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新视野大学英语4读写教程unit2 Charlie Chaplin




新视野大学英语_新视野大学英语4读写教程unit2 Charlie Chaplin

Section A:
Charlie Chaplin
He was born in a poor area of south London. He wore his mother's old red stockings cut down for ankle socks. His mother was temporarily declared mad. Dickens might have created Charlie Chaplin's childhood. But only Charle Chaplin could have created the great comic character of " the Tramp ", the little man in rags who gave his creator permanent fame.
Other countries — France, Italy, Spain, even Japan and Korea — have provided more applause (and profit) where Chaplin is concerned than the land of his birth. Chaplin quit Britain for good in 1913 when he journeyed to America with a group of performers to do his comedy act on the stage where talent scouts recruited him to work for Mack Sennett, the king of Hollywood comedy films.
Sad to say, many English people in the 1920's and 1930's thought Chaplin's Tramp a bit, well, " crude ". Certainly middle-class audiences did; the working-class audiences were more likely to clap for a character who revolted against authority, using his wicked little cane to trip it up, or aiming the heel of his boot for a well-placed kick at its broad rear. All the same, Chaplin's comic beggar didn't seem all that English or even working class. English tramps didn't sport tiny moustaches, huge pants or tail coats: European leaders and Italian waiters wore things like that. Then again, the Tramp's quick eye for a pretty girl had a coarse way about it that was considered, well, not quite nice by English audiences — that's how foreigners behaved, wasn't it? But for over half of his screen career, Chaplin had no screen voice to confirm his British nationality.
Indeed, it was a headache for Chaplin when he could no longer resist the talking movies and had to find "the right voice" for his Tramp. He postponed that day as long as possible: in Modern Times in 1936, the first film in which he was heard as a singing waiter, he made up a nonsense language which sounded like no known nationality. He later said he imagined the Tramp to be a college-educated gentleman who'd come down in the world. But if he'd been able to speak with an educated accent in those early short comedy movies, it's doubtful if he would have achieved world fame. And the English would have been sure to find it "odd". No one was certain whether Chaplin did it on purpose but this helped to bring about his huge success.
He was an immensely talented man, determined to a degree unusual even in the ranks of Hollywood stars. His huge fame gave him the freedom — and, more importantly, the money — to be his own master. He already had the urge to explore and extend a talent he discovered in himself as he went along. "It can't be me. Is that possible? How extraordinary," is how he greeted the first sight of himself as the Tramp on the screen.
But that shock roused his imagination. Chaplin didn't have his jokes written into a script in advance; he was the kind of comic who used his physical senses to invent his art as he went along. Lifeless objects especially helped Chaplin make "contact" with himself as an artist. He turned them into other kinds of objects. Thus, a broken alarm clock in the movie The Pawnbroker became a "sick" patient undergoing surgery; boots were boiled in his film The Gold Rush and their soles eaten with salt and pepper like prime cuts of fish (the nails being removed like fish bones). This physical transformation, plus the skill with which he executed it again and again, are surely the secrets of Chaplin's great comedy.
He also had a deep need to be loved — and a corresponding fear of being betrayed. The two were hard to combine and sometimes — as in his early marriages — the collision between them resulted in disaster. Yet even this painfully-bought self-knowledge found its way into his comic creations. The Tramp never loses his faith in the flower girl who'll be waiting to walk into the sunset with him; while the other side of Chaplin makes Monsieur Verdoux, the French wife killer, into a symbol of hatred for women.
It's a relief to know that life eventually gave Charlie Chaplin the stable happiness it had earlier denied him. In Oona O'Neill Chaplin, he found a partner whose stability and affection spanned the 37 years age difference between them that had seemed so threatening that when the official who was marrying them in 1942, turned to the beautiful girl of 17 who'd given notice of their wedding date and said, "And where is the young man?" — Chaplin, then 54, had cautiously waited outside. As Oona herself was the child of a large family with its own problems, she was well-prepared for the battle that Chaplin's life became as unfounded rumors of Marxist sympathies surrounded them both — and, later on, she was the center of rest in the quarrels that Chaplin sometimes sparked in their own large family of talented children.
Chaplin died on Christmas Day 1977. A few months later, a couple of almost comic body-thieves stole his body from the family burial chamber and held it for money: the police recovered it with more efficiency than Mack Sennett's clumsy Keystone Cops would have done. But one can't help feeling Chaplin would have regarded this strange incident as a fitting memorial — his way of having the last laugh on a world to which he had given so many.

英语学习

Section A:
Charlie Chaplin
He was born in a poor area of south London. He wore his mother's old red stockings cut down for ankle socks. His mother was temporarily declared mad. Dickens might have created Charlie Chaplin's childhood. But only Charle Chaplin could have created the great comic character of " the Tramp ", the little man in rags who gave his creator permanent fame.
Other countries — France, Italy, Spain, even Japan and Korea — have provided more applause (and profit) where Chaplin is concerned than the land of his birth. Chaplin quit Britain for good in 1913 when he journeyed to America with a group of performers to do his comedy act on the stage where talent scouts recruited him to work for Mack Sennett, the king of Hollywood comedy films.
Sad to say, many English people in the 1920's and 1930's thought Chaplin's Tramp a bit, well, " crude ". Certainly middle-class audiences did; the working-class audiences were more likely to clap for a character who revolted against authority, using his wicked little cane to trip it up, or aiming the heel of his boot for a well-placed kick at its broad rear. All the same, Chaplin's comic beggar didn't seem all that English or even working class. English tramps didn't sport tiny moustaches, huge pants or tail coats: European leaders and Italian waiters wore things like that. Then again, the Tramp's quick eye for a pretty girl had a coarse way about it that was considered, well, not quite nice by English audiences — that's how foreigners behaved, wasn't it? But for over half of his screen career, Chaplin had no screen voice to confirm his British nationality.
Indeed, it was a headache for Chaplin when he could no longer resist the talking movies and had to find "the right voice" for his Tramp. He postponed that day as long as possible: in Modern Times in 1936, the first film in which he was heard as a singing waiter, he made up a nonsense language which sounded like no known nationality. He later said he imagined the Tramp to be a college-educated gentleman who'd come down in the world. But if he'd been able to speak with an educated accent in those early short comedy movies, it's doubtful if he would have achieved world fame. And the English would have been sure to find it "odd". No one was certain whether Chaplin did it on purpose but this helped to bring about his huge success.
He was an immensely talented man, determined to a degree unusual even in the ranks of Hollywood stars. His huge fame gave him the freedom — and, more importantly, the money — to be his own master. He already had the urge to explore and extend a talent he discovered in himself as he went along. "It can't be me. Is that possible? How extraordinary," is how he greeted the first sight of himself as the Tramp on the screen.
But that shock roused his imagination. Chaplin didn't have his jokes written into a script in advance; he was the kind of comic who used his physical senses to invent his art as he went along. Lifeless objects especially helped Chaplin make "contact" with himself as an artist. He turned them into other kinds of objects. Thus, a broken alarm clock in the movie The Pawnbroker became a "sick" patient undergoing surgery; boots were boiled in his film The Gold Rush and their soles eaten with salt and pepper like prime cuts of fish (the nails being removed like fish bones). This physical transformation, plus the skill with which he executed it again and again, are surely the secrets of Chaplin's great comedy.
He also had a deep need to be loved — and a corresponding fear of being betrayed. The two were hard to combine and sometimes — as in his early marriages — the collision between them resulted in disaster. Yet even this painfully-bought self-knowledge found its way into his comic creations. The Tramp never loses his faith in the flower girl who'll be waiting to walk into the sunset with him; while the other side of Chaplin makes Monsieur Verdoux, the French wife killer, into a symbol of hatred for women.
It's a relief to know that life eventually gave Charlie Chaplin the stable happiness it had earlier denied him. In Oona O'Neill Chaplin, he found a partner whose stability and affection spanned the 37 years age difference between them that had seemed so threatening that when the official who was marrying them in 1942, turned to the beautiful girl of 17 who'd given notice of their wedding date and said, "And where is the young man?" — Chaplin, then 54, had cautiously waited outside. As Oona herself was the child of a large family with its own problems, she was well-prepared for the battle that Chaplin's life became as unfounded rumors of Marxist sympathies surrounded them both — and, later on, she was the center of rest in the quarrels that Chaplin sometimes sparked in their own large family of talented children.
Chaplin died on Christmas Day 1977. A few months later, a couple of almost comic body-thieves stole his body from the family burial chamber and held it for money: the police recovered it with more efficiency than Mack Sennett's clumsy Keystone Cops would have done. But one can't help feeling Chaplin would have regarded this strange incident as a fitting memorial — his way of having the last laugh on a world to which he had given so many.

英语学习

Section B:
The Political Career of a Female Politician
Modest and soft-spoken, Agatha Muthoni Mbogo, 24, is hardly the image of a revolutionary. Yet, six months ago, she did a most revolutionary thing: She ran for mayor of Embu, Kenya, and won.
Ms. Mbogo's victory was even more surprising because she was voted in by her colleagues on the District Council, all men. For the thousands of women in this farming area two hours northeast of Nairobi, Ms. Mbogo suddenly became a symbol of the increasingly powerful political force women have become in Kenya and across Africa.
Ms. Mbogo launched her dream of a career in politics in 1992 by running for the Embu Council, facing the obstacles that often trouble African women running for political office. She had little money. She had no political experience. She faced ridiculous questions about her personal life. "My opponent kept insisting that I was going to get married to somebody in another town and move away," Ms. Mbogo said.
Ms. Mbogo also faced misunderstanding among the town's women, many of whom initially were unwilling to vote for her. She became an ambassador for women's political rights, giving speeches before women's groups and going from door to door, handbag in hand, spending hours at a time giving a combination of speech and government lesson.
"I was delighted when she won the election, because men elected her," said Lydiah Kimani, an Embu farmer and political activist. "It was the answer to my prayers because it seemed to be a victory over this idea that 'women can't lead'."
Education of African women has become a top priority for political activists. One organization has held dozens of workshops in rural Kenya to help women understand the nation's constitution and the procedures and theory behind a democratic political system. One veteran female political activist said that many women had not been taught the basics of political participation. They are taught to vote for the one who "gives you a half-kilo sack of flour, 200 grams of salt, or a loaf of bread" during the campaign, said the activist.
Women politicians and activists say they are fighting deeply held cultural traditions. Those traditions teach that African women cook, clean, take care of children, sow and harvest crops and support their husbands. They typically do not inherit land, divorce their husbands, control their finances or hold political office.
Yet, political activity among Kenyan women is not a new phenomenon. During the struggle for independence in the 1950s, Kenyan women often secretly provided troops with weapons and spied on the positions of colonial forces. But after independence, leaders jealous to protect their power shut them out of politics, a situation repeated across the continent.
Today, men still have the upper hand. Women in Kenya make up 60 percent of the people who vote, but only 3 percent of the National Assembly. No Kenyan woman has ever held a cabinet post.
Against that background, Agatha Mbogo began her political career. After winning her council seat, she declined a spot on the education and social services committee after a colleague called it "a woman's committee". She instead joined the town planning committee, a much more visible assignment.
Then last year, she decided to challenge Embu's mayor, a veteran politician. Ms. Mbogo said she had become frustrated because the donor groups that provide substantial aid to Kenya's rural areas "did not want to come here".
"We weren't seeing things done for the community," she said. "It was a scandal — the donors' money seemed to be going to individuals."
After a fierce campaign, the council elected her, 7 to 6. She said women in Embu celebrated. Men were puzzled; some were hostile. They asked, "How could all of those men vote for a woman?" she recalled.
Ms. Mbogo has not met with the kinds of abuse that other female politicians have been subjected to, however. Some have said their supporters are sometimes attacked with clubs after rallies. Last June, Kenyan police attempted to break up a women's political meeting northwest of Nairobi, insisting it was illegal and might start a riot. When the 100 women, including a member of the National Assembly, refused to go, officers tore down their banners and beat them with clubs and fists, witnesses reported.
In contrast, Ms. Mbogo generally receives warm greetings from the men of Embu, and many say they are now glad the council chose her.
Donor groups are now funding projects in Embu in earnest. A new market is going up downtown. A 200-bed section for new-mothers is being added to the hospital. A dormitory-style home has been built for the dozens of homeless street children who once wandered the city. Ms. Mbogo is especially proud of the market and the hospital because "they have an impact on women".
At the current market, where hundreds of people, shaded by umbrellas, lay out fruits and vegetables, one person who sells lemons said she liked the new mayor.
"I feel like if I have a problem, I can go to her office," she said. "The other mayor shouted. He acted like an emperor. He did not want to hear my problems."
Nearby, a man said he found Ms. Mbogo a refreshing change. "I'm tired of men," he said, watching over his pile of onions. "They give us so many promises, but they don't deliver the goods. As long as she keeps giving us what we want, she is all right."

英语学习

Section C:
A Family of Firsts
In my family, success is weighed by a single standard: the ability to be first. It does not matter what you are first at as long as you are first at something.
My relatives came from Europe at the height of the Machine Age (机器时代). Every day, something else in America was new and first. The first flush toilet (抽水马桶), the first radio, the first hat with a fan. My family got first fever. Foods and other good ideas all counted. Styles, inventions, phrases, too. The sole standard for being first at something was simply not having heard that somebody else had done it. Then you earned the right to say the wonderful words: "I did it first!"
My great-grandfather on my mother's mother's side invented the toodle. The toodle is a little square of paper with a bit of mustard (芥末) rolled up into it. You could take a toodle to work in the morning with a piece of cold meat and squeeze some fresh mustard on it at lunch.
This great-grandfather, the toodle inventor, had three daughters: Ruthie (露茜), the first girl who ever made a curtain into a jacket; Gertie (格尔蒂), the first girl who ever made a jacket into a curtain; and Polly (波莉), my grandmother, who perfected a brush to clean the inside of a water tap. "Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't dirty," she was fond of saying.
Polly was proud of the fact that every inch of her apartment was touched by human hand at least twice a year. She even dusted the tops of doors, using a top-of-the-door duster made of old stockings, stuffed with more old stockings. Old stockings have always been perceived as a challenge by my family. My mother uses hers as an onion bag, an idea she says she invented. She also takes credit for being the first person to use both legs of a pair of stockings at the same time, one leg for onions, one leg for potatoes or garlic. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Perhaps my most famous relative of all, the one who really left his mark on America, was Reb Sussel (莱伯·萨塞尔), my great-grandfather on my father's father's side. According to family stories, he introduced the pastrami (五香烟熏牛肉) sandwich to the world. In 1879, Reb Sussel left his native country to find fame and fortune on the streets of New York. He had worked at a mill in the old country, but, finding the wheat business too much of a grind, began selling pots and pans off his back. He had no home and would sleep in the basements or stables of the people he sold pots to. While praying one morning he was kicked by a horse.
Reb Sussel knew how to butcher meat, so he decided to change his job and opened a small butcher shop. The first week, a friend stopped by and asked if he could store a trunk in the back of the shop. "I'm just going back to the old country for a few years," he said. "If you store my trunk, I'll tell you how to make pastrami." As the story goes, Great-Grandpa took the trunk, learned how to make pastrami, and began selling big pieces of pastrami over the counter. Soon he was selling it by the slice. Then, between two pieces of bread. He met up with my great-grandfather on my mother's side, who introduced him to the toodle, and before long, people were coming to his shop for sandwiches more than they were coming for meat.
My father's father, Jacob Volk (雅各布·沃尔克), took credit for the wrecking ball. Jake took his wrecking ball all over lower Manhattan Island (曼哈顿) in New York. Painted on the sides of all his trucks were the words "The Most Destructive Force on Wall Street". He married Granny Ethel (格兰妮·爱丝尔), who was so beautiful she did not have to be first at anything. She was, though — the first calendar girl in Princeton, N.J. In the early 1900's her picture was used by a bank there for its first calendar. That's where Grandpa met her, in the bank. She was so beautiful, she once received a letter addressed:
Postman (邮递员), Postman
Do your duty
Deliver this letter
To the Princeton beauty.
It was dropped off right at her front door.
My grandmother on my mother's side invented the shoe pocket. It was her belief that if you always kept a nickel in your shoe, nothing bad would happen to you. You could always make a phone call. You could always buy something. You would never be broke. But the nickel could slide around. And if it could slide around, it could slide out. So she constructed a small pocket that fastened to the inner sole. That way, any pair of shoes could have its own secret sum of money.
Me, I have yet to make my mark. I am still waiting to find a first. Sometimes I think my life is too comfortable. Why should I mother an invention if all my needs are met? But then something gets my attention, and I begin to think of new uses for items such as old light bulbs or eggshells. When you come from a family of firsts, whether you like it or not, you're thinking all the time.
When you come from a family of firsts, you never forget the burden and the inspiration of your past.

英语学习

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