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Essay没料?新概念好词好句供你赏析~

很多留学生基本都会有一本新概念英语,Hotessay小编也认为这是一本英语学习的优秀教材。但关键是同学们要用心去读。今天Hotessay小编就跟同学们分享英语达人魏剑锋老师关于里面的好词好句的分析。这对你的essay写作会有很大的帮助哦!

1.How to grow old
        How to grow old(如何安度晚年)一文出自英国哲学家和数学家伯特兰·罗素的同名演讲,新概念4的课本只节选了其中的一部分,完整版演讲可参见:http://t.cn/Rjj5twB
        罗素的人生经历相当精彩,他出生于英国贵族家庭,早年进入著名的剑桥大学三一学院,后来当选为英国皇家学会院士。罗素于1950年获得诺贝尔文学奖,以表彰其“西欧思想,言论自由最勇敢的君子,卓越的活力,勇气,智慧与感受性,代表了诺贝尔奖的原意和精神”。除了在数学和哲学上的贡献之外,他还是一名和平主义者,在80多岁的高龄还积极参加反战与核裁军运动。How to grow old这篇演讲也是其人生信条的体现。

害怕死亡是人类的人性,而罗素认为,对于一个经历了生命中各种起起落落的人来说,害怕死亡并不是一件高尚的事情。怎样更好地面对生老病死呢?罗素给出了答案:
        The best way to overcome it—so at least it seems to me – is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river – small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past boulders and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.
        罗素认为,克服死亡恐惧的最好方式是逐渐使自己的兴趣更加广泛,逐渐摆脱个人狭小的圈子,直到自我的围墙一点一点倒塌下来,让自己的生命与整个宇宙的生活融为一体。作者在这里用了一个很精彩的比喻:生命就像一条河流,最初窄小,限于两岸。青春时激情澎湃,冲过岩石,投入飞瀑。渐渐地河流变宽,河岸退远,水流转趋平静,最终融入大海,毫无痛苦地失去了自我的存在。从语言角度来分析,上面的句子没有一个大词,但读起来非常舒服,这种写作风格是非常值得我们借鉴的。
        此外,这篇文章中还使用了委婉语(euphemism)的修饰方式:
        And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will be not unwelcome. 
        rest 在这里并不是指“休息”,而是death的委婉说法,因此the thought of rest应该理解为“有长眠的想法”will be not unwelcome是双重否定,用来表达出肯定含义,但它的语气比will be welcome弱,可以理解为“未尝不是好事”。
        2.Beauty 
        Beauty一文节选自英国哲学家C. E. M. Joad的书籍Pieces of Mind,C. E. M. Joad在早期信奉不可知论(agnosticism),认为第一原则的确定性或绝对真理无法达到,只有可感觉的现象才是真正意识的对象,这篇文章也体现了他的不可知论思想。
        在新4中Beauty属于比较难的一篇文章,它不仅在语言上比较难懂,表达的思想也比较抽象。例如:
        But, if this world is not merely a bad joke, life a vulgar flare amid the cool radiance of the stars, and existence an empty laugh braying across the mysteries; if these intimations of a something behind and beyond are not evil humor born of indigestion, or whimsies sent by the devil to mock and madden us, if, in a word, beauty means something, yet we must not seek to interpret the meaning.
        这句话开始读不太好理解,因为这是一个被省略了的排比结构,还原后是 if this world is not merely a bad joke, (if) life (is not merely) a vulgar flare amid the cool radiance of the stars, and (if) existence (is not merely) an empty laugh… 这种省略现象有时候会在文学作品中出现。a something behind and beyond中something作为名词,所以前面用不定冠词,behind and beyond 在这里是指“玄妙的”。
        句子的用词很有画面感,比如an empty laugh braying across the mysteries 其中bray一词专门指人“刺耳大笑”(if someone brays, they laugh or talk in a loud, slightly annoying way),life a vulgar flare amid the cool radiance of the stars则将人生比作群星寒光中平凡的一次闪烁。
        句子最后部分 if, in a word, beauty means something, yet we must not seek to interpret the meaning(一句话,如果美有某种意义的话,我们千万不要去阐明它的意义),这里作者之所以这么说是因为他认为美是不可知的,用语言来阐明美的行为是徒劳无功的。如果想进一步了解作者的思想可以阅读他的图书Pieces of Mind
        3.Galileo reborn
        Galileo reborn(伽利略重生)是新4中思辨性比较强的一篇文章。伽利略是意大利物理学家、数学家以及天文学家,是16和17世纪科学革命的重要人物。他因为支持哥白尼的日心说以及宣扬科学理论而遭到宗教法庭的迫害。在人们的传统认知中,这些在当时反对伽利略的人是在反对科学和进步,应该遭到严厉谴责。但作者在此提出了不同的观点:在伽利略的那个年代观测仪器并不够精确,人们完全有理由怀疑望远镜里面看到的是幻影,而不是事实。因此,一味谴责当时的反对派并不合理。要正确评价人物需要结合历史背景。
        在这篇文章中出现了不少好句子,例如:
        He was, above all, a man who experimented: who despised the prejudices and book learning of the Aristotelians, who put his questions to nature instead of to the ancients, and who drew his conclusions fearlessly.
        这个句子连用了四个由who引导的修饰a man的定语从句,这四个句子构成了排比结构,能够极大增强句子的语气。如果去掉这个排比结构,将句子写成:
        He was, above all, a man who experimented, and he despised the prejudices and book learning of the Aristotelians. He also put his questions to nature instead of to the ancients and drew his conclusions fearlessly.
        整个句子读起来明显没有原句那么有力。
        又比如全文最后一句:
        We can perhaps forgive those who said the moons of Jupiter were produced by Galileo’s spyglass if we recall that in his day, as for centuries before, curved glass was the popular contrivance for producing not truth but illusion, untruth; and if a single curved glass would distort nature, how much more would a pair of them?
        最后一句话补全后是:…and if a single curved glass would distort nature, how much more would a pair of them (distort nature)? 这里结尾的反问让人印象深刻:既然在当时一片曲面镜就可以歪曲自然,那么伽利略的两片曲面镜对自然的歪曲又该多大呢?由此引发读者思考应该如何正确评价历史人物。同样,如果把上面的反问句改为陈述句:
        and if a single curved glass would distort nature, a pair of them would certainly do more to distort it.
句子的表达效果就会大打折扣。

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