Face to face with Hurricane Camille

By Bobby King,2014-07-24 02:53
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Face to face with Hurricane Camille

Lesson one


Face to face with Hurricane Camille is a piece of narration. (To tell a story, for

    example in speech or writing. To give an account or a description.叙述或描绘)

    Simply defined, narration is the telling of a story. A good story has a beginning, a

    middle and an end, even though it may start in the middle or at some other point in the action and move backward to the earlier happenings. Narration is concerned with action, with life in motion, with a meaningful series of actions. It revolves around people, called characters, in some kind of struggle or conflict against other people, nature, society or themselves. In the story the leading character is called the hero or protagonist and the people or forces he fights

    against is called the antagonist or the enemy. The actions, that is, incidents and

    events are generally presented in order of their occurrence, following the natural time sequence of the happenings (chronological order). As the conflict develops, suspense and tension increase until the highest point or the climax of the struggle

    is reached. After the climax, the story quickly moves to a conclusion, which is

    sometimes called a denouement.(结局[to undo] 源自 desnouer [解开] The final

    resolution or clarification of a dramatic or narrative plot. last part, esp of a novel,

    play, etc, in which everything is settled or made clear)


    Action (plot) usually dominates narration; however, some narratives focus on character, theme (the idea behind the story), or atmosphere the mood or tone)

Face to face with Hurricane Camille describes heroic struggle of the Koshaks

    and their friends against the forces of a devastating hurricane. The story focuses

    mainly on action but the writer also clearly and sympathetically delineates(depict.

    To draw or trace the outline of; sketch out.画出?勾划出…的轮廓?画出) the

    characters in the story. The hero or the protagonist in the story is John Koshak, Jr., and the antagonist is hurricane.

The first paragraphs are introductory paragraphs, giving the time, place and

    background of the conflict-----man versus hurricanes. These paras also introduce

    the characters in the story. The writer builds up and sustains the suspense in the

    story and gives order and logical movement to the sequence of happenings by describing in detail and vividly the incidents showing how the Koshaks and their friends struggled against each onslaught (A violent attack.猛烈的攻击An

    overwhelming outpouring:大量的倾泻?slach [a striking]) of the hurricane. The

    writer describes theses actions in the order of their occurrence. This natural time

    sequence or chronological order holds the story together. The story reaches its

    climax in paragraph 27 and from there on the story moves rapidly to its

    conclusion. In the last para the writer states his theme or the purpose behind his


story in the reflection of Grandmother Koshak: We lost practically all our

    possessions, but the family came through it. When I think of that, I realize we

    lost nothing important.

    In Face to Face with Hurricane Camille, all headings and titles are generally succinct (adj (approv ) expressedbriefly and clearly; concise 简明的; 简洁的;

    简要的: * a succinct summary of the argument 论点的概要. > succinctly adv.

    succinctness n [U]. Characterized by clear, precise expression in few words; concise and terse:简明的;简炼的?以简短的言词表达清晰准确的意思为特征的?

    简明扼要的?) and particular care is given to the choice of words. The aim in to present the article, story, etc. as vividly and as forcefully as possible to attract the attention of would-be readers.

    Face To Face With Hurricane Camille 1 John Koshak, Jr., knew Hurricane Camille would be bad. Radio and television

    lashed warnings had sounded throughout that Sunday. Last August 17, as Camille

    northwestward across the Gulf of Mexico. It was certain to pummel Gulfport, Miss.,

    where the Koshaks lived. Along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, nearly 150,000 people fled inland to safer ground. But like thousands of others in the coastal communities, John was reluctant to abandon his home unless the familyhis wife, Janis and their seven children,

    aged 3 to 11was clearly endangered.

2 Trying to reason out the best course of action, he talked with his father and mother,

    who had moved into the ten-room house with the Koshaks a month earlier from California. He also consulted Charles Hill, a longtime friend, who had driven from Las Vegas for a visit.

    3 John, 37whose business was right there in his home (he designed and developed educational toys and supplies, and all of Magna Products’ correspondence,

    engineering drawings and art work were there on the first floor)was familiar with

    the power of a hurricane. Four years earlier Hurricane Betsy had demolished his

    former home a few miles west of Gulfport (Koshak had moved his family to a motel for the night). But that house had stood only a few feet above sea level. “We’re elevated 23 feet,” he told his father, “and we’re a good 250 yards from the sea. The place has been here since 1915, and no hurricane has ever bothered it. We’ll probably be as safe here as anyplace else.”

    4 The elder Koshak, a gruff, warmhearted expert machinist of 67 agreed. “We can batten down and ride it out,” he said. “If we see signs of danger, we can get out before



5 The men methodically prepared for the hurricane. Since water mains might be

    damaged, they filled bathtubs and pails. A power failure was likely, so they checked

    out batteries for the portable radio and flashlights, and fuel for the lantern. John’s

    father moved a small generator into the downstairs hallway, wired several light bulbs to it and prepared a connection to the refrigerator.

    scudded in from the Gulf on the rising 6 Rain fell steadily that afternoon; gray clouds

    wind. The family had an early supper. A neighbor, whose husband was in Vietnam, asked if she and her two children could sit out the storm with the Koshaks. Another

    neighbor came by on his way inlandwould the Koshaks mind taking care of his


    7 It grew dark before 7 o’clock. Wind and rain now whipped the house. John sent his oldest son and daughter upstairs to bring down mattresses and pillows for the young

    children. He wanted to keep the group together on one floor. “Stay away from the windows,” he warned, concerned about glass flying from storm-shattered pane. As the

    wind mounted to a roar, the house began leakingthe rain seemingly driven right

    through the walls. With mops, towels, pots and buckets the Koshaks began a struggle

    rapidly spreading water. At 8:30, power failed, and Koshak turned on the against the


8 The roar of the hurricane now was overwhelming. The house shook, and the ceiling

    in the living room was falling pieces by pieces. The French doors in an upstairs room blew in with an explosive sound, and the group heard gun-like reports as other upstairs windows disintegrated. Water rose above their ankles.

9 Then the front door started to break away from its frame. John and Charlie put their

    shoulders against it, but a blast of water hit the house, flinging open the door and

    shoving them down the hall. The generator was doused, and the lights went out.

    Charlie licked his lips and shouted to John. “I think we’re in real trouble. That water tasted salty.” The sea had reached the house, and the water was rising by the minute.

    10 “Everybody out the back door to the car!” John yelled. “We’ll pass the children along between us. Count them! Nine!”

11 The children went from adult to adult like buckets in a fire brigade. But the cars

    wouldn’t start: the electrical systems had been killed by water. The wind was too strong and the water too deep to flee on foot. “Back to the house!” John yelled.

    “Count the children! Count Nine!”

    12 As they scrambled back, John ordered, “Everybody on the stairs!” Frightened, breathless and wet, the group settled on the stairs, which were protected by two


interior walls. The children put the cat, spooky, and a box with her four kittens on the

    landing. She peered nervously at her litter. The neighbor’s dog curled up and went to


    13 The wind sounded like the roar of a train passing a few yards away. The house shuddered and shifted on its foundations. Water inched its way up the steps as

    first-floor outside walls collapsed. No one spoke. Everyone knew there was no escape;

    they would live or die in the house.

    14 Charlie Hill had more or less taken responsibility for the neighbor and her two children. The mother on the verge of panic. She clutched his arm and kept repeating,

    “I can’t swim, I can’t swim.”

15 You won’t have to,” he told her, with outward calm. “It’s bound to end soon.”

    16 Grandmother Koshak reached an arm around husband’s shoulder and put her mouth close to his ear. “Pop,” she said, “I love you.” He turned his head and answered, “I love you”—and his voice lacked its usual gruffness.

17 John watched the water lap at the steps, and felt a crushing guilt. He had

    underestimated the ferocity of Camille. He had assumed that what had never

    happened could not happen. He held his head between his hands, and silently prayed:

    “Get us through this mess, will You?”

18 A moment later, the hurricane, in one mighty swipe, lifted the entire roof off the

    house and skimmed it 40 feet through the air. The bottom steps of the staircase broke

    apart. One wall began crumbling on the marooned group.

    19 Dr. Robert H. Simpson, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., graded Hurricane Camille as “the greatest recorded storm ever to hit a populated area

    in the Western Hemisphere.” In its concentrated breadth of some 70 miles it shot out

    winds of nearly 200 mph and raised tides as high as 30 feet. Along the Gulf Coast it devastated everything in its swath: 19,467 homes and 709 small businesses were

    demolished or severely damaged. It seized a 600,000-gallon Gulfport oil tank and dumped it 3.5 miles away. It tore three large cargo ships from their moorings and

    beached them. Telephone poles and 20-inch-thick pines cracked like guns as the winds snapped them.

20 To the west of the Gulfport the town of Pass Christian was virtually wiped out.

    Several vacationers at the luxurious Richelieu Apartments there held a hurricane party to watch the storm from their spectacular vantage point. Richelieu Apartments were

    smashed apart as if by a gigantic fist, and 26 people perished.

21 Seconds after the roof blew off the Koshak house, John yelled, “Up the


stairs—into our bedroom! Count the kids!” The children huddled in the slashing rain

    within the circle of adults. Grandmother Koshak implored, “Children, let’s sing!” The

    children were too frightened to respond. She carried on alone for a few bars; then her

    voice trailed away.

    22 Debris flew as the living-room fireplace and its chimney collapsed. With two walls in their bedroom sanctuary beginning to disintegrate, John order, “Into the television

    room!” This was the room farthest from the direction of the storm.

    23 For an instant, John put his arm around his wife. Janis understood. Shivering from the wind and rain and fear, clutching two children to her, she thought, Dear Lord, give me the strength to endure what I have to. She felt anger against the hurricane. We

    won’t let it win.

24 Pop Koshak raged silently, frustrated at not being able to do anything to fight

    Camille. Without reason, he dragged a cedar chest and a double mattress from a

    bedroom into the TV room. At that moment, the wind tore out one wall and

    extinguished the lantern. A second wall moved, wavered, Charlie Hill tried to support it, but it toppled on him, injuring his back. The house, shuddering and rocking, had moved 25 feet from its foundation. The world seemed to be breaking apart.

25“Let’s get that mattress up!” John shouted to his father. “Make it a lean-to against

    the wind. Get the kids under it. We can prop it up with our heads and shoulders!”

26 The larger children sprawled on the floor, with smaller ones in a layer on top of

    them, and the adults bent over all nine. The floor tilted. The box containing the litter

    of the kittens slid off a shelf and vanished in the wind. Spooky flew off the top of a sliding bookcase and also disappeared. The dog cowered with eyes closed. A third

    wall gave way. Water lapped across the slanting floor. John grabbed a door which was still hinged to one closet wall. “If the floor goes,” he yelled at his father, “let’s get the kids on this.”

    27 In that moment, the wind slightly diminished, and the water stopped rising. Then the water began receding. The main thrust of Camille had passed. The Koshaks and

    their friends had survived.

    28 With the dawn, Gulfport people started coming back to their homes. They saw human bodiesmore than 130 men, women and children died along the Mississippi coastthe parts of the beach and highway were strewn with dead dogs, cats, cattle.

    Strips of clothing festooned the standing trees, and blown-down power lines coiled

    like black spaghetti over the roads.

    29 None of the returnees moved quickly or spoke loudly; they stood shocked, trying to absorb the shattering scenes before their eyes. “What do we do?” they asked.


“Where do we go?”

    30 By this time, organizations within the area and, in effect, the entire population of the United States had come to the aid of the devastated coast. Before dawn, the

    guard Mississippi National Guard civil-defense units were moving in to handle traffic, property, set up communications centers, help clear the debris and take the homeless by truck and bus to refugee center. By 10 a.m., the Salvation Army’s canteen trucks and Red Cross volunteers and stuffers were going wherever possible to distribute hot

    drinks, food, clothing and bedding.

    31 From hundreds of towns and cities across the country came several million dollars in donations; household and medical supplies streamed in by plane, train, truck and car. The Federal government shipped 4,400,000 pounds of food, moved in mobile

    homes, set up portable classrooms, opened offices to provide low-interest, long-term business loans.

32 Camille, meanwhile, had raked its way northward across Mississippi, dropping

    Virginia and southern Virginia, causing more than 28 inches of rain into West

    rampaging floods, huge mountain slides and 111 additional deaths before breaking up over the Atlantic Ocean.

    33 Like many other Gulfport families, the Koshaks quickly began reorganizing their lives. John divided his family in the homes of two friends. The neighbor with her two children went to a refugee center. Charlie Hill found a room for rent. By Tuesday,

    Charlie’s back had improved, and he pitched in with Seabees in the worst volunteer

    work of allsearching for bodies. Three days after the storm, he decided not to return to Las Vegas, but to remain in Gulfport and help rebuild the community.

    34 Near the end of the first week, a friend offered the Koshaks his apartment, and the family was reunited. The children appeared to suffer no psychological damage from

    their experience; they were still awed by the incomprehensible power of the hurricane,

    but enjoyed describing what they had seen and heard on that frightful night. Janis had just one delayed reaction. A few nights after the hurricane, she awoke suddenly at 2 a.m. She quietly got up and went outside. Looking up at the sky and, without knowing she was going to do it, she began to cry softly.

    35 Meanwhile, John, Pop and Charlie were picking through the wreckage of the home. It could have been depressing, but it wasn’t: each salvaged item represented a little

    victory over the wrath of the storm. The dog and cat suddenly appeared at the scene, alive and hungry.

36 But the blues did occasionally afflict all the adults. Once, in a low mood, John said

    to his parents, “I wanted you here so that we could all be together, so you could enjoy the children, and look what happened.”


    37 His father, who had made up his mind to start a welding shop when living was normal again, said, “Let’s not cry about what’s gone. We’ll just start all over.”

38 “You’re great,” John said, “And this town has a lot of great people in it. It’s going

    to be better here than it ever was before.”

39 Later, Grandmother Koshak reflected: “We lost practically all our possessions, but

    the family came through it. When I think of that, I realize we lost nothing important.”


    [to deal a blow]

    可能源自 lashen [给予一击] onomatopoeia

    [perhaps of imitative origin] lace]

    中古英语 lashen, lasen [用带子束紧] To strike with or as if with a whip. 鞭打?用或仿佛用鞭子击打


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