Book 4 Lesson 7

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Book 4 Lesson 7

    Contemporary College English Book Four

    Unit Four Text A A Drink in the Passage

课程名现代大学英语精读 授课专业及班次 2007本科英语12

    授课内Unit Four Text A 授课方式及学时 16

    To grasp some backgrounds of the story,some keys words and commonly-used 目的要

     sentence patterns.

    Special difficulties:the some colloquail language 重点与难

     Key points:some key words and important sentence patterns

    2 hours: the introduction of the background:Apartheid South Africa

    4 hours: the explaination of the glossary and the main idea of the text 讲授内

    2 hours: the first part of the text:the introduction 容及

    时间分2 hours: the second part of the text

     2 hours: the last part of the text

    4 hours:exercises


    杨立民. Contemporary College English.北京~外语教学与研究出版






Teaching contents and procedures

    ?Questions for consideration

    1)what do you know about Apartheid South Africa?Do you know its history? 2)Can you introduce the racial separation ? What is your opinion of it? ?Introduction to the background

    The story is set against the background of Apartheid South Africa. South Africa was colonized by

    ththe British and Dutch in the 17 century.British domination of the Dutch descendants resulted in the Dutch establishin gth enew colonies of Orange Free State and Transvaal.The idcovery of

    diamonds in these lands around 1900 led to a British invasion which resulted in the Boer

War.Following independence from Britain, there was a perild of uneasy power-sharing between

    the two groups until the 1940s, when the Afrikaner National Party was able to gain a strong

    majority. Toward the end of the 1980s, amid increasing racial tension and criticism from the

    outside world, Nationalist president F.W.De Klerk started a serious reform.

?the explanation of the new words


    A mistake that you make by not noticing sth or by forgetting to do sth, E.g. I didn’t mean to leave the room unlocked. It was just an oversight.

Reprimandpa. 2

    A sharp, angry and official rebuke.


    A person of distinction.

    Compare: 1 person,2 personage, 3 personnel, 4 personality, 5 personal. I hear that he has very strong backing from a powerful _____. Any _____ could get nervous under those circumstances.

    ____ department is organizing the training of the new members of staff. Will you do it for me as a ____ favour.

    She has a very strong ____.

    Keys: 2 1 3 5 4

To feel up to:pa. 4

    To be well enough to: to be capable of.

    E.g. I don’t feel up to a long hike.

Velvet 7

    A soft fabric, such as silk, or nylon, having a smooth, dense pile and a plain underside

Backdrop 7

    A painted curtain hung at the back of a stage set


    Paying compliments; expressing praise or admiration.

    Do not mix it up with the complimentary, complementary

    The professor is highly ____ about your paper.

    The economies of our two countries are highly____.

    Keys 1,2

And allpa .16

    The whole thing; including everything or everybody mentioned, E.g.

    My boss promised to provide me with a computer and all.

justaround the cornerpa. 18Very near

    e.g The new is around the corner.

To be at ones easepa. 34

    Feeling natural and comfortable; without any embarrassment or discomfort

To get beyond sb:pa. 51

    To become difficult for sb to understand.

A sociable eveningpa. 72

    An evening characterized by pleasant, informal conversation and companionship.

? the analyses of some important sentences

    1. In the year 1960 the Union of South Africa celebrated its Golden Jubilee, and there was a nationwide sensation when the one-thousand-pound prize for the finest piece of sculpture was won by a black man, Edward Simelane.

    In the year 1960, the Union of South Africa celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, and there was a

    great excitement throughout the country when people heard that the prize for the finest piece

    of sculpture was won by a black man.

     Golden Jubilee: Jubilee is the celebration of a speical anniversary: silver jubilee (25 th

    thanniversary); golden jubilee (50 th anniversary) and diamond jubilee (60 or 75 th


     nationwide: throughout the nation

     Note that “-wide” is an adjective or adverb suffix meaning throughout, e.g.

     Nationwide; worldwide; communitywide; schoolwide.

     a sensation: extreme excitement or intereest, e.g.

     His speech produced a great sensation (in the audience.)

     The new opera did not cause the sensation that had been expected.

    2. His work, African Mother and Child, not only excited the admiration, but touched the conscience or heart or whatever it was that responded, of white South Africa.

     His sculpture, African Mother and Child, not only won the admiration of the white people for its artisitc merit, but also deeply touched or moved their hearts and conscience because the work made them see the injustice of racial discrimination and the black people’s yearning for a better life for their children.

3. It was by an oversight that his work was accepted…

     It was by a careless mistake that his work was accepted, because as a black person, he was not supposed to participate in the competition.

     Oversight: a mistake that you make by not noticing sth or by forgetting to do sth, e.g.

     I didn't mean to leave the room ulocked. It was just an oversight.

     By (an) oversight, the letter was sent unsigned.

    4. The committee of the sculpture section received a pricate reprimand for having been so careless as to omit the words “for whites only” from the conditions…

     a private reprimand: a private criticsm; a criticism that is not made public

     reprimand: a sharp, angry and official rebuke (criticism)

     so careless as to omit the words “for whites only” from the conditions: so careless that they forgot to put the words “for whites only” in the conditions for entering the competition

5. a very high personage

     a high-ranking official; an important person

     personage: a person of distinction

     Compare: person, personage, personnel, personality

    6. The committee then decided that this prize must be given along with the others, at the public ceremony which would bring this particular part of the celebrations to a close.

     To bring sth to a close: to end or conclude sth, e.g.

     The government was anxious to bring the hostage crisis to a close.

     The surrender of General Lee’s army soon brought the Civil War to a close.

    7. …but in certain powerful quarters, there was an outcry against any departure from the “traditional policies” of the country…

     … but in certain politically influential circles, there was a strong protest against this decision

    as it wsa not in conformity with the traditional, apartheid policies of the country.

     quarters: a usually unspecified group of people

     I learned the news from some usually well-informed quarters.

     He has won some support from business quarters

     outcry: a strong protest or objection

     There was a public outcry against police brutality.

     There was an outcry among the workers when the decision was announced.

     departure from: a divergence from a rule or traditional practice

     “traditional policies”: They refer to the racist policies which had been in effect for many years.

    8. However, a crisis was averted, because the sculptor was “unfortunately unable to attend the ceremony”.

     A crisis was avoided because to the relief of the authorities Simelane apologized that be would not be able to attend the ceremony personally to receive the prize.

     Notice that what is given here in quotes is the official announcement which was probably not true, and everybody knew it.

    9. “I wasn’t feeling up to it.” Simelane said mischievously to me. “My parents, and my wife’s parents, and our priest, decided that I wasn’t feeling up to it. And finally I decided so too.”

     When Simelane said mischievously to the author that he wasn't feeling up to it, he meant that he was going to pretend that he was sick and therefore he could not go to the cermoney, and he knew that he was sick and therefore he could not go to the ceremony, and he knew that the author would understand that it was only an excuse. The meaning became even clearer when he

    went on to say that his parents and others “decided” that he wasn’t feeling up to it. What they really meant of course was that he should not go to the ceremony as it wsa too risky.

    to feel up to: to be well enough to; to be capable of, e.g.

     I don’t feel up to a long hike.

     I don’t think Ann will feel up to it. She is not as young as she used to be.

    mischievously: playfully; teasingly

10. “boys, I’m a sculptor, not a demonstrator.”

     Majosi and Sola and the others were obviously well-known anti-apartheid activists. They

    wanted him to go to the ceremony for political reasons. But his response was that he was only

    a sculptor and he wsa not interested in politics. He did not want to make it a political issue.

     boys: my friends

    11. “This cognac is wonderful,” he said, “especially in these big glasses. It’s the first time I’ve

    such a glass. It’s also the first time I’ve drunk a brandly so slowly.”

    Brandy is an expensive drink that was usually consumed by well-to-do white folks in

    Apartheid South Africa who would sip slowly from a brandy glass. When a black person like

    Simelane ever got a chance to drink brandy, he would usually use a small glass and drink it

    quickly for fear that he might be seen and arrested by the police for breaking the law. A

    brandy glass is a large one with a wide bowl and narrower top. It is this shape so that the

    drinker can appreciate the aroma of brandy.

12. “In Orlando you develop a throat of iron, and you just put back your head and put it down, in

    case the police should arrive.”

     When black folks in Orlando drank brandy, frequently they had to put back their head and drink

    it up in one gulp in order to avoid police detection, and because brandy is a very strong drink,

    you gradually develop a very strong throatlike a throat of iron.

     Notice that according to apartheid laws, blacks could not remain in the big cities after a certain

    hour at night. Orlando must be a small town where blacks live.

    13. They gave a window to it, with a white velvet backdrop, if there is anything called white

    velvet, and some complimentary words.

     They gave a whole window to the sculpture with a white curtain at the back and some words in

    praise of the work. The curtain (backdrop) was made of white velvet, if there is such a thing

    as white velvet.

     Velvet is usually soft and smooth. But in this country of apartheid, it was hard for the sculptor

    to associate the color “white” with such qualities as “softness” and “smoothness”.

     Notice the sharp contrast of the colors of the backdrop and the scupture. There is something

    symbolic about it.

     Complimentary: paying compliments; expressing praise or admiration

     Do not mix it up with the complementary, which means

    14. On my way from the station to the Herald office, I…would only squint at it out of the corner

    of my eye.

     the station: This obviously refers to the railway station. The sculptor lives in Orlando as he is

    not allowed to live in the big city and therefore has to commute by train every day.

     The Herald office: We can assume that the sculptor works for a newspaper called The Herald.

     To squint at: to look or glance to the side

     out of the corner of my eye: Notice in this idiom that it is “my eye”, not “my eyes”.

15. …so I thought I’d go and see the window, and indulge certain pleasurable human feelings.

     So I thought I’d go and see the window, and secetly enjoy some pleasant feelings—feelings of

    pride for example for my genios.

16. I must have got a little lost in the contemplation of my own genius…

     I must have become too absorbed or preoccupied with my own genius…

17. And you know, one doesn’t get called “mate” every day.

     In South Africa, a black man does not hear a white man call him “mate”. They are usually

    treated very rudely. But this white man was very friendly. Therefore he just couldn't bring

    himself to say no to his invitation.

    18. Well honestly I didn’t feel like a drink at that time of night, with a white stranger and all, and a

    train still to catch to Orlando.

     Well, to tell the truth, I didn’t like the idea of having a drink at that time of night. It was getting

    late, and I had to catch a train to Orlando before I got into trouble with the police. Besides I

    would be drinking with a white stranger and would have to face all the possible


     and all: the whole thing: including everything or everybody mentioned, e.g.

     My boss promised to provide me with a computer and all.

     He ate the whole of the fish, head, tail, bones, and all.

19. “My flat’s just round the corner. Do you speak Afrikaans?”

     (just) round the corner: very near

     Afrikaans: a Dutch dialect spoken mainly by the white people of Dutch descent in South Africa.

    The fact that the sculptor had spoken the language since he was a child showed that although

    he was black he was well-educated. In this passage, there was quite a problem for the

    sculptor as to what language he should use, as language served as an important social status


20. I couldn’t have told him my name.

     Why did Simelane say he couldn’t have told van Renshurg his name?

     It might be that Simelane had been acting as if he were admiring somebody else’s work of art

    and therefore it would be embarrassing to reveal his true identity. He did not want the other

    person to know that he was indulging in admiring his own genius, esp. after hearing the

    compliments of this stranger.

    21. We didn't exactly walk abreast, but he didn’t exactly walk in front of me.

     Is there any symbolic meaning of the sentence? Would it be a problem for them to walk abreast?

    A black was not the equal of white so they would never walk side by side a equals.

    22. “I wanted a bookshop, like that one there, I always wanted that, ever since I can remember.

    But I had bad luck. My parents died before I could finish school.”

     Did van Rensburg’s background have anything to do with his appreciation of the sculpture?

23. I said unwillingly, “Yes.” Then I thought to myself, how stupid, for leaving the question open.

     Simlane thought it was stupid of him to leave the question open. If he had said “no”, that would

    have ended the subject. Now that he had said “yes”, this stranger would naturally want to

    know how far he had gone. Answer the question in such a way as to lead to further questions.

    24. I was glad to see that the entrance lobby was deserted. I wasn’t at my ease. The lift wsa at

    ground level, marked Whites Only.

     I was glad to see that there was no one in the wide entrance passage. I was a bit nervous.

     to be at one’s ease: feeling natural and comfortable; without any embarrassment or discomfort

     lift: (chiefly British) an elevator (AmE)

     Similarly flat is also used chiefly in British English. In American English, appartment is more

    oftne used. English in South Africa is British English.

     ground floor: also British English for what Americans call the first floor

     Notice that Simelane wsa il at ease in a place where he was not supposed to be. That was why

    he was glad that the lobby was deserted and why he was so anxious to get moving and away

    from that ground floor.

25. …and looked at me with a kind of honest, unselfish envy.

     … and looked at me in a way that showed that he sincerely envied me. He was not jealous of

    my education.

26. On the other side were the doors, impoersonal doors.

     impersonal doors: The doors looked impoersonal because for one thing, they looked all the

    same, this being a cheap apartment building. They had no names or signs on them.

     impersonal: showing no emotions or feelings

     Notice that the white man was friendly enough to invite Simelane to have a drink, but he was

    not ready to invite him into his home.

27. “Sorry there’s no brandy,” he said. “Only wine, Here’s happiness.”

     He was sorry that there was no brandy, for brandy is generally considered more expensive stuff.

     Here’s happiness: Let’s drink to your happiness. Van Rensburg was proposing a toast.

    28. I wasn’t only feeling what you may be thinking, I was thinking that one of the impersonal

    doors might open at any moment, and someone might see me in a “white” building, and see

    me and van Rensburg breaking the liquor laws of the country.

     You may be thinking that it was an insult to have me drink in the passage instead of inviting me

    into their apartment, to sit down and drink properly. Yes, I was feeling that way. But there are

    something else. I was also afraid that one of the cold, unfriendly doors might open at any

    moment and someone might see me in this “whites only” building, drinking with a white man

    and breaking the laws on drinking.

    29. Anger could have saved me from the whole embarrassing situation, but you know I can’t

    easily be angry. Even if I could have been, I might have found it hard to be angry with this

    particular man.

     I could have simple left then and there angrily and thus freed myself from the awkward

    situation. But you know, I’m not the kind of person who can easily get angry. Even if I could,

    I might have found it hard to be angry with this particular man. He seemed so nice to me.

30. … “You know, talk out my heart to him.”

     …You know, talk to him heart to heart; tell him everything in my mind freely and fully; pour

    out my feelings to him

    31. …but not for all the money in the world could I have said to her dankie, my nooi or that

    disgusting danke, misses.

     Under no circumstances could I have said to her dankie, my nooi or that disgusting dankie,


     Apparently, buth “dankie, my nooi” and “ dankie, misses”, something like “Thank you, my

    lady”, were considered proper in this context for blacks. But Simelane would not talk like

    that. He had his dignity. On the other hand, he could not speak English because the woman

    was speaking Afrikaans. So finally he took his chance and used an expression so polite in

    Afrikaans that he could have been knocked down for forgetting his place, as such polite

    language was supposed to be reserved only for the white people.

     High Afrikaans: Afrikaans spoken by educated white Africaners

32. …so I took the risk of it and used the word mevrou, …, “Ek is a dankbarr, Mevrou.”

     Mevrou: Madam, a title of respect, clearly inappropriate for a black person to use

     Ek is a dankbarr, Mevrou: This must be a very formal form of address.

     Obviously, Simelane was caught “between a rock and a hard place”. As an eudcated person, he

    had a natural refined manner and was inclined to use a more formal form of address, but as a

    black, he was not supposed to.

    33. …and van Rensburg, in a strained voice that suddenly came out of nowhere, said, “Our land is

    beautiful is beautiful. But it breaks my heart.”

     Van Rensburg suddenly appeared and, in a worried voice, said, “Our land if beautiful. But it

    breaks my heart.”

     out of / from nowhere: happening or appearing suddenly and without warning, e.g.

     Mr. Jones was driving too fast on the expressway when a police patrol car appeared out of

    nowhere and stopped him.

     A stone came out of nowhhere and hit him on the head.

     our land: our country

     to break one’s heart” to make one extremely sad

    34. And I thought the whole thing was mad, and getting beyond me, with me a black stranger

    being shown a testimoial for the son of the house.

     Why did he say the whole thing was mad and getting beyond him?

     testimonial: a formal statement affirming the character or worth of another person

     Van Rensburg was the son of the house, and the woman was praising him in front of a black

    man, and a stranger at that too. This obviously was very abnormal, and Simelane was


     to get beyond sb: to become difficult for sb to understand

    35. All of us were full of goodwill, but I was waiting for the opening of one of those impersonal

    doors. Perhaps they were too, I don’t know. Perhaps when you want so badly to touch

    someone, you don’t care.

     All of us were full of warm and friendly feelings toward each other, but I was hoping that one

    of those doors would open and someone would come out and see me. Perhaps van Rensburg

    and the others were hoping the same thing, I am not quite sure. Perhaps when you want to

    reach out so eagerly, you don’t care what might happen.

     Notice that at that moment eveybody wanted to forget their racial difference, but the invisible

    barrier was still there.

    36. We drove up Eloff Street, and he said, “Did you know what I meant?” I wanted to answer him,

    but I couldn't, because I didn’t know what that something was. He couldn’t be talking about

    being frightened of Orlando at night, because what more could one mean than just that?

     We drove up Eloff Street, and he asked, “Did you know what I meant?” He wanted to make

    sure that I understood him. Being a black, I knew very well that he couldn’t be talking about

    it being dangerous in Orlando at night. He was saying that it was dangerous to break the

    Apartheid laws by showing up in Orlando at night. What else could he mean other than that?

    I knew he wanted understanding and further communication. I wanted to answer him, but I

    couldn't because I didn’t know that he wanted me to say.

37. “You know,” he said, “about our land being beautiful?”

    The unfinished words are: but it breaks my heart. Van Rensburg wanted Simelane to know

    that he felt sorry about their country’s Apartheid laws.

    Notice that throughout the conversation, van Rensburg was expressing his concern about the

    sad situation the country was in, and he thoguht that the black man probably would not

    understand. The truth of course wsa just the opposite.

    38. Yes, I knew what he meant, and I knew that for God’s sake he wanted to touch me too and he couldn’t; for his eyes had been blinded by years in the dark. And I thought it was a pity he was

    blind, for if men never touch each other, they’ll hurt each other one day.

     Yes, I knew what he meant, and I knew, too, that he really wanted to touch me. But he couldn’t for he had been influenced by racism for so long that he was now unable to see the truth and behave accordingly. And I thought it was a sad thing, because if you don’t understand each other and don’t care for each other, some day you will hurt each other. Racial prejudices are bound to lead to terrible sufferings on both sides.

     Touch me: It probably doesn’t mean “physically touch” but “get close to in spirit”.

    39. And it was a pity he was blind, and couldn’t touch me, for black men don’t touch white men any more; only by accident, when they make something like Mother and Child.

     And it was a pity he could not see the truth and couldn’t open up completely to me and embrace me as his brother, for black people could only touch them by accident as in this case. They would not have had the chance to be moved by the sculpture Mother and Child if it had not been for the oversight.

40. …and my inarticulateness distressed me,

     …and my inability to express myself upset me; The fact that I could not clearly express what I was thinking made me upset.

41. “Thank you for the sociable evening.”

     a sociable evening: an evening characterized by pleasant, informal conversation and companionship

    42….but I was thinking he was like a man trying to run a race in iron shoes, and not understanding why he cannot move.

     But I was thinking that he was much like a man trying to run but couldn’t because he was still not completely free from racial prejudices which were dragging his feet like iron shoes.

    And the sad thing wsa that he still did not know what was preventing their land, which

    otherwise was so beautiful, from becoming a country that would not break his heart. The wall

    wsa in his own heart.


    P113:Translate P115: Put the most appropriate words in the blanks.


    What do you think about racism? What influences will racism bring to us? What can we do to eliminate it?


    杨立民. Contemporary College English.北京~外语教学与研究出版社.2008..

    史正永《高级英语导读与欣赏》 北京~兴图音像出版社 2006年修订本

    李诗平《英语修辞手册》 长沙~湖南人民出版社 1998年第一版

    黄衡田《英语易混修辞格》 长沙~湖南大学出版社200612月第1

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