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硕士研究生英语考试阅读讲解【5】

2019-10-07

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When I decided to quit my full time employment it never occurred to me that I might become a part of a new international trend. A lateral move that hurt my pride and blocked my professional progress prompted me to abandon my relatively high profile career although, in the manner of a disgraced government minister, I covered my exit by claiming “I wanted to spend more time with my family”.

 

Curiously, some two-and-a-half years and two novels later, my experiment in what the Americans term “downshifting”has turned my tired excuse into an absolute reality. I have been transformed from a passionate advocate of the philosophy of “having it all”, preached by Linda Kelsey for the past seven years in the pages of She magazine, into a woman who is happy to settle for a bit of everything.

 

I have discovered, as perhaps Kelsey will after her much-publicized resignation from the editorship of She after a build-up of stress, that abandoning the doctrine of “juggling your life”, and making the alternative move into “downshifting” brings with it far greater rewards than financial success and social status. Nothing could persuade me to return to the kind of life Kelsey used to advocate and I once enjoyed: 12-hour working days, pressured deadlines, the fearful strain of office politics and the limitations of being a parent on “quality time”.

 

In America, the move away from juggling to a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle is a well-established trend. Downshifting-also known in America as “voluntary simplicity” has, ironically, even bred a new area of what might be termed anticonsumerism. There are a number of bestselling downshifting self-help books for people who want to simplify their lives; there are newsletter's, such as The Tightwad Gazette, that give hundreds of thousands of Americans useful tips on anything from recycling their cling-film to making their own soap; there are even support groups for those who want to achieve the mid- '90s equivalent of dropping out.

 

While in America the trend started as a reaction to the economic decline——after the mass redundancies caused by downsizing in the late’80s——and is still linked to the politics of thrift, in Britain, at least among the middle-class downshifters of my acquaintance, we have different reasons for seeking to simplify our lives.

 

For the women of my generation who were urged to keep juggling through the’80s, downshifting in the mid-'90s is not so much a search for the mythical good life——growing your own organic vegetables, and risking turning into one——as a personal recognition of your limitations. 

 

37. Which of the following is true according to paragraph 1?

[A] Full-time employment is a new international trend.

[B] The writer was compelled by circumstances to leave her job.

[C] “A lateral move” means stepping out of full-time employment.

[D] The writer was only too eager to spend more time with her family.

38. The writer’s experiment shows that downshifting ____

[A] enables her to realize her dream

[B] helps her mold a new philosophy of life

[C] prompts her to abandon her high social status

[D] leads her to accept the doctrine of She magazine

39. “Juggling one’s life” probably means living a life characterized by_____. 

[A] non-materialistic lifestyle                   [B] a bit of everything

[C] extreme stress                                [D] anti-consumerism

40. According to the passage, downshifting emerged in the U.S. as a result of _____

[A] the quick pace of modern life                 [B] man’s adventurous spirit

[C] man’s search for mythical experiences     [D] the economic situation

文章结构总体分析

本文是一篇关于美国人追求简朴生活这一潮流的散文。作者以第一人称的笔调叙述了自身生活态度和方式的转变经历,进而谈及整个美国的情形及剖析这股潮流的成因。从写作特点来说是一篇夹叙夹议的文章,叙述部分(前三段)是一个引子,为后面的议论作铺垫。

前三段:作者通过对自己生活方式转变的总结,进而讲述当初辞职的初衷以及现在作者的生活,并总结自己生活变化带来的益处和感悟。

第四段:段首指出这种生活方式在美国成为一个潮流,并列举一些实例说明其普遍性。

第五、六段:探讨美国和英国这一趋势的成因,并总结这种生活方式的实质就是认识到自己的局限性。

 

试题具体解析

 

37. Which of the following is true according to paragraph 1?

[A] Full-time employment is a new international trend.

[B] The writer was compelled by circumstances to leave her job.

[C] “A lateral move” means stepping out of full-time employment.

[D] The writer was only too eager to spend more time with her family.

37.  按照第一段,下列哪个是个说法是正确的?

[A] 全职工作是一种新的国际时尚。

 

[B] 作者因环境所迫而辞职。

 

[C] “平级调动”意味着退出全日制工作。

 

[D] 作者太想多花点时间和家人在一起了。

 

 

[答案] B

[解析] 本题考核的知识点是:事实细节题

本题考查考生对细节的理解,包括读懂每句话的含义,及弄清前因后果和事实。文章第一段第二句讲到,“一次工作的平级调动(a lateral move)伤害了我的自尊,阻碍了我在工作上的升迁,这促使我放弃了相对体面的(high profile)工作生涯”。可见,作者辞职是有外因的。B选项“作者因环境所迫而辞职”与该事实相符,是正确答案。

A选项与原文相矛盾。第一句说的是我辞去全职工作(quit my full time employment)使我成为国际时尚的一分子,而不是做全职工作。C选项错误地把“A lateral move”理解为放弃全职工作。lateral原意是“横向的”,这里指“平级之间的”。第一段末句提到,为了掩饰(cover)辞职的真正原因,我找了一个“想多花些时间和家人在一起”的借口,因此D选项是托词而不是事实。

 

38. The writer’s experiment shows that

38. 作者的经历表明“放慢生活节奏”

downshifting    .

[A] enables her to realize her dream

[B] helps her mold a new philosophy of life

[C] prompts her to abandon her high social status

[D] leads her to accept the doctrine of She 

         

[A] 使她能够实现梦想

[B] 使作者形成了一种新的生活哲学

[C] 促使她放弃了较高的社会地位

 

[D] 使她接受了《女性》杂志的观点

 

magazine

[答案] B

[解析] 本题考核的知识点是:事实细节题

本题仍然考查考生对细节的理解,要求考生从作者的经历去分析其生活态度前后的转变,关键在于把握第二段末句“transform from...into...”的结构。作者在第二段谈到,“经过约两年半的时间并发表了两部小说以后,我那被美国人称之为‘放慢生活节奏’的生活经历,却将我反复用的借口(指第一段最后一句掩饰辞职原因的话)转化为实实在在的事实。我已经从一个‘拥有一切’(having it all)生活哲学的积极倡导者(这是过去七年里Linda Kelsey一直在《她》杂志上鼓吹的生活方式),变成一个知足常乐(settle for a bit of everything)的女人”。可见B选项正确,因为她从这次生活经历中有了重新认识,形成了新的人生观。

从文章内容可知,“放慢生活节奏”并不是作者原有的梦想,而是当初迫不得已的选择,只是后来她意外发现自己喜欢上了这种生活方式,所以A选项不对。C选项是最初的平级调动带来的结果,而非放慢生活节奏的结果。D选项恰恰与文中事实相反,实际结果是抛弃而非接受。

 

39. “Juggling one’s life” probably means living a life characterized by     .

[A] non-materialistic lifestyle

[B] a bit of everything

[C] extreme stress

[D] anti-consumerism

39. “Juggling one’s life”有可能意味着过      的生活。

 

[A] 不追求物质利益的生话方式

[B] 任何东西都有一点就行

[C] 极度紧张

[D] 反消费主义

 

[答案] C

[解析] 本题考核的知识点是:词义题

本题考查考生通过上下文猜测词义的能力。考生关键要通过对第三段首句复杂的句子结构的分析(见长难句③),知道“Juggling one’s life”即是“downshifting”的反面。在这个句子中,作者把“Juggling one’s life”和“downshifting”对立起来进行比较,因此前者应该指与“放慢生活节奏”相反的“工作压力大、忙忙碌碌的生活”。下文第二句话中的四个并列名词短语“12-hour working days, pressured deadlines, the fearful strain of office politics and the limitations of being a parent on ‘quality time’”(一天工作12小时、每件事情都有最后的期限、公务上争权夺利带来的可怕压力以及因为时间有限连做母亲也得“高效率”)对该短语进行了进一步解释。显然只有C选项是对这些特征的高度概括。注意第四段首句提到的A选项、第二段提到的B选项和第四段第二句谈到的D选项的内容都是“downshifting”的特征。

词汇补充:politics原意多指“政治事件、政治生活、政治活动”,也可指“一个群体或组织内部为争夺权利和利益的斗争”如:Church politics 教会的明争暗斗。

 

40. According to the passage, downshifting emerged in the US as a

40.根据课文,“放慢生活节奏”在美国出现是_      的结果。

result of       .

[A] the quick pace of modern life

[B] man’s adventurous spirit

[C] man’s search for mythical experiences

[D] the economic situation

 

[A] 快节奏的现代生活

[B] 人们的冒险精神

[C] 人们对神秘的生活体验的追求

 

[D] 经济形势

 

[答案] D

[解析] 本题考核的知识点是:因果关系题

本题考查考生理解具体细节的能力。第五段首句指出,美国的这一趋势开始是对经济衰退的一种反映(a reaction to the economic decline),所以D选项“经济形势”是这种生活方式产生的原因。其它三个选项在文中都未提及。

 

  • 全文翻译

 

当我决定辞去自己的全日制工作时决没有想到,自己竟成了一种新的国际性潮流的一分子。一次平级的人事调动伤了我的自尊心,并阻断了我的事业发展,这促使我放弃自己地位较高的职业,然而,我却像面子扫尽的政府部长那样,掩饰地说“我想与家人更多地呆在一起”

 

奇怪的是,大约两年半的时间我写完两部小说后,我这个被美国人称为“放慢生活节奏”的尝试,却使我所谓的累了的借口变成了现实。我已从一个“获得一切”哲学(琳达·凯茜过去七年中在《她》这本杂志所宣扬的)的狂热支持者,变成了一个乐于接受任何东西只要一丁点的女人。

 

我已经发现(由于压力过大,凯茜已多次公开宣称要辞去《她》杂志编辑的职务,在这之后她也许会有同样发现),放弃“忙忙碌碌”的生活哲学,转而过一种“放慢生活节奏”的生活所带来的回报,比金钱和社会地位更有价值。什么也说服不了我回到过去那种凯尔茜所宣扬的、我也曾自得其乐的生活中去:每天12小时的工作日,压得人喘不过气来的最后期限,可怕而紧张的办公室里的争权夺利,以及在“最佳时期”做父母受到限制。

 

在美国,摆脱忙碌,转而过一种简单、不太物质化的生活已成明确趋势。具有讽刺意味的是,“放慢生活节奏”——在美国也称“自愿简单化”——甚至孕育了一个崭新的、可称之为反消费主义的新领域。对于那些想过简单生活的人来说,有许多很畅销的帮你轻松生活的自助书籍;有各种像《守财奴简报》这样的简讯,给美国人提供成千上万条有用的点子,从回收保鲜膜到自制肥皂;甚至还有一些帮助团体,帮助有些人按90年代中期逃避社会现实的人的生活方式去生活。

 

在美国,这种趋势一开始是对经济衰落所做出的一种反应——出现于80年代后期缩小经济规模所引起的大量人员冗余之后——现在这种趋势仍被认为与节俭政治有关联;而在英国,至少在我所认识的愿意简化生活的中产阶级中,却有着不同的缘由去寻求使自己的生活简单化。

 

对我们这一代女性来说,整个80年代我们曾被迫忙碌地生活,90年代中期的简化生活与其说是寻求神话般的好生活——自己种有机蔬菜以及冒险成为像有机蔬菜一样简单淳朴的人——倒不如说我们都认识了自身的局限。

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