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Unit 6 The Human Touch
Lead-in Discussion Is it enough to help those people we know? Should we help both strangers and people who are close to us?
The Last Leaf ---- O. Henry
O. Henry (1862 -1910) Pseudonym of William Sydney Porter, American writer of short stories, best known for his ironic plot twists and surprise endings. O. Henry’s most famous stories, such as “The Gift of the Magi, ” “The Furnished Room, ” and “The Ransom of Red Chief, ” make simple yet effective use of paradoxical coincidences to produce ironic endings.
Words and expressions Para 1 In tune—harmonious (ly) (often followed by with) Eg. His ideas are in tune with the times. The price of gold coins fluctuates in tune with that of commodities. Her character is quite out of tune with her beauty.
Joint –held or done by tow or more persons together Eg. She had taken money out of the joint account she had with her husband. To attract foreign capital, China issued new economic regulations giving more preferential treatment to joint ventures.
Para 2 Stalk—(of an evil force) move through a place in a threatening way; move quietly and cautiously in order to get near Eg. When night falls, danger stalks the streets of the city.
Para 4 One chance in ten --a very small possibility She has one chance in ten. She has a small possibility to live.
Para 8 …begins to count the carriages in her funeral procession… --begins to think about her death
Para 9 Scarcely –almost not hardly, seldom, rarely Counting backward—twelve, eleven, ten…
Para 11 The cold breath of autumn had blown away its leaves, leaving it almost bare. --the autumn wind blew the leaves of the ivy wine away.
Bare– without covering, clothing or decoration Eg. Soil held in place by plant roots is less likely to blow or wash away than bare soil. In giving first aid to an electric-shock victim, a caregiver must not touch the victim with bare hands.
pare 16 I want to turn loose my hold on everything, and go sailing down, sown, just like one of those poor, tired leaves. Turn loose—let sth go; allow sth to be free of control Eg. The sick whale will be taken care of by the scientists before being turned loose.
Para 18 Beard Moustache Whiskers
Think about the look of artists… He was past sixty and had a long white beard curling down over his chest.
Despite looking the part, Behrman was a failure. Look the part —have the look/appearance of the part/role Eg. I think he must be a lawyer—he certainly looks the part.
Masterpiece --a piece of work, esp. art, which is the best of its type or the best a person has done Eg. The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn is considered Mark Twain’s masterpiece.
For the rest he was a fierce little old man, who mocked terribly at softness in any one, and who regarded himself as guard dog to the two young artists in the studio above. For the rest– talking about other matters Fierce—strong; energetic/ vigorous Mock at softness—laugh at people’s weakness
Para 19 …smelling strongly of gin in his dimly lighted studio below. Gin 杜松子酒 Dimly 昏暗的
Para 21 Sue pulled the shade down, and motioned Behrman into the other room. The shade—the curtain Motion (v. )—hint/ask sb to do sthing
A persistent, cold rain was falling, mingled with snow. Mingle—mix (followed by with) Eg. The singer’s style mingles jazz and country music. The smell of smoke mingles with the smell of the food.
Para 25 Stand out --be easily seen above or among others Eg. The working experience in Mirosoft last year still stands out in my mind. On the record I have just played, the first song stands out from all the others.
Para 27 Wear away --1) time passed gradually Eg. They didn’t reach an agreement. Instead they wore the afternoon away in argument. --2) become damaged by constant use Eg. The steps have been worn away by the feet of thousands of visitors.
Cling to—hold tight to Eg. The child is clinging to his mother’s legs. Another man was rescued as he clung to the riverbank.
Para 30 Call to—attract the attention of sb by speaking out Eg. The fisherman called to the villagers on the shore. Every morning we can hear various birds calling to one another in the park.
Para 31 Wicked [wikid] adj. 坏的, 邪恶的 Sin n. offence against God, religion or good morals Eg. The man has confessed his sins to the priest.
Para 36 Acute --1) coming quickly to the critical stage (of diseases) Eg. His disease is not acute but chronic. --2) severe Eg. The company is said to be suffering from acute financial difficulties.
Para 39 Be wet through --be wet all over Eg. My mother came home we through. Their house was flooded: the carpet was wet through and the furniture was ruined.
Lantern, ladder, brushes, palette and colors --tools used to paint the last leaf on the wall
After reading discussion 1. Which character in the story impresses you most, why? 2. What is the essential message the writer wants to convey to his readers through the story? 3. What do you think can support you in your moments of depression, despair or a setback?
Assignment Read and study text B Thank you, Ma’m