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新视野大学英语 读写教程第四册 unit5-a

时间:2005-12-13 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:1234567890   字体: [ ]

  MP3|Lrc下载文本下载上一课下一课返回列表文章内容Choose to Be Alone on Purpose
Here we are, all by ourselves, all 22 million of us by recent count, alone in our rooms, some of us liking1 it that way and some of us not. Some of us divorced, some widowed, some never yet committed.
Loneliness may be a sort of national disease here, and it's more embarrassing for us to admit than any other sin. On the other hand, to be alone on purpose, having rejected company rather than been cast out by it, is one characteristic of an American hero. The solitary2 hunter or explorer needs no one as they venture out among the deer and wolves to tame the great wild areas. Thoreau, alone in his cabin on the pond, his back deliberately3 turned to the town. Now, that's character for you.
Inspiration in solitude4 is a major commodity for poets and philosophers. They're all for it. They all speak highly of themselves for seeking it out, at least for an hour or even two before they hurry home for tea.
Consider Dorothy Wordsworth, for instance, helping5 her brother William put on his coat, finding his notebook and pencil for him, and waving as he sets forth6 into the early spring sunlight to look at flowers all by himself. “How graceful7, how benign8, is solitude,” he wrote.
No doubt about it, solitude is improved by being voluntary.
Look at Milton's daughters arranging his cushions and blankets before they silently creep away, so he can create poetry. Then, rather than trouble to put it in his own handwriting, he calls the girls to come back and write it down while he dictates9.
You may have noticed that most of these artistic10 types went outdoors to be alone. The indoors was full of loved ones keeping the kettle warm till they came home.
The American high priest of solitude was Thoreau. We admire him, not for his self-reliance, but because he was all by himself out there at Walden Pond, and he wanted to be. All alone in the woods.
Actually, he lived a mile, or 20 minutes' walk, from his nearest neighbor; half a mile from the railroad; three hundred yards from a busy road. He had company in and out of the hut all day, asking him how he could possibly be so noble. Apparently11 the main point of his nobility was that he had neither wife nor servants, used his own axe12 to chop his own wood, and washed his own cups and saucers. I don't know who did his laundry; he doesn't say, but he certainly doesn't mention doing his own, either. Listen to him: “I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
Thoreau had his own self-importance for company. Perhaps there's a message here. The larger the ego13, the less the need for other egos14 around. The more modest and humble15 we feel, the more we suffer from solitude, feeling ourselves inadequate16 company.
If you live with other people, their temporary absence can be refreshing17. Solitude will end on Thursday. If today I use a singular personal pronoun to refer to myself, next week I will use the plural18 form. While the others are absent you can stretch out your soul until it fills up the whole room, and use your freedom, coming and going as you please without apology, staying up late to read, soaking in the bath, eating a whole pint19 of ice cream at one sitting, moving at your own pace. Those absent will be back. Their waterproof20 winter coats are in the closet and the dog keeps watching for them at the window. But when you live alone, the temporary absence of your friends and acquaintances leaves a vacuum; they may never come back.
The condition of loneliness rises and falls, but the need to talk goes on forever. It's more basic than needing to listen. Oh, we all have friends we can tell important things to, people we can call to say we lost our job or fell on a slippery floor and broke our arm. It's the daily succession of small complaints and observations and opinions that backs up and chokes us. We can't really call a friend to say we got a parcel from our sister, or it's getting dark earlier now, or we don't trust that new Supreme21 Court justice.
Scientific surveys show that we who live alone talk at length to ourselves and our pets and the television. We ask the cat whether we should wear the blue suit or the yellow dress. We ask the parrot if we should prepare steak, or noodles for dinner. We argue with ourselves over who is the greater sportsman: that figure skater or this skier22. There's nothing wrong with this. It's good for us, and a lot less embarrassing than the woman in front of us in line at the market who's telling the cashier that her niece Melissa may be coming to visit on Saturday, and Melissa is very fond of hot chocolate, which is why she bought the powdered hot chocolate mix, though she never drinks it herself.
It's important to stay rational.
It's important to stop waiting and settle down and make ourselves comfortable, at least temporarily, and find some grace and pleasure in our condition, not like a self-centered British poet but like a patient princess sealed up in a tower, waiting for the happy ending to our fairy tale.
After all, here we are. It may not be where we expected to be, but for the time being we might as well call it home. Anyway, there is no place like home.
Words: 937


1 liking mpXzQ5     
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
2 solitary 7FUyx     
  • I am rather fond of a solitary stroll in the country.我颇喜欢在乡间独自徜徉。
  • The castle rises in solitary splendour on the fringe of the desert.这座城堡巍然耸立在沙漠的边际,显得十分壮美。
3 deliberately Gulzvq     
  • The girl gave the show away deliberately.女孩故意泄露秘密。
  • They deliberately shifted off the argument.他们故意回避这个论点。
4 solitude xF9yw     
n. 孤独; 独居,荒僻之地,幽静的地方
  • People need a chance to reflect on spiritual matters in solitude. 人们需要独处的机会来反思精神上的事情。
  • They searched for a place where they could live in solitude. 他们寻找一个可以过隐居生活的地方。
5 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
6 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
7 graceful deHza     
  • His movements on the parallel bars were very graceful.他的双杠动作可帅了!
  • The ballet dancer is so graceful.芭蕾舞演员的姿态是如此的优美。
8 benign 2t2zw     
  • The benign weather brought North America a bumper crop.温和的气候给北美带来大丰收。
  • Martha is a benign old lady.玛莎是个仁慈的老妇人。
9 dictates d2524bb575c815758f62583cd796af09     
n.命令,规定,要求( dictate的名词复数 )v.大声讲或读( dictate的第三人称单数 );口授;支配;摆布
  • Convention dictates that a minister should resign in such a situation. 依照常规部长在这种情况下应该辞职。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He always follows the dictates of common sense. 他总是按常识行事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 artistic IeWyG     
  • The picture on this screen is a good artistic work.这屏风上的画是件很好的艺术品。
  • These artistic handicrafts are very popular with foreign friends.外国朋友很喜欢这些美术工艺品。
11 apparently tMmyQ     
  • An apparently blind alley leads suddenly into an open space.山穷水尽,豁然开朗。
  • He was apparently much surprised at the news.他对那个消息显然感到十分惊异。
12 axe 2oVyI     
  • Be careful with that sharp axe.那把斧子很锋利,你要当心。
  • The edge of this axe has turned.这把斧子卷了刃了。
13 ego 7jtzw     
  • He is absolute ego in all thing.在所有的事情上他都绝对自我。
  • She has been on an ego trip since she sang on television.她上电视台唱过歌之后就一直自吹自擂。
14 egos a962560352f3415d55fdfd9e7aaf5265     
自我,自尊,自负( ego的名词复数 )
  • Their egos are so easily bruised. 他们的自尊心很容易受到伤害。
  • The belief in it issues from the puerile egos of inferior men. 这种信仰是下等人幼稚的自私意识中产生的。
15 humble ddjzU     
  • In my humble opinion,he will win the election.依我拙见,他将在选举中获胜。
  • Defeat and failure make people humble.挫折与失败会使人谦卑。
16 inadequate 2kzyk     
  • The supply is inadequate to meet the demand.供不应求。
  • She was inadequate to the demands that were made on her.她还无力满足对她提出的各项要求。
17 refreshing HkozPQ     
  • I find it'so refreshing to work with young people in this department.我发现和这一部门的青年一起工作令人精神振奋。
  • The water was cold and wonderfully refreshing.水很涼,特别解乏提神。
18 plural c2WzP     
  • Most plural nouns in English end in's '.英语的复数名词多以s结尾。
  • Here you should use plural pronoun.这里你应该用复数代词。
19 pint 1NNxL     
  • I'll have a pint of beer and a packet of crisps, please.我要一品脱啤酒和一袋炸马铃薯片。
  • In the old days you could get a pint of beer for a shilling.从前,花一先令就可以买到一品脱啤酒。
20 waterproof Ogvwp     
  • My mother bought me a waterproof watch.我妈妈给我买了一块防水手表。
  • All the electronics are housed in a waterproof box.所有电子设备都储放在一个防水盒中。
21 supreme PHqzc     
  • It was the supreme moment in his life.那是他一生中最重要的时刻。
  • He handed up the indictment to the supreme court.他把起诉书送交最高法院。
22 skier skier     
  • She is a skier who is unafraid of danger.她是一名敢于冒险的滑雪者。
  • The skier skimmed across the snow.滑雪者飞快地滑过雪地。
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