《英语基础写作》第三阶段导学资料What Is Narrative?Goals 1. Understand the nature of narrative. 2. Learn the basic elements of a narrative 3. Learn the different ways in which a narrative works.A narrative is an account of an event or a series of events. We get into touch with narrative almost everyday. When you listen to a news broadcast, you are hearing a narrative. When you read a novel or shortstory, you are reading a narrative. When you tell your friend about your day at work, you are talking innarrative. Narrative writing in the broad sense includes stories, biographies, histories, and news items:any writing that offers an account of an event or an experience. Now let's look at an example in SampleEssay 1.“Salvation”In this story, the author has provided, among other things, the following information: The event takesplace when he was 13 years old (time), in "my Aunt Reed's church" (place), about himself and otherchildren (characters), who are involved in a religious ceremony in which they are expected to say Jesushas come to their hearts (circumstance). That is to say, for a narrative to be complete, you will need to provide information about the time, theplace, the characters and the circumstances of the event. However, a good story does not just have thesebasic narrative elements, it will also involve a conflict. In "Salvation", for example, there is a conflictbetween the child's honesty and the unbearable pressure on him to tell a lie. In fact, the children aretrapped in a painful dilemma, ie. to say that Jesus has come to their hearts when they know he has not. Torealize this conflict is important, because it will always enable us to understand how a story works. Nowread Sample Essay 2.“The Most Important Day of My Life”Task 1 Please find out the time, the place, the characters, the circumstance and the conflict in "The MostImportant Day of My Life". Time: Place: Characters: Circumstance: Conflict: For a narrative to become an essay, it is not enough to just provide necessary information about time,place, characters, circumstance and conflict. The writer must also make clear his/her purpose in writingthis essay. We entertain audience when we crack a joke, and we also criticize a vice if the joke is intendedto satirize corruption. You will always need to have a purpose in mind when you write a narrative essay. You may want toteach a lesson, praise a virtue, condemn a vice, prove a theory or illustrate a concept. In Sample Essay 2
introduction to this experience.Introduction:The middle of a narrative essay usually consists of details of the event. As we have seen above, thesedetails include information about time, place, characters, circumstance and, in most cases, conflicts. Moreimportantly, these details, when put together, will show some kind of development: a person is changed insome way; or his situation changes; or our understanding of the person changes. The hero of CharlesDickens's David Copperfield changes during the course of the novel from an inexperienced child to amature young man ． The poor man in Mark Twain's The ￡1,000,000 Bank-Note changes into amillionaire; and our understanding of Iago in Shakespeare's Othello changes as his viciousness revealsitself. In "A Chinese-Japanese", our feeling about the woman changes from a slight dislike to a totaldisgust, as she gradually reveals herself to be not just snobbish and ignorant, but also selfish andunsympathetic. Now read Sample Essay 6."Little Deaths"Task 2Try to describe the development (or changes) in Sample Essay 6 ("Little Deaths"). There may be severalchanges. So number them if you have more than two.Development:A narrative essay ends usually at the natural end of the event. The meaning of the story usually will beclear, because the story will usually speak for itself. However, the end of a narrative essay is also theplace to moralize, or to draw a lesson from the experience, or to make comments on the incident and thecharacters, or to show the significance about what happened. The author of Sample Essay 5 ("A Chinese-Japanese") has used such an ending. She ends with a comment on the importance of the incident inchanging her views on wealth and property.Task 3Look at the ending of "Little Deaths" and say what function it has for the story.Function of Ending:Sample Essay 5A Chinese-JapaneseI used to love luxurious cars. Whenever they passed by, I would fix my eyes on them, guessing whatbrand it was and how much it would cost to buy and maintain such a splendid vehicle. To be rich seemedto be a wonderful thing. You would dress yourself in the most magnificent dress and indulge yourself inthe most delicious taste of the most expensive chocolate. Thinking of these, I would immediately dream
of becoming an rich person.All this, however, was before I met the "Japanese" woman on the train. I was going home for summervacation on a train from Beijing to Nanjing. On the seats opposite me were a mother and her youngdaughter, probably 5 or 6 years old, who were talking in Japanese. Occasionally the mother addressedother passengers in Chinese, but she would quickly switch to Japanese when she turned to speak with herdaughter. I was curious and tried to start a conversation with her, but she was rather reluctant to talkunless I spoke Japanese. And I happened to speak a little of the language and did not mind doing so. It turned out, however, that she was Chinese by birth and could speak perfect Chinese. She migratedto Japan during the 1980s Big Wave of "going abroad" and was now a Japanese citizen. She wastravelling around China as a foreigner, going to places which she said she "did not have chance or moneyto go to" when she was Chinese. "In Japan, the trains are not like this, and everything is more orderly," she said. "Japanese childrenare more polite and more civilized." She probably referred to a young passenger, about the same age asher daughter, who was now playing with her and seemed to have got into some kind of dispute over a toy. The woman spoke this in Chinese, probably intending it to be heard by other passengers. HerChinese sounded a bit sour, especially when she said everything was different in Japan. She was beautiful,with a kind of beauty which appeared a little vulgar. Her neck was adorned with a gaudy diamondnecklace, showing her wealth but increasing the look of arrogance in her eyes. The rich color of make-upon her face dazzled and the fragrance of her perfume was pungent. "Oh, give me the most expensive dish," she called out as the lunch trolley came along, as if she did iton purpose to make a display of her wealth. Her daughter, in contrast, seemed to be having a good time despite the little argument with the youngpassenger, who called herself Xiao Mei. The mother beamed when Xiao Mei expressed admiration at thedaughter's box of jewels. But the friendship did not last long, spoiled by one of the jewels which wasfound missing. The whole train carriage was nearly turned upside down during the search. Everybody waslooking for it, but in vain. The woman's beautiful face twisted. After a pause of silence, the color of her face turned to afrightening blue. She turned her glare on Xiao Mei and started to accuse her with most vicious words. Atthat moment, she pronounced every word so clearly that nobody would think she had difficulty speakingChinese. With the woman's curse and Xie Mei's sobbing, the unlucky train reached its destination. Themissing jewel was suddenly found to be caught between two seats. Everyone was stunned and scornfuleyes turned in the direction of the woman, who hurriedly got down the train and fled out of sight. It was so foolish of me to envy people's wealth. Obviously, to be loving, kind and honest were themost valuable virtues. Yet none of these can be achieved by having a large amount of money. Now ifsomebody drives an extravagant car, I will ask whether he has got an upright heart. Student[Analysis] The story is about the author's encounter with a Chinese-Japanese woman, whose reluctance tospeak her mother-tongue, whose eagerness to exhibit her wealth, and whose repeated attempts to compare
Japan favorably with China put the author off. Her arrogance and vulgarity culminates in the final scenewhen she throws vicious words at an innocent child who is playing with her daughter, for the loss of acheap jewel. The reader's feeling about the woman changes too from the initial dislike to a total disgust,as she reveals herself to be not just snobbish and ignorant, but also selfish and unsympathetic. Theincident completely changes the author's views on wealth and money.Sample Essay 6Little DeathsIt has been more than ten years since the day my cousin let me walk his traplines with him. We never seeeach other now. Our worlds, never very close, have grown even farther apart. He left California severalyears ago to become a trapping supervisor somewhere in Nevada, while I have joined the ranks of thosewho would cheerfully eliminate his way of life. He would, rightly enough, consider me one of his naturalenemies, and it is not likely that we would have much to say if we did meet. Still, I am grateful to him forgiving me a glimpse into the reality of a world normally hidden from us, a dark little world where death isthe only commonplace.At the time, my cousin was a lowly field trapper in answer to the needs of any rancher or farmer whomade an official complaint to the trapping service about varmint troubles-wild cats getting after newbornlambs, foxes stealing into chicken coops, that sort of thing. His current assignment was to trap out thevarmint population of some ranchland high in the Diablo. His base was a house trailer planted on theedge of one of the ranches he was servicing near Livermore, although he got into Oakland quite a lot forweekend visits to a lady of his acquaintance. I was a student of western history in Oakland at the time,and he usually made a point of stopping by to see my children, of whom he was particularly fond. Whenon one of his visits he invited me to accompany him on his rounds, I was excited at the idea. It was total black when he woke me at five o'clock in the morning. After shocking ourselves out ofsleep by bathing our faces in cold water, we got into his truck and drove off for breakfast at an all-nightcafe on the road. Dawn was showing itself over the dark hills by the time we finished breakfast, and hadlaid a neon streak across the sky when we finally turned off the highway and began climbing a dirt roadthat led to the trapline. We would be walking the trapline, my cousin explained, on the western side of thehills; it was one of the six he had scattered over the whole range, each of them containing between 15 and20 traps and each checked out and reset or moved to a new location every ten days or so. We got out of the truck and beat our way through the brush to a spot perhaps 30 feet from the road. Idid not see the animal until we were nearly on top of it. It was a raccoon, the first raccoon I had ever seenin person, and at that moment I wished that I never had seen one. It was dead, had been dead for severaldays, my cousin informed me. "Hunger, thirst, and shock is what kills them, mostly," he said in responseto my question. "That, and exhaustion, I reckon." The animal seemed ridiculously tiny in death. It lay onits side, its small mouth, crawling with ants, open in a bared-tooth grin, and its right rear leg in the clutchof the steel trap. It was easy to see how the animal had exhausted itself; it had been at its leg. A strip offlesh perhaps three inches in width had been eaten away. Leaving the white bone and a length of tendonexposed. Tiny flies sang about the wound and over the pool of dried blood beneath the leg. There was astrong smell in the air and it suddenly seemed very, very warm to me there in the morning shadows of thebrush. "Once in a while," my cousin said, opening the curved jaws of the trap, "one of them will chew hisway loose, and if he doesn't lose too much blood he can live. I caught a three-legged wildcat once. Toostupid to learn, I guess."
"Do you ever find one of them still alive?" I asked. "Sometimes." "What do you do with them?" He looked up at me. "Do with them? I shoot them," he said, patting the pistol at his waist. He liftedthe freed raccoon by the hind legs and swung it off into the brush. "Buzzard meat," he said. He carried thetrap back to the road, threw it in the back of the truck, and we drove up the increasingly rough road to thenext trap. It was empty, as was the one after it. I was beginning to hope they would all be empty, but thefourth one contained a small skunk, a black-and-white catlike creature that had managed to get three ofits feet in the trap at once and lay huddled in death like a child's stuffed toy. It, too, was disengaged andthrown into the brush. A little further up the hill, and we found a fox, to my cousin's visible relief."Great," he said. "That has to be the mate to the one I got a couple of weeks ago. Pregnant, too. Therewon't be any little foxes running around this year." Into the brush the animal went. By the time we reached the top of the long ridge on which my cousin had set his traps, the morninghad slipped toward noon and our count had risen to seven animals: three raccoons, three skunks, and thepregnant fox. There was only one trap left now, but it was occupied by the prize of the morning, a bobcat."I'll be damned," my cousin said, "I've been after it all month. Just about give up hope." The bobcat hadnot died well, but in anger. The marks of its rage and anguish were laid out in a torn circle of earthdescribed by the length of the chain that had linked the animal to its death. Even the brush had beenripped and clawed at, leaves and twigs stripped from branches, leaving sweeping scars. Yellow bunchesof the animal's fur lay scattered on the ground, as if the bobcat had torn at its own body for betraying it,and its death-mask was a silent howl of outrage. My cousin took it out of the trap and threw it down theside of the hill. Buzzard meat. My cousin was pleased with the day's work. "If it keeps up like this," he said as we drove down thehighway toward his trailer. "I could be out of here in a month." "What's the hurry?" He indicated a small housing development by the side of the road. "Too much civilization aroundhere for me. Too many people. I need to get back up into the mountains". We stopped at a small roadhouse in Clayton for a hamburger and a beer. I found I could eat, whichsurprised me a little, and I certainly had a thirst for the beer. We sat side-by-side at the bar not sayingmuch. Something Wallace Stegner had once written kept flashing through my mind. "Like most of mycontemporaries," he had said, "I grew up careless. I grew up killing things." I wondered if my cousinwould know what Stegner had been talking about, and decided it would be best not to bring it up. There was plenty of light left when we got back, and my cousin took the children out into the fieldsto see a newborn lamb. While its mother bleated in protest, he ran one down and brought it to my childrenso they could pet it. I watched his face as he held the little creature. There was no hint in it of all the deathwe had harvested that day, no hint of the half-eaten legs we had seen. No hint of the fearful agony theanimals had endured before dying. There was neither irony nor cynicism in him. He held the lamb withopen, honest delight at the wonder my children found in touching this small, warm, live thing.
My cousin is not an evil man. We are none of us evil men.Adapted from T. H. Watkins [Analysis] The story is about an expedition the author took with his cousin, a professional trapper, whose job isto "clear the varmints" from the land. The expedition enables the author to see how immensely theanimals suffer in the traps and how cruel the trapping business is. The narrative depends on vividdescriptions for much of its impact: the half-eaten legs of the raccoon, the frightening agony of theanimals before death. The story describes a moment of harsh discovery: something you take as normaland ordinary turns out to be sharply different from what you expect. Although trapping as a service is notdriven by evil motives and has a long tradition in America, the author feels that it does take life toocasually and it is not the civilized way to deal with animals.Unit 4Narrative OrganizationGoals 1. Understand the nature and function of plot. 2. Learn the different types of narrative organization. 3. Learn to use "flashback" in a narrative essay.A narrative essay tells a story. In order to tell a story effectively, the writer usually will organize the storyin a particular way. He will arrange the events into a pattern which will best present the story. Thisparticular organization is called the plot. Most narrative essays begin at the beginning of the story and follow the chronological order of events toits natural end. Most of the sample essays we have read so far tell stories in the chronological order.Sample Essay 5 ("A Chinese-Japanese"), for example, begins with the author's travel on the train,continues with her conversation with the Chinese-Japanese and her witness of the unfortunate incidentabout the jewel, and finally ends with the author's thinking on the whole story. However, in order to tell the story in the most effective way, some essays do not follow the naturalsequence of the event or the order of time. They may begin from the middle or from the end. Now readSample Essay 7.My Neighbors Were Moving AwayThis story does not start from the beginning. It starts from the middle. The overall arrangement of theevents may be illustrated by the following chart.NOW PAST1) My neighbors are moving away.3) Now I heard Auntie Wang's loudvoice.2) My family moved from inland tothe coastal area along with myfather's institute.
5) A truck loaded with theirpossessions was parked.4) Then there was a dispute over theregulations.The story begins with the present; then goes into the past; comes back to the present; goes again into thepast; and finally comes back to the present again and to the end. This arrangement has the advantage offocusing action on the present or the most important event of the story, the removal. It is importantbecause it arouses the author's regret and tortures her conscience. All other information is provided bymeans of memory or flashback. This arrangement gives the essay a tighter unity, because it keeps thestory's duration within the time from morning to afternoon. Now read Sample Essay 8.An Old HunchbackTask 1Study the structure of "An Old Hunchback" and identify in the sentences below what happened in thepresent and what happened in the past. Write N for "present" and P for "past" in the brackets.a) It looked like rain. (N / P) Answer: b) Looking around, I made out a figure in the morning mist. (N / P) Answer: c) He walked slowly towards the nearby market. (N / P) Answer: d) "Why is he here? Whose grave is that?" (N / P) Answer: e) I told you, when the poplar reached the roof. (N / P) Answer: f) He buried his head deep into his hands and began to sob. (N / P) Answer: g) The cold breeze was rustling the leaves on the trees. (N / P) Answer: Task 2Describe the function of the flashbacks in "An Old Hunchback" and say what effects the author wants toachieve.1.___________________________________2.___________________________________3.___________________________________Sample Essay 7My Neighbors Were Moving AwayMy next door neighbors were moving away, I was told. It seemed that they had hardly settled down, sincethey came here only one year before. "I don't like moving", I thought as I sat in the doorway watchingthem pack. At that time people still kept their doors open during the day. I could see their odds and endsfalling all over the place. It was like pulling up a tree by the roots. I had that experience myself a couple
of years before when my family moved along with my father's institute from inland to coastal area. Fortunately we moved as a community. So after some confusion and adjustment, everything fellback into place again. I played with my old friends. Soon we got so used to our new surroundings that weseemed no longer aware of the change. Only the growing of the newly-planted evergreen bushes aroundthe apartment buildings sometimes reminded me of the passing of daysIt was not until I started school a year later that I began to learn about the world outside our residentialarea. It was nothing but vast fields and scattered villages. My school was a handful of low damp housesand a bunch of noisy kids who had no shoes on. When I went home at the end of my first school day, Isuddenly felt such a strong attachment to those concrete constructions, which rose solitarily above thehorizon, that I ran until I was in their arms again. I then came to understand what the older children meantby "we" and "they" and why adults always warned us not to wander far from home. Now I heard Aunt Wang's loud voice on top of all the confusion in the flat next door. She was headof the family and a very good housewife. She could make all kinds of tasty pickles and cut clothes asfashionable as those sold in town. But my sister whispered to me the other day that she and her familywere country folks and were unpopular with "our" people. There was a dead seriousness in her eyes whenshe said it, so I knew it was beyond doubt. She had pity for them for she loved the trousers Aunt Wanghad made for her. And so did I. Now Uncle Fan showed himself at the door with a large bowl of noodles red with chili sauce. Thevery sight of it made my mouth water. He was about to squat down at the threshold when his wife calledhis name. Suddenly, as if remembering something, he smiled at me and sat back on his stool. Soon it would be four in the afternoon, time for girls to go out and play. But I knew their daughterLili was not coming to join us today. She was one of those who jumped high and ran fast. As usual shebeat a good many of us in the school game last Monday. There was a dispute, though, over the regulations, the losing side accusing the winning side ofcheating. As the dispute turned increasingly bitter, Lili became the target of criticism. Some of the oldergirls gave vent to their violent rage by openly mentioning her family's humble origin. They said she wasone of "them" who had disguised herself as one of "us". Then even the girls on her side, who were aminute before arguing for her at the top of their voices, became dumb and left her. All my friends, mysister, and her friends were on the opposite side. Lili was isolated. Anger deformed her features and tearscame to her eyes. I felt a number of times that her eyes were fixed on me, burning with frighteningcontempt. I hated myself, but I failed to utter a word. There was a sharp pain in my throat which remindedme of the day when a village dog had ventured into our place and was hunted down by a excited crowduntil it was drowned in a pool of water near the building site. Lili never spoke to me after that. A truck loaded with their possessions was parked in front of our building. Lili, Aunt Wang, andUncle Fan came out with the last few pieces of furniture. As I watched from the window, tears stole downmy cheeks. I knew that Lili would soon walk out of my life.Student[Analysis] The story is about the author's friendship with Lili and about how this friendship is soured by thediscrimination which city folks hold against people of humble origins. The story is set, probably, in the1970s, when there was a huge divide between the country and the city. Lili's humble family makes her anoutcast among city children and eventually a victim of their snobbery. The author's friendship with heralso collapses under the pressure from other city kids. The incident, together with the atmosphere ofdiscrimination in the area, causes Lili's family to move. In regret and remorse, the author sees thempacking and recalls the harm she was not courageous enough to prevent from happening. The story is anexposition of the evils of snobbery. It is also an expression of the true feelings of regret and shame in themind of someone who has lost a friend forever.
Sample Essay 8An Old HunchbackIt looked like rain. The sky was low and thick clouds were rolling like flood. I placed the bunch ofchrysanthemum at my grandfather's grave, hoping that he could rest in peace. He had been dead fiveyears, but we came here ─ my mother and I ─ every year on his anniversary. As we were about to leave, Isaw a dim figure in the distance: a hunchbacked man, dressed in black and crouching at an old grave.An old basket, full of apples, lay in front of the gravestone. There seemed to be something familiar aboutthe figure and about the basket. Could it be the man I had met that foggy winter morning when I was jogging along the icypavement? It must be him! The same basket ─ like the one there by the gravestone ─ slid toward me as Iwas running. I picked it up and wondered where it came from. Looking around, I made out a figurethrough the early morning mist. An old hunchbacked man was looking around for the basket. I handed itback to him. I guessed he would be pleased and would say something. But he took the basket from meand, without a word, without even looking at me, he disappeared into the fog. "What an odd ball!" I saidto myself. After that, I saw the old man every morning at six o'clock on my jogging path. He walked slowlytowards the nearby market. His back was bent so low that he was almost parallel with the ground. He heldthe basket tightly behind his back with both of his hands. While he walked, he would hum something tohimself, not music at all. He never spoke to people and never even looked up, but he could always walk inthe right direction, with his eyes staring on the ground. On rainy days, he would go to the market wearinga large green raincoat that almost hid his face completely, which reminded me of a tortoise. Then hewould come back with empty basket and wet shoes, humming the same tune. "Why is he here? Whose grave is that?" I drew near him to take a close look. To my surprise, he was speaking. "Ying, my little girl, here you are. I just bought them from themarket this morning. Apples at this time of the year are tasty. They are your favorite." He wiped theapples one by one in a white handkerchief and piled them up in front of the grave. "Still remember the little poplar? Its trunk is thicker than my waist now. I planted it near our housebefore the Red Guards took me away. That day, you cried and asked when I would be back. I told you,when the poplar reached our roof. But when I finally came back, its crown had already covered the roof.And I did not see you again, you were gone, under the ground." He stopped to calm himself down. "If only your mother had enough money to find a good doctor for you! If only I'd been able to takecare of you!" he paused for a little while. "I'm not a good father." He sighed and tears could be seen rolling down his wrinkled cheeks. "My little girl, you could neverknow how I suffered, for eight years, shut in the small dark cell: interrogation, torture, forced labour..."He buried his head deep into his hands and began to sob. After a long time, he slowly raised his head, his eyes still staring at the mound. "Ying, you knowhow I miss you and your mother? We met only once after my release. She left me and I didn't try to findher. For an "evil" man like me doesn't deserve a family."The cold breeze was rustling the leaves on the trees. Crows were flying and screaming above our heads.Out of the graveyard, I looked back. The old man was still there, kneeling like a statue, but no longerappearing ugly, no longer appearingStudent[Analysis] The story is about the author's discovery of the old hunchback's life and history. Her first encounterwith him leaves her the impression of an "odd ball": bent-backed, nervous, staring on the ground and
avoiding people's eyes. Then the man's life story enables her to understand him better and therefore he nolonger appears "odd" or "ugly". The bent back may be the consequence of the long jail sentence, whichhas eaten away not only his self-confidence but also his desire for communication with the world. Theessay is an implicit protest against the inhumane treatment of individuals during the Cultural Revolutionand the human tragedy resulting from the class struggle and class hatred.Unit 5Narrative Point of ViewGoals 1. Understand the function and characteristics of narrative point of view. 2. Learn the ways a point of view will help in the writing of a narrative point of view. 3. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of a point of view.A story may be told from the first-person point of view, or the third-person point of view. If you are aparticipantin the story, as a major or minor character, then you will tell the story from the point of view of"I". You will say, "It was a cold morning and I got out of bed, dressing myself quickly." You are a firstperson narrator.But if you are not in the story and are telling a story about other people, then you will refer to thecharacters as "he", "she" or "they". You will say, "It was a cold morning and he got out of bed, dressinghimself quickly." Then you become a third-person narrator. Now look at Sample Essay 9. "The Fun They Had"In this story, the narrator is not a character, but an outsider who is looking at the incident like a witness.Yet he knows what will happen and even knows what the characters are thinking about. For example, heknows "Margie always hated schools"; he knows the "mechanical teacher" went wrong some time agoand the county inspector fixed it; he knows "Margie was hurt"; "Margie was thinking about how thekids···" He is everywhere and knows everything. He is an omniscient narrator. Now read Sample Essay10."A Yellow Carnation"In this story, the author again is an omniscient narrator. He knows everything and is everywhere.Task 1 Find out the examples where the narrator knows the feelings and thoughts of the characters and fillthem into the blanks below.Paragraph 5：
Paragraph 5：Paragraph 7：Paragraph 7： Paragraph 7： Paragraph 8： Paragraph 10：The first-person narrative is direct and immediate. It creates an impression that the story had reallyhappened to the narrator. Sample Essays 7 & 8 ("My Neighbours Were Moving Away" and "An OldHunchback"), for example, are written in first person. This enables the authors to fully express theirfeelings of regret and their feelings of pity respectively. Most of the sample essays in the previous unitsare written from this point of view and students love to use it. But no point of view is inherently good or bad. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The firstperson narrative cannot deal with events which happen in different places at the same time. It cannot fullyshow the thoughts and feelings of other characters, either. For example, if Margie's mother in "The FunThey Had" is to tell the story, certain vital information will not possibly be delivered. She would notknow that Margie wishes the mechanical teacher to be taken away; she would not know, either, thatMargie was thinking of the fun the kids had in schools of the past. A third-person narration will solve theproblem.Task 2 Try to find out what changes will take place if the old lady in "A Yellow Carnation" becomes thenarrator .a)b)c)d) Task 3 Try to find out what changes will take place if Margie's mother in"The Fun They Had" becomes thenarrator .a)b)
(“The Most Important Day of My Life”), for example, the author records the most exciting day of her life,when she seems to have overcome her blindness, probably to show that a handicap should not underminea person's will to live a full life and that disabled people should have the courage to fight their handicapand win.Task 2 Read Sample Essay 1 (“Salvation”) again and try to write down what you think is the purpose ofthe story. Purpose:Sample Essay 1SalvationI was saved from sin when I was going on thirteen. But not really saved. It happened like this. There wasa big revival at my Auntie Reed's church. Every night for weeks there had been much preaching, singing,praying, and shouting, and some very hardened sinners had been brought to Christ, and the membershipof the church had grown by leaps and bounds.Then just before the revival ended, they held a specialmeeting for children, "to bring the young lambs to the fold." My aunt spoke of it for days ahead. Thatnight I was taken to the front row and placed in the mourners' bench with all the other young sinners,who had not yet been brought to Jesus. My aunt told me that when you were saved you saw a light, and something happened to you inside.And Jesus came into your life! And God was with you from then on. She said you could see and hear andfeel Jesus in your soul. I believed her. I had heard a great many old people say the same thing and itseemed to me they ought to know. So I sat there calmly in the hot, crowded church, waiting for Jesus tocome to me. The preacher preached a wonderful rhythmical sermon,all moans and shouts and lonely cries andfearful pictures of hell, and then he sang a song about the ninety and nine safe in the fold, but one littlelamb was left out in the cold. Then he said: "Won't you come? Won't you come to Jesus? Young lambs,won't you come?" and he held out his arms to all us young sinners there on the mourners' bench. And thelittle girls cried. And some of them jumped up and went to Jesus right away. But most of us just sat there. A great many old people came and knelt around us and prayed, old women with jet-black faces andbraided hair, old men, with work-cracked hands. And the church sang a song about "the lower lights areburning, some poor sinners to be saved". And the whole building rocked with prayer and song. Still I kept waiting to see Jesus. Finally all the young people had gone to the altar and were saved, but one boy and me. He was afarmer's son named Westley. Westley and I were surrounded by sisters and deacons praying. It was veryhot in the church, and getting late now. Finally Westley said to me in a whisper: "God damn! I'm tiredo'sitting here. Let's get up and be saved." So he got up and was saved. Then I was left all alone on the mourners' bench. My aunt came and knelt at my knees and cried,
c)d) Sample Essay 9The Fun They HadMargie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2155, she wrote:"Today Tommy found a real book!" It was a very old book. Margie's grandfather once said that when he was a little boy his grandfathertold him that there was a time when all stories were printed on paper. They turned the pages, which were yellow and crinkly, and it was awfully funny to read words thatstood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to-on a screen, you know. "Gee," said Tommy, "What a waste！When you're through with the book, you just throw it away, Iguess. Our television screen must have had a million books on it and it's good for plenty more. I wouldn'tthrow it away." "Same with mine," said Margie. She was eleven and hadn't seen as many telebooks as Tommy had.He was thirteen. She said, "Where did you find it?" "In my house." He pointed without looking, because he was busy reading. "In the attic." "What's it about?" "School." Margie was scornful. "School? What's there to write about school? I hate school." Margie alwayshated school, but now she hated it more than ever. The mechanical teacher had been giving her test aftertest in geography and she had been doing worse and worse until her mother had shaken her headsorrowfully and sent for the County Inspector. He was a round little man with a red face and a whole box of tools with dials and wires. He smiledat her and gave her an apple, then took the teacher apart. Margie had hoped he wouldn't know how to putit together again, but he knew how all right and, after an hour or so, there it was again, large and blackand ugly with a big screen on which all the lessons were shown and the questions were asked. That wasn'tso bad. The part she hated most was the slot where she had to put homework and test papers. She alwayshad to write them out in a punch code they made her learn when she was six years old, and themechanical teacher calculated the mark in no time. The inspector had smiled after he was finished and patted her head. He said to her mother, "It's notthe little girl's fault, Mrs. Jones. I think the geography sector was geared a little too quick. These thingshappen sometimes. I've slowed it up to an average ten-year level. Actually, the overall pattern of herprogress is quite satisfactory." And he patted Margie's head again. Margie was disappointed. She had been hoping they would take the teacher away altogether. Theyhad once taken Tommy's teacher away for nearly a month because the history sector had blanked outcompletely. So she said to Tommy, "Why would anyone write about school?" Tommy looked at her with very superior eyes. "Because it's not our kind of school, stupid. This is theold kind of school that they had hundreds and hundreds of years ago." He added loftily, pronouncing theword carefully. "Centuries ago." Margie was hurt. "Well, I don't know what kind of school they had all that time ago." She read thebook over his shoulder for a while, then said. "Anyway, they had a teacher."
"Sure they had a teacher, but it wasn't a regular teacher. It was a man." "A man? How could a man be a teacher?" "Well, he just told the boys and girls things and gave them homework and asked them questions." "A man isn't smart enough." "Sure he is. My father knows as much as a teacher." "He can't. A man can't know as much as a teacher." "He knows almost as much, I betcha." Margie wasn't prepared to dispute that. She said, "I wouldn't want a strange man in my house toteach me." Tommy screamed with laughter. "You don't know much, Margie. The teacher didn't live in the house.They had a special building and all the kids went there." "And all the kids learned the same thing?" "Sure, if they were the same age." "But my mother says a teacher has to be adjusted to fit the mind of each boy and girl it teaches andthat each kid has to be taught differently." "Just the same, they didn't do it that way then. If you don't like it, you don't have to read the book." "I didn't say I didn't like it," Margie said quickly. She wanted to read about those funny schools. They weren't even half finished when Margie's mother called, "Margie! School!" Margie looked up. "Not yet, mamma." "Now," said Mrs. Jones. "And it's probably time for Tommy, too." Margie said to Tommy, "Can I read the book some more with you after school?" "Maybe," he said, indifferently. He walked away whistling, the dusty old book held beneath his arm. Margie went into the schoolroom. It was right next to her bedroom, and the mechanical teacher wason and waiting for her. It was always on the same time every day except Saturday and Sunday, becauseher mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours. The screen was lit up, and it said: "Today's arithmetic lesson is on the addition of proper fractions.Please insert yesterday's homework in the proper slot." Margie did so with a sigh. She was thinking about the old schools they had when her grandfather'sgrandfather was a little boy. All the kids from the whole neighborhood came, laughing and shouting in theschoolyard, sitting together in the schoolroom, going home together at the end of the day. They learnedthe same things so they could help one another on the homework and talk about it. And the teachers were people··· The mechanical teacher was flashing on the screen: "When we add the fractions 1/2 and 1/4···" Margie was thinking about how the kids must have loved it in the old days. She was thinking aboutthe fun they had.Adapted from Isaac Asimov[Analysis] The story is about children in the 22nd century, when physical schools have been rendered useless bytechnological development. Children of that time use no paper books and have no human teachers. Theylearn from a TV screen and are taught by a machine ("mechanical teacher"). This may be high technology,but children are deprived of the school community, and become lonely and bored. They imagine what thephysical schools used to be like and wish for the fun which children of old schools had. This is a science-fiction story. Seen from our point of history, the time may be far away, but it sends out a clear warningabout the side effects of technology.Sample Essay 10
A Yellow Carnation This was a ward for two patients. White wall, white bed ─ sheets and white bedside cupboards ─almost everything was white. On the left cupboard were a vase of beautiful flowers and a pile of freshfruits, while on the right one, there was nothing. It was 11:30 p.m. on the eve of Spring Festival. The two patients, a little girl of eight and an old ladyof eighty, were staying in bed, waiting silently for the new year to come. They had chanced to be roommates for the past week, but they had never talked with each otherexcept exchanging mere greetings. Every day, the girl had visitors. Her parent or at least her sister wouldcome to see her, bringing flowers and fruits from friends and relatives. Her friends also called sometimes,sharing jokes and school news with her. She had never been lonely, but none of them ever noticed the oldlady on the right side. The old roommate seldom spoke. When she did, she murmured to herself, her dull eyes staring outof the window. She seemed to be wearing a mask, completely expressionless. Nobody visited her, at leastthe young girl and her people had never seen any. It was said that her son and daughter-in-law brought herhere a month ago. The girl's name was Lily. Her parents and sister had been here two hours before to celebrate the mostimportant festival of the year. Though this year's family gathering was held in a hospital ward, their moodwas not at all affected. There was happiness in every heart and cheerfulness in every face. They enjoyedthe meal, talking and laughing continuously until the end of the visiting time. After her parents left, Lily was pulled back from the merry chimes and crackers of the celebration.She noticed her roommate was sitting there, silent and motionless. Her dull eyes as usual were staring outof the window. "What is she waiting for?" Lily wondered. "Poor Granny". With limited experience and a young heart, she had always considered Spring Festival as thehappiest day in the year, for everybody on earth. A feeling of sympathy rose in her heart. She made up hermind to greet her roommate. With difficulty, she managed to get down from bed and picked out a yellowcarnation from the vase-the most beautiful one, she thought. The plaster bandage on her leg felt heavy.She hopped clumsily to the old lady's bedside. Still feeling a bit uncertain, she said, "Happy New Year!" Her roommate did not move, probably thinking it was an illusion. Her eyes were fixed somewhere inthe darkness outside. "Happy New Year, Granny!" Lily raised her voice and at the same time stretched herarm so as to hold the carnation in front of her roommate's eyes. This time the old lady heard her. Turningaround, a bit surprised by this unexpected gesture, she saw Lily standing on one foot, with a bright smileon her face. For a while she was struck dumb. "Happy New Year!" she greeted back at last. Taking the flower in her shaking hand, she said again,"Happy New Year!" A faint smile, so rare, so ancient, crept on her face. Tears could been seenshimmering in her eyes. The old lady stared at the flower for a long time. Her eyes, for the first time,became lively and bright. "Thank you! Thank you!" she said. Three days later, everybody outside was still immersed in the happy-new-year atmosphere. Lilywoke up as usual, to enthusiastically welcome the new day. She found the bed on the right side empty andthe sheets had been changed. She felt a little uneasy when a nurse came with an envelope. She told Lilythat the old lady had passed away and this letter addressed to her was found beside the old lady's pillow. On the envelope, the old lady had written "To Lily Chen". The words seemed to have been writtenwith a shaking hand. Inside was this letter.Dear Lily, I know I'm going soon, but I'm glad that at last I shall be able to join my old man. After my husband passed away, I became a person whom nobody wanted. This is the happiest SpringFestival I had in the last ten years. Nobody ever greeted me like you did on past Spring Festivals.THANK YOU!
Bless you all kind-hearted people!Your RoommateWhen Lily picked up the envelope again, a yellow petal dropped out, then another, then another. Theyellow carnation fell on the white sheet.Student[Analysis] The story explores the problem of old age, which is becoming more serious as the society isbecoming increasingly aged. The usual problems of illness and infirmity are made even worse byloneliness, poverty, and negligence until old age becomes a tragedy. The old lady in the story is not askingfor much, she only needs a little attention. Yet her relatives abandoned her and the society showed nocare. The contrast in the condition of the old lady and the little girl only increases our impression of theelderly person's wretchedness and misery. This is why she is so moved by Lily's friendly gesture. Whatcomforts us is the fact that she finally is able to die with a happy mind, not feeling this world's crueltyonly.Unit 6Narration and Description (1)Goals 1. Understand the importance of description in creating an atmosphere. 2. Learn the ways a description works in a narrative essay. 3. Distinguish between "show" and "tell" and their functions in a narrative essay.Narration cannot be separated from description. While you may choose to keep description to theminimum, you cannot do without it. And description is usually an effective means for characterizationand for presenting a place, an object or a scene. "A Yellow Carnation" contains a good description of thehospital ward and of the old lady, while "The Old Hunchback" (Sample Essay 8) devotes a good deal ofspace to describing the old man who bends so low that he is almost parallel to the ground. To describe isto offer details and a narrative essay needs a lot of details. Now read Sample Essay 11."A Factory"The story is not much of a narration. If there is a story at all, it is only suggested: I pay a visit to thefactory which I once knew as a middle school student. Most of the essay is devoted to description and theessay's meaning depends on the changes took place in the factory and which the author describes as hemoves along the path.So description is usually developed through sensory details. The accumulation of details will create a
dominant impression about the thing or the person you are describing. In "A Factory", for example, theauthor lists the following details of the factory: the "rusty" gate, the dirty pool with "dead leaves" on itssurface, the "weeds" in the flower-bed, the "cracks" in the basketball court, the "oil stains" covered withthick dirt, the abandoned "machines" and the "dead silence" ─ all these give the impression of desolationand waste: "a dead world". Now read Sample Essay 12."A Corner of the Earth"Task 1Find out the descriptive details of "A Corner of the Earth" and the dominant impression they create.Details:Dominant impression:Notice the fact that the dominant impression in this essay and in "A Factory" is created only throughconcrete details. The author is not making statements. He is not saying, for example, "The factory isdesolate" or "It is all a waste land". But all the details are showing us that the factory is so. While describing, you should show the reader, not tell him, what a person or a place is like. SHOWmore than TELL. This is your motto. Now look at "A Corner of the Earth" again and find out how the writer is showing us what the placeis like.Task 21) Say whether in the following sentences the writer is "showing" or "telling". Write "Show" or "Tell" inthe brackets which follow.a) Suddenly a warm wind, an uncomfortable gust of burning gas, blows across my face. (T / S) Answer: b) I open my eyes to see a truck speed past, trailing a thick cloud behind its exhaust. (T / S) Answer: c) A few old people are sitting on the benches, like the one I am sitting on, which line this back street. (T / S) Answer: d) The roadside trees are covered with dust and dirt, probably the result of the sandstorm and mud-rain ofthe past week. (T / S) Answer: e) No animals can be seen. Nor is there any creek. (T / S) Answer:
f) The land is dry and brown, littered with disposable fast food cartons and an occasional plastic bagflying in the dry air. (T / S) Answer: 2) What is the dominant impression these details create?Dominant impression:Sample Essay 11A FactoryThis is a common medium-sized factory, with special memories for me. The green gate is rusty now andstanding, half-open, between a busy street and a mute factory. If you enter the gate, there is an asphalt path leading you to the inside. On the left, there is a littlepool with a big "flower" bed in the middle. It used to be a happy garden for the factory's youngergeneration, but now the pool is dark-green with dead leaves floating on the surface, and the "flower" bedis overgrown with weeds. The red-carp sculpture is lying soundless in the weeds, looking at all thechanges, and recalling the prosperous past. Behind the garden is a basket-ball court. Ten years ago, workers used to gather here every eveningto play their favorite game. Matches and championships attracted large crowds, not just from the factory'sresidential area but also from outside. But now, one basket-ball stand is broken, and the ground hascracked. No one comes here to play basket-ball any longer, because many workers have been dismissed. Three big workshops are on the right of the asphalt path. They are dark inside. Lines of machines areall sleeping, no workers, nor production. The oil stains on the ground, which are now covered by thickdirt, can be seen here and there. The dead silence sends shivers down your backbone. In such a bigworkshop, with so many machines, nobody is working. You can't see anything moving, nor can you hearany sound except your own footsteps and heartbeats. What a dead world! "Heh! Who are you? What are you doing here?" Someone calls from the back, reminding me that the factory is not totally deserted. The old man whohas come out of the gatehouse must be the gate-keeper. "Ah, I used to work here when I was in middle school. 'Learn from the working class!' you know," Iexplain, trying to reassure him that I am not a thief. "Do you know Master Wang? I worked with him. Iwas his apprentice." "There is no Master Wang here, nor Master Li, nor any other masters. The factory is bankrupt." Thegate-keeper looks me up and down, trying to assess the truth of my words. "Will they come back? Will the factory run again?" I ask. "Maybe. Now you are not supposed to be here. I must ask you to leave." Out of the factory and into the street again, I walk towards the bus stop with a heavy heart. Themachines' thump, the busy workshop, and the boxes of products flash back to my memory and I can neverbelieve that this is the end of the factory. Like many other medium-sized factories nowadays in China, this one used to be vigorous and full of
vitality, and the workers here used to be the most respectable contributors to their country. But today, thefactory is dead; the workers are laid off, leaving the rusty gate alone to tell people about its changes andto wait for its bright future.Student[Analysis]The essay records the changes which the factory went through over the years of China's reform and openpolicy. The factory used to be vigorous and productive, but went bankrupt because it was unable to meetthe competition and the new challenges. The description focuses on the present desolation, but contrasts itconstantly with the factory's past vitality and prosperity, making the feelings of regret even more painful.The author deplores the decline, in a tone that is depressing and full of concern. The history of the factoryand its past glory probably suggests the inevitable pains and difficulties which accompany the country'seconomic adjustment and gradual shift to the market economy.Sample Essay 12A Corner of the EarthWhere this place is, I cannot tell. Maybe somewhere in a corner of the earth. But it is exactly the kind ofplace I love to come to, a wholly natural environment. The sky is so clear and is in such a washed blue, for there is not even a tiny wreath of smoke fromchimneys or exhaust pipes. Light clouds, in such an amazing white colour, are chasing each other, likemerry babies. I have never beheld the sun so bright, shining on me so gently and warmly, and giving theearth such metallic luster. I lie lazily in the soft bed of grass, surrounded with lush leaves of vegetation and bathing in thesunshine, translucent like jasper. No burning, no pulling, nor trimming. The grass has never been sogay. Tender flowers, like stars in the sky, bloom here and there, delicate and bright. Right beside me is winding a joyful creek, whose clear water, dazzling in the sunbeams, gurglesfrom an unknown spring to an unknown stream, without disturbance from the drains of factories andmills. I get up from my lovely bed. The land breathes so sweet and the grass kisses my feet. Dozens ofanimals in the distance come into sight. Eating the grass and drinking from the creek are some beautifuldeer, antelopes and horses. A healthy fawn among them seems to be chasing something I guess to be a butterfly. A deer beside,burying its head in the flourishing green, lifts its head and takes a look at its kids now and then. Some of them gaze up, notice me accidentally and are surprised for a little while, but soon go back totheir enjoyment, forgetting my existence completely. I thank God in my heart for His kindness to keepthem away from human beings. Night comes slowly and silently, with all the animals strolling back to the forest at the far edge of themeadow, and with all the stars smiling in the sky. The whole place except the silvery creek is then takinga rest. She breathes deeply and freely. And dews and perfumes are all about. I am intoxicated, looking atthe beauty. Suddenly, a warm wind, an uncomfortable gust of burning gas, blows across my face. I open myeyes to see a truck speed past, trailing a thick cloud behind its exhaust. I wipe my eyes, not knowing forhow long I have been dosing off. The friend I am waiting for is still not here. A few old people are sitting on the benches, like the one I am sitting on, which line this back street.
The roadside trees are covered with dust and dirt, probably the result of the sandstorm and mud-rain ofthe past week. No animals can be seen. Nor is there any creek. The land is dry and brown, with a litter of disposablefast-food cartons, and an occasional plastic bag flies up into the dry air. A shiver runs down my spine,remembering the sky, the clouds, the grass, the creek, and the animals. What will become of them? Willthey be all gone tomorrow?Student[Analysis]The essay records the author's dream of a wholly natural environment, with no pollution and with animalsand human beings living together in perfect harmony. The purity and beauty makes the place look like anearthly paradise, a Garden of Eden. By contrasting this environmental Utopia to the real world, the backstreet the author wakes up into, the essay shows grave concern about the environmental deterioration,about pollution and about the impact of human activity on the continued existence of animal species.Unit 7Narration and Description (2)Goals 1. Understand the importance of description for characterization. 2. Learn the basic description strategies. 3. Learn teh different ways a description creates meaning.In a narrative-descriptive essay, there is usually not much story. If there is a story at all, it is usuallysuggested, like in "A Factory" and "A Corner of the Earth". However, there is a lot of description which gradually leads to the essay's meaning. Usually it doesso by means of a contrast, for example, between the factory's past and present or between one's dream andthe reality. In order to describe well, you must place yourself right in the place you are describing or right infront of the person you are describing. Now look at what the author has done in Sample Essay 13."Grandpa Tallman"The essay begins directly with description. We can clearly see that, during the description, the author hasGrandpa Tallman right in front of her eyes. The story is not important: I met the old man on my way backfrom college and saw him squatting there, stroking his cat. What is important is the description. And theauthor has done it by imagining the subject right before her eyes.
Therefore it is very important for you to have a particular situation in which you meet the subject ofyour description. Now read Sample Essay 14."A Career Woman"Task 1a). Who is the subject of the description? Under what circumstance does the author get to know thesubject?Subject:Circumstance:b). What is the particular situation in which the author sees the subject?We usually describe as if we are looking at our subject. We must imagine a situation in which we see thesubject face to face, so that we can describe his/her appearance, manners and character in details. Youmust position yourself so that you can see the person clearly, as the author does in "A Career Woman". Also the description is an important factor in the making of the essay's meaning. For example, themeaning of "A Career Woman" depends so much on the description of the subject's appearance andcharacter: a constrast between her powerfulness and her humanity, that if you take away the description,the essay will collapse. Now read Sample Essay 13 again and say how the meaning of that essay iscreated.Task 2a). How is the meaning of "Grandpa Tallman" created?b). What particular details does the essay provide about Grandpa Tallman? What dominant impression dothey create?
Details:Dominant impression:Task 3What particular details does Sample Essay 14 provide about the "career woman"? What dominantimpression do they create?Details:Dominant impression:Sample Essay 13Grandpa TallmanHe crouched in a corner, enjoying the precious sunlight of winter. The wrinkles on his forehead andaround the eyes were deep and obvious, which honestly revealed his age. His eyes were half closed for adoze. One corner of his mouth was pulled down a little. The whole face conveyed a hearty satisfaction.He was totally motionless except his left hand. There was a white cat lying at his feet, which wore thesame expression as its owner. The old man's hand was stroking the cat lovingly. There is no evidence totell what was going on in his mind. I went up to greet him. He raised his eyes and, with an effort, wanted to make out who I was, butfailed. Then, he put his hand on the wall to support himself while he tried to stand up. He narrowed hiseyes and watched me closely. And he smiled like a child when he recognized me. His eyes were no longerclear and sharp, being unable to focus. His skin came loose both because of age and because of lostweight. The arms and shoulders which had been strong were now only skin and bones. The trembling legs
while prayers and songs rose all around me in the little church. The whole congregation prayed for mealone, in a mighty wail of moans and voices. And I kept waiting serenely for Jesus, waiting, waiting-buthe didn't come. I wanted to see him, but nothing happened to me. Nothing! I wanted something to happento me, but nothing happened. I heard the songs and the minister saying: " Why don't you come? My dear child, why don't youcome to Jesus? Jesus is waiting for you. He wants you. Why don't you come? Sister Reed, what is thischild's name?" "Langston," my aunt sobbed. "Langston, why don't you come? Why don't you come and be saved? Oh, Lamb of God! Why don'tyou come?" Now it was really getting late. I began to be ashamed of myself, holding everything up so long. Ibegan to wonder what God thought about Westley, who certainly hadn't seen Jesus either, but who wasnow sitting proudly on the platform, swinging his legs and smiling down at me, surrounded by deaconsand old women on their knees praying. God had not struck Westley dead for taking his name in vain orfor lying in the temple. So I decided that maybe to save further trouble, I'd better lie, too, and say thatJesus had come, and get up and be saved. So I got up. Suddenly the whole room broke into a sea of shouting, as they saw me rise. Waves of rejoicing sweptthe place. Women leaped in the air. My aunt threw her arms around me. The minister took me by the handand led me to the platform. When things quieted down, in a hushed silence, punctuated by a few ecstatic "Amens," all the newyoung lambs were blessed in the name of God. Then joyous singing filled the room. That night, for the last time in my life but one-for I was a big boy twelve years old-I cried. I cried, inbed alone, and couldn't stop. I buried my head under the quilts, but my aunt heard me. She woke up andtold my uncle I was crying because the Holy Ghost had come into my life, and because I had seen Jesus.But I was really crying because I couldn't bear to tell her that I had lied, that I had deceived everybody inthe church, that I hadn't seen Jesus, and that now I didn't believe there was a Jesus any more, since hedidn't come to help me.Adapted from Langston Hughes[Analysis]The story records a painful experience which happens to the author during his childhood. It centersaround a conflict between the author's honesty and the great pressure on him to tell a lie. It also revealsthe fanaticism of a church which not only forces him to violate his personal integrity, but also establishesitself, at least partially, on lies and self-deceits. The loud shouting and rejoicing upon the children's "beingsaved" is founded upon an illusion: Jesus has never really come into the children's souls. That is probablythe real reason that the author ceases to believe in Jesus and loses his faith.Sample Essay 2
were also not the ones which had always been firm no matter how violent the waves were. I could not believe my eyes. Grandpa Tallman, my old neighbour, had changed so much. Being anex-sailor, he used to be my father's idol when my father was a kid. According to my father's description,Grandpa Tallman was almost a hero. He was very tall and his sun-burned face was outstandinglyhandsome. He was working on a ship at that time, sailing along the Yangtze River. He had been toShanghai and other big, big cities, which used to be everybody's dream in this remote village. He broughthome a beautiful girl to be his wife. She bore him three sons, who became as strong and handsome ashimself later on. Grandpa Tallman was seldom seen in the neighbourhood. But from his family, people knew he washere and he was there. The places were far away from our little world. Whenever he was at home, hewould crouch at his door, talking to people about his experiences with excitement or playing with hisnaughty boys. It is said that, because there were no chairs or benches on the ship, all the sailors had tocrouch to have a rest. Eventually, they took to crouching instead of sitting. That is the sign of a sailor. In my childhood, Grandpa Tallman was an energetic and friendly man. He was ready to help othersand happy with kids. But as I grew up, he became old and weak. The illnesses originating from his hardearly life came upon him. By and by, his laughter disappeared. Now it had been three years since I lastsaw him. This slow old person was the Grandpa Tallman who had been young, handsome and strong. Ihad some small talk with him and went on my way, anxious to see my father, my mother and my brotherand talk to them about my experience at college. But one haunting question remains in my mind. I cannot help asking myself, though now I am youngand happy, what will happen to me tomorrow? The life of a person is so fragile and so short in front ofGreat Nature. The ever flying time can change everyone, from young to old, from beautiful to ugly, fromhappy to sad. People can never help that and that is the unchangeable course of nature. We come fromashes, and we go back to ashes. But between these two ends, what should we do? That is the question.Student[Analysis]The essay is mainly about the changes that time leaves on man, on nature and on society. The once tall,strong and handsome Grandpa Tallman has now become weak, infirm and ill, following the natural courseof changes from childhood, youth, middle age and old age. The author bewails the cruelty of time anddeplores the old man's senility, but she does not fall on pessimism. Instead it makes her think deeplyabout the meaning of life and about what we can do in the short span of life. Mere longevity ismeaningless; the meaning of life depends on what we can accomplish during this lifetime. The shortnessof life makes time precious and creates urgency. It will make people try to do more in this short life.Sample Essay 14A Career WomanXiao Wang arrived early this morning. Everyone arrived early because all wanted to know the result. XiaoWang had been discussing it in this office for a few days and had not dared to talk with the boss. The planwas wild and unthinkable, I thought, although I was just a part-timer, a college student who was trying toearn some pocket money and gain some working experience. The idea was to leave the present project to Xinhai Company, which was on the verge ofbankruptcy. The manager of Xinhai had tried to commit suicide, but luckily he was discovered in time.
Xiao Wang said, our little sacrifice would save lives and jobs and would improve cooperation, too. But, this company had its own problem, too. And the whole proposal is against the economic law.Would the boss agree to this? The world of business is after all a "world of war". It was 9 o'clock and Ms. Li came into the office. Her hair was perfectly smooth and shone with awonderful black luster. She wore a black silk dress and a set of fashionably-made jewel. Unlike manymiddle-aged women, Ms. Li's face was free from heavy make-ups. Instead, her creamy skin and thegolden-framed glasses made her look as urbane as a university teacher. But of course, her true identitywas the boss of this advertisement company. "Good morning, Sister Li". "What a pretty hair style!" "You look wonderful this morning." Everyone greeted her as she smiled back like an elder sister. Indeed everyone in this office called herSister Li. But everyone could also feel her powerfulness, which was not produced by physical strength orharshness, but by an air of dominance. It is interesting that her power could only be felt when she wasgiving orders or dealing with businesses. For most of the time, she was our amiable Sister Li. She walked gracefully and with dignity into her office, and the secretary followed her withdocuments to be signed and reports to be approved. When the secretary came out, Xiao Wang went in.Through the shutters, we could see him talking enthusiastically. Sister Li was sitting in the big wooden armchair covered with rust-coloured satin. She looked like aqueen in this little empire. We could see her smiling occasionally and shaking her head slightly. On thetable stands a picture of her daughter Diu Diu-a baby riding on a rocking horse and smiling lovingly ather mother. And we were all waiting anxiously. Twenty minutes later, Xiao Wang came out and we all went up. He looked serious, very seriousindeed, and we expected disappointing news. But suddenly he held his arms up into the air and criedloudly "Yes". Everybody cheered and exchanged congratulations. Smiles were on everybody's face.Suddenly, Sister Li appeared so beautiful in my eyes. I really admire Sister Li. Aged 33, she is not young for a new mother, but young enough for a careerwoman who owns a successful company. She makes her way in the business world by her wisdom,capability and humanity. At the same time, she manages to be a loving mother and our kind Sister Li. Inmy mind, she is a model of the New Woman in our time.Student[Analysis]The essay creates a humane businesswoman and does so by placing heroine in the situation of a difficultchoice: to lose business or to be cruel. The business world is indeed like a world of war and to showsympathy for a competitor and rival is perhaps against the economic law, but it is not against the law ofhuman nature. The essay is an implicit criticism of the cruelty of the business world and proposeshumanity and good will in business relations. Sister Li's humanity and sympathy is reinforced by hermixture of power and friendliness and of determination and motherly carefulness.三、综合练习
The Most Important Day of My LifeThe most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne MansfieldSullivan, came to me. I am filled with wonder when I consider the immeasurable contrasts between thetwo lives which it connects. It was the third of March, 1887, three months before I was seven years old. On the afternoon of that eventful day, I stood on the porch, dumb, expectant, I guessed vaguely frommy mother's sighs and from the hurrying to and fro in the house that something unusual was about tohappen, so I went to the door and waited on the steps. The afternoon sun penetrated the mass ofhoneysuckle that covered the porch, and fell on my upturned face. My fingers lingered almostunconsciously on the familiar leaves and blossoms which had just come forth to greet the sweet southernspring. I did not know what the future held of marvel or surprise for me. Anger and bitterness had preyedupon me continually for weeks and a deep languor had succeeded this passionate struggle.Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a white darkness shut you in, and the greatship, tense and anxious, tried to find her way toward the shore, and you waited with beating heart forsomething to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass, andhad no way of knowing how near the harbor was. "Light! Give me light!" was the wordless cry of mysoul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour. I felt approaching footsteps. I stretched out my hand as I supposed to my mother. Someone took it,and I was caught up and held close in the arms of her who had come to reveal all things to me, and, morethan all things else, to love me. The morning after my teacher came, she led me into her room and gave me a doll. The little blindchildren at the Perkins Institution had sent it and Laura Bridgeman had dressed it; but I did not know thisuntil afterward. When I had played with it a little while, Miss Sullivan slowly spelled into my hand theword "d-o-l-l." I was at once interested in this finger play and tried to imitate it. When I finally succeededin making the letters correctly, I was filled with childish pleasure and pride. Running downstairs to mymother, I held up my hand and made the letters for doll. I did not know that I was spelling a word or eventhat words existed; I was simply making my fingers go in monkey-like imitation. In the days thatfollowed I learned to spell in this uncomprehending way a great many words, among them pin, hat, cupand a few verbs like sit, stand, and walk. But my teacher had been with me several weeks before Iunderstood that everything has a name. One day, while I was playing with my new doll, Miss Sullivan put my big rag doll into my lap also,spelled "d-o-l-l" and tried to make me understand that "d-o-l-l" applied to both. Earlier in the day we hadhad a quarrel over the words "m-u-g" and "w-a-t-e-r." Miss Sullivan had tried to impress it upon me that"m-u-g" is mug and that "w-a-t-e-r" is water, but I persisted in confusing the two. In despair she haddropped the subject for the time, only to renew it at the first opportunity. I became impatient at herrepeated attempts and seizing the new doll, I threw it upon the floor. I was keenly delighted when I feltthe fragments of the broken doll at my feet. Neither sorrow nor regret followed my passionate outburst, Ihad not loved the doll. In the still, dark world in which I lived there was no strong sentiment oftenderness. I felt my teacher sweep the fragments to one side of the hearth, and I had a sense ofsatisfaction that the cause of my discomfort was removed. She brought me my hat, and I knew I wasgoing out into the warm sunshine. This thought, if a wordless sensation may be called a thought, made mehop and skip with pleasure. We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of honeysuckle with which it
was covered. Someone was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the water. As the coolstream flew over one hand, she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly. I stoodstill, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as ifsomething forgotten-a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed tome. I knew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand.That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were barriers still, it is true,but barriers that could in time be swept away. I left the well-house eager to learn. Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a newthought. As we returned to the house, every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life. That wasbecause I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me. On entering the door Iremembered the doll I had broken. I felt my way to the hearth and picked up the pieces. I tried vainly toput them together. Then my eyes were filled with tears; for I realized what I had done, and for the firsttime I felt repentance and sorrow. I learned a great many new words that day. I do not remember what they all were; but I do know thatmother, father, sister, teacher were among them-words that were to make the world blossom for me, "likeAron's rod, with flowers." It would have been difficult find a happier child than I was as I lay in my bedat the close of that eventful day and lived over the joys it had brought me, and for the first time longed fora new day to come.Adapted from Helen Keller[Analysis]The story is about the beginning of a blind child's education. The first day of lesson has such an impact onthe child's soul that it changes her life completely and becomes the most important day of her life. Hermind seems to be illuminated by the light of knowledge and her blindness no longer seems so heavy ahandicap because she seems to have acquired an inner sight. The change is described by severalmemorable images of contrast: leaves and blossoms awakening in spring, a ship groping in a dense fogtowards the shore, a mystery being unveiled, and the soul quivering with life. All points to the miraculousrebirth of the writer's soul from blindness to insight, and from darkness to light.Unit 2Planning a Narrative EssayGoals 1. Understand the importance of the story for a narrative essay. 2. Learn how to write an outline for a narrative essay.
3. Learn the different forms of outline for a narrative.A narrative essay needs a good story. When you are planning a narrative essay, you should first of allconcentrate on the story. Normally if you have a good story, you already have the essay. Now readSample Essay 3."The Stamp Incident"The events of the story follow one another naturally, without any contradiction or authorialmanipulation. The actions are strongly motivated and the events have an inevitability which makes themplausible. Also, it is a moving story which expresses a strong feeling and teaches a good lesson. Such astory is a good story.When you have a good story and are ready to write it down, an outline will probably help you. Forexample, an outline for Sample Essay 3 ("The Stamp Incident") may be something like this.1). Two young stamp-collectors are so obsessed with this hobby that they grow to steal letters with goodstamps. 2). This causes great harm to someone they love 3). In great shame and regret, the two youngsters realize their mistake and give up stamp-collecting.Whether or not the author of this essay actually started from such an outline is not known. But the outlinewill certainly help the author see the plan of the story and therefore enable her to have a clearer idea ofwhere the essay is going. Now read Sample Essay 4 and see if you can write out an outline for it."A Narrow Escape "Task 1 Write out an outline for "A Narrow Escape" and fill it into the following blanks.Outline: 1 . 2 . 3 . 4 .An outline for a narrative essay, as we have seen above, is different from ordinary outlines. An ordinaryoutline usually consists of a system of main idea and supporting evidence. But an outline for a narrativeessay will usually list the main points in the incidents' development. In the above outline for "The StampIncident", the points are the events each of which follows the former in a time sequence.Another type of outline for narrative essay is to list the time, place, characters, circumstance, and conflictof the story. For example, an outline for Sample Essay 4 ("A Narrow Escape") can be like this:Time: Ten o'clock, late night Place: Underground passageway near dormitory Characters: Myself, a male pedestrian and his dog Circumstance: I met a man in the underground passageway Conflicts: My illusion of danger vs. the man's real identity My concern over safety vs. my lazinessTask 2
Now, write out an outline of this kind for Sample Essay 3 ("The Stamp Incident").Outline:Time: Place: Characters: Circumstance: Conflict: Sample Essay 3The Stamp IncidentI can never forget the stamp incident which happened when I was a primary school pupil. My best friend whose nickname was Apple was a stamp-collector. He tried every way to get stampsand spent every penny he had on them. Once he obtained a beautiful or precious stamp he would be morethan happy. I was always his companion in his search for stamps. One day Apple whispered to me mysteriously that he had found a most wonderful stamp on a letteraddressed to our young arithmetic teacher, who was a very pretty and kind-hearted girl. Apple wantedthat stamp so badly that he said if he couldn't have it, he wouldn't be able to eat or sleep. Then the idea ofstealing the letter occurred to him, and he couldn't get rid of it. I was frightened and begged him not to dothat. He showed signs of much hesitation, too. Without saying any more words, he left.That evening he hurried to my home and almost dragged me out of the house to the corner of a street andshowed me a letter. It was in a man's handwriting. In the letter, the man implored our teacher to forgivehim and asked her to meet him at the gate of Shanlin Park at eight o'clock that evening. If not, he wouldtake it that she would never forgive him, and it would mean the end of their relationship. "The teacher asked me if there was any letter for her this afternoon. You see, she knows I am astamp-collector and always wander about the place where letters are delivered. When I said 'No', shelooked rather sad," Apple told me after I had read the letter. We were completely at a loss. Too frightened to go to the teacher, we decided to go to the meetingplace ourselves. When we arrived at the park, we found at the gate a tall young man with glasses, walkingback and forth as if he was waiting for someone. He looked anxiously at his watch from time to time. Idid not know how long we had been there. Finally the man left, looking very worried and disappointed. A few days later, our teacher asked Apple to come to her room and gave him many stamps. With amelancholy expression on her face, she told Apple that she once had a friend who was a stamp-collectortoo, but she had lost him forever, and so the stamps she had collected for him were no longer useful. Apple ran to me with stamps in his hand and tears in his eyes. We both cried bitterly. From then on,Apple never collected any more stamps; neither did I.Student[Analysis]The story is about two young school pupils who are enthusiastic about stamp-collecting, but who are soobsessed with the hobby that they grow to steal letters with good stamps. Innocence and lack ofexperience make it impossible for them to foresee the consequence of their action. In fact they have
caused misunderstanding between their teacher and her boyfriend at a very critical moment of theirrelationship and in the end caused their breakup. We can see that the two young persons are not evilpeople; they only unintentionally cause harm. The fact that it is their kind-hearted teacher that they hurtincreases and intensifies their shame and regret. The experience teaches them a painful lesson andenabled them to understand life better.Sample Essay 4A Narrow EscapeI got out of the bus at ten o'clock at night. It was dark and cold. Under the dim light of the street lamps,there were few people. I had to pass through that long underground passageway to get back to the dorm.At this thought, I could not help shivering all over. When I arrived at the entrance of the underground passageway, I slowed down and became hesitant."Shall I go into the tunnel or walk a hundred meters to the south and cross the road by the overheadbridge?" I asked myself. Well, unnecessary!" I dismissed the idea. "I have already walked in it hundredsof times and nothing happened before. Why should I take the trouble to go a hundred meters farther?"I took a deep breath and went down into the underground passageway. Most lamps on the wall had beendamaged and the surviving ones gave out such a faint light that it was hard to see the way clearly. It wasvery quiet, almost dead silent. I was the only one walking in there. Feeling a little frightened, I quickenedmy steps, wishing to arrive at the exit immediately. But no sooner had I walked a few paces than I heardthe sound of footsteps coming to me from the other end of the tunnel. Then a black figure was seen in thedim light in the distance, approaching me step by step. I could not see clearly the figure's appearance, butI could surely tell that it was a man, with his head tilted to one side and his arms folded before him. My heart began to beat quickly. I tried my best to calm down and reassure myself. "It does notmatter. He is only a passer-by like myself." But at this moment, a low and deep voice came from theman's direction, "Don't move!" It was like a thunderbolt. I made a sudden stop. "Have I heard something wrong? Did he tell me notto move?" I asked myself. If what I heard is true, then··· Oh my God! One word immediately jumped intomy mind-"mugger". I broke out in a sudden sweat. "What shall I do?" Seeing the man getting closer andcloser, I felt like fainting. I tried to compose my thoughts. "OK! Perhaps I made a mistake." Lowering myhead, I mustered up the last bit of my courage and walked on. "I told you not to move!" This time I heard every word. I felt pins and needles in my head. Scaredout of my wits, I did not know what to do. The blood in my body froze, and my mind became a piece ofblank paper. I regretted bitterly that I did not walk a hundred meters further and cross the road by theoverhead bridge. If only I had not been so lazy! "How many times should I tell you before you stop moving?" The frightening voice sounded againin my ears and the man seemed to come to me more quickly than I had expected. "What is he going todo? Is he having a knife?" I unconsciously placed my hands on my bag. My mind stopped working; mybreaths were fast. I wanted to cry out for help, but my throat was choked by panic; I intended to run away,but my legs felt as if they were filled with lead, too heavy to move a single step. The "mugger" had comewithin a stone's throw. I stood there, like a lamb to be killed, trembling all over. The only thing I knewwas to pray and pray, "God bless me! God bless me!"
To my big surprise, the man did not attack me. He passed by me. It was a while before I recoveredfrom the fright. Plucking up my courage, I looked at the man. Jesus! He was holding a dog in his armsand was still patting the animal's head, saying "Why don't you listen? Will you not listen to me? Behaveyourself." I took a reassuring breath, but still felt weak in my legs. From then on, I dare not cross the road by the underground passageway any longer at night.Student[Analysis] The story is based on mistaken identity. The abnormally nervous state of mind with which the girlentered the tunnel accounts for her illusion and her mistaking a passer-by for a "mugger". The panic alsodepends on the coincidence between the man's words and the girl's expectation of mugging. Hernervousness and fear is worked up to such intensity that she is no longer able to distinguish betweenhallucination and reality. We can understand the girl's sense of relief when she finally discovers the man'sreal identity. While we deplore the girl's timidity and illusory tendency, we are made to become awarethat the society is not safe. The fact that women are especially vulnerable should place us in a betterposition to understand her response at such an hour and in such a place.Unit 3Beginning, Middle and EndGoals 1. Understand the function of a narrative's beginning, middle and end. 2. Learn the different ways to begin and end a narrative essay. 3. Learn how a narrative develops.The most usual way to begin a narrative essay is to get into the story directly, as the authors do in"Salvation", "The Most Important Day of My Life", "A Stamp Incident" and "A Narrow Escape". But wecan also write an introduction before we get into the story. Now read Sample Essay 5."A Chinese-Japanese"The author begins the story with an introduction about his thoughts before he meets the Chinese-Japanesewoman. The advantage of the introduction is to enable the author to frame the story, to put it into a certainframework, so that the reader will see its significance more clearly. As we expect, the encounter with theChinese-Japanese woman changes the author's views on wealth and property.Task 1Think of an encounter you have had in your life. Did it change your views and opinions? Write an