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[美国课堂系列·文学] 马丁路德·金的演讲一篇:The American Dream. (我家了注释)

[VAMPIRE13] 2008-3-6 9:29:39
The American Dream
America is essentially a dream, a dream as yet unfulfilled. It is a dream of a land where men of all races, of all nationalities and of all creeds can live together as brothers. The substance of the dream is expressed in these sublime words, words lifted to cosmic proportions: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This is the dream.
One of the first things we notice in this dream is an amazing universalism. It does not say some men, but it says all men. It does not say all white men, but it says all men, which includes black men. It does not say all Gentiles, but it says all men, which includes Jews. It does not say all Protestants, but it says all men, which includes Catholics.
And there is another thing we see in this dream that ultimately distinguishes democracy and our form of government from all of the totalitarian regimes that emerge in history. It says that each individual has certain basic rights that are neither conferred by nor derived from the state. To discover where they came from it is necessary to move back behind the dim mist of eternity, for they are God-given. Very seldom if ever in the history of the world has a sociopolitical document expressed in such profoundly eloquent and unequivocal language the dignity and the worth of human personality. The American dream reminds us that every man is heir to the legacy of worthiness.
Ever since the Founding Father of our nation dreamed this noble dream, America has been something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against herself. On the one hand we have proudly professed the principles of democracy and on the hand we have sadly practiced the very antithesis of those principles. Indeed slavery and segregation have been strange paradoxes in a nation founded on the principle that all men are created equal. This is what the Swedish sociologist, Gunner Myrdal, referred to as the American dilemma.
But the shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of an anemic democracy. The price America must pay for the continued exploitation of the Negro and other minority groups is the price of its own destruction. The hour is late; the clock of destiny is ticking out. It is trite, but urgently true, that if America is to remain a first-class nation she can no longer have second-class citizens. Now, more than ever before, America is challenged to bring her noble dream into reality, and those who are working to implement the American dream are the true saviors of democracy.
Now may I suggest some of the things we must do if we are to make the American dream a reality. First I think all of us must develop a world perspective if we are to survive. The American dream will not become a reality devoid the larger dream of world of brotherhood and peace and good will. The world in which we live is a world of geographical oneness and we are challenged no to make it spiritually one.
Man’s specific genius and technological ingenuity has dwarfed distance and placed time in chains. Jet planes have compressed into minutes distances that once took days and months to cover. It is not common for a preacher to be quoting Bob Hope, but I think he has aptly described this jet age in which we live. If, on taking off on a nonstop flight from Los Angeles to New York City, you develop hiccups, he said, you will hic in Los Angeles and cup in New York City. That is really moving. If you take a flight from Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday morning, you will arrive in Seattle, Washington, on the preceding Saturday night. When your friends meet you at the airport and ask you when you life Tokyo, you will have to say, “I left tomorrow.” This is the kind of world in which we live. Now this is a bit humorous but I am trying to laugh a basic fact into all of us: the world in which we live has become a single neighborhood.
Through our scientific genius we have made of this world a neighborhood; now through our moral and spiritual development we must make of it a brotherhood. In a real sense, we must all learn to live together as brothers, or we will all perish together as fools. We must come to see that no individual can live alone; no nation can live alone. We must all live together; and we must all be concerned about each other.
- essentially: relating to the most important characteristics or ideas of something. 本质的
- creed: a set of beliefs which expresses a particular opinion and influences the way you live. 信条。
- sublime : extremely good, beautiful or enjoyable. 崇高的,卓越的,妙美绝伦的。
- cosmic : relating to the universe and the natural processes that happen in it. 宇宙的
- proportion: the number or amount of a group or part of something when compared to the whole. 比例。比率。
- endow: to give a large amount of money to pay for creating a college or hospital, etc. or to provide an income for it. 捐赠,赋予。
- unalienable= inalienable: unable to be removed. 不能让与的,不能剥夺的。
- pursuit: when you try to achieve a plan, activity or situation, usually over a long period of time.
- Universal: existing everywhere or involving everyone. 普遍性的。
- Gentile: a person who is not Jewish 非犹太人(的)。
- Protestant:A member of the parts of the Christian Church which separated form the Roman Catholic Church during the 16th century.新教徒。
- Catholic:天主教的
- Ultimately: Finally, after a series of things have happened. 最终的。
- Democracy: the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves. 民主政体。
- Totalitarian: of or being a political system in which those in power have complete control and do not allow people freely to oppose them. 极权主义的,极权主义者。
- Regime: a particular government or system or method of government. 政权,政治制度。
- Emerge: To appear by coming out of something or out from behind something. 显露。
- Derive: to get or obtain something from something else. 来自。源于。
- Sociopolitical: 社会政治的,同时涉及社会和政治的。
- Eloquent: Giving a clear, strong message. 有口才的。雄辩的。
- Unequivocal: Total, or expressed in a clear and certain way. 明确的,不含糊的。
- Legacy: money or property that you receive from someone after they die. Something that is part of your history or which stays form an earlier time. 遗产,遗物。
- Schizophrenia: someone who suffers form schizophrenia. 精神分裂症的。
- Antithesis: The exact opposite对立面。
- Segregate: To keep one group of people apart from another and treat them differently, especially because of race or sex. 种族隔离。
- Sociologist: someone who studies or is an expert in sociology. 社会学家。
- Dilemma: a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two different things you could do. 进退两难的局面。
- Anemic: suffering from anemia 贫血症的。
- Exploitation: when someone uses someone else unfairly for their own advantage. 剥削。
- Negro:a black person. 黑人
- Trite: expressed too frequently to be interesting or seem sincere.陈腐的。
- Implement: to put a plan or system into operation.执行,贯彻。
- Perspective: a particular way of considering something. 观点,远景。
- Devoid: to lack or be without something that is necessary or usual.缺乏的。
- Oneness: 单一,唯一,统一。
- Ingenuity: someone’s ability to think of clever new ways of doing something. 机灵,足智多谋。
- Preacher: a person, usually a priest, who gives a religious speech. 传教士。
- Aptly: adv of apt. to be likely to do something or to often do something. 适当地,适宜地。
- Preceding: existing or happening before someone or something. 先前的。
  1. A. Which statement in king’s speech holds the most meaning for today’s society? Explain.
B.Discuss:In a small group, share your responses. As a group, choose one response to share with the class.
No nation can live alone. We must all live together; and we must all be concerned about each other. This statement holds the most meaning for today’s society because today we all work together in order to accomplish tasks and go on with our discovery and living.
  1. A. From what historic document does Dr.King quote to express ‘the American’s dream’? B. Why does he choose those particular lines?
The quote was from ‘Declaration of independence’, he quoted those lines because they showed all men are equal, which best supports Dr.King’s argument.
  1. What differences does king find in American society between the way things are the way they should be? What affect do these differences affect people’s lives?
All men should be equal, the system should be democratic, but instead, America was totalitarian, with racism and segregations going on. If this keeps on going, America will not achieve its dream and will not survive long as a whole nation.
  1. What steps does Dr.King thinks Americans must take to make the American dream a reality? Do you agree? Explain.
Dr.King thinks Americans must work together, live together and care about each other, treat everyone fairly. I agree, only in that way, America will hold together and won’t fall apart.
  1. What is Dr.king’s purpose in writing this speech? Support your answer. What details in the speech help you determine his purpose? Review the details king provides and evaluate whether he achieve his pupose?
His purpose was to persuade people to achieve the American dream by treating everyone equally and care about each other. That’s why the speech was called ‘The American dream’. The last paragraph showed his purpose clearly: “Through our scientific genius we have made of this world a neighborhood; now through our moral and spiritual development we must make of it a brother hood. In a real sense, we must all learn to live together as brothers, or we will all perish together as fools. We must come to see that no individual can live alone; no nation can live alone. We must all live together; and we must all be concerned about each other.” He did achieve his purpose, he emphasized the importance of working and living together, the speech sounded very impressive.