读一篇新概念3议论文

读一篇新概念3议论文

新概念3第45课The power of the press是一篇关于新闻媒体影响力的议论文。作者指出新闻媒体能极大影响普通人的生活,甚至改变一个政府。他还通过五胞胎家庭的例子来具体说明媒体的威力。

 

这篇文章放在今天“流量经济”的语境下很有现实意义:很多媒体和个人为了追求噱头而给其他人的生活造成了困扰——之前奥运冠军全红婵的老家被各路主播围观就是一个例子。为了避免成为流量时代的受害者和帮凶,或许我们可以学习文中的一句话:Though we may enjoy reading about the lives of others, it is extremely doubtful whether we would equally enjoy reading about ourselves.(我们都喜欢看关于别人生活的报道,但是否同样喜欢看关于自己生活的报道,就很难说了。)

 

下面是关于课文的详细分析:

In democratic countries any efforts to restrict the freedom of the press are rightly condemned. However, this freedom can easily be abused. Stories about people often attract far more public attention than political events. Though we may enjoy reading about the lives of others, it is extremely doubtful whether we would equally enjoy reading about ourselves. Acting on the contention that facts are sacred, reporters can cause untold suffering to individuals by publishing details about their private lives. Newspapers exert such tremendous influence that they can not only bring about major changes to the lives of ordinary people but can even overthrow a government.

 

在民主国家里,任何限制新闻自由的企图都理所当然地受到谴责。然而,这种自由很容易被滥用。常人轶事往往比政治事件更能引起公众注意。我们都喜欢看关于别人生活的报道,但是否同样喜欢看关于自己生活的报道,就很难说了。记者按事实至上的论点行事,发表有关别人生活的细节,有时会给当事人造成极大的痛苦。新闻具有巨大的威力。它们不仅可以给寻常人家的生活带来重大的变化,甚至还能推翻一个政府。

 

段落解析

 

In democratic countries any efforts to restrict the freedom of the press are rightly condemned.

 

rightly这一副词的意思是“合情合理地,理所当然的”,这一句也提供了一个句式:any…is/are rightly condemned,比如我们可以说:

 

In this day and age any attempts to abuse animals are rightly condemned.

 

Acting on the contention that facts are sacred, reporters can cause untold suffering to individuals by publishing details about their private lives.

 

Acting on the contention that…是现在分词短语作状语,其逻辑主语是reporters,that引导的是同位语从句,对contention的内容作进一步说明。

 

act on/upon something是一个固定搭配,意思是“根据……行事”,比如:A patient will usually listen to the doctor's advice and act on it. 患者通常都会遵照医嘱行事。

 

Newspapers exert such tremendous influence that…

 

Influence属于可变名词,在这里它是作为不可数名词使用,如果写成exert such a tremendous influence that…也是可以的,此时influence作为可数名词。比如韦氏高阶英语词典中就有这样的例句:They exert a strong cultural/economic influence over their neighbors in the region.

 

读一篇新概念3议论文


 

The story of a poor family that acquired fame and fortune overnight, dramatically illustrates the power of the press. The family lived in Aberdeen, a small town of 23,000 inhabitants in South Dakota. As the parents had five children, life was a perpetual struggle against poverty. They were expecting their sixth child and faced with even more pressing economic problems. If they had only had one more child, the fact would have passed unnoticed. They would have continued to struggle against economic odds and would have lived in obscurity. But they suddenly became the parents of quintuplets, four girls and a boy, an event which radically changed their lives. The day after the birth of the five children, an aeroplane arrived in Aberdeen bringing sixty reporters and photographers.

 

下面这户穷人一夜之间出名发财的故事戏剧性地说明了新闻报道威力。这户人家住在南达科他州一个人口为23000 的小镇上,镇名为阿拜丁。由于家里已有5个孩子,全家人常年在贫困中挣扎。第6个孩子即将问世,他们面临着更为严峻的经济问题。如果他们只添了1个孩子,这件事本来就不会引起任何人的注意。这家人会继续为克服经济上的拮据而奋斗,并默默无闻地活下去。但是他们出人意料生了个五胞胎,4女1男。这事使他们的生活发生了根本的变化。五胞胎降生第二天,一架飞机飞抵阿拜丁,随机带来60名记者与摄影师。

 

段落解析

 

As the parents had five children, life was a perpetual struggle against poverty.

 

as在这里引导原因状语从句,life was a perpetual struggle against poverty使用了暗喻的手法,将这一家人的生活比作同贫困进行的无休止斗争,这样更加形象。这一说法也可以积累起来,用来描述贫困的生活状态。比如:

 

Life was a perpetual struggle against poverty for many Chinese people in the 1960s, but thanks to China’s economic reform, they are now living a life of plenty and extreme poverty is all but wiped out.

 

They were expecting their sixth child and faced with even more pressing economic problems.

 

这里用的是"they were faced with even more pressing economic problems"而不是"they faced even more pressing economic problems",这是因为somebody is faced with problems带有“被动应对问题”的意味,而somebody faces problems则是“主动应对问题”,这里采用被动形式更加准确,能说明这家人不得不应对紧迫的经济问题。

 

If they had only had one more child, the fact would have passed unnoticed.

 

这里采用了虚拟语气,表述与过去事实不符的假设情况。

 

But they suddenly became the parents of quintuplets, four girls and a boy, an event which radically changed their lives.

 

quintuplet即“五胞胎之一”,它是quintuple(五倍的)的派生词。

 

four girls and a boy是quintuplets的同位语,an event which…是前面句子they suddenly became…lives的同位语。

 


 

The rise to fame was swift. Television cameras and newspapers carried the news to everyone in the country. Newspapers and magazines offered the family huge sums for the exclusive rights to publish stories and photographs. Gifts poured in not only from unknown people, but from baby food and soap manufacturers who wished to advertise their products. The old farmhouse the family lived in was to be replaced by a new $500,000 home. Reporters kept pressing for interviews so lawyers had to be employed to act as spokes-men for the family at press conferences. While the five babies were still quietly sleeping in oxygen tents in a hospital nursery, their parents were paying the price for fame. It would never again be possible for them to lead normal lives. They had become the victims of commercialization, for their names had acquired a market value. Instead of being five new family members, these children had immediately become a commodity.

 

这一家迅速出了名。电视摄像机和报纸把消息传送到全国。报纸、杂志出高价向他们购买文字、图片的独家报道权。不但素昧平生的人寄来了大量的礼物,而且婴儿食品、婴儿肥皂制造厂商为了替自己产品做广告也寄来了大量的礼物。这家人住的旧家舍将由一座价值50万美元的新住宅所取代。由于记者纷纷要求会见,他们不得不请了律师充当他们家的发言人举行记者招待会。眼下,五胞胎还静静地躺在医院婴儿室的氧气帐里,他们的父母却为这名声付出了代价,他们再也无法过正常的生活。他们成了商业化的受害者,因为他们的名字具有了市场价值。这些孩子立即成了商品,而不是5个新的家庭成员。

 

段落解析

 

Newspapers and magazines offered the family huge sums for the exclusive rights to publish stories and photographs.

 

huge sums相当于huge sums of money,即“巨额钱财”,offered the family huge sums…是动词offer接的双宾语结构,the family为间接宾语,huge sums为直接宾语。

 

Gifts poured in not only from unknown people…

 

这里直接使用物品gifts作为主语,会更加简洁生动。

 

Reporters kept pressing for interviews so lawyers had to…

 

press for something意思是“极力要求某事”,比如:Laborers are pressing for higher wages. 工人们正强烈要求增加工资。

 

Instead of being five new family members, these children had immediately become a commodity.

 

一些同学可能会疑惑结尾为何用的是these children had immediately become a commodity,而不是these children had immediately become commodities,其实a commodity在这里表示的是一个泛指概念,它等同于commodities,因此两种写法都是可以的。

 

类似的用法还有be a slave to something(深受……的影响),它有时候也可以写成be slaves to something,比如:We have become slaves to smartphones. / We have become a slave to smartphones.

 

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