The nurses dress the victim's wounds.We dress wounds and bandage injuries, busy all the afternoon.
4022. There was a keen alarm when the cry came, a wire zinging through your whole body, fanatic feeling of devotion. :Both “a wire zinging through your whole body”, and “fanatic feeling of devotion” are in apposition to “a keen alarm”, further explaining what this “keen alarm” was like.
41keen: intense or vivid; strong e.g. His entire body hungered for keen sensation, something exciting (Richard Wright)(他的整个身体渴望一种强烈的感觉，一些令人激动的事)She's keen to get ahead in her career. 她热望在事业上出人头地.
42Zing: v. move quickly, making a whistling noise; to be vivacious or lively(轻快,活泼) e.g.An arrow is zinging toward its targetIn the corner of a nice coffee bar, a chat between the newly married couple was zinging along .
43n. a person motivated by irrational enthusiasm (as for a cause ) fanatic: adj. marked by excessive enthusiasm for and intense devotion to a cause or idean. a person motivated by irrational enthusiasm (as for a cause )Hi, guy, anything may happen in this anti-logic fanatic world.My bother is a car fanatic.She is a ballet fanatic.
4423. He lay limp and still while I pressed slimy large leaves to his forehead and throat and pulling out his shirt – to his pale tender stomach, with its sweet and vulnerable belly button.:At this point of the game, the boy was supposed to be wounded, and by pressing slimy large leaves to his forehead, his throat and his stomach, the girl was pretending to dress his wounds.
4524. disintegrate: break into parts or components; lose cohesion or unity The machine disintegrated.The group disintegrated after the leader died.disintegrate the enemy troops 瓦解敌军
46He had a resurrection of hope. 他的希望复苏了。 25. resurrection: revival from inactivity and disuse (≈revival)e.g.He had a resurrection of hope. 他的希望复苏了。With the joint efforts, the Asian economic resurrection started by the end of 1999.
4726. Filthy adj: extremely dirty; covered with filth (=nasty; ≈dirty, soiled, unclean) e.g.Our campus is clean and beautiful but the streets outside the campus are really filthy.The guy is always telling filthy jokes. 这家伙老是讲下流的笑话。Isn't it a filthy day? 今天天气糟透了!
4827. One morning, of course, the job was all finished, the well capped, the pump reinstated, the fresh water marveled at:1) “Of course” is used to mean that it was natural for the job to be finished one day. When the job was finished, Mike’s father would leave the farm and move onto another place for new jobs, and Mike would of course leave with his father.
49The implied meaning of “of course” is that the girl had known this would happen sooner or later, but she wished that the time spent on the work would be prolonged so that Mike would not have to leave so soon. She had not expected his departure would come so soon.
502) marvel at: be amazed at (= wonder) e.g.We marveled at the child's linguistic abilities.We marveled that they walked away unhurt from the car accident. (我们感到惊异的是他们竟安然无恙地逃离车祸)It was a real marvel that the baby was unhurt when he fell from the fifth floor. 那婴儿从五楼摔下来竟没受伤真是一个奇迹。She works so hard in spite of her illness: she's a marvel. 她带病努力工作, 真是难能可贵!
5128. He liked to put ketchup on his bread: The girl noticed this unusual eating habit of Mike’s and remembered it. So when she “saw a man standing at the counter, making himself a ketchup sandwich”, in 1979, many years after the last saw each other, she recognized Mike at once.
5229. boom: v. n. to utter or give forth with a deep, resonant sound; to cause to grow or flourish; boost;e.g.Profit multiply in the boom year. 兴旺之年利润增长。The clock began to boom out twelve. 时钟开始敲十二点。We heard a hollow boom of thunder. 我们听到低沉的隆隆雷声。
5330. line up: to arrange in or form a line. e.g.The buildings all line up neatly.Customers lined up in front of the store.He is a busy man. He always has some urgent things lined up for him to do, let alone the routines.
5431. Living as he did, in the hotel, he could just pack up and be gone: 1) Since he stayed in the hotel, he could simply pack up and has disappeared.
552) gone: Gone is the past participle of go, used as an adjective. Something is gone when it has disappeared, or when it no longer exists.e.g.All the passion is now gone from his eyes.My youth has gone. 我的青春已不复存在。
5632. How all my own territory would be altered, as if a landside had gone through it and skimmed off all meaning except loss of Mike:
57The implied meaning of this sentence is that the impact of Mike’s leaving on my life was beyond my imagination. I didn’t expect that Mike’s leaving would have such a tremendous power that it would change the meaning of my existence completely. All my thoughts were about loss of Mike.
58Here both words “ territory” and “ landslide” are used metaphorically, comparing her life experience to a territory and the great impactof Mike’s departure to a devastating landslide.
5933. A common name.This is an elliptical sentence. The complete sentence would be: Mike was a common name.
6034. My heart was beating in big thumps, like howls happening in my chest: I was so excited that my heart was bounding violently as if my chest was bursting with long loud cries.
6135. howl - a long loud emotional utterance; the long plaintive cry of a wolfe.g.He gave a howl of pain.The howl of the wolf madehim horrified.
62Part 3 (para. 16—93)1. matron: A married woman or a widow, especially a mother of dignity, mature age, and established social position. (= lady, woman)e.g.I happened to met his mama,a nice matron with a dogwalking in the park.
632. girlish - befitting or characteristic of a young girl e.g.The matron with girlish charm and sweet smiles was busy nodding to the guests around.Oh, the dress is too girlish for me to wear in office.
643. flush - rinse, clean, or empty with a liquid e.g. The nurse flushed the wound with antibioticsDon’t forget to flush the toilet before leaving.
654. throw up: eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth (= vomit) e.g.After drinking too much,the man threw up inthe street.The patient threw upthe food last night.
665. dovetail - fit together tightly, as if by means of a dovetail e.g.How well do these newideas dovetail intothe existing system? 这些新意识与现存体制吻合得如何？
676. reel: to feel dizzye.g.My head reeled with the facts and figures.Dozens of opportunities suddenly opened up, and my mind was reeling.
687. stoke: to eat steadily and in large quantities e.g.Before going out into the cold, we stoked up on ( = filled our stomachs with) porridge and bacon and eggs.
698. rampage: an outbreak of violent or raging behavior Here “launch out on a rampage of talk” means to started to say one’s say or to talk freely and to one‘s heart’s content or to get something off one’s chest. (畅所欲言; 海阔天空地聊)e.g.The captured tiger was on the rampage for several days 捕获的老虎几天来一直处于狂躁不安中。
709. forgo: to do without, give up e.g. I‘ll have to forgo my vacation in order to attend a summer Chinese course 为了参加暑期中文班我只好放弃暑假。She decided to forgo dessert for a few days 她决定几天不吃甜点心。
7110. keep track of: keep contact with e.g.As a doctor James has to keep track of the latest developments in medicine. 作为一名医生，詹姆斯必须了解医学的最新发展动态。He reads the newspapers to keep track of current events. 他阅读报纸以了解时事.Please ask if you cannot keep track of what I'm telling you 如果你们听不懂我所讲的话，请提问。
7211. discreditable: tending to bring discredit or disrepute; blameworthy (≈disreputable) e.g.His marks were not at all discreditable .
7311. During that time of life that is supposed to be a reproductive daze, with the women’s mind all swamped by maternal juices, we were still compelled to discuss Simone de Beauvior and Arthur Koestler and “ The Cocktail Party”:
741) Reproductive daze:Daze means being amazed, or bewildered often by a shock or blow. Here reproduction refers to the process by which animals or plants produce new individuals. So “ reproductive daze” describes the amazing and confusing condition that young mothers are stereotypically ( in old fashion) supposed to be in. Since these two young mothers continued to discuss literary and intellectual matters, the stereotype is called into question.
752) maternal juice: mother’s milk Here the plural is used, probably referring to juices with which a mother feeds the baby, such as milk, fruit juices in addition to mother’s milk. The phrase “swamped by maternal juices” should not be taken literally, but rather figuratively, meaning the young mothers were busy looking after their babies.
763) The implied meaning of the sentence is As young mothers, we supposed to lead a terribly busy and sometimes confused life brought about by giving birth to and raising babies, and our minds were supposed to be fully occupied by how to feed the babies and things like that. However, in the midst of all this felt the need to discuss some of the important thinkers of our time like Simone de Beauvoir and Arthur koestler and T. S. Eliot’s sophisticated verse play ‘ The cocktail Party’.
7712. The main idea of paragraphs 20-26: In Paras the narration returns to 1979 when she spent the weekend at Sunny’s country home. First she explains the different reasons for which they had moved away from Vancouver. Then the narrator talks about her unsuccessful marriage and her problems with her children, which lead her to phone Sunny and get the invitation to spend the weekend with the latter’s family.
7813. And I had moved for the newfangled reason that was approved of only in some special circles – leaving husband and house and all the Things acquired during the marriage ( except, of course, the children, who were to be parceled about), in the hope of making a life that could be lived without hypocrisy or deprivation or shame:
791) The tone of this sentence is slightly ironic 1) The tone of this sentence is slightly ironic. The word “newfangled” is a humorously derogatory term, meaning newly made, new novel, untested. “Some special circles” refer to feminists and their sympathizers and supporters. The more conservative social values and attitudes do not approve of women leaving their husbands and houses, and would consider doing so as newfangled in a native sense.
802) Husband and house:Without articles before them the two words function as collective nouns for the normal acquisitions associated with marriage. In addition they alliterate( 押头韵), making them more memorable.
813) … the children, who were to be parceled about…: Parcel about: share by divisionAs the wife and husband were separated, the arrangement for the children was to take turns in living with the father and mother.
8214. … a long necessary voyage from the house of marriage: “ The house of marriage” is a metaphor, comparing marriage to a house, a place that provides shelter, living space, etc. On the other hand, such a house can be a sort of confinement, hindering one’s freedom.
8315. But it was too much to expect of my daughters – who were ten and twelve years old – that they should feel the same way.expect sth of sb : hope or think it likely that ( someone or something) will be or do ( something)
84e.g.Don‘t expect much of him; he is at best a student.不要对他期望过高；他只不过是个学生。We will never fail to live up to what our parents expect of us 我们决不辜负我们的父母对我们的期望。
8516. Accusations, confessions of misery…: This is another incomplete sentence. The complete sentence is: In their angry outburst, the girls admitted that they were miserable and blamed their mother for causing their misery.
8617. snap: to open, close, or fit together with a click e.g.The lock snapped shut.锁吧嗒一声关上了。
8818. sun porch: an enclosed porch designed as a sunroom
8919. … I would be frightened, not of any hostility but of a kind of nonexistence: The implied meaning of the sentence is that I would be frightened, and my fear was not caused by my neighbor’s visibly noisy andviolent way of life, but by a feeling that compared to them I did not really exist.
90(paras.27-93)1. The main idea of this part (paras.27-93) :This is the main part of the story, in which the author tells what happened during the weekend she spent with Sunny’s family in the country.
912. The hills were a series of green bumps and some cows.
923. squalid: (= shabby; filthy) 1) very dirty and unpleasant ( esp. as a result of lack of care or lack of money)2) having or concerning low moral standard; sordide.g.That is a squalid overcrowded apartment in the poorest part of town.It’s a squalid story of sex and violence
934. She did not ask me – was it delicacy or disapproval 4. She did not ask me – was it delicacy or disapproval ? – about my new life:1) She did not ask me about my new life, either out of subtle consideration for my feeling about this sensitive subject or out of disapproval for my new life style.
94The man phrased the apology with delicacy. 此人用老练的措词表示道歉 2) delicacy: subtly skillful handling of a situation (= finesse; ≈ tact)e.g.The diplomatic negotiations of great delicacy were still going on. 极微妙的外交谈判正在进行中．The man phrased the apology with delicacy. 此人用老练的措词表示道歉Everyone admired the delicacy of her features 人人都羡慕她娇美的容貌。
955. I would have told her lies, anyway, or half lies: Sunny didn’t ask me about my life. If she had asked me, I wouldn’t have told her the truth--not the whole truth anyway.This shows that the 2 friends have different attitudes toward marriage and have taken 2 different roads of life.
96They used to share a lot in their lives when they were young, but now Sunny remains a typical wife and mother while the narrator has abandoned everything in order to live a life “without hypocrisy, deprivation or shame”. Her choice would be considered rather unconventional in the eyes of many people, perhaps including her friend Sunny. This parting of the ways prepares for their later “dwindling friendship” mentioned in the last paragraph.
1008. .… where Mike McCallum was spreading ketchup on a piece of bread: The sentence in Para.31 is connected with the opening sentence of the story: “ … I walked into the kitchen of my friend Sunny’s house… and saw a man standing at the corner, making himself a ketchup sandwich.”
1019. I was full of happy energy: The word “ happy” is transferred epithet(转移修饰.) Though used before the noun “ energy”, it actually modifies “ I”. The sentence means I was full of energy because I felt so happy.
10210. We were washing the dishes together, so that we could talk all we wanted without being rude:
103It would be rude of them if they talked to each other only, ignoring the host and hostess and leaving them out of the conversation. However, when they were washing the dishes in the kitchen, they could talk all they wanted without being socially impolite.
10512. crap: something worthless and unwanted e.g.They call computer a good thing, for most of the time, it is, but now, never! It runs as slowly as crap snails. When one step has been operated, some virgin has already got married and given birth to millions of babies! God damn! I can’t stand my computer! It's sheer crap! Computer?! Crap!!! It gets my blood boiled! Craputer should be its justified name!!!
10613. scrupulous - having scruples; arising from a sense of right and wrong; principled; conscientious and exact; painstakinge.g.He is not over-scrupulous in his business.(他做生意不很谨慎)
10714. refrain - not do something (= forbear; ≈act) e.g.He refrained from hitting him back.She could not refrained from weeping .
10815. Why does the narrator ask a series of questions in paragraph 46? They reveal what was going on in her mind whole watching the stars. Standing near Mike in the darkness, she felt sexually aroused and wanted to be intimate with Mike, but she was not sure if that was what he also wanted. She concluded that he was a scrupulous man and that he would refrain even if he also felt sexually attracted to her.
10916. sleazy: adj. morally degraded ( = seamy, squalid ≈ disreputable ) Some kids are badly influenced by those sleazy films.Some sleazy characters hang around casinos.(一些骗子在赌场周围乱逛。)
11017. It would be a sleazy thing to do, in the house of his friends: It would be a morally low thing to have extra-marital affairs in the house of his friends.
11118. My sleep was shallow, my dream monotonously lustful, with irritating and unpleasant subplots: I didn’t sleep peacefully that night, thinking about Mike with sexual desire.
11219. lustful: feeling or showing strong sexual desire e.g.Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer, than into the dreams of a lustful woman?
11320. brunch: n. combination breakfast and lunch; usually served in late morning; v. eat a late-morning mealA new word formed by joining two others and combining their meanings; "`smog' is a blend of `smoke' and `fog'"; "`motel' is a portmanteau word made by combining `motor' and `hotel'"; "`brunch' is a well-known portmanteau".e.g.We brunch in Sundays.
11421. caddy: v. If you caddy for a golfer, you act as their caddie (a person who carries golf clubs and other equipment for a player)e.g.Every weekend I like go playing golf with my friends and Jack always caddies for me.
11522. … I liked riding beside him, in wife’s seat: The front seat beside the driver is usually taken by the wife when the husband is driving. So sitting in the wife’s seat, the narrator felt a pleasure in the idea of them as a couple, indulging in a womanly emotional fantasy.
11623. light-headed: lacking seriousness; given to frivolity e.g. He did not know what he was talking of, I dare say; ten to one but he was light-headed at the time.“I don’t care what you care,” said the light-headed young woman
11724. beguile: attract; cause to be enamored Her ways beguiled him.她的风度迷住了他。We beguiled the children with fairy tales.我们讲童话来哄小孩。He beguiled us with songs.他唱歌为我们解闷。
11825. … they don’t bother with Canadian: Here Mike was complaining about foreigners who don’t bother to make a distinction between Americans and Canadians> The Canadians are annoyed when they are taken for Americans. They like to think of themselves as being different from the Americans, as having their own Canadian identity.
11926. It might be that he thought it unseemly to talk of our partners or our children, under the circumstances:It seemed that he thought it improper to talk of our spouses or kids when we were alone.
1201) Unseemly: not decent or proper (= improper) e.g.It would be unseemly for judgers to receive pay increases when others are having to tighten their belt.
1212) Under the circumstances: used to say that a particular situation makes an action, decision necessary when it would not normally be. Pay attention to the plural form of the noun “ circumstance” and the use of the definite article “the” before the noun.▲ “Circumstance” is usually used in plural form. (e.g. under any circumstances)
12227. iron: Sports Any of a series of golf clubs having a bladelike metal head andnumbered from oneto nine in order ofincreasing loft (打高飞球).
12328. Here comes our weather: Before they set out for golf course, Johnston warned them that there was a prediction of rain. But they said they would take their chances. As the rain was coming, Mike called it “our weather”
12429. He began methodically to pack up and fasten his bag: He began methodically to pack his bag because golf clubs were of various sizes, and he needed to put them in good order. Also the word “methodically” shows that Mike was calm, not in a hurry, without particular alarm as he said that the rain was coming.
12530. wheel: v. To fly in a curving or circular course e.g.A flock of gulls wheeled just above the dock.
12631. agitate v. upset; disturb e.g.He became quite agitated when he was asked about his criminal past.My dear,' said he to Esther, 'you must not agitate yourself.
12833. … and what I thought were flowering nettles with pinkish-purple clusters, and wild asters: The narrator mistook these plants as nettles. Later in the last sentence of paragraph 91 she corrects herself. As we can see, the word “nettles” in the story has both meanings, the literary meaning, that is the plant with rough leaves that sting people,
129and the figurative meaning, that is something irritate and annoy people. It may not be far-fetched to suggest that the author is comparing life, human relationships, etc. to the effects of nettles.
13034. frail: adj. physically weak; easily broken or damaged or destroyed (≈delicate = fragile;) e.g.Also, he is so thin and frail (at times I meet him in the corridor) that his knees quake under him.Be careful of these frail porcelain plates
13135. … from the direction of the midnight clouds: These clouds were very dark, the color of the night. Note that earlier in Paragraph 70 the narrator has said “the clouds had changed color, becoming dark blue instead of white”. The changing of colors of the clouds indicated that a wild storm was coming.
13236. splatter - the noise of something spattering or sputtering explosively e.g.Hearing a splatter of gunfire from the distance, he wondered if something happened.
13337. bear down: exert a force with a heavy weight; To apply maximum effort and concentration e.g.The snow bore down on the roof.The ship bore down on our canoe.If you really bear down, you will finish the task.
13438. stoop: v. To bend (the head or body) forward and down (= crouch, bend, bow) e.g.They had to stoop inorder to fit into the cave.
13539. butt - to strike, thrust or shove against, often with head or horns e.g.He butted his sister out of the way.
13640. crouch - bend one's back forward from the waist on down e.g.He crouched down to stroke the dog.The cat crouched, ready to spring at the bird.Cf. squat ( down, on) v.To sit on a surface with the knees bent and the legs drawn fully up under the body, esp. balancing on the front of the feete.g. He squatted down beside the footprints and examined them closely.
13741. miniature - being on a very small scale (= small; little) e.g.He took lots of photos with a miniature camera.She pointed to a miniature portrait, hanging above the wall.
13842. clamp: n. a device (used by carpenters) that holds things firmly together ; v. To fasten, grip, or support with or as if with a clamp.e.g.He clamped the chairTogether until the gluehas hardened
13943. This was more of a ritual, a recognition of survival rather than of our bodies’ inclinations: In this sentence, the author makes a distinction between the spirit and the body. During the storm, the two were holding each other tightly, but they did that to protect themselves from the terrible storm. We can see that in a sense, the rain had washed away the lust and purified her mind, thus purifying their relationship, too.
1401) ritual: a set form or system of rites, religious or otherwise e.g.He had made a ritual of the kisses he gave her when he bade her good-night; first he kissed the palms of her hands then he kissed her closed eyes, first the right one and then the left, and at last he kissed her lips.
1412) inclination: a particular disposition or bent of mind; tendency; a more or less vague mental disposition toward some action, practice, or thing (= tendency)e.g.He had an inclination to give up too easily.It is fortunate that your inclination and your father's convenience should accord so well.
14244. drench: To wet through and through; soak. e.g.29 dead as rainsdrench southernChinaa drenchingrain 倾盆大雨
14345. I felt the heat of the sun strike my shoulders before I looked up into its festival lights: The sun and its light are in sharp contrast with the “ midnight clouds”, “ curtains of rain”, “ thick and wildly slapping curtains”, etc. The sunlight is “ festival”, celebrating the ending of the world storm and the survival of the two main characters.
14446. His voice surprised me, like the sun. But in the opposite way 46. His voice surprised me, like the sun. But in the opposite way. It had a weight to it, a warning:Right after the storm was over, the sun came out suddenly, with its cheerful light, and so it surprised the narrator pleasantly. Now Mike said something in a voice that also surprised her, but in the opposite way. The weight and warning in his voice told the narrator what he was going to tell her was not happy news. So he surprised her in the opposite way. As he made up his mind to tell her something, he sounded apologetic. He seemed to say, “ I know how you feel and what you want. I feel the same, but I can’t because…”
14547. We had passed right by that: By these words, the narrator means they were not ordinary friends but soul mates. As they understand each other perfectly, no words were needed at this moment.
14648. I knew now that he was a person who had hit rock bottom: Rock bottom: the lowest level or pointThis is a vivid way of saying that he was a person who had experienced the worst in life, the hardest experience a person might have to endure.
14749. He and his wife knew that together and it bound them, as something like that would either break you apart or bind you, for life:
148He and his wife experienced the worst together and knew the meaning of that experience. Experience of this kind, involving life and death, posed the gravest test to people. If they were able to stand the test and emerged from the worst together, their friendship or marriage would be strengthened, and sacred bondage would be formed between them. But if they failed the rest, their relationship would be broken and they would be driven apart.
14950. But they would share a knowledge of it – that cool, empty, locked, and central space: The implied meaning of the sentence is that they both understood what that terrible experience was like and what it meant to them. Note the use of the four adjectives before the word “ space”, which refers to the rock bottom. The word “ cool” ( or cold) may be associated with death, tragedy and sorrow; the word “ empty” indicates a sense of loss; “ locked” implies secret, private, not open to others; “ central” perhaps means this experience was essential to their lives.
15051. I was not one of the people among whom they would make their new, hard, normal life. 我不属于那些他们可以结交的, 可以展开他们崭新而又艰辛的普通生活的朋友.
15152. I was a person who knew – that was all 52. I was a person who knew – that was all. A person he had, on his own, who knew:These words mean that the narrator was different from all other people in his life. She was a person he could confide his deepest secret to. She was a soul mate.我是了解他一切的人. 一个他自己拥有的, 了解他的朋友.
15253. What is Paragraph 91 about? Para.91 is essential for understanding the meaning of the title of the story. While they were driving back, Mike and the narrator noticed an itch or burning on their bare forearms, the backs of their hands and around their ankles. She remembered the nettles.
153But those plants with big pinkish-purple flowers( described in Para But those plants with big pinkish-purple flowers( described in Para. 72) are not nettles. They are called joe-pye weeds. The nettles are stinging insignificant-looking plants with stalks outfitted with skin-piercing spines. Her mistaking joe-pye weeds for nettles implies that ordinary life is more like the insignificant-looking nettles that are stinging and piercing, thus irritating and annoying people rather than the joe-pye weeds with showy pinkish-purple flowers. Real life is disturbing, frustrating, and unsettling, offering no tidy resolution.
15454. outfit - provide with (something) usually for a specific purpose (= equip, fit out, fit) e.g.She bought a ski outfit. 她买了一套滑雪装备。We will outfit with necessitiestwo days before sailing. 我们将在出航前两天整装。
15555. inflame v. To make more violent; intensify; To arouse to passionate feeling or action e.g.The crimes inflamed theentire community.The good news inflamedthe young couple.
15656. welt - a raised mark on the skin (as produced by the blow of a whip) e.g.The mad man went the stick on the back of the other's head, raising such a welt that the blood came.
157The child tried to wriggle free from his aunt's embrace. 57. wriggle - to move in a twisting motion, (especially when struggling)e.g.The child tried to wriggle free from his aunt's embrace.He will find a dozen ways to wriggle out of any charge that can be brought against him.
15858. Love that was not usable, that knew its place: The sentence means that love was not an object that could be used or be made use of; and we knew exactly the limits of our love and would not displace it.
15959. With the weight of this new stillness on it, this seal: Here the narrator is comparing her love for Mike to a well. Remember in Para. 12, the narrator said, “… the well capped, the pump reinstated, the fresh water marveled at.” Just as it was necessary to put a cap on the well to keep the water clean and fresh, it was also necessary to have the weight of this new stillness as a seal on their underground resources of love.
160Part 4. (Para.94-95)Like some of Munro’s other stories, this one ends with the narrator’s epiphany, a moment of sudden intuitive understanding, or a flash of insight. It is part of the author’s style to search for some revelatory gesture by which an event is illumunated and given personal significance.
161. What happened, or rather what did not happen between Mike and her gave her a new perception of love. This is the theme of the story. The event that took place during that weekend may not seem very special or exciting, but through it the author explores the complexity of human emotions and the beauty of ordinary life.
162Her savings dwindled down. 61. dwindle - become smaller or lose substancee.g.Her savings dwindled down.It will dwindle and dwindle as the months roll on, and there is no more fuel.
163V. AssignmentProofreading and Error Correction (15 min)The hunter-gatherer tribes that today live as our prehistoric 1.___ human ancestors consume primarily a vegetable diet supplementing 2.___ with animal foods. An analysis of 58 societies of modem hunter- gatherers, including the Kung of southern Africa, revealed that one half emphasize gathering plant foods, one-third concentrate on fishing and only one-sixth are primarily hunters.
164Overall, two-thirds and more of the hunter-gatherer’s calories come from plants. Detailed 3.___ studies of the Kung by the food scientists at the University of London, showed that gathering is a more productive source of food than is hunting. An hour of hunting yields in average about 100 4.___ edible calories, as an hour of gathering produces 240.
1655. ___ Plant foods provide for 60 percent to 80 percent of the Kung 6 5.___ Plant foods provide for 60 percent to 80 percent of the Kung 6.___ diet, and no one goes hungry when the hunt fails. Interestingly, if they escape fatal infections or accidents, these contemporary aborigines live to old ages despite of the absence of medical care. 7.___
1665. ___ Plant foods provide for 60 percent to 80 percent of the Kung 6 5.___ Plant foods provide for 60 percent to 80 percent of the Kung 6.___ diet, and no one goes hungry when the hunt fails. Interestingly, if they escape fatal infections or accidents, these contemporary aborigines live to old ages despite of the absence of medical care. 7.___