Unit 6
Fool’s Paradise
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Navigation Guide
Background Information
Text Comprehension
Structure Analysis
Language and Style
Warming up
What can “paradise” remind you ?
Beautiful scenery, happiness, God, saints, joy,
wisdom, Eve, Adam, angel, Satan, delicious food,
holy, bright, pure, peace, tranquil, laughter…
Do you believe the existence of the
paradise? Why or why not ?
If you do believe that, what do you
think is the life in paradise like? Would
people live happily in paradise?
Background Information: the writer
Isaac Bashevis Singer
November 21, 1902—July 24,1991
a Polish Jewish American author
noted for his short stories, one of
the leading figures in the Yiddish意
第绪语 literary movement, and
received the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1978, . the first
Yiddish-language author to be so
He emigrated to the U. S. in
1935 and worked in New
York City as a journalist on
the Jewish Daily Forward. In
1943 he became an
American citizen. Singer's
work, often frankly sexual,
draws heavily on Jewish
folklore, religion, and
Though he wrote in Yiddish, he was fluent in
English and closely supervised the English
translations of his works. In 1978 he won the
Nobel Prize for Literature, the first Yiddishlanguage author to be so honored. Many of
his later works treat the loneliness of old age
and the sense of alienation produced in
Jews by the dissolution of values through
assimilation with the Gentile world.
Major works
The Family Moskat
Satan in Goray
The Magician of Lublin
《卢布林的魔术师》 1960
Major works
Shadows on the Hudson
Love and Exile
The Death of
Reading Skill Practice
What is the main idea of the story?
Exercise B &Text Comprehension Questions
Guessing the meaning of new words
Exercise C
In-depth reading
What do you think is the moral of the story?
Text Comprehension
Q1 What is paradise like? Would people live
happily in the paradise?
Q2 Atzel suddenly became ill. He imagined
that he was dead. Why ?
Q3 How did the specialist cure the young
man’s illness?
Q4 What was the life in paradise?
Q5 Why did Atzel have a strong desire to
come to the earth?
Text Comprehension
Q1 What does Atzel and Aksah look like? What’s their relationship?
Q2 What happened when Atzel grew up?
Q3 According to the old nurse what is paradise like?
Q4 Did Atzel believe this? Why?
Q5 What did Atzel want to do in order to get to paradise?
Q6 What were the reactions of his family members?
Q7 What did his parents do?
Q8 Whom did his parents consult finally?
Q9 On what condition did the specialist promise to cure Atzel?
Q10 How did Dr. Yoetz cure Atzel’s disease?
Q11 What was Atzel’s life in Paradise like? Was he satisfied with his
life? Give some examples.
Q12 How did Atzel come back to earth?
Q13 Did Atzel become as normal as other people? Give some
Structure analysis
Atzel’s strange illness. 
Atzel was cured by a specialist. 
Atzel’ life in paradise: monotonous he
wished to kill himself 
Atzel finally came back to the earth.
Further Discussion
• Why did Atzel want to kill himself after a few
days' stay in paradise?
2. What do you think the moral of the story is?
Further Discussion
1. Why did Atzel want to kill himself after a few days' stay
in paradise?
Atzel wanted to kill himself after a few days' stay in
paradise because he found that life there was too
monotonous. One could do nothing in paradise except
eating the same thing everyday and sleeping.
2. What do you think the moral of the story is?
We should treasure the days while we are living and
make the best of them.
Language notes
the just—the honest people
take over—accept
be celebrated for—be famous for
fasting—not eating food
ravenously—(to eat) eagerly and quickly
fresh rolls—some small and round bread
ponder—think about deeply and carefully
yearn for—crave for, be eager for
• Style:
vivid description, use of dialogue,
gentle humor
• Rhetorical devices:
Simile, metaphor, contrast, allusion
• 1. Vocabulary.
• 2. Text Comprehension.
• 3 Fast-reading.
• 4. Home-reading.
• Read a fable after class and try to
figure out the moral lesson of it. Be
prepared to make an oral presentation
next class.