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Emerson's Self-reliance

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What is the main purpose of the lecture?
  • A. To point out similarities in Emerson’s essays and poems.

  • B. To prepare the students to read an essay by Emerson.

  • C. To compare Emerson’s concept of universal truth to that of other authors.

  • D. To show the influence of early United States society on Emerson’s writing.

显示答案 正确答案: B

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    NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in a literature class.

    MALE PROFESSOR:Alright, so let me close today's class with some thoughts to keep in mind while you're doing tonight's assignment.You'll be reading one of Ralph Waldo Emerson's best-known essays, Self-Reliance, and comparing it with his poems and other works.I think this essay has the potential to be quite meaningful for all of you—as young people who probably wonder about things like truth, and where your lives are going … all sorts of profound questions.

    Knowing something about Emerson's philosophies will help you when you read Self-Reliance. And basically, one of the main beliefs that he had, was about truth.Not that it's something that we can be taught... Emerson says it's found within ourselves.

    So this truth... the idea that it's in each one of us... is one of the first points that you'll see Emerson making in this essay.It's a bit abstract, but he's very into, ah, into each person believing his or her own thought.Believing in yourself, the thought or conviction that's true for you.

    But actually, he ties that in with a sort of universal truth, something that everyone knows but doesn't realize they know.Most of us aren't in touch with ourselves, in a way, so we just aren't capable of recognizing profound truths.It takes geniuses... people like, say, Shakespeare, who are unique because when they have a glimpse of this truth—this universal truth—they pay attention to it and express it, and don’t just dismiss it like most people do.

    So, Emerson is really into each individual believing in, and trusting, him or herself.You'll see that he writes about... well, first, conformity.He criticizes the people of his time, for abandoning their own minds and their own wills for the sake of conformity and consistency.They try to fit in with the rest of the world, even though it's at odds with their beliefs and their identities.Therefore, it's best to be a nonconformist—to do your own thing, not worrying about what other people think.That's an important point—he really drives this argument home throughout the essay.

    When you're reading I want you to think about that, and why that kind of thought would be relevant to the readers of his time.Remember, this is 1838. Self-reliance was a novel idea at the time, and United States citizens were less secure about themselves as individuals and as Americans.The country as a whole was trying to define itself.

    Emerson wanted to give people something to really think about. Help them find their own way and ah, what it meant to be who they were.

    So, that's something that I think is definitely as relevant today as it was then... probably, uh... especially among young adults like yourselves.You know, uh, college being a time to sort of really think about who you are and where you're going.

    Now, we already said that Emerson really emphasized nonconformity, right?As a way to sort of not lose your own self and identity in the world? To have your own truth and not be afraid to listen to it?Well, he takes it a step further.Not conforming also means, ah, not conforming with yourself, or your past. [rhetorically] What does that mean?Well, if you've always been a certain way, or done a certain thing, but it's not working for you anymore, or you're not content—Emerson says that it'd be foolish to be consistent even with our own past.Focus on the future, he says: that's what matters more. Inconsistency is good!He talks about a ship's voyage—and this is one of the most famous bits of the essay—how the best voyage is made up of zigzag lines.Up close, it seems a little all over the place, but from farther away the true path shows, and in the end it justifies all the turns along the way.

    So, don't worry if you’re not sure where you're headed or what your long term goals are—stay true to yourself and it'll make sense in the end.I mean, I can attest to that. Before I was a literature professor, I was an accountant. Before that, I was a newspaper reporter.My life has taken some pretty interesting turns, and here I am, very happy with my experiences and where they've brought me.If you rely on yourself and trust your own talents, your own interests, don't worry. Your path will make sense in the end.

  • 旁白:请听一段文学课上的演讲。

    教授:好的,那么趁着你们做今晚的作业,让我再强调一下一些需要你们记住的思考问题,以此结束今天的课程。你们会读到拉尔夫沃尔多艾默生最为著名的论述文《自立》并将其与他的诗歌和其他著作进行比较。我想这篇论述文对你们来说很有意义,作为年轻人你们很可能想知道什么是真理以及你们的生活方向,所有各种深奥的话题。

    懂一些艾默生的哲学原理有助于你们读懂《自立》。基本上说,他的主要信条就是关于真理。真理不是我们可以教就学到的,艾默生说真理存在于我们自身。

    所有,真理,这种我们每个人都有的想法,就是你们要读懂艾默生论文的第一点。这有点抽象,但是他就在,啊,就在每个人的身边,那些相信自己想法的人身上。相信自己,自己觉得是真理的想法和信念。

    而事实上,艾默生把自己的想法与一种“普遍真理”联系起来,一种每个人都知道,但是他们不清楚自己知道的东西。我们很多人不能够以某种方式认识到自己,所以我们不能够领悟到深刻的真理。这种真理需要天才,比如像莎士比亚这样的人,他们独一无二,因为当他们捕捉到真理,这种普遍真理的时候,他们会有所注意,将其表达出来,而不像我们中的很多人一样,忽视其存在。

    所以艾默生对那些相信并信任自己的人很感兴趣。你们会看到他写的内容是关于,呃,首先,一致性。他批判跟他同时代的人,那些为了一致性和一贯性而抛弃了自己的想法和愿望人们。尽管他们的行为与自己的信念和身份不一致,他们还是试着融入到其他人的世界中去。因此,最好的方法就是不尊奉习俗,要我行我素,不用介意其他人如何看待自己。这点是非常重要的,艾默生确实通过自己的文章阐明了这一点。

    当你们读这篇文章的时候,我要你们思考这一点,以及这种想法为什么会和他同时代的读者相关。记住,在1838 年。“自立”是一种新颖的想法,而美国公民作为拥有美国国籍的个体不是很认同自我。整个国家都在试图定义自我。

    艾默生想给人们提供可以付之思忖的东西。帮他们找到自己的处世途径和自我认识。

    这一点就是我所认为的以前跟现在都通用的相关性,嗯,也许,特别是像你们这样的成年人中。你知道的,大学的时候,你们就必须考虑自己的定位和发展方向。

    现在,我们已经说到了艾默生确实把重点放在了不尊奉习俗上,对吧。作为一种不失去自我和在这个世界上的定位的方式。认识到自己的真我,不要害怕去倾听灵魂的呼唤。艾默生更进一步阐释了这点。不尊奉习俗,呃,意味着不屈服于你自己和你的过去。什么意思呢?嗯,如果你一直遵循某一种方式或做某一件事情,但这种方式不再适合你亦或你不满足于自己。艾默生说即便我们对过去保持始终如一也是愚蠢的行为。他说:“把目光投向未来,这才是重要的。不要始终如一是件好事。他讲到关于一艘航行的船的例子,这是该篇文章中最为人知的部分。最成功的航行都有曲折的航线。在开始一段航行后,曲折似乎到处都是,但是在到更远的地方去后,真正的路线便会显现出来,最后所有沿路的迂回曲折都会被证明是值得的。

    所以,如果你不知道自己方向或长期目标,千万别担心。保持真我,最终一切都会是值得的。我想这点我可以证明。在我还不是文学教授的时候,我当过会计。在那之前,我是一名报社记者。我的生活经历了几次有趣的转变,现在我是文学教授。我对很喜欢自己的经历,它们造就了现在的我。如果你们依靠自己,相信自己有天赋,你自己的兴趣所在,那么别担心。最终你的道路会变得清晰。

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    题型分析:主旨题

    原文定位

    Alright, so let me close today’s class with some thoughts to keep in mind while you’re doing tonight’s assignment. You’ll be reading one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s

    best-known essays, Self-Reliance, and comparing it with his poems and other works.

    选项分析

    文章第一句,教授说:这节课的最后要说一些thoughts,今天晚上写作业的时候要一直记着这些thoughts,对应着B选项。A选项,原文说的是对比,并没说要找similaritiesC选项,并无其他author。D选项,United States society是文章后半段提到的,属于细节。



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