格式: AZW3, DOCX, EPUB, MOBI, PDF, TXT
I. Introduction to author（作者简介）
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was a rare genius in human history. He became everything: a printer, postmaster, almanac maker, essayist, scientist, inventor, orator, statesman, philosopher, political economist, ambassador,—“Jack of all trades.”
He was born into a poor family. He was a voracious reader. At 16 he published essays under the pseudonym Silence Do good. At 17 he ran away to Philadelphia to make his own fortune. He became a printer. He helped found the Pennsylvania Hospital, an academy which led to the University of Pennsylvania, and the American Philosophical Society. He was a preeminent scientist of his day. He signed the Declaration of Independence. He was one of the makers of the new nation.
Poor Richard’s Almanac 《穷查理历书》
II. Selected works（选读作品）
◆The Autobiography 《自传》
It depicted the background of Benjamin Franklin, including his studying in his young age and his experiences of work. And his achievement in politics, science and economy were also mentioned in this book.
There are four parts in this book. The first part is the experiences of his first 25years of his life. The second part, written in Paris, is the accomplishments on science and the cause of public affairs. The third and fourth part, written in Philadelphia, is the record of his life from 25 to 51-year-old.
(1) The Autobiography was probably the first of its kind in literature. It is the simple yet immensely fascinating record of a man rising to wealth and fame from a state of poverty and obscurity into which he was born, the faithful account of the colorful career of American’s first self-made man. He represented in America all its ideas, that man is basically good and free by nature, endowed by God with certain inalienable rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Through telling a success story of self-reliance, the book celebrates the fulfillment of the American dream.
(2) The Autobiography is also an eloquent elucidation of the fact that Franklin was a spokesman for the new order of eighteenth-century enlightenment. It is also a Puritan document. It is a record of self-examination and self-improvement. The book is also a convincing illustration of the Puritan ethic that, in order to get on in the world, one has to be industrial, frugal and prudent.
(3) The style of The Autobiography reveals that it is the pattern of Puritan simplicity, directness and concision.
1．Why did Franklin write his Autobiography?
Because that when he was young, he has “never had a pleasure in obtaining any anecdotes” of his ancestors, and he held that it was a great pity because he was curious about them. So, he thought that his son would also want to know the story of him and he himself also had responsibility to share it with his son. In addition, he thought that his experiences and success would give some useful advice to his son. With such consideration in mind, Franklin wrote his autobiography.
2．What made Franklin decide to leave the brother to whom he had been apprenticed?
The altercation between Franklin and his brother made him decide to leave. His brother considered himself as Franklin’s master and treated him harshly and tyrannically. This kind of treatment annoyed Franklin, so he decided to leave.
3．How did he arrive in Philadelphia?
He arrived in Philadelphia with great difficulties. At the very start, he set out in a boat for Amboy, and in crossing the bay he, along with his companions, met with a squall that tore the rotten sails to pieces and drove him upon Long Island. On approaching the island, they had to drop anchor and swim out their cable towards the shore, etc. In a word, he went through many hardships on the way to Philadelphia.
4．What features do you find in the style of the above selection?
This selection is written in the form of letters to his son. By this way, it can show the author’s honesty and frankness, which will make the reader stand close to him and actually feel and understand his emotions and experiences. Another feature is that this biography has a good narrative and reads like a story, which can arouse the readers’ reading interest and curiosity.
I. Introduction to author（作者简介）
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is a novelist, poet, and critic.
Poe’s childhood was a miserable one. He lost both of his parents when still very small, and was taken care of by a wealthy merchant. Father and son enjoyed nothing but an unhappy relationship together. Poe entered the University of Virginia but did not finish. He went to West Point as a cadet but was dismissed because of misbehavior. Poe wrote and worked as editor most of his short life. He was poor all his life. At 27 he married his cousin, whose death in 1847 left him inconsolable and bitter with life than ever. He died, in October, 1849.
Tamerlane and Other Poems《帖木儿》
The Raven and Other Poems 《乌鸦及其他诗篇》
(2) Short stories（短篇小说）
Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque《述异集》
The Fall of the House of Usher《厄舍大厦的倒塌》
The Masque of the Red Death《红色死亡假面舞会》
The Black cat《黑猫》
The Cask of Amontillado《阿芒提拉多的酒桶》
The Murders in the Rue Morgue《莫格街谋杀案》
The Purloined Letter《被窃的信件》
The Gold Bag《金甲虫》
(3) Literary theory（文学理论）
The Philosophy of Composition《创作哲学》
The Poetic Principle《诗歌原理》
II. Selected works（选读作品）
◆The Cask of Amontillado《阿芒提拉多的酒桶》
1．Theme and style（主题与风格）
The theme is about horror and death.
Poe pursues the style of shortness and fast tempo and to reach the climax quickly. To achieve the effect, he reduces the background information and the words he used are concise. In this short story, even nothing is redundant.
It is the narrator’s account of his ability to carry out a chilling plot of revenge against his offender, Fortunato.
Montresor baits Fortunato by telling him he has obtained what he believes to be a pipe of a rare vintage of Amontillado. He claims he wants his friend’s expert opinion on the subject. Fortunato goes with Montresor to the wine cellars of the latter’s palazzo, where they wander in the catacombs. Montresor offers wine to Fortunato. Montresor displays a trowel he had been hiding and killed Fortunato.
(1) Precision in time, place, and setting preclude the idea of risk and allow the narrator both the retribution he seeks and the impunity he demands.
(2) It is set during the “supreme madness” of Carnival. In such a riotous atmosphere, it is easy to see how a crime could go unnoticed.
(3) Because Montresor is aware of the unfortunate Fortunato’s impending death, dramatic irony also plays a role in the comedy of horrors of "The Cask of Amontillado." Dramatic irony is the result of the disconnect that occurs when a character, namely Fortunato, is not aware of the true meaning of his own actions. The very setting of the story is ironic, in that Montresor has chosen the jovial carnival season to enact his murder because no one will be at his estate to witness the crime. Fortunato himself is dressed in a jester’s outfit, and the jingling of his jester’s bells reminds us of the atmosphere of happiness and cheer outside the catacombs. Later, as they drink the Medoc, Fortunato drinks to the dead and buried, not realizing that he is about to join them, and Montresor wryly drinks to Fortunato’s health.
1．Who is the narrator? What wrong does he want to redress?
Montresor is the narrator. He had borne thousands of injuries of Fortunato as best he could, and he decides to take revenge on him. He must not only punish Fortunato but with impunity.
2．What is the pretext he uses to lure Fortunato to his wine cellar?
He said to Fortunato that he got a pipe of Amontillado, and he was doubt about it, so he wanted someone to make sure for him. At the same time, he deliberately showed his doubts about Fortunato’s connoisseurship in wine and cared about his health, which firmed Fortunato’s decision to go with him to his wine cellar.
3．What happens to Fortunato in the end?
He was locked in the cellar by Montresor, and can only wait for death.
4．Describe briefly how Poe characterizes Montresor and Fortunato as contrasts？
Poe characterizes the two characters with striking contrasts between them in many aspects. Firstly, their names are endowed with opposite symbolic meanings: Montresor symbolizes “monstrous”, while Fortunato symbolizes “fortunate”. Montresor is the devil in the story, and Fortunato is fortunate through his life and makes great fortune, but finally, he ends in a very unfortunate way, which is very ironical. Secondly, their clothes are very different: Fortunato “wore motley”, while Montresor put on “a mask of black silk” and drew “a roquelaire” closely about his person. Last, their psychological activities and consciousness are in contrast: Montresor knows clearly what is going on and what will happen, while Fortunato is always kept in the dark till the end.
I. Introduction to author（作者简介）
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) is an essayist, poet, and one of leaders of The Transcendentalism.
Emerson was the descendant of a long line of New England clergymen. When he was still a child, the family fortune fell. He went to Harvard. Later he embraced Unitarianism and became a Unitarian minister to the Second Church of Boston. But not for long, he found the rationality of Unitarianism intolerable and left his job. He went to Europe and brought back with him the influence of European Romanticism. He formed an informal Transcendentalists’ club with some friends and edited for a time the Transcendentalist journal, the Dial, to explain their ideas. He became the most eloquent spokesman of New England Transcendentalism. During his lifetime he was considered one of the two or three best writers in America, and certainly the most influential among his contemporaries. He was the prophet of his age and exerted great influence on Thoreau, Whitman, Hawthorne and others in varying degrees.
The American Scholar《论美国学者》
The Divinity of Address《神学院致辞》
Essays: Second Series《论文集：第二辑》
The Conduct of Life 《人生的行为》
May-Day and Other Pieces《五月节》
(1) The Transcendentalists placed emphasis on spirit, or the Oversoul, as the most important thing in the universe. The Oversoul was an all-pervading power for goodness, omnipresent and omnipotent, from which all things came and of which all were a part. This represented a new way of looking at the world. It was a reaction to the eighteenth Newtonian concept of the universe. It was also a reaction against the direction that a mechanized, capitalist America was taking, against the popular tendency to get ahead in world affairs to neglect spiritual welfare.
(2) The Transcendentalists stressed the importance of the individual. To them the individual was the most important element of society. The ideal type of man were the self-reliant individuals. The individual soul communed with the Oversoul and was therefore divine. This new notion of the individual and his importance represented a new way of looking at man. It was a reaction against the Calvinist conception of total depravity, against the process of dehumanization that came in the wake of developing capitalism.
(3) The Transcendentalists offered a fresh perception of nature as symbolic of the spirit or God. Things in nature tended to become symbolic, and the physical world was a symbol of the spiritual. This in turn added to the tradition of literary symbolism in American literature.
III. Selected works（作品选读）
It is an essay from Essays. The theme of the essay is about “trusting yourself” and one of the important works that express the ideas of The Transcendentalism. He criticized any form of not being independent. He thought every great man in history is different from ordinary man because they keep being themselves even if they may be misunderstood by others.《论自助》选自爱默生的《论文集》。这篇文章是表达他的超验主义观点最重要的作品之一。“相信自己”是爱默生的重要观点之一也是这篇文章的主题。他在文中鞭笞了任何形式的随波逐流。他认为历史上的伟人都是坚持自己的想法，尽管有可能被世人误解。
(1) Emerson’s master principle self-reliance is also the main theme of the American Transcendentalist movement This essay provides us sayings as well as builds up new concepts through which the author paves the path for the readers to follow, and furthermore, he tries to force the readers to be self-reliant in order to obtain their self-reliance successfully.
(2) The distinction of Self-Reliance is the elegant style of prose and vivid expression of his thoughts. His words can capture the thoughts of people. He also used a lot of figures of speech to emphasize his ideas.
(3) The idea of abolishing the slaves can be also found in this essay. But he also tells people that love your neighbor not the far-away slaves.
1．What is the author’s attitude towards charity? Why does he hold such an attitude?
The author thinks that not all charity is good, especially when malice and vanity wear the coat of philanthropy. And it is not his obligation to give money to the poor. What’s more, he feels shameful when sometimes he succumbs and gives the dollar, and it is a wicked dollar. He objects to the charity.
Because he thinks that people’s good actions, such as doing charity, are done as an apology or extenuation of their living in the world. However, he holds that people should not wish to expiate, but to live.
2．According to the author, what do most people believe to be virtue? And what is real virtue?
Most people believe that virtues are rather the exception than the rule, and they are penances. The real virtue is the rule that people must do what concerns them rather than what the people think.
3．Why does the author dislike “consistency”? Do you agree with him? Do you think that people should give up consistency?
Because that consistency scares us from self-trust, and makes us less confident. It also makes us have a reverence for our past act or word because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. What’s more, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. And with consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. It will ruin a man’s creativity.
I cannot totally agree with him. Although I confess that there are some positive meanings in his proposal, I cannot neglect the positive aspects of consistency. Because that we sometimes need consistency to restrict people’s behaviors. For example, nature has its own law that we must follow, or we will violate the order of it.
In my mind, whether people should give up consistency or not depends on the specific situation. That is, Keeping it firmly or giving it up is not wise choice. We should treat it case-by-case.
4．What is the agreement of one’s actions? Why is it important for people?
The agreement of one’s actions is that the actions will be harmonious, no matter how unlike they seem.
Because only with this agreement, can people be each honest and natural in their hour. Conformity explains nothing, and people’s genuine action will explain itself and their other genuine actions. So, it is important for people.
I. Introduction to author（作者简介）
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) is a novelist.
Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts. Some of his ancestors were men of prominence in the Puritan theocracy. One of his ancestors was a colonial magistrate, notorious for his part in the persecution of the Quakers, and another was a judge at the Salem Witchcraft Trial in 1692. Gradually, the family fortune declined. Hawthorn was intensely conscious of the wrongdoing of his ancestors, and this awareness led to his understanding of evil being at the core of human life, so he seemed to be haunted by his sense of sin and evil in his life.
(1) He is the most ambivalent writer, a consummate romantic in the American literature history. One salient feature of Hawthorne’s art is his ambiguity, of which the technique of multiple views employed in the last part of his masterpiece The Scarlet Letter offers a good illustration.
(2) He is good at exploring of the complexity of human psychology. He is anatomist of "the interior of the heart". His works are full of mental activities.
(3) Allegory is used to hold fast against the crushing blows of reality, the symbolism serves as a weapon to attack and penetrate it. Hawthorne is a master of symbolism, which he took from the Puritan tradition and bequeathed to American literature in a revivified form. The symbol can be found everywhere in his writing, and his masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, provides the most conclusive proof.