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Literature and Human Dignity 文学与人的尊严. The Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

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Presentation on theme: "Literature and Human Dignity 文学与人的尊严. The Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Literature and Human Dignity 文学与人的尊严

2 The Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

3 Thomas Jefferson’s political career Governor of Virginia (1779-1781) Third president of US (1801-1809)

4 Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Powerful advocate of liberty (倡导自由) - “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny (反对专制) over the mind of man.” - “The Declaration of Independence”: the most powerful argument for freedom - Fourth of July: Independence Day

5 Thomas Jefferson’s Tombstone


7 Jefferson wished to be remembered for only three things: 1. drafting the Declaration of Independence 《独立宣言》 (1776) 2. writing and supporting the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom 《弗吉尼 亚宗教自由法令》 (1786) 3. founding the University of Virginia 弗 吉尼亚大学 (1819)

8 THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776

9 Background Chiefly drafted by Thomas Jefferson who was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress (第二届大陆会议) Passed by the Second Continental Congress with some changes Became the fundamental theoretical support of the American War of Independence (Revolutionary War)


11 1.What is the purpose of the document? - To declare independence of the thirteen colonies of America from the Kingdom of Great Britain by providing justifiable reasons.

12 2. According to Jefferson, which human rights are unalienable? - Equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

13 3. What accusations does Jefferson make against the British King? In a statement, summarize the complaints against the king. -The British King refuses to establish proper Legislative powers and Judiciary powers to attend to the right needs of the colonies and subsequently has made serious intrusions upon the rights of the colonies. -In a word, by the long-time abuses, injuries and usurpations, the King has established an absolute Tyranny over the thirteen states in the colony.

14 4. How have the colonists met with “these oppressions”? Why might the King have ignored the colonists’ petitions for redress? - The colonists have petitioned for Redress repeatedly, appealed to the British King for fair treatment, warned their British brethren of their unjustified invasions of their rights and asked them to stop usurpations. But the King has ignored their petitions for redress for the economic benefits Britain could obtain from the colonies.

15 5. What do the signers of the Declaration of Independence pledge in the final paragraph? - They pledge their “lives,” “Fortunes,” and “sacred Honor” to support this Declaration.


17 1. What does the pledge in the final paragraph reveal about the signers’ commitment? - The pledge reveals that the signers are firmly determined to be independent of the British kingdom.

18 2. What is the syllogism implied in the Declaration justifying the cause of the Colonies? Major premise: Any form of government that constantly abuses and usurps its people’s rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ought to be altered or abolished. Minor premise: The British Kingdom has committed many such abuses and usurpations as to reduce the colonies under absolute despotism. Conclusion: It is the right and duty of the colonies to throw off the British Kingdom and to establish a new government to secure their rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

19 3. What role does God play in the argumentation? -God is the Creator of the world and all men and entitles men to the right of equality, freedom, life, and the pursuit of happiness. -God is also the Supreme Judge of the world to guard ultimate justice for His people. -But God does not interfere in the specific affairs of the world.

20 4. What is the relationship between the Laws of Nature and the Laws of the government? - The Laws of Nature are the basis for the Laws of the government.

21 Core Reasons for the Declaration 1. 我们认为下面这些真理是不言而喻的 : 人人 生而平等,造物者赋予他们若干不可剥夺 的权利,其中包括生命权、自由权和追求 幸福的权利。

22 Core Reasons for the Declaration 2. 为了保障这些权利,人类才在他们之间建 立政府,而政府之正当权力,是经被治理 者的同意而产生的。当任何形式的政府对 这些目标具破坏作用时,人民便有权力改 变或废除它,以建立一个新的政府 ; 其赖以 奠基的原则,其组织权力的方式,务使人 民认为唯有这样才最可能获得他们的安全 和幸福。

23 Core Reasons for the Declaration 3. 但是,当追逐同一目标的一连串滥用职权 和强取豪夺发生,证明政府企图把人民置 於专制统治之下时,那麽人民就有权利, 也有义务推翻这个政府,并为他们未来的 安全建立新的保障 —— 这就是这些殖民地 过去逆来顺受的情况,也是它们现在不得 不改变以前政府制度的原因。

24 Writing style and techniques

25 Eloquent, Grand, Powerful Objective, dignified, balanced, well- structured, rational Powerful

26 Clear structure of syllogism 1.Concise statement of purpose in the beginning; 2.Major premise: philosophical theory for the declaration of independence; 3.Minor premise: lists of facts justifying the declaration; 4.Natural conclusion: clear and solemn declaration of independence

27 Long sentences When, in the course of human events, … separation (para.2, p.3): 长长的主语修饰语; 宾语从句中包含定语从句 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that …, that …. That …, That… (para.3, p.3) :宾 语有 4 个同位语从句修饰 We, therefore, … our sacred Honor (last para., p.6) :长长的主语修饰语; 4 个宾语从句 Effect: : to make it sound solemn

28 Parallelism / repetition That 引导的同位语 / 宾语从句句式重复 He has … 句式的多次重复列举英王的劣迹 For v-ing … 句式重复强调英王专制行为的 性质毫无疑问(因为长期多次发生) We have … (倒数第 2 段) Effect : to emphasize

29 Connotation 隐含意义,言外之意 Suggestions or associations of feeling beyond the words’ literal meaning Identify words having strongly negative connotations in the Declaration. - “abuses,” “injuries,” “usurpations,” “despotism,” “tyranny,” “tyrant,” “oppressions” - “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.”

30 The Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech William Faulkner (1897-1962)

31 a literary genius who captured the struggles of the human heart

32 And who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950

33 Background - The Cold War threat of a nuclear war - nuclear arms race between the US. and the Soviet Union (核军备竞赛) - the American and Soviet nuclear stockpiles (核储备) - In 1949, the Soviet Union exploded its first nuclear bombs (核爆炸)


35 1. What is good writing?

36 “ the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself … alone can make good writing ” and “ only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ” 单写人类内心冲突的问题就能创作出好作 品,而且这也是唯一值得写、值得为之呕 心沥血去写的题材。

37 2. What is the eternal theme of writing?

38 “ love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice ” are “ the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed. ” 不反映爱、荣誉、怜悯、自尊、同情与牺 牲这些古老的普遍真理,任何小说都只能 昙花一现,不会成功。

39 3. Why does Faulkner think man is immortal?

40 Man is immortal “ because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. ” 人之不朽 “ 是因为他有灵魂,有同情心、有 牺牲和忍耐精神。 ”

41 4. What is the poet’s and writer’s duty?

42 “ The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail. ”

43 “ 诗人和作家的责任就是把这些写出来。 诗人和作家的特殊光荣就是去鼓舞人的斗 志,使人记住过去曾经有过的光荣 —— 人 类曾有过的勇气、荣誉、希望、自尊、同 情、怜悯与牺牲精神 —— 以达到不朽。诗 人的声音不应只是人类的记录,而应是使 人类永存并得到胜利的支柱和栋梁。 ”

44 Assignments for "A Rose for Emily" Read the story closely. Think about the questions after the story.

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