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2006-05-16 17:58

  The Measure of a Man

  Daniel Keyes' classic tale Flowers for Algernon is enjoyed throughout the world. It first appeared[1] as a magazine story in 1959 and was later made into a novel and a movie. Although the story is generally considered science fiction, readers have always loved it for its basic human truths.

  It is the story of Charlie, a thirty-two-year-old man whose IQ is only 68. He works during the day in a bakery and attends a reading class for slow learners at night. At work, Charlie's foolish behavior amuses his coworkers. Charlie, however, assumes[2] they are laughing with him, not at him. He considers them his friends and tries hard to fit in.[3]

  Meanwhile, through an experimental[4] operation, scientists greatly increase the intelligence of a mouse named Algernon. They decide to try the same experiment on a human. They choose Charlie because he is so eager to learn and become "smart" like other people. The operation is successful and Charlie becomes steadily[5] more intelligent.[6]

  丹尼尔· 凯斯的经典之作《献给阿尔吉农的花束》广受全球读者喜爱。此作品最早于 1959 年刊载于杂志上,后集结成小说并拍成电影。虽然这个作品普遍被视为科幻小说,却因书中所刻画的基本人性真相而深受读者喜爱。




  ●1. appear v. to be seen publically for the first time 发表;上市

  The author's new novel won't appear in bookstores until August.


  ●2. assume v. to consider sth. to be true even though there is no proof 假定;以为

  Karen was so friendly that Jack assumed she wanted to go on a date with him.


  ●3. fit in v. phr. to be accepted by others, esp. because of being similar 融入(环境/人群)

  Yao Ming had difficulty fitting in as a boy because he was so much taller than other kids.


  ●4. experimental adj. using new and unproven methods or ideas 实验性质的;试验性的

  Experimental drugs are now available for treating some types of cancer.


  ●5. steadily adv. slowly and gradually 平稳持续地;稳步地

  We hiked steadily for most of the day until we finally reached the top of the mountain.


  ●6. intelligent adj. able to think and learn quickly 聪明的;理解力强的

  Amazingly, the boy was so intelligent that he graduated from college when he was only ten years old.


  More Information

  1. science fiction n. 科幻小说

  2. IQ n. 智商(即 Intelligence Quotient 智力商数的缩写)

  3. bakery n. 面包店

  Initially[1], Charlie is happy; he can talk to others normally and be treated as their equal. His new intelligence also causes memories of his childhood to surface. The way others treated him had never bothered[2] him before. Now though, due to his improved IQ, his memories of past bullying create pain where before there was none.

  As he becomes smarter than others, Charlie suffers a new and different kind of isolation. Now he is too smart to fit in. When he figures out[3] a way to improve the bakery, his boss praises him, but his coworkers resent his new abilities.

  Unfortunately, doctors hadn't counted on the operation having a merely temporary effect. Algernon becomes less intelligent and Charlie's mental[4]disability[5] slowly returns. As his IQ drops, he knows he will once again be mentally challenged. But Charlie has learned as much as he possibly could since his operation. The experience has motivated[6] him to keep on learning whatever he can.





  ●1. initially adv. at first 起初;一开始

  Gail didn't want to go to the party initially, but when she heard Sam would be there, she changed her mind.


  ●2. bother v. to annoy 烦扰;使苦恼

  It really bothers me when my roommate stays up late playing loud music and partying with his noisy friends.


  ● 3. figure (sth.) out v. phr. to realize sth. or solve a problem after thinking about it 想出;明白

  My teenage son hasn't yet figured out what he wants to do with his life.


  ●4. mental adj. related to the mind 智力的;精神(心理)的

  A psychiatrist can often help people who have problems with their mental health.


  ●5. disability n. a condition in which sb.'s body or mind doesn't function correctly(身体或心智)障碍;残疾

  Due to her physical disability, Tammy wasn't able to climb steps very well.


  ●6. motivate v. to make sb. want to do sth. 激发;使产生动力

  Hearing how well my friend Chris speaks English has really motivated me to study harder.


  More Information

  1. equal n. (能力、地位、价值等、重要性)同等的人

  2. resent v. 厌恶;(对……感到)怨恨

  3. count on v. phr. 期望;指望

  4. challenged adj.(身心方面)有障碍的

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