An Integrated English Course
An Integrated English Course Book 4 Unit Nine The Discus Thrower General understanding of Text I 1. What do you know about the author? 2. How do you understand the title? Who does “the discus thrower” refer to? An athlete? 3. Who does “I” refer to? 4. What’s the text about? What’s the purpose of writing? 5. What type of writing is the text? 6. How many parts can the text be divided into? Could you give a headline to each of these parts? About the author: Richard Selzer • A professor of Yale Medical School • He writes short stories and essays which portray with sympathy but without sentimentality the dramatic, sometimes agonizing, experiences of practicing surgeons. The title: The Discus Thrower A discus is a heavy circular object which athletes try to throw as far as they can as a sport. Purpose of writing • (p. 136) • To reveal why the patient throws his plate. Type of writing • narration • 5 Ws of the story • • • • • Who When Where What Why Three parts • Part I (Paragraph 1): beginning --serves as an introduction to the background of the story. • Part II (Paragraphs 2-13): development --presents the author’s meeting with the particular patient dubbed the discus thrower, his conflict with the head nurse and a detailed portrayal of how the patient “throws the discus”. • Part III (Paragraphs 14-15): ending --tells of the patient’s death. Suggested headlines • Part I: Spying on Patients: a Habit of Mine; • Part II: Encounters with a Particular Patient; • Part III: The Death of the Patient. Part I: introduction • Spying on Patients: a Habit of Mine • In this part the narrator tells about one of his unique habits and justifies himself for it. • Q1: What’s the doctor’s unique habit? • Q2: How does the narrator justify his act? Language work • 1. ... that he might the more fully assemble evidence? ... he might gather evidence more fully than without spying? • A rhetorical question • The structure “the more fully” is the elliptical form of “all the more fully”. In English the structure “all / so much / none + the + the comparative degree of adjectives or adverbs” is used without “than ...” following it to express emphasis. Sometimes all can be omitted. • She was waiting for the spring. She felt the younger for it. • I walked around for two hours yesterday, and the doctor said I was none the worse for it. 依然如故 • I know there’s danger ahead, but I’m all the more set on driving forward. doorway • 1. 出入口,门口,门道 • They stood in the doorway chatting. 他们站在门口闲聊。 • 2. 【喻】途径,门路 • Exercise is a doorway to good health. 锻炼乃通向健康之门。 Compare: gaze, stare, gape, glare, peer, peep, ogle • These verbs all mean to look long and intently. • Gaze refers to prolonged looking that is often indicative of wonder, fascination, awe, or admiration : 盯；凝视 • to gaze at the moon; to gaze into his eyes • To stare is to gaze fixedly; the word can indicate curiosity, boldness, insolence, or stupidity: 凝视 • The old couple stared at them in disbelief; • to stare into the distance • Gape suggests a prolonged open-mouthed look reflecting amazement, awe, or lack of intelligence: 张口结舌地看；瞠目结舌 • Tourists are gaping at the sights. • To glare is to fix another with a hard, piercing stare:怒目而视 • She glared furiously at him when he contradicted her. • To peer is to look narrowly, searchingly, and seemingly with difficulty:凝视；窥视 • He peered through his spectacles at the contract. • To peep is to look quickly and slyly or cautiously (at sth) 匆匆地（且诡秘地或小心地）看; 偷看; 窥视 • The spy was caught peeping through the keyhole. • To ogle is to stare in an amorous （多情的；色情的 ）, usually impertinent (improper) manner: 媚眼, 送秋波, 眉目传情 • She resented the way that the construction workers on their lunch hour ogled passing women. not all that • =not very [infml] 不那么... • I'm not all that keen on baseball. 我根本就不喜欢棒球。 • I'm not all that optimistic we will defeat them. 我对我们能否打败他们不那么乐观。 • God is not all that exists; God is all that does not exist. 上帝并非所有一切存在的事物，而是所有一切 不存在的事物。 furtive • --attempting to avoid notice or attention; secretive • I saw him cast a furtive glance at the woman at the table to his right. • The man's furtive manner made the policeman follow him. • 这人鬼鬼祟祟的举止引得警察跟踪了他。 Questions for discussion 1. What is unique about the narrator as a doctor? 2. What does the narrator mean by asking the question “Ought not a doctor ... assemble evidence?” 3. Why does the narrator say “it is not all that furtive an act”? • 1. What is unique about the narrator as a doctor? • As a doctor he spies on his patients. • 2. What does the narrator mean by asking the question “Ought not a doctor ... assemble evidence?” • The quoted sentence is not a real question. The narrator poses this pseudo-question to argue that he believes a doctor is entitled to spy on his patients for the sake of medical treatment. • 3. Why does the narrator say “it is not all that furtive an act”? • Because he wants to justify his action: he does not actually spy but rather observes his patients. Part II (Paragraphs 2-13) • Encounters with a Particular Patient • This part talks about the narrator’s contact with “the discus thrower”. The miserable condition of the patient is described and the reason for his discus throwing is implied. Paragraph 2 • What do we know about this particular patient? His physical appearance? His health condition, physically and mentally? • What rhetorical devices are used in Paragraph 2? Language work • 3. It is rusted, rather, in the last stage of containing the vile repose within.: • -- Rather, his skin gets dark brown because he was approaching the last stage of his life, that is, he was dying. The “vile repose” metaphorically means “death”. euphemism • -- a mild, indirect, inoffensive expression that is substituted for one that is considered harsh, offensive, unpleasant, blunt 1. Death, Illness, Old age • • Pass away; depart; go the sleep, go to heaven Feeling one’s age, second childhood/ senior citizens 2. Toilet habits • Go to the bathroom; answer nature’s call; W. C.; the powder room; Ladies’; Gent’s 3. Poverty and unemployment • Pink slip; out of pocket; in (financial) difficulties; the underprivileged; the disadvantaged • 4. And the blue eyes are frosted, looking inward like the windows of a snowbound cottage. • And (under scrutiny) the blue eyes are not clear but covered with a gray frost-like layer, without looking outside at the external world like the windows of a snow-surrounded (blocked) cottage. • frosted : covered with frost or something like frost • a frosted window; frosted blue eyes • The birthday cake was frosted.生日蛋糕上加了糖霜。 the windows of a snowbound cottage …a bonsai, roots and branches pruned into the dwarfed facsimile of a great tree. Paragraph 2- questions for discussion 1) Why does the man seem deeply tanned? 2) Why does the narrator compare the patient to a bonsai? • 1) Why does the man seem deeply tanned? • His skin is brown not because of the suntan but because of his approaching death, i. e. he was in the last stage of his life. • 2) Why does the narrator compare the patient to a bonsai? • A bonsai is an ornamental tree or shrub grown in a pot and artificially prevented from reaching its normal size. The patient resembles a bonsai in several ways. • His confinement caused by blindness is like the restricted growth domain of a bonsai: the domain permitted by a pot. • He is legless in the way the roots and branches of the miniature tree are pruned. • 5. ... he cups his right thigh in both hands. -- he holds his right thigh with his hands curved like a cup. • cup: support or hold something with the hands that are curved like a cup • He cupped her chin in the palm of his hand. • David knelt, cupped his hands and splashed river water onto his face. dwell • ~ in, at, etc . . . (arch or rhet 古或修辞) live as an inhabitant of or reside at (a place) 住; 居住 • (phr v) dwell on/upon sth think, speak or write at length about sth 细想某事; 详述某事: • Let's not dwell on your past mistakes. 我们不要再细说你 过去的错误了. • dweller n (尤用以构成复合名词) person or animal living in the place specified 住在某处的人或动物: • `town-dwellers * `flat-dwellers * `cave-dwellers • dwelling n (fml 文) place of residence; house, flat, etc 住处; 住宅; 公寓: • my humble dwelling 寒舍 swing • - move something from one side to the other • A large pendulum swung back and forth inside the grandfather clock. • The truck driver swung himself up into the driver’s seat. • His mood swings between elation and despair. Para. 3-5 Questions for discussion 3) Why is the patient’s ward empty of all possessions? 4) When the doctor asks how he feels, he responds with a question “Feel?” What does this show? 5) What does the patient mean when he says “Yes, down”? • 3) Why is the patient’s ward empty of all possessions? • Because there is none of the usual possessions like get-well cards, private caches of food, flowers, and so on, which shows that he is forsaken (abandoned) by his friends and family. • As stated in the following part, he is intolerable. And there aren’t possessions such as shoes, either, for he is legless and blind, and thus is confined to bed. • 4) When the doctor asks how he feels, he responds with a question “Feel?” What does this show? • This shows he is numb in emotion. His plight (unfortunate situation) throws him into despair and he hopes for nothing, waiting for death. This is also confirmed by the fact that he wants to know nothing but time. • 5) What does the patient mean when he says “Yes, down”? • This is his response to the doctor’s remark, “Down you go. “ What the doctor means is that the man is going down with the bed, yet the patient means that he is going down towards death. • Paraphrase: “Yes, I am going down,” he says, meaning literally that he is going down with the bed but intentionally that his physical condition is going from bad to worse. (7) He lies solid and inert. In spite of… Paraphrase: He lies in bed without any motion or any reaction. /He is motionless. From any point of view, he gave deep impression to me, because he appeared to be a sailor standing across a sloping deck. No wonder… • 难怪；不足为奇 • It is no wonder (that) he'll sign the contract tomorrow. 他明天签约是不足为怪的。 • No wonder people say that computers are taking over the world. • 难怪有人说电子计算机正渐渐接管世界。 • No wonder he is not hungry. He has been eating sweets all day. not…any more than • • • • • • • • 和…一样都不 A whale is not a fish any more than a horse is. No +形容词/副词比较级+than-分句 Mary is no wiser than Jane.玛丽和简一样不聪明。 Cf. Mary is not wiser than Jane. He is no more able to read Chinese than I am. 他看不懂中文，我也看不懂中文。 He is no more a writer than a painter. 既非…也非 She is not less beautiful than her sister. 她的美不亚于 Cf. She is no less beautiful than her sister. …一样 He was more of a poet than a king. 与其说…不如说… Para. 6-7 Questions for discussion 6) Why does the man ask for a pair of shoes? 7) Why is the head nurse waiting for the doctor? 8) What is the head nurse’s attitude toward the patient? 9) What is the doctor’s attitude? • 6) Why does the man ask for a pair of shoes? • The man knows he is legless and has no need for a pair of shoes. Yet he still asks for a pair of shoes when the doctor offers him help. This shows that at the bottom of his heart the man aspires after freedom; only a pair of shoes can give him freedom. • 7) Why is the head nurse waiting for the doctor? • Because she is waiting for the doctor to suggest measures to deal with the patient, who throws the food plate against the wall every time it is brought to him. • 8) What is the head nurse’s attitude toward the patient? • Irritated by his behavior, she is impatient and disgusted with him. • 9) What is the doctor’s attitude? • The doctor does not agree to take immediate measures. He wants first to make sure of the fact described by the nurse. Paragraph 8 • probe:探测，调查 -- physically explore or examine (something) with the hands or an instrument; investigate • They probed in/into the mud with a special drill, looking for a long-buried shipwreck. • Detectives questioned him for hours, probing for any inconsistencies in his story. • The official enquiry will probe into alleged corruption within the Defense Ministry. • heft: -- lift or hold (something) in order to test its weight • I hefted a suitcase in my hands. • He hefted his bag into the car. (lift sth heavy) • (11) It is a sound you have never heard. It is something new under the sun… • Paraphrase: The wild, relaxed laughter is a totally new sound in the world that nobody has ever heard. The joyful laughter could even give a promising future to cancer patients. (12) She looks over at me shaking her head and making her mouth go. • The aide looks across at me, shaking her head to express her helplessness and making a facial signal to show her dissatisfaction with the patient. • 9. I see that we are to be accomplices. -- I see that I have to help the aide feed the patient. Para. 8-13 Questions for discussion 10) Why does the patient lift the cover and probe the eggs before throwing the plate? 11) Why does he laugh? 12) Why does the narrator say the laughter could cure cancer? 13) Why do the eyes of the head nurse narrow? 14) Does it mean that the patient cannot recognize the doctor’s voice when he asks, “Who are you?” • • 10) Why does the patient lift the cover and probe the eggs before throwing the plate? This seems to show that what is important to him is not the crack of the plate against the wall. Otherwise he would have thrown the plate with the lid, or thrown the lid before the plate. What he is interested in seems to be the scrambled eggs. This is confirmed by the fact that he orders the scrambled eggs every day and that it is after hearing the wet sound of the scrambled eggs that he starts to laugh. • 11) Why does he laugh? • For one thing, the laughter suggests his vision of hope of his ultimate emancipation. He laughs when he hears the small wet sound of the scrambled eggs. Probably the scrambled eggs are his favorite food. Yet he is determined not to eat them because he feels hopeless in this world. He wants to put an end to his life but he desires to die a dignified death. Thus going fasting may be the best way. The discus throwing just strengthens his resolve. In the sound of the scrambled eggs dropping to the floor he visions in his mind the hope of being liberated in the other world. • For another, his laughter is also a sign of defiance of the unfair fate and the unfriendly hospital workers. • 12) Why does the narrator say the laughter could cure cancer? • Because every time the man throws the plate he feels a triumph over his ego that urges him to eat and live. His laughter is joyous from the bottom of his heart and expresses a sense of complete release, and therefore it could give a promising future to him if he were a patient of cancer. • 13) Why do the eyes of the head nurse narrow? • Because she frowns on the patient’s behavior. • 14) Does it mean that the patient cannot recognize the doctor’s voice when he asks, “Who are you?” • It does not mean that the man cannot recognize the doctor’s voice, for the doctor is not new to him. His question only shows that he distrusts the doctor; he does not believe that the doctor can help him anyway. It is, rather, a signal of dismissal. Part III (Paragraphs 14-15) • The Death of the Patient • This part tells about how the man is found dead and what secrets the doctor discovers about him. Language work •dignified:有威严的，有尊严的 -- having or showing a composed or serious manner that is worthy of respect • He has maintained a dignified silence about the rumors. • It was a woman, grave, dignified, composed, who advanced to meet him. • 朝他走过来的分明是一个妇人，又严肃， 又端庄，又文静。 • sweep: -- glide swiftly; speed along 席卷；扫过；掠过；压倒性地获胜 • A 1970s fashion revival is sweeping Europe. • Her gaze swept across the assembled crowd. • The National Party swept into power with a majority（选票数）of almost 200. Questions for discussion • 1) How is the man found dead? • 2) What death is it? • 3) How did he die? • 1) How is the man found dead? • He is found dead accidentally by the head nurse, who reports it to the doctor. • 2) What death is it? • It can be said that the patient died a dignified death. • 3) How did he die? • The man starved himself to death as is suggested at the end of the text by the doctor’s attention to the repeatedly washed place where the scrambled eggs dropped to the floor. Text comprehension • Exercise III (p. 137) • 1. Does the doctor feel guilty of spying on his patients? • No, he doesn’t. Instead, he finds the activity justifiable. For one thing, he thinks the activity is well-meant, i. e. he wants to collect more pathological evidence in order to give the patients more effective treatment. For another, his activity is not spying in the true sense, for the act is far from furtive. • 2. How would you account for the possessions in Room 542? • The fact that there are no get-well cards, no small, private caches of food and day-old flowers shows that he has been abandoned by his family and friends. • 3.Why does the patient ask for shoes time and again? • As a blind man, he is restrained in activity. Now without legs he is completely confined to bed. Like a caged bird, he longs for freedom and dreams of going back to his career. Thus it is understandable why he repeatedly asks for shoes. • 4. Why does the patient throw his plate? • This is the way he expresses his wrath with the unfair fate. He is deprived of sight and now his legs. Deserted by society, he is left with very little; indignant (愤慨的)as he is, he can avenge himself upon nobody. What he can do is only to crash his plate against the wall to vent his anger and despair. Moreover, he would rather die in a stroke like the plate than linger in agony. But he wishes to die a dignified death and takes going fasting as the best way. The discus throwing strengthens his resolve. The sound of the scrambled eggs dropping to the floor brings him the hope of being liberated in the other world. • 5. What kind of laughter does the patient give? • It is a unique laughter as is indicated in Paragraph 11. It comes both from the pleasure after revenge by crashing the plate and the hope to free himself from his agony by means of an abrupt death like the plate. Since freedom in this material world is impossible to him, he wishes to have it in the other world. Oral practice • Work in pairs, and retell the story to each other, assuming the narrator is • • • • the doctor the patient the head nurse … • Time limit: 6 MIN Paraphrase • 1. “Yes, I am going down,” he says, meaning literally that he is going down with the bed but intentionally that his physical condition is going from bad to worse. • 2. The wild, relaxed laughter is a totally new sound in the world that nobody has ever heard. The joyful laughter could even give a promising future to cancer patients. • 3. The aide looks across at me, shaking her head to express her helplessness and making a facial signal to show her dissatisfaction with the patient. Structural analysis of the text • • • • suggested headlines for the three parts: (1) Spying on Patients: a Habit of Mine; (2) Encounters with a Particular Patient; (3) The Death of the Patient. Rhetorical features of the text • First look at the questions the doctor asks himself: • Ought not a doctor to observe his patients by any means and from any stance, that he might the more fully assemble evidence ? (Paragraph 1) • Is he mute as well as blind? (Paragraph 3) • What is he thinking behind those lids that do not blink? Is he remembering a time when he • was whole? Does he dream of feel? Or when his body was not a rotting log? (Paragraph 6) • Now look at the questions asked by the doctor in his dialogue with the patient: • “How are you?” (Paragraph 5) • “How do you feel?” ( Paragraph 5) • “Anything more I can do for you ? “ (Paragraph 7) • All these questions help to prove that the doctor is very patient with, responsible for, and considerate to his patient. • By contrast, the medical aide is impatient and sounds dominating, which can be seen in the way she talks with the patient in Paragraph 13: • “I’ve got to feed you,” which implies that “you are not allowed to eat it yourself.” • “Oh, yes I do after the way you just did,” which means “it is your fault so you can’t argue with me any more.” • “Here’s the oatmeal. Open,” which is not an expected answer to the request of the patient but a refusal plus a command. Grammar: As if; as though • 表示“好像；仿佛”，用在从句的句首，描述某人或 某物的样子或某人的动作。 • The furniture looked as though it had come out of somebody’s attic. 这家具就像从某人的阁楼里搬出来的一样。 • He lunged towards me as if he expected me to aim a gun at him. 他朝我猛扑过来，好像以为我用枪瞄准他似的。 • 使用were （尤正式书面语中）: • He looked as if I were mad. • She remembered it all as if it were yesterday. • 但是在口语中通常使用was： • The secretary spoke as though it was some kind of password. 这秘书说话就好像是在说口令。 Grammar exercises -II 1. You sound as though you have enjoyed it/you had enjoyed it. 2. Jane looks as though she needs a good rest/’she needed a good rest. 3. You look as though you have had a good time/you had had a good time. 4. It smells as though someone has smoked in here/someone had smoked in here. 5. I feel as though I had run a marathon. 6. It looks as though Susan isn’t coming/Susan wasn’t coming. Grammar exercises -III 1. Please don’t treat me as though I were/was a child. 2. I remember the whole thing as though it had happened only yesterday. 3. She talks as though she knew everything. 4. He paused as though to let the painful memories pass. 5. The lad started as though he had been awakened from some dream. 6. He glanced about as though he were searching for something. Grammar exercises -IV 1. Apes are the animals nearest to men in appearance. 2. These articles are well written, but there is still room for improvement. 3. The passers-by stopped and put their hands into their trouser pockets. 4. Traffic accidents often occur at crossroads. 5. Telephones are a necessity in the modern world. Grammar exercises -V • 1. She talked to him as though he were a child. • When she came in from the rainstorm, she looked as though she had taken a shower with her clothes on. • 2. He went off, gun in hand. • Diana stood motionless at the end of the diving board, hands at her sides, heels slightly raised, every muscle anticipating action. Translation -I • 1. Search lights fingered across the black water. • 2. Since a robbery happened in this building, the night watchman became more careful and made his rounds once every hour. • 3. He stuck to his plan, though there was nothing left to prop him up. • 4. He is paid by the police to spy on the activities of the terrorists. • 5. In time they will come to accept the harsh reality. • 6. That man’s behavior looks very suspicious. He is pretending to sleep, but now and then he steals a furtive glance at the passers-by. • 7. The social and economic changes that have taken place in this country are so sweeping that it has dwarfed all its neighbors. • 8. In the dim light of the daybreak, I saw a dark shape looming athwart the door. Translation -II •父亲那些浆得发硬的衬衫是个问题。他穿衬 衫时，把它套住头往下拉，两只手左右乱伸， 寻找袖子。新衬衫非常结实，经得起这样拉扯 ，不会撕裂，但经父亲穿过后，很快就不牢了 。首先他知道，他会听到它开始撕裂的声音， 这使他感到讨厌。他憎恨任何脆弱的表现，不 管是人还是物。他愤怒时摸索袖子会比以前更 加用力，接着会传来衬衫撕裂时刺耳的劈啪声 和母亲大声地抱怨。 Text II A Rage against Dying • 1. One day in 1981, she was caught in a fire caused by the spilled gasoline from a gas tank in a kitchen and became seriously injured. • 2. She suffered third-degree burns, which means about 40 percent of her body was burned. As the text tells us, these burns penetrated deep into her muscles, blood vessels and nerves. Most of the wounds were concentrated on her face, neck, hands and upper body. Her scorched eyelids and nostrils were swollen shut, her lips were blackened and puffy and her right ear was charred. Blood and fluids were seeping from her body. • 3. Her father rushed to the hospital as soon as he got the message and stayed by her side as long as he was allowed. During his visits he tried to help her regain consciousness by playing music tapes and encourage her to live on by one-sided conversation. His deep love and great patience contributed immensely to her daughter’s physical and mental recovery. • 4. There could have been many options and possibilities for Sian to choose from. But here is what really happened to her after she left hospital: She attended university and studied biology; she got interested in medicine and finally became a surgeon in a hospital! Quiz-Voc 1. 聚集；装配 3. 承认，致谢 5. 探测 7. 亡故的，死去的 9. 笨拙地 11. 盆景 13. 消毒剂 2. 修剪（树枝） 4. 攀登；搅乱 6. 有尊严的 8. 被雪覆盖的 10. 鬼鬼祟祟的 12. 残肢；树桩 14. 帮凶，同谋 Key-Voc 1. assemble 3. acknowledge 5. probe 7. deceased 9. awkwardly 11. bonsai 13. disinfectant 2. prune 4. scramble 6. dignified 8. snowbound 10. furtive 12. stump 14. accomplice April 26 (Tuesday) • TEM4-Oral (2007) • Task II: Talk based on a given topic • Talk about an experience you have had in which you tried to help someone but actually caused trouble. • For Group 3, 4 April 29 (Friday) • TEM4-Oral (2005) • Task II: Talk based on a given topic • Please tell us one incident in which someone was trying to help others despite danger to his own safety. May 6 (Friday) • TEM4-Oral (2005) • Task III: Role-play • Student A: The manager of a world-famous hotel wants to recruit a new member as the hotel’s bellboy, offering him a salary of 3,000 yuan per month. Many university graduates are competing for the position. As a sophomore in the university, you think that they are applying for a job unworthy for their talents. Try to persuade your partner that you are right. Remember you will initiate the conversation. • Student B: The manager of a world-famous hotel wants to recruit a new member as the hotel’s bellboy, offering him a salary of 3,000 yuan per month. Many university graduates are competing for the position. As a sophomore in the university, you think that it is courageous for them to make such a decision and they have made the correct choice. Try to persuade your partner that you are right. Remember your partner will initiate the conversation.