Official 50 Set 5

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American Realism

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What is the main purpose of the lecture?
  • A. To highlight realism’s causes and characteristics

  • B. To explore plot and character development in realist literature

  • C. To examine realism’s contribution to social change

  • D. To show how two realist authors influenced literature in the United States

显示答案 正确答案: A

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    NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in a United States literature class. The professor is discussing realism.

    MALE PROFESSOR:OK everyone, in our last class we finished up Romanticism, right?So now let's look at something completely different.Realism as a literary technique was most popular in U.S. literature from around 1860 till 1890.So it started pretty much around the time of the Civil War.And I think you'll see right away how it's different from Romanticism, or any other kind of literature.It has a very specific point that makes it unique, and that is that it shows people as they are, and gets you to look at them, and also, you know, the things that need to be changed in a society.And it does it without being sentimental, not in that sort of overly emotional way, the way that Romantic literature can.Realism tells it like it is.

    Let's look at society as a whole.In the late 1800s, people were interested in the scientific method, as well as rational philosophy—which, uh, says that people can discover the truth by using reason and factual analysis.So, reason and facts, OK.And at the same time that realism was becoming popular there were a lot of political and socioeconomic changes happening in the country.There was, uh, increased literacy, plus the growth of industrialism and urbanization, growth in population from immigration, and a rise in middle-class affluence.All these factors, combined with [hesitates] the importance of reason and facts, meant that readers were interested in really having a good understanding of all these uh,changes, the changes going on in society.A scholar named Amy Kaplan says, and I'm just paraphrasing here, that realism is a way to understand and deal with social change.

    Which makes a lot of sense, I think.So, then, let's take a closer look at the tricks of the trade, at how realist writers did their work.For one thing, as we said, they focus on— [somewhat sarcastic] big surprise—reality. And in great detail.They aim for verisimilitude—should I write that on the board?FEMALE STUDENTS & MALE STUDENTS:[ um-hms of confirmation in background] Umm.

    MALE PROFESSOR:OK.Verisimilitude means, basically, to seem true or real.Like, say, a photograph, rather than a painting, in a way.In fact, that's a good analogy.You see, writers tried to capture a moment in time, and all its basic facts, but without exaggeration, just like a camera does.Anyway, the events, the things that happen in realist literature, are usually pretty much plausible, I mean, you figure they could probably happen to anyone.And the characters are believable too, and actually, they're usually even more important than the plot.They're also uh... they talk the way that real people talk, authentic speaking styles from different regions... different parts of the country were captured in the text.Does that make sense?...OK.So, besides verisimilitude, another important characteristic of realism is the narrator's objectivity.

    Characters and events are described without the narrator's passing much judgment on them or anything, or being too dramatic.Basically, you're reading a story without too much extra comment from the narrator.OK. Now, we have an idea of what realism was.So, who were the players?Well, two important realist novelists were Rebecca Harding Davis and Mark Twain.We'll talk more about other realists tomorrow, but for today let's just start by looking briefly at these two.Rebecca Harding Davis was an author and journalist who, like other realists, was concerned about all those social changes going on.She wrote mainly about some marginalized groups of the time, like women, Native Americans, uh, immigrants.Now, her best-known book is a novella called Life in the Iron Mills.It's really a key text because it's one of the original realist works.Her works overall have been pretty much ignored for a long time, but some critics and scholars are starting to revisit them and study them more seriously, probably more for the historical aspects of the works, and... and I think that's great.But if we're talking about great literature, literature that's read and enjoyed today... as something more than just a way of looking at that era, the era when it was written, well, a favorite of mine is Mark Twain.

    I'm sure you've read or heard of his most famous book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.And Twain's style... it goes back to what I said earlier, verisimilitude, the realistic way characters act and talk.You should realize too that this was quite a contrast to earlier writers in the U.S. who tried to emulate British writers, tried to be very elegant—at the expense of realism.Y'know, a lot of critics will tell you that American literature began with that book—The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

  • 旁白:请听一段美国文学课上的讲座。教授在讨论现实主义文学。

    教授:好的,大家听我说。我们上节课讲完了浪漫主义文学,对不对?所以现在我们来看看和浪漫主义文学完全不同的文学。现实主义手法作为一种文学手法,大约1860年到1890年的时候流行于美国。所以它大约是开始于南北战争的时期。我想你们马上就能明白它和浪漫主义及其他的文学流派有什么不同。现实主义文学有一个特别的特征使其非常独特,那就是它如实地描写人物,让你们了解他们的原貌,而且你们还可以知道社会上需要被改变的事情是什么。它不带感情色彩,不像浪漫主义文学那样,以那种过度情绪化的表达方式。现实主义就是如实地描述事物。

    让我们结合社会全貌一起来看。在十九世纪晚期,人们对于科学方法和理性哲学很感兴趣,也就是说,人们可以通过推理和分析事实来发现真相。理性和事实,就是这个。同时现实主义文学就流行了起来,那时候社会上发生了大量的政治和社会经济的变化。那时人们文化水平在提高,加之工业化和城市化的发展,还有人口因为移民而增长,以及中产阶级财富的增加。所有这些因素,再加上对理性与事实的重要性,意味着读者对于真正理解所有社会上的这些变化产生了兴趣。一位名为艾米•卡普兰的文学爱好者说过,我这里只是转述一下,她说现实主义是一种了解和解决社会变化的方式。

    这个观点我觉得很有道理。所以接下来,让我们仔细看看这个现实主义文学流派的技巧,以及现实主义的作家们是怎么完成他们的作品的。如我们刚才提到的一点是,他们着重于表达现实,从大量细节上表达现实。这以逼真为目标,需要我把这个词写黑板上吗?学生:要的!

    教授:逼真基本上指的是真实和现实。就像是,从某种程度上说,是照片而不是画作。实际上,这是一个很好的比喻。你们知道作者会尽力去及时捕捉一个时刻,以及这个时刻所有的基本事实,但是又不加以夸大,就像是照相机所做的那样。无论如何,这一些事件,发生在现实主义文学中的这一些事情通常都是貌似可信的,我的意思是,你们会发现它们可能发生在任何人身上。那些人物角色也是可信的,实际上,人物角色比故事情节要重要。而且……他们像真实中的人一样说话,不同地区、不同国家的真实的讲话风格在小说中被体现。我讲明白了吗?所以,除了逼真性以外,现实主义的另一个特征是叙述者的客观性。

    叙述者在人物和事件的描述中,没有对他们或任何事物的评价,或者描述的过于戏剧化。基本上,你们是在阅读一个并没有太多叙述者评论的故事。好的,现在我们对于现实主义是什么有了一定了解了。那么现实主义的代表人物都有谁呢?嗯,有两个重要的现实主义作家是丽贝卡•哈丁•戴维斯和马克•吐温。我们明天再讲别的现实主义作家,但是今天,我们就从简单看看这两位开始。丽贝卡•哈丁•戴维斯是一位作家和新闻记者,就像其他的现实主义作者一样,她非常关心社会上正在发生的改变。她主要是描写当时边缘群体,就像是女人,美国土著,啊,还有移民的事情。她最出名的一部短篇小说叫做《铁磨坊的生活》。这部书很关键,因为她是现实主义文学的开山之作之一。她的作品在很长一段时间里被世人所忽略,但是一些书评家和文学爱好者现在开始重新关注她的作品,更加严肃地研究它们,也许是因为她作品的历史的角度……我觉得这样很好。但是如果我们开始谈论更加伟大的文学作品,现在被人们阅读和喜爱的作品,而不是作为了解现实主义盛行的时代的手段的话,呃,我最喜欢的作家之一是马克•吐温。

    我确信你们已经读过或者听说过他最出名的书,《哈克贝芬历险记》。马克•吐温的风格是,他回归了我刚才提到的逼真性,角色的行为和谈话都遵从现实主义特点。你们也应该意识到,这与美国早期的文学作家形成鲜明的对比,他们试图模仿英国作家,试图变得非常优雅——以牺牲现实主义为代价。你们知道,很多书评家会告诉你们美国文学开始于这部作品,《哈克贝芬历险记》。

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    题型分类: 主旨题
    原文定位:
    MALE Professor: Ok, everyone. In our last class, we finished up Romanticism, right? So now let’s look at something completely different. Realism as a literary technic was most popular in U.S. literature from around 1860 till 1890.

    选项分析:

    讲座开头老师开门见山就做了主题介绍,之后整篇讲座都在介绍现实主义文学,先后介绍了现实主义文学产生的社会背景、特征以及两个代表作者。选项A符合原文。

    选项B说本文主要讲的是现实主义的情节发展和人物描写;

    选项C说本文在检验现实主义对于社会变革的作用;

    选项D说本文是讲两个代表人物,都比较片面。


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