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After Twenty years O·Henry ※ About the Author background /works ※ About the text main idea / word study / understanding ※ In-class Discussion ※ Answers to the Exercises ※ After –class Activities
※ About the Author § O. Henry ( 1862 -1910 ) was the pen name of William Sydney Porter, an American short story writer noted for unexpected and often ironic ends of his tales. His habitual use of surprise endings set a pattern that was later followed by many short-story writers. A lot of his stories were written in a prison in Ohio while he was serving his sentence for embezzlement. He moved to New York in 1902 and wrote about 300 short stories. His works included: The Cop and The Anthem. The Gift of the Magi.
※ About the Text w main idea w The theme of this story is a common one: loyalty to a friend vs. devotion to public duty. Bob and Jim had obviously been close friends twenty years ago when they were young. Otherwise they would not have made this appointment to meet again at exactly the same place and the same hour twenty years later. We don’t know what had happened twenty years ago that made them so special to each other. But it was clear that Jim was a good honest man and always true to his friends and Bob admired and trusted him. The drama of the story lies in the fact that when they met again twenty tears later, they should find themselves on opposite sides of the law one was the man wanted by the police and the other turned out to be the police officer instructed to watch out for the runaway criminal. But no matter how much Jim had cherished their friendship, he would not let a personal relationship stand in the way of discharging his duty.
※ About the Text • word study · sharp: adj. 1) having a fine edge or point; capable of cutting or piercing; not blunt. e. g. a sharp knife, pin , needle, etc 2) quickly aware of things; acute; alert. e. g. sharp eyes, ears, reflexes 3) quick; brisk; vigorous. e. g. a sharp struggle, contest, etc adv. 1)(infml) punctually. e. g. Please be here at seven sharp. 2)(infml) suddenly; abruptly. e. g. stopped sharp, turn sharp left. sharpen: sharp + -en verb. ( cause sth. to ) become sharp. e. g. sharpen a pencil The tone of his letters has sharpened ( ie become less friendly ) recently. 4
※ About the Text • word study • Keen adj. 1) eager; enthusiastic. e. g. a keen swimmer, 2) (of feelings, etc) intense; strong; deep e. g. a keen desire, interest, sense of loss. 3) (of the senses) highly developed. e. g. Dogs have a keen sense of smell. 4) (of the points and cutting edges of knives, etc) sharp. e. g. a keen blade, edge. 5) (of the mind) quick to understand. e. g. a keen wit, intelligence.
※ About the Text • Word study • air n. 1)【U】mixture of gases surrounding the earth and breathed by all land animals and plants. e. g. Let’s go out for some fresh air. 2)【C】impression given; appearance or manner. e. g. He had the air of a learned professor. 3) 【U】the earth’s atmosphere; open space in this. e. g. the birds of the air. be in the open air. 4) (idm) airs and graces: (derog) affected manner intended (usu unsuccessfully) to make one appear a very refined person.
※ About the Text • Word study • Figure n. 1) written symbol for a number, esp 0 to 9. • e. g. Write the figure ‘ 7’ for me. • 2) diagram or illustration. • e. g. The figure on page 22 shows a political map of Africa. • 3) representation of a person or an animal in drawing, • • • painting, etc. e. g. The central figure in the painting is the artist’s daughter. 4) human form, esp its appearance, what it suggests, and how it is seen by others. e. g. She is a fine figure of a woman, ie pleasing in shape and appearance.
※ About the Text • Understanding · The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively. beat: an area of the town or city that a police officer regularly walks around; his route, which he patrols. on the beat: checking the area he is assigned to
※ About the Text • Understanding • The impressiveness was normal and for show, for spectators were few. This policeman was impressive in a natural way. He was not trying to look important, because it didn’t make sense—there were few people in the street to see him. This description shows that Jim had become an excellent police officer.
※ About the Text • Understanding • The time was barely ten o’clock, but chilly gusts of wind with a taste of rain in them had almost emptied in the streets. • Barely: hardly; only just e. g. She spoke so softly. I could barely hear him. I can barely make both ends meet. How can I buy a car. To empty: to make sth. empty. e. g. He emptied his pockets to show that he really had no money on him.
※ About the Text • Understanding • The area was one that kept early hours. People in that area closed their stores pretty early.
※ About the Text • Understanding • When about midway, the policeman suddenly slowed his walk. Why? Because he saw a man standing in the doorway and he became suspicious, or because he was excited that it might be the friend he had expected to see.
※ About the Text • Understanding • In the doorway of a darkened hardware store a man leaned, with an unlighted cigar in his mouth. The author was careful about the details in the description. It had to be a darkened store and Bob’s cigar had to be unlighted, otherwise Jim would see that it was the man wanted by the police in Chicago.
※ About the Text • Understanding • It’s an appointment made twenty years ago. The man was eager to explain to the police officer, which reflected the mentality of a man wanted by the police. It is strange that they did not recognize each other. It could be the darkness and long separation. It could also be that on Jim’s part, he was cautious.
※ About the Text • Understanding Sounds a little funny to you, doesn’t it? More examples of the use of “sound” as a link verb: e. g. It may sound easy to you. But actually it is very difficult. The name sounds familiar. I can’t recall where I heard it. It sounds good. OK, let’s do it.
※ About the Text • Understanding • The light showed a pale square-jawed face with keen eyes, and a little white scar near his right eyebrow. His tiepin was a large diamond, oddly set. The match light showed a face which must have fitted the description of the wanted man, especially the square jaw and the white scare. The mention of the diamond tiepin and the scare also suggested what bob had gone through. keen eyes: sharp eyes; eyes of good sight oddly set: the diamond placed in a strange or unusual way showing the owner’s lack of taste
※ About the Text • Understanding • The next morning I was to start for the west to make my fortune. In popular ideas about America, the Wild West has always meant the land of opportunities and adventure. to make one’s fortune: to make a lot of money.
※ About the Text • Understanding • We figured that in twenty years each of us ought to have our fate worked out and our fortunes made, whatever they were going to be. We guessed that by that time we should have already decided what to do with our lives, or we should have already found our places in society. to work out: to calculate; to find out
※ About the Text • Understanding We lost track of each other. to keep track of : to pay attention to sb. so that you know where they are or what is happening to them. to lose track of : to fail to do that. e. g. Have you kept track of the stock market? I have lost track of its latest development.
※ About the Text • Understanding • If my old partner turns up. to turn up: to arrive at the place. e. g. We waited for a long time, but no taxi turned up. The police were ordered to arrest him as soon as he turned up.
※ About the Text • Understanding • A man gets stuck in New York. It takes the West to make a man really keen. A man is unable to go very far or to be very successful in new York. He can’t escape the boring life. He has to go the West to become an eager and exciting person
※ About the Text • Understanding The few foot passengers in that quarter hurried dismally and silently. foot passenger: people walking in the street. Today we use the word “pedestrian” to refer to a person walking in the street, and “ foot passenger: usually means a person on a ship who has not brought his car.
※ About the Text • Understanding “ Bless my heart!” exclaimed the new arrival. bless my heart: ( =bless my soul) used to express surprise. This expression is rather old-fashioned. the new arrival: the man who has newly arrived.
※ About the Text • Understanding • Moderately. I have a position in one of the city departments. moderately: so-so; not too well, not too badly either. I have a position: I have a job In one of the city departments: ( I have a job) in one of the departments of the city government. ( he didn’t say directly that he had a position in the police department)
※ About the Text • Understanding • The man suddenly released his arm. The man suddenly stopped holding his arm. Other uses of “ to release” : He was released from the prison. ( let free ) The news was released in yesterday’s New York Times. ( made known ) She needed to do something to release her tension. ( get rid of ) We could release you from tour duties for two days. Meanwhile, you take a good rest. ( allow you not to do your work)
※ About the Text • Understanding • Chicago telegraphs us she wants to have a chat with you. “ Chicago” here refers to the Chicago police. “ Wants to have a chat with you” is a euphemism meaning “is trying to track you down, arrest you and take you to court”.
※ About the Text • Understanding • He said sharply. He said in a very severe and disapproving way. · I saw it was the face of the man wanted in Chicago. Someone who is wanted is being looked for by the police. Example: He was wanted for the cruel murder of three children.
※ In –class Discussion • If you were Jim, the policeman, what will you • do? Will you do the same as he did or will you let your friend go ? If you were Bob, the criminal, will you keep your appointment made twenty years ago? When you knew that it was Jim who reported you to the police to arrest you, will you be disappointed with your best friend? Will
※ Answers to the Exercises I. Complete the sentences, using the proper form of the expressions listed below. 1. under arrest 2. get stuck 3. lost track of 4. heard from 5. change…into 6. existence 7. know of 8. compete with 9. for show 10. tearing down 11. in existence 12. compete with 13. lose track of
※ Answers to the Exercises II. Put the following into English. 1). To fill an appointment 2). To make a large fortune 3). To keep early hours ， 4). To take a step or two 5). To slow one’s walk 6). To light a cigar 7). To unfold the paper 8). To cast a watchful eye 9). To empty the street
※ Answers to the Exercises II. Put the following into English. 1). To fill an appointment 2). To make a large fortune 3). To keep early hours 4). To take a step or two 5). To slow one’s walk 6). To light a cigar 7). To unfold the paper 8). To cast a watchful eye 9). To empty the street
※ Answers to the Exercises III. Put in the missing words. 1) Take 2) family 4) question 5) age 7) later 8) no 10) which 11) apart 13) among 14) on 16) for 17) sense 19) less 20) down 22) after 23) hero 3) unless 6) word 9) support 12) kept 15) lives 18) concerned 21) may
※ Answers to the Exercises IV. Put in the comparative form of the words or expressions in the list. 1. bigger 2. brighter 3. prettier 4. as good as 5. less varied 6. more expensive 7. better 8. better 9. as good as 10. as tasty as 11. the more crowded 12. the slower 13. longer 14. longer 15. less expensive 16. more relaxed
※ After-class Activities § Imagine you are Jimmy Wells and describe your encounter with Bob in about 100 words.