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梦想家论坛 留学考试区 SAT考试  ›常志诚:SAT经典小说必读之伟大狄更斯的《远大前程》
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[阅读] 常志诚:SAT经典小说必读之伟大狄更斯的《远大前程》 [复制链接]

发表于 2016-9-27 11:19:17 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

    本文为天道教育教学总监常志诚老师写给在美国读书的学生的一封信,关于SAT小说必读书目介绍。通过书信的方式为大家讲讲狄更斯的《远大前程》。

    博睿,

  你好!

  来信收到。

  你说《双城记》让你尤其感动的,就是卡顿(Sydney Carton)的最后赴义,但总想不通,为什么他会这么做?甚至还开玩笑说,如果是你的话,就干脆看着露西的丈夫上刑场,他(卡顿)才好有机可趁。

  首先,原著中已有解释,就是在《双城记》的最后一章,写了卡顿赴义后的各种幻象,表达作者对未来的美好祝愿,很感人。除此之外,我觉得还可以从两方面略作解释。

  一方面可以用当时的绅士准则来解释,而这种准则的根源,就是中世纪的贵族荣誉感;那个时代的中上层男性,从小的教育就是要做一个绅士(Gentleman),包括诚实守信、重视名誉、勇敢坚强、保护女性等,很像中国古代的“士”,一诺千金,舍生取义。

  因此,虽然卡顿一生怀才不遇,有志难舒,同时身处律师行业,见多了人性的丑恶,却能够对露西保持诺言,维系一种纯洁的爱恋;即使女方已经嫁为人妇,生儿育女,卡顿也能历经十年而不改初心。

  另一方面,《双城记》所描写的时代,毕竟只是18世纪末期,交通和通信还不发达,人的活动范围有限,能够结交到的人群也有限,因此卡顿才有可能对露西情有独钟,而又能经常见面。

  如果换成今天这种地球村,交通和通信日新月异,消费主义横行,娱乐至死,再期盼卡顿这样的人出现,我觉得也确实难上加难。

  说真的,美国人一生要搬十次以上的家,就算真有卡顿这样的眷恋,他能每次都正好赶上和露西家在同一个城市吗?

  当然,也有特例,比如阿甘。(一笑)

  闲话不多说了,我们今天来谈狄更斯的另一部重要作品《远大前程》。

  (一)

  《远大前程》本身的故事脉络很清晰,和《双城记》类似,狄更斯沿用了三段式的小说架构。第一部分,讲述男主人公Pip是穷苦孩子出身,父母早逝,随着暴戾的姐姐和温和的姐夫生活,偶然的机会,结识贵妇Havisham和高冷女孩Estella,并意外获得一份“遗产”,从而去伦敦接受上等人的教育。第二部分,讲述Pip到伦敦后的经历,纸醉金迷,心智逐渐被物质生活所腐蚀,虽自责却羞见自己温厚的姐夫。第三部分,讲述Pip发现“遗产”真相之后,备受打击,最终又和“爱人”Estella决裂,看着她嫁给一个市井小人。大病一场后,Pip回到现实中,做一份力所能及的工作。十一年后,再遇Estella,却已物是人非,过往不再。

  小说脉络上很清楚,同时精彩段落数不胜数,我在这里试举两例,你再试着体会一下,狄更斯的功力,是如何用寥寥数笔,刻画出鲜活的人物形象和人物冲突的。

  (1)初到庄园(Chapter 8)

  Mr. Pumblechook and I breakfasted at eighto'clock in the parlor behind the shop, while the shop man took his mug of teaand hunch of bread-and-butter on a sack of peas in the front premises. I considered Mr. Pumblechook wretched company. Besides being possessed by my sister's idea that a mortifying and penitential character ought to be imparted to my diet - besides giving me as much crumb as possible in combination with as little butter, and putting such a quantity of warm water into my milk that it would have been more candid to have left the milk out altogether - his conversation consisted of nothing but arithmetic. On my politely bidding him Good morning, he said, pompously, "Seven times nine, boy?" And howshould I be able to answer, dodged in that way, in a strange place, on an emptystomach! I was hungry, but before I had swallowed a morsel, he began a runningsum that lasted all through the breakfast. "Seven?"

  "And four?"

  "And eight?"

  "And six?"

  "And two?"

  "And ten?"

  And so on. And after each figure was disposed of, it was as much as I could do to get a bite or a sup, before the next came; while he sat at his ease guessing nothing, and eating bacon and hot roll, in (if I may be allowed the expression) a gorging and gormandizing manner.

  For such reasons I was very glad when ten o'clock came and we started for Miss Havisham's; though I was not at all atmy ease regarding the manner in which I should acquit myself under that lady’sroof. Within a quarter of an hour we came to Miss Havisham's house, which wasof old brick, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it. Some of the windows had been walled up; of those that remained, all the lower were rustily barred. There was a court-yard in front, and that was barred; so, we had to wait, after ringing the bell, until someone should come to open it. While wewaited at the gate, I peeped in (even then Mr. Pumblechook said, “And fourteen?" but I pretended not to hear him), and saw that at the side of the house there was a large brewery. No brewing was going on in it, and none seemed to have gone on for a long long time.

  A window was raised, and a clear voice demanded "What name?" To which my conductor replied,"Pumblechook." The voice returned, “Quite right," and the window was shut again, and a young lady came across the court-yard, with keys in herhand.

  "This," said Mr. Pumblechook,"is Pip."

  "This is Pip, is it?" returned the young lady, who was very pretty and seemed very proud; "come in,Pip."

  Mr. Pumblechook was coming in also, whenshe stopped him with the gate.

  "Oh!" she said. "Did youwish to see Miss Havisham?"

  "If Miss Havisham wished to seeme," returned Mr. Pumblechook, discomfited.

  "Ah!" said the girl; "but you see she doesn’t."

  She said it so finally, and in such an undiscussible way, that Mr.Pumblechook, though in a condition of ruffled dignity, could not protest. But he eyed me severely - as if I had done anythingto him! - and departed with the words reproachfully delivered: "Boy! Let your behavior here be a credit unto them which brought you up by hand!" I was not free from apprehension that he would come back to propound through thegate, "And sixteen?" But he didn't.

  寥寥六七百字,三个人的形象已经跃然纸上:

  Mr.Pumblechook是这本书里最鲜明的势利小人之一;在这个小章节中,他本来是带着Pip去庄园的,但给孩子吃的早饭,却很简陋,面包没黄油,牛奶光兑水了,一面自顾自地吃,一面还用无聊的数学题逗弄Pip。到了庄园门口,Mr.Pumblechook又变得卑躬屈膝,被人抢白顶撞,不敢有任何反抗,还要反过来,教训Pip。

  Pip的人物性格,在这里比较简单;

  比较单纯的孩子,只能体会到相对简单的情感,比如他就觉得Mr.Pumblechook不是好伙伴,而开门的女孩,很傲慢,说话不容置疑;甚至他还会很天真的认为,Mr.Pumblechook最后还会再问他数学题。

  Estella是在书中的第一次出场。三言两语,说话不多,但一个高冷漂亮的女郎形象,给人印象深刻。

  (2)回到故乡(Chapter 30)

  这段文字,在旧SAT Official Guide中有,很精彩的一段,我们再来看看:

  It was interesting to be inthe quiet old town once more, and it was not disagreeable to be here and theresuddenly recognized and stared after. One or two of the trades people evendarted out of their shops and went a little way down the street before me, thatthey might turn, as if they had forgotten something, and pass me face to face -on which occasions I don't know whether they or I made the worse pretence; theyof not doing it, or I of not seeing it.

  Stillmy position was a distinguished one, and I was not at all dissatisfied with it,until Fate threw me in the way of that unlimited miscreant, Trabb's boy.

  Casting my eyes along the street at acertain point of my progress, I beheld Trabb's boy approaching, lashing himselfwith an empty blue bag. Deeming that a serene andunconscious contemplation of him would best beseem me, and would be most likelyto quell his evil mind, I advanced with that expression of countenance, and wasrather congratulating myself on my success, when suddenly the knees of Trabb'sboy smote together, his hair up rose, his cap fell off, he trembled violentlyin every limb, staggered out into the road, and crying to the populace,"Hold me! I'm so frightened!" feigned to be in a paroxysm of terrorand contrition, occasioned by the dignity of my appearance. As Ipassed him, his teeth loudly chattered in his head, and with every mark ofextreme humiliation, he prostrated himself in the dust.

  This was a hard thing to bear, but thiswas nothing. I had not advanced another two hundred yards, when, to my inexpressibleterror, amazement, and indignation, I again beheld Trabb's boy approaching. Hewas coming round a narrow corner. His blue bag was slung over his shoulder,honest industry beamed in his eyes; a determination to proceed to Trabb's with cheerful briskness was indicated in his gait. With ashock he became aware of me, and was severely visited as before; but this timehis motion was rotatory, and he staggered round and round me with knees moreafflicted, and with uplifted hands as if beseeching for mercy. His sufferingswere hailed with the greatest joy by a knot of spectators, and I felt utterlyconfounded.

  I had not got as much further down thestreet as the post-office, when I again beheld Trabb's boy shooting round by aback way. This time, he was entirely changed. He wore the blue bag in the manner of my great-coat, and was strutting along thepavement towards me on the opposite side of the street, attended by a company ofdelighted young friends to whom he from time to time exclaimed, with a wave ofhis hand, "Don't know yah!" Words cannot state the amount ofaggravation and injury wreaked upon me by Trabb's boy, when, passing abreast ofme, he pulled up his shirt-collar, twined his side-hair, stuck an arm akimbo,and smirked extravagantly by, wriggling his elbows and body, and drawling tohis attendants, “Don’t know yah, don't know yah, pon my soul don't knowyah!" The disgrace attendant on his immediately afterwardstaking to crowing and pursuing me across the bridge with crows, as from anexceedingly dejected fowl who had known me when I was a blacksmith, culminatedthe disgrace with which I left the town, and was, so to speak, ejected by itinto the open country.

  Pip去伦敦接受上等人教育后,回家乡探看。身份的变化使得乡邻们不敢和他打招呼,只是跑上去看,还要装作彼此不认识的样子。就在Pip心得意满的时候,偏偏有个一直和Pip作对的小流氓,跑出来接二连三地奚落Pip的上等人变化,惹得大家哄笑一场,Pip最终只能灰溜溜的跑到旷野上。

  Trabb’s boy的三次不同举动,是这个段落最精彩的部分,我勾划了一下,你好好体会。

  (二)

  经典小说如《远大前程》,能够评价的切入面很多,我这里只是抛砖引玉,希望能够多听听你的个人感受:

  (1)关于仇恨与关爱

  记得《神雕侠侣》中的李莫愁吧?因为一往情深却得不到爱人的回应,导致心理变态,滥杀无辜的女魔头;然而,比起《远大前程》中的Havisham,李莫愁的复仇方式就太“善良”了。

  李莫愁至多是脾气乖张,灭门屠户,从物理上消灭对方;而Havisham则是彻底的使人心灵崩溃,变成行尸走肉,从精神上给予致命打击。

  而Havisham的“杰作”,就是Estella,那个被Havisham精心培育出来,丧失良知(no heart),专门以伤害同龄男人为目标(给他们以莫须有的希望,却不可能让他们称心如意),最终让这些男人心灵受苦的复仇女郎。同时,Estella本就是Havisham的牺牲品,从没有真正得到过后者的爱。是啊,一个耗尽情感,恨天仇地,天天穿着白色婚纱的怨妇,怎么会教人去爱呢?

  你问我一个很有趣的问题,为什么一定要让Estella嫁给那个低劣的男人Drummle呢?

  你虽然天资聪颖,但毕竟受经历所限,对人情世故的理解,需要不断感悟和体会。你体会一下,还有什么能够比得上,一个男生心目中念念不忘的女性,嫁给一个完全不如自己、让他看不起的男人,更能伤这个男生伤心的呢?

  如果女生嫁给的是一位高富帅,各项水平都超过男生,那男生自然容易开解自身,自愧不如;反之,如果女生嫁给的是一位恶劣小人,男人会甘心服输吗?

  世事洞明皆学问,人情练达即文章;读小说,千万不要只是猎奇心理,着迷于情节和人物发展;更要不断品味小说中的人情世故,世态炎凉,再结合自身经历和周围的人际交往,体会人心,认知人性。否则的话,就变成书呆子了。(一笑)

  而还有什么方法,能比得上阅读经典小说,更直接有效地让我们去深度体验不同的人生经历呢?

  文章千古事,得失寸心知。

  体会。体会。不要说出来。

  (2)关于年轻人的理想幻灭

  年轻人的虚幻梦想之一,就是总以为认识了某人,过上了某种生活,就万事大吉,前程远大;殊不知,只有自身实力的真正提升,业务的实际熟练,广积善缘,脚踏实地,才有实际的光明未来。

  先给你举一个今人的例子,就是芮成钢。

  我总觉得,他截止到目前为止的前半生,与Pip的“远大前程”,有很多相似之处。芮的一大特色,就是喜欢晒与各种名人的合影,自信心极度膨胀;而真出事情了,那些平时挂在嘴上、墙上、网上的名人,基本没有能帮忙的。想想也是,因工作关系而认识的人,往往情感也终止于工作关系,是不会有深交的。

  以利相交,利尽则散;以势相交,势去则倾;以权相交,权失则弃;以情相交,情逝人伤;唯以心相交,淡泊明志,友不失矣。

  和新朋友见面,如果这位朋友一上来就说,自己认识某某官员,某某银行家,某某院士,自己父母是谁,你放心,这位朋友通常很浅薄,没什么真的实力;反之,如果这位朋友更多是和你谈一些价值观,谈对一些社会问题的看法,而不愿很快吐露自己的背景,一定要试着更深的交往,因为这种朋友,通常很有底牌。

  说个中美文化差异的笑话。

  如果一个中国人说,自己是习大大的小学同学,是可以引起国人艳羡的眼光的;

  而如果一个美国人说,自己的奥巴马的小学同学,不少美国人会问,“So what?”(那又如何呢?)

  在这里,要为北京人,尤其是土著两代以上的北京人,说几句好话。见惯了王朝兴替,世事变迁的北京人,会对财富和权势有一种温和而超然的态度。“眼见他起高楼,眼见他宴宾客,眼见他楼塌了”。

  所以,一方面北京人比较善于吹嘘,我们家如何如何,我们那条街如何如何,同时,面对财富的骤然增长和官位的提升,也会时不时地问出一句,“那又如何呢?”(So what?)

  所以,既祝你前程远大,也祝你脚踏实地。

  (三)

  推荐一些《远大前程》的精彩章节,可以试着再精读一下:

  Chapter 08 Pip初入庄园

  Chapter 19 Pip离乡

  Chapter 21 Pip入住伦敦劣等公寓

  Chapter 22-23 普凯特一家人

  Chapter 27 Pip与Joe在伦敦见面

  Chapter 39 Pip遇到恩主,发现真相

  Chapter 44 Pip与Estella挑明真相

  Chapter 58 Pip身份揭穿,再回故乡,饱受奚落

  Chapter 59 Pip十一年后,再遇Estella;伤心人对伤心人,无果;(终章)

  (四)

  终于聊完了《远大前程》。

  老实说,这本被公认为狄更斯最成熟作品的小说,其实并不是我对他作品的最爱。我的做事方法,总喜欢把最好的事物放在最后,所以你也猜到了,我最喜欢的狄更斯作品,就是下次要和你聊的《雾都孤儿》。好好阅读,相信你会有很多感受。

  我们之所以选择从狄更斯的小说入手,不是因为它好读,而恰恰是因为它难读。而正因为不好读(词汇生涩,句法复杂,人物多变),才能最大程度发挥我们的阅读潜质,同时读到很健康的文字,之后再去读其他各色的文学作品,也就不容易跑偏了。如同人的饮食,总要先有基本的营养摄入,再接触各种新鲜料理,这样的人,才健康,才博闻。

  代我向你父母问好。

  (五)

  下周的泛读内容,阅读愉快。

  历史类

  Common Sense

  The Declaration of Independence

  George Washington(Biography)

  总统是靠不住的

  文学类

  Oliver Twist

  David Copperfield

  Hard Times

  Frankenstein

本文为天道教育常志诚老师原创文章,转载请注明出处和作者,违者必究!

常志诚

    中国人民大学毕业,英语专业八级,ETS认证教师,京城知名SAT教师;8年SAT教学经验,专注于SAT阅读/写作的教学教法研究,学生遍布美国常青藤大学,2010年教授学生王同学是北京市当年唯一被哈佛大学录取的优秀学子。著有《SAT全真词汇大全》、《百分百SAT写作例子集》等畅销参考书。

  有数据,有故事,懂考试,更热爱梦想。

  扫一扫,留学资讯一手掌握!天道教育微信订阅号:tdpeixun


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