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英语诗歌:阿尔吉农挽歌

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。

  故事的主角是一位名叫查理的男子,32岁的他,智商只有68。查理白天在面包店工作,晚上则到专为学习迟缓者开设的识字班上课。工作时,查理滑稽的动作常惹得同事们发笑。然而,查理以为他们是跟他一块笑,而不是在笑他。查理把他们当作朋友,并且努力试着融入他们之中。

  此时,科学家通过一项实验性的手术成功地使一只名为阿尔吉农的老鼠智力大幅提升。他们决定在人类身上尝试同一项实验。科学家选择了查理,因为他的学习欲望很高,并且渴望变得跟其他人一样“聪明”。这项手术很成功,查理的智商稳定持续地提升。

  Vocabulary

  ●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.

  这位作者的小说要到八月才会出版上市。

  ●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.

  凯伦表现得过于友善的样子,以致于杰克以为她想要和他约会。

  ●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.

  姚明童年时很难和其他小孩打成一片,因为他的身材实在太高了。

  ●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.

  目前已有几种实验性药物专治某些癌症。

  ●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.

  我们以稳定的速度登山,几乎花了一整天后终于到达山顶。

  ●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.

  令人惊讶地,这名男童天资聪颖,十岁时便从大学毕业。

  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.

  一开始,查理很开心;他可以和别人正常交谈,又可以像一般人一样受到平等的对待。新增的智力也勾起了他对童年的记忆。从前人们对待他的方式并不会带给他困扰。而今,由于他的智力提升了,过去别人欺侮他的往事令他感到前所未有的痛苦。

  当查理变得比其他人更聪明时,却深受另一种新的孤立之苦。现在他反而因为太过聪明而与人格格不入。当他想出一个改善面包店的方式而受到老板赞赏时,同事们却对他新增的能力怀恨在心。

  很不幸地,医生没料到这项手术只有短暂的效果。实验鼠阿尔吉农的智力逐渐退化,查理也越来越不聪明,慢慢回到智障的状态。随着智商渐减,他知道自己将会再度变为智障。不过,查理自手术后便极尽所能地汲取新知,这样的求知经验促使他在智力退化的情况下仍旧孜孜不倦地学习。

  Vocabulary

  ●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.

  盖儿一开始并不想参加聚会,不过听说山姆会去,她就改变了主意。

  ●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.

  我的室友和他那群喧闹的朋友彻夜狂欢,还把音乐放得很大声,真的是干扰到我了。

  ● 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.

  我那正值青春期的儿子还不清楚自己未来要做什么。

  ●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.

  精神科医师通常可以帮助精神方面有问题的人。

  ●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.

  由于肢体残疾,谭美在爬楼梯时不太方便。

  ●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.

  听我朋友克里斯讲得一口流利的英文,让我产生更加用功学习的动机。

  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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