Unit 6 Fool’s Paradise by Isaac Bashevis Singer Navigation Guide Background Information Text Comprehension Structure Analysis Language and Style Warming up Brainstorming 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 honored. 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 mysticism. 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 《莫斯卡特一家》1950 Satan in Goray 《撒旦在戈雷》1955 The Magician of Lublin 《卢布林的魔术师》 1960 Major works Shadows on the Hudson Love and Exile The Death of Methuselah Reading Skill Practice • Skimming What is the main idea of the story? Scanning 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 examples. 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 • • • • • • • • • 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) Lord—God 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 Exercises • 1. Vocabulary. • 2. Text Comprehension. • 3 Fast-reading. • 4. Home-reading. Assignment • Read a fable after class and try to figure out the moral lesson of it. Be prepared to make an oral presentation next class.
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