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您现在的位置:天新网 > 考试 > 四六级考试 > 复习指南
六级经典范文及点评:万能的美元
http://www.21tx.com 2007年12月10日 北文学校
金钱要求你将自己的才智出售给他人的理智,而不是将你的缺点出售给他们的愚蠢。对待金钱要有正确的态度。也许金钱可以是你衡量自身能力的一种标准,却不是唯一的标准。


The Almighty Dollar

  Political and technological developments are rapidly obliterating all cultural differences and it is possible that, in a not remote future, it will be impossible to distinguish human beings living on one area of the earth’s surface from those living on any other①, but our different pasts have not yet been completely erased and cultural differences are still perceptible. The most striking difference between an American and a European is the difference in their attitudes towards money. Every European knows, as a matter of historical fact, that, in Europe, wealth could only be acquired at the expense of other human beings②, either by conquering them or by exploiting their labor in factories. Further, even after the Industrial Revolution began, the number of persons who could rise from poverty to wealth was small: the vast majority took it for granted that they should not be much richer nor poorer than their fathers. In consequence, no European associates wealth with personal merit or poverty with personal failure.

  In the United States, wealth was also acquired by stealing, but the real exploited victim was not a human being but poor Mother Earth and her creatures who were ruthlessly plundered. It is true that the Indians were expropriated, but this was not, as it had always been in Europe, a matter of the conqueror seizing the wealth of the conquered, for the Indian had never realized the potential riches of his country. It is also true that, in the Southern states, men lived on the labor of slaves, but slave labor did not make them fortunes; what made slavery in the South all the more inexcusable was that, in addition to being morally wicked, it didn’t even pay off handsomely.

  Thanks to the natural resources of the country, every American, until quite recently, could reasonably look forward to making more money than his father, so that, if he made less, the fault must be his; he was either lazy or inefficient. What an American values, therefore, is not the possession of money as such, but his power to make it as a proof of his manhood; once he has proved himself by making it, it has served its function and can be lost or given away. In no society in history have rich men given away so large a part of their fortunes. A poor American feels guilty at being poor, but less guilty than an American rentier who has inherited wealth but is doing nothing to increase it; what can the latter do but take to drink and psychoanalysis?

  [432 words]

  行文点评

  作者威斯特·休·奥登(Wystan Hugh Auden)(1907—1973),英国诗人,文学评论家,20世纪30年代英国左翼青年作家领袖,40年代起思想向右转变,后期诗歌带有浓厚宗教色彩,1946年入美国国籍。

  本文比较了欧洲人的金钱观和美国人的金钱观。文章第一段就指明美国人和欧洲人之间有文化差异,而最明显的在于他们对待金钱的不同态度。紧接着作者先阐述了欧洲人对待金钱的态度。在第二段和第三段中,作者具体介绍了美国人的金钱观,从而得出结论:欧洲人靠剥削别人致富,美国人靠掠夺自然资源致富;欧洲人抓住金钱不放,美国人认为最重要的不是金钱本身而是赚钱的能力。本文又是一篇很好的comparison and contrast结构的范文。

  好文妙译

万能的美元

  政治与科技的发展正迅速消除一切文化差异,在不久的将来,人们有可能没办法把地球上一个地区的人与居住在另一个地区的人区分开来,但我们不同的过去还没有完全被抹灭,文化的差异依然清晰可见。美国人与欧洲人之间最明显的不同在于他们对待金钱的态度不同。每个欧洲人都知道(其实这也是历史事实):在欧洲要获得财富只能牺牲别人,不论是通过征服他们,还是通过在工厂里剥削他们的劳动。此外,即使工业革命开始后,能由穷变富的人仍是少数:绝大多数人认为他们不会比自己上一代富太多或穷太多是理所当然的事。因此,没有欧洲人会把财富与个人成就,或者把贫穷与个人失败联系在一起。

  在美国,财富也是偷盗而来,但那个真正受剥削的牺牲品不是人,而是被残酷掠夺的的可怜的大地母亲和她的生物。印第安人确实被剥夺了土地,但这并不像在欧洲那样征服者掠夺被征服者的财富,因为印第安人从来没有意识到他们国土上潜在的财富。在南方各州,也的确有人靠奴隶的劳动生活,但奴隶劳力并没有使他们发大财;南方奴隶制尤其不可原谅之处,除了它道德上极恶劣外,还在于它甚至不能慷慨地让南方人赚一大笔钱。

  由于美国自然资源很丰富,直到最近,每个美国人都有理由指望赚得比他父亲多,所以如果他赚得比他父亲少了,一定是他的错;不是他太懒,就是他不能干。因此,美国人看重的不是有钱这件事本身,而是他借以证明其男子汉气概的赚钱能力;一旦他赚到了钱证明了自己,钱就达到了它的功用,此时或失去或赠人都无所谓了。历史上没有一个社会的富人会把那么一大笔财富送掉。一个贫穷的美国人会因为穷而感到惭愧,但他的羞愧之情还不及一个继承了一笔财富却没办法使其增值的美国人;后者除了酗酒,看心理医生之外还能怎么办呢?

  词汇斟酌

  almighty a. 全能的

  obliterate vt. 涂去, 删除, 使湮没

  remote a. 遥远的, 偏僻的

  perceptible a. 可察觉的, 显而易见的, 感觉得到的

  ruthlessly ad. 冷酷地, 残忍地

  plunder v. 抢劫;偷盗;掠夺…的财物

  expropriate v. 没收;征用;夺取所有权

  wicked a.坏的, 邪恶的, 缺德的

  handsomely ad. 慷慨地

  rentier n. 靠利息及地租等生活的人

  psychoanalysis n. 精神分析;心理分析

  佳句临摹

  ①【注释】distinguish...from... 区别,辨别

  【临摹】The twins are so alike that no one can distinguish one from the other.这对双胞胎长的很像,没人能分清谁是谁。

  ②【注释】at the expense of sth 在损失或损坏某事物的情况下

  【临摹】He built up a successful business but it was all done at the expense of his health.他创建了一个成功的企业,却牺牲了自己的健康。

  思如泉涌

  Money is the key that opens all doors. 金钱是打开一切门户的钥匙。

  A light purse is a heavy curse. 为人无钱处处难。

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