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Two Kinds


Two Kinds
Amy Tan

About The Joy Luck Club
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The Joy Luck Club is Amy Tan's first and most successful novel.The book comprises a series of shortstory-like

vignettes that move back and forth in time and space, between the lives of four Chinese women in pre-1949 China and their American-born daughters in California.

四对母女:
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吴素云(Suyuan Woo) ——吴精美 (Jing-mei (June) Woo ); 许安梅(An-mei Hsu, )——许露丝 (Rose Jordan ); 龚琳达(Lindo Jong )——薇弗莱· 龚 (Waverly ); 映映· 圣莱克尔(Ying-ying St. Clair. )——丽娜(Lena );

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These stories are told by seven voices,those of the mothers and daughters except for Suyuan Woo, who is dead when the story begins in the book.The different points of view enable the reader to look at the bittersweet mother-daughter relations from different angles.

Pre-reading Questions
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What?s the meaning of the title “Two Kinds”?

Pre-reading Questions
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How do you describe your relationship with your mother? What is your mother?s attitude towards you? What is your attitude towards your mother?

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love? fear? love? hostility? need? rejection? bitter? sweet? friends? enemies? full of expectations? disappointments? full of conflicts? reconciliation?

Mother and Daughter Relationship Quotes
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A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path. --Agatha Christie

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Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together. --Pearl S Buck

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Mothers and daughters are closest, when daughters become mothers. --Author Unknown A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self.

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Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. --Ambrose Bierce

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When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. --Sophia Loren

Detailed Study of the Text
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The beginning part of the story, Paragraphs 1 to 3,provides the reader with some background information.It tells about the mother and her hopes for her daughter.

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This paves the way for the development of the conflict between the daughter and the mother.These paragraphs show that the mother was very optimistic about the future,and in fact she was rather ambitious for her daughter.

Detailed Study of the Text
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1.You could buy a house with almost no money down.:You could buy a house without any down payment (首付),that is, completely on loan. Here the word "down" is an adverb, meaning "in cash when bought"(现 款). If you make a down payment on something, you pay only a percentage of the total cost when you buy it.

2."Of course you can be prodigy, too.''
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(1)The mother?s English was not accurate in grammar,and here she dropped the article “a” before the countable noun “prodigy”.Later we will find that she made all kinds of grammatical mistakes.

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(2)prodigy:a young person who is extremely clever or good at doing something,e.g. Mozart was a prodigy.a tennis prodigy, a musical prodigy

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3."You can be best anything": To be grammatically correct,one should say:"You can be the best in anything."

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4.She is only best tricky:She is only good at being tricky. Tricky: difficult to do or deal with: a tricky question / situation; (of people) clever but likely to deceive you 她那女儿,只不过心眼多一点而已

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5.her family home:Why family home? Is the word "family" redundant? No.In China,a family home is one where a big,extended family with three or more generations live together.

Comprehension
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From this part, can you tell why the mother placed extraordinarily high hopes on the daughter?

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First,she believed one could be anything one wanted to be in America.Whether she was aware of it or not,she was influenced by and believed in the "American Dream".

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Secondly,she was competing with her best friend Lindo,who had a smart daughter. Thirdly,she had lost everything in China and had come to America with the determination to make things better.She was transferring her own hopes to her daughter.

Part II (Paras.4-76 )
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Subsection 1 (Paras.4-11) This part is about the Mother's unsuccessful attempt to change her daughter into a Chinese Shirley Temple.In the beginning the child was as excited as the mother about becoming a prodigy.At this point, the conflict between mother and daughter was not visible.

6.Shirley Temple:秀兰-邓波儿
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Well-remembered for her unruly mop of curls and cheeky innocence, Shirley Jane Temple enchanted audiences in the 1930s and was a shining beacon of joy and hope during the dark days of the Depression.

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At six years old, she won an Honorary Juvenile Acting Academy Award and the Academy named her “the most outstanding personality of 1934”

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7.tapping her feet:Here she was doing a tap dance踢踏舞,a dance performed with sharp,loud taps of the foot,toe,or heel at each step.

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8."You already know how.Don't need talent for crying":This is a remark of reproach责备 said in tone of sarcasm.The mother indicated that the daughter cried too much.

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9.Instead of getting big fat curls...an uneven mass of crinkly black fuzz. (1)Shirley Temple had blond hair in big fat curls.But after the hair was done,the narrator looked very different from what they had hoped.

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(2) crinkle:full of wrinkles,twists and ripples (3) fuzz:thin,soft hair (4) an uneven mass of crinkly black fuzz:一团乱蓬蓬的黑色小卷毛

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10."You look like Negro Chinese":She was thinking of stereotypes:White girls have blond curly hair,Chinese girls have black straight hair,and black girls have crinkly fuzzy hair.To the mother, the new hairstyle was even worse because the daughter now looked like a Negro girl.

11.she lamented as if I had done this on purpose.
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(1)lamented:悲叹,悔恨To lament is to express annoyance or disappointment about something you think is unsatisfactory.The use of the word shows that the mother was dissatisfied and disappointed with the daughter.The word appears again later.

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(2)as if I had done this on purpose: The girl felt that her mother blamed her for this initial failure.Later on we find that the mother and daughter often blamed each other in their intense relationship.

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12.The instructor of the beauty school had to lop off these soggy clumps. lop off:to cut a part of something off,especially a branch of a tree soggy:unpleasantly wet and soft, e.g.The ground is soggy from the rain. clump:a group of trees,bushes or other plants growing very close together.Here "lop off " and "clumps“ are used figuratively.

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13."Peter Pan is very popular these days":In making her hair smooth again,the girl looked 1ike a boy,and so the instructor was comforting the mother and the girl by mentioning Pete Pan,whose hair was short,with a few straightacross bangs 前浏海 above his eyebrows.

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14.In fact,in the beginning,I was just as excited as my mother: Her mother's attempt to change her into a prodigy roused in her many fanciful ideas and made her quite excited.

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15.I pictured this prodigy part of me as many different images, trying each one on for size. (1)Explain the meaning of the sentence: I imagined myself as different types of prodigy,trying to find out which one suited me the best.

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(2)trying each one for size:to try something,especially clothing,to see if it is the right size for you.

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16.a dainty ballerina girl:a small,pretty and delicate girl who dances in ballets. ballerina:a woman who dances in ballets.

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17.I was like the Christ child lifted out of the straw manger, crying with holy indignity. holy indignity

holy indignity
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The author is being humorous here.Jesus Christ did everything with holy dignity,such as preaching and healing the sick.But when he was a newborn baby,and when he was 1ifted out of the straw manger,he cried just like other babies,without holy dignity, but with indignity.Yet,because he was the holy Son of God,his indignity was holy,too.

18.I was Cinderella stepping from her pumpkin carriage:

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Her fairy godmother asked Cinderella to go into the garden and bring the largest pumpkin she could find.By magic the fairy godmother changed the pumpkin into a golden coach.

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beyond reproach: not to be reproached, perfect 无可指摘,完美无缺 sulk: to be silently angry

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get me out of here: personification The “prodigy” in me is like a trapped animal. It told me that I must set it free as soon as possible. Otherwise he would disappear for ever, and I would never become a prodigy. For good: 永久地 forever

Subsection 2 (Paras.12-20 )
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Paragraphs 12 to 20 form the second subsection of Part Two of the story.In this part we learn that the mother was trying very hard to train her daughter to be a genius.As the tests got more and more difficult,the daughter lost heart.She decided that she would not let her mother change her.This change of attitudes would lead to the gradual development of the conflict.

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Formica [f?:'maik?] [美国英语]【商标】福米加塑料贴面(热固 性树脂)

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20.My mother got these magazines from people whose houses she cleaned…assortment: From this we can see that the family was not well off.The mother had to clean many houses each week to help support the family.

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21.Nairobi: capital of Kenya,Africa,far away from Finland

22. finding the queen of hearts in a deck of cards:
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在一副纸牌中找出红桃皇后来 four suits in a deck of cards: spades: ?黑桃 hearts 红桃 diamonds 方块 clubs 梅花

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ace A, king K, Queen Q, Jack J, the black Joker,小王 the red Joker,大王 face cards, court cards花牌(J,Q,K)

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23.Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance: Jehoshaphat: Ninth century B.C. King of Judah who formed an alliance with the kingdom of Israel. 约沙王(公元前9世纪犹大国王) 约沙法大 有尊荣资财

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24.something inside of me began to die: What began to die in side of me? The hope of becoming a prodigy. She knew that she was not a genius, not a prodigy.This indicates an important change in the girl.

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25.I hate the tests,the raised hopes and failed expectations. The hopes had been raised so high that it was inevitable for her to fail. 我恨那些测试,那些过高的希望和达不到 的期盼。

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26.I looked in the mirror above the bathroom sink and when I saw only my face…I began to cry: We are not sure whether the author is alluding to (暗指) the fairy tale "Snow White".but we are reminded of that fairytale.

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high-pitched: (of sounds) very high: a high-pitched voice / whistle crazed:(adj.)behaving in a wild and uncontrolled way scratch out: to remove a word from a piece of writing by drawing a line through it

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27 lots of won‘ts: When you disobey an order,you say,“I won?t do it.“ So “lots of won?ts” represent disobedience and rebellion. Similar expressions: some do?s and don?ts; the haves and have-nots

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28.I won't let her change me,I promised myself.I won't be what I'm not. Awakening Self-identity, individualism: the most important part of American value. Growing up in America,the girl was inevitably influenced by this value.Obviously this notion of individualism is not in conformity with the traditional Chinese family value.

29.I got so bored …other areas.
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(1)bellow:a deep hollow sound怒吼, 咆哮 (浓雾号角发出呜呜声) (2)foghorn:a horn on a ship or a lighthouse sounded as a warning during a fog浓雾号角 (3)on the bay:on the San Francisco Bay (4)drill:to teach someone by making them repeat something many times. (5)other areas:The word "areas',is used because the bay was an area the girl's attention was focused on.

30.The sound was comforting…
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The bellows of the foghorns on the bay had a quality that could rouse the child's imagination.The sound reminded her of the nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon.

Hey,diddle, diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed, To see such sport, And the dish ran away with the spoon.

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31.give up on me:to stop hoping that someone will change, do something,etc.e.g.She has been in a com a for six weeks,but doctors have not given up on her.

Subsection 3 (Paras.21-28)
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Paragraphs 2 1 to 2 8 form the third subsection of Part Two.While watching a Chinese girl playing the piano on an Ed Sullivan Show,a new idea flashed into the mother's head.With the new plan introduced, the conflict would develop further.

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32.The Ed Sullivan Show:See Note 5 to the text.a popular American TV variety show that originally ran on CBS from June 20, 1948 to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. shorting out:短路

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33.Paragraph 21 is one of the fine examples showing how the author uses simple but vivid, expressive language in her depiction.When the sound the TV set shorted out,the mother would get up from her seat to adjust the set.This action was repeated so many times that in the eyes of the child it was like a dance between her mother and the TV set.In her depiction,the author uses simple and small words like "up and down ,back and forth, quiet and loud."

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34.It was like a stiff embraceless dance between her and the TV set: 她和电视机好像上演了一段舞蹈,二者不 相拥抱,动作僵硬。

35.She seemed entranced by the music...playful parts
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(1)entranced:very interested in and pleased with something, e.g.He was entranced by the sweetness of her voice. (2)frenzied: v. To drive into a frenzy; an uncontrolled and excited behaviour or emotion, which is sometimes violent

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(3)mesmerizing:to mesmerize means to make someone feel that they must watch or listen to something or someone, because they are so interested in it or attracted by it, (4)lilting:with a pleasant pattern of rising and falling sound in music or voice A lilting voice or song rises and falls in pitch in a pleasant way. (5)pound out: to play music loudly

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她似乎被这音乐吸引住了。这钢琴曲不长, 但有点狂乱,有着迷人的特点,乐曲一开 始是快节奏的,接着是欢快跳动的节拍, 然后又回到嬉戏的部分。

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36.The girl had the sauciness of a Shirley Temple.:The girl was Shirley Temple-like,slightly rude but in an amusing way. (1)sauciness:impertinence; rudeness in an amusing way傲慢,鲁 莽 (2)a Shirley Temple:of the Shirley Temple type

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37.She was proudly modest like a proper Chinese girl:A proper Chinese girl was supposed to be modest.Knowing this,the girl tried to look modest,but actually she was proud.

38.And she also did this fancy sweep of a curtsy:
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Like Shirley Temple,she did her curtsy with a fancy sweep(花哨潇洒 的屈膝礼). curtsy:a gesture of greeting, respect,etc.formerly made by girls and women and characterized by a bending of the knees and a slight lowering of the body.

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(1)sweep: a long swinging movement of your arm, a weapon etc With a single sweep of his sword, he cut through the rope.

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(2)the fluffy shirt of her white dress cascaded slowly…a large carnation.:她那白色蓬松的裙子慢慢 地垂落到地上,好似一大朵康乃馨。 fluffy: very light and soft to touch cascade: to flow, fall, or hang down in large quantities Her thick black hair cascaded down below her waist.

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我马上领会了,妈为什么这样深深地被琴 声迷住。原来,那个正在向观众行屈膝礼 的演奏者,不过只八九岁的光景。而且同 样是一个留着彼得· 潘发式的中国女孩子。 她穿着蓬松的白色短裙,就像一朵含苞欲 放的康乃馨。在她优雅地行礼时,既有秀 兰· 邓波儿的活泼,又持典型的中国式的谦 和。 (程乃珊)

39.In spite of these warning signs, I wasn't worried.
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What were the warning signs? The girl had so many similarities with the narrator that she should have known what her mother was thinking about:If that Chinese girl could be a Shirley Temple-like prodigy,why not her own daughter? Watching that girl's performance,the mother had a new idea - to make her daughter learn the piano.The narrator saw those warning signs,but she was not worried.The reason is explained in the following sentences.

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reams of sheet music:a large amount of music printed on single sheets and not fastened together inside a cover. reams:(pl.)(informal) a large amount of writing on paper,e.g. He showed me reams of notes he had taken.

40.So I could be generous … the little girl.
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As she knew she would not be competing with this girl,she was not jealous of her. So she could say nice things about the girl?s performance when her mother criticized the girl. bad-mouth:(informal,especially in American English) to find fault with, to criticize or disparage,

41."Play note right,but doesn't sound good! No singing sound"
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We can see that although the mother did not speak grammatically correct English,she was able to express herself sufficiently.It's clear what she meant is that the girl played the notes right but failed to bring out the melody(曲调)of that piece.

42.picking on her:
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To pick on someone means to blame someone for something, especially unfairly, e.g.Why does the boss always pick on me?

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43.I knew almost immediately I would be sorry I said that: I knew immediately I had invited criticism by saying that.

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huff: A heavy breath; a grunt or sigh; An expression of anger, annoyance, disgust, etc; To breathe heavily; make a noise in a way that shows you are offended or annoyed

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encore: n. an additional or repeated part of a performance, especially a musical one; an extra short performance given at the end of a concert; An additional performance in response to the demand of an audience; a call from an audience for a repetition of a performance

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Anitra?s Dance 阿尼特拉舞曲 : a piece of music written by Edvard Grieg in 1875 爱德华· 格里格

Subsection 4 ( Paras.29 - 46 )
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Paragraphs 29 to 46 form the fourth subsection of Part Two.It tells about how the girl was made to learn the piano under the instructions of Old Chong.The girl hated the piano lessons because she didn't want to be somebody she was not.The relationship between mother and daughter was getting more and more tense.

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When her mother was using her in competing with Auntie Lindo,she could not put up with her mother any more,and she decided to put a stop to "her foolish pride".What was she going to do? That naturally arouses our expectation.With this anticipation,we continue our reading into the next part.

44.my mother had traded housecleaning services …until six
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My mother would do housecleaning for Mr. Chong.As a form of payment for her services,she got free weekly piano lessons and a piano for her daughter to practice on every day, two hours a day from four until six. At this stage,the little girl was too young to appreciate the efforts and sacrifice her mother made for her.

45.My mother slapped me
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This tells us two things.First,the mother was rather quicktempered.Secondly,we are reminded that she was a Chinese mother.American parents would have hesitated to use physical punishment in dealing with their children.

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46.“Who ask you be genius? Only ask you be your best.For your sake.You think I want you be genius?”: Who asks you to be a genius? I only ask you to be at your best.For your sake.You think I want you to be a genius?

47.”So ungrateful"
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This reflects an important Chinese value concerning the relationship between parents and children.The parents do everything they can for their children and the children are supposed to feel grateful to their parents. The typical American idea is that since the parents have brought their children into this world,they have obligations for their children,and so the children do not have to feel that they owe anything to their parents.

I heard her mutter in Chinese
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Note that when the mother communicated with her daughter, sometimes she spoke English and sometimes Chinese.She switched to Chinese perhaps when the notions were so typically Chinese that it was easier for her to express them in her mother tongue or when she found that what she wanted to say was too difficult for her to put across in English.

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“If she had as much talent as she has temper,she would be famous now”: 如果她的才气和脾气一样大的话,她早就 出名了。

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48.tapping his fingers to the silent music of an invisible orchestra: 用手指随着一支无形乐团的无声音乐打着 拍子

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他似已很老很老了,头顶秃得光光的,戴 着副啤酒瓶底一样厚的眼镜,在层层叠叠 的圈圈里,一双眼睛整日像昏昏欲睡的样 子。他常常会悠然地对着一支看不见的乐 队,指挥着听不见的音乐。但我想,他一 定没我想象的那般老朽,因为他还有个妈 妈。而且,他还没有结婚吧。

49."Like Beethoven …We're both listening in our head":
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The world famous German composer Ludwig van Beethoven ( 1770~1827 ) began to lose his hearing when he was only 28. This was a terrible disaster for the young musician.Public performance eventually became impossible,but he never stopped composing. In spite of his deafness,Beethoven went on working with all his strength, though he was never able to hear most of his own finest music.

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“像贝多芬一样,”他常常喜欢扯大嗓门说 话,“我们俩都是只用心来倾听!”他如 此自诩着,说毕,依旧陶醉在对无人无声 乐队的指挥中,如痴如醉地挥动着他的手 臂。

50."Key! Treble! Bass! No sharps or flats"
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Key: 调 The song is written in the key of D. 这首歌是用D调谱写的 Treble:三倍;最高音部 Bass: 低音 Sharps: 偏高的,升半音的,有升记号的 Flats: 降调

51. an old,unreachable itch
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The word “itch“ has two meanings.An itch is an uncomfortable feeling on your skin that makes you want to rub it with your nails. Informally it means figuratively a strong desire to do or have something.

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随后他弹了几个C调音阶,一组简单的和 弦,然后似受一种无法抑制的渴望所激动, 他的手指在琴键上按了更多的和弦,仿佛 是感情的迸发和泛滥,他弹出了令人神魂 震荡、形销骨立的颤音,接着又加进了低 音,整个气氛,颇有一种豪迈的,雷霆万 钧的浑厚气概。

keep time
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to play a piece of music using the right rhythm and speed保持(正确的) 节奏 There are other phrases about music with the word "time“ in them.

time
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Waltzes are usually in three-four time. He went through the motions in halftime. She began moving her body in time to the music. While his friends were singing,he beat time for them. The girl was playing the piano for him, but he was always out of time with her.

He balanced pennies on top of my wrists
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This is a common method piano teachers use to train their students.The players' fingers dance on the keyboard but their wrists should not move up and down but be kept still.

He marched stiffly to show me how to make each finger dance.
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(1)Here Old Chong was demonstrating to the girl how to play staccato. (2)staccato:(adv.)When music is played staccato,the notes are cut short and do not flow smoothly.He was comparing playing staccato to marching stiffly like an obedient little soldier.

conducting his own private reverie:
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He was conducting the invisible orchestra created by his imagination. reverie:dreamy thinking, imagining of especially agreeable things;fanciful musing; daydreaming 幻想;幻想曲

I learned to play only the most ear-splitting preludes,the most discordant hymns:
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可我实在太执拗,那么顽固地拒绝与众不 同,所以我只学会弹震耳欲聋的前奏曲和 最最不和谐的赞美诗。

Over the next year,I practiced like this, dutifully in my own way:
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If you say that you do something dutifully,you do what you are expected and behave in a loyal and an obedient way, with a sense of duty.Here by adding "in my own way",the girl meant that she practiced like that not according to her mother's expectation but to her own plans.

We had grown up together and shared all the closeness…and dolls.
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(1)The two girls had grown up together.Like sisters they often quarreled over crayons and dolls. (2)squabble(over/about):to quarrel continuously about something unimportant.

In other words,for the most part,we hated each other:
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In other words,we hated each other most of the time.Their behavior is similar to sibling rivalry.Sibling rivalry is competition between brothers and sisters for their parents' attention or love. Although there is sibling rivalry in all cultures,it may be more common in American families than in Chinese families because of different family education and family values.

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In American families,every child is led to think he/she is the best.They are encouraged to compete for everything from an early age on. If we compare the relationships among sisters and brothers in Chinese and American families,we can find some differences.

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In Chinese families,elder sisters and brothers are told to look after their younger sisters and brothers.In return,younger sisters and brothers are supposed to show respect for the older ones. In American families,more stress is put on individual rights and equality than on relations in which the older and the younger siblings have different roles to play.

"Chinatown's Littlest Chinese Chess Champion"
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A headline in a newspaper or magazine. Note the alliteration used here. Alliteration and puns are often used in newspaper headlines in order to catch readers' attention.

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In the novel there is a part told by Waverly.She learned to play chess at an early age.By her ninth birthday,she was a national chess champion. Although she was still some 429 points away from grand-master status,she was touted as the Great American Hope,a child prodigy.A photo of hers appeared in Life magazine.

"She bring home too many trophy"
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Like Jing-mei?s mother,Auntie Lindo also spoke inaccurate English.In more accurate English,it should be: She brings home too many trophies. All day she plays chess. All day I have no time to do anything else but clean and dust off her trophies.

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Note the use of words and expressions like "lamented“ and "threw a scolding look". Auntie Lindo was very pleased with and proud of her daughter and wanted to brag about her to her best friend.But she knew that was against Chinese modesty.So,like a proper Chinese mother,she had to hide her pride and pretend to be modest and complaining about her daughter.She was praising her daughter in an indirect way.

"You lucky you don't have this problem":
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You are lucky that you don?t have so many trophies to dust off.

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The tone was ironic,implying that your daughter didn't bring home any trophy.

And my mother squared her shoulders and bragged…this natural talent.
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(1)Jing-mei's mother knew her friend too well to miss the ironic tone in her remark. She was determined to respond to her friend's challenge. (2)What she meant to say is our problem is worse than yours.If we ask Jing-mei to wash dishes,she hears nothing but music.It's like you can't stop this natural talent.

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(3)squared her shoulders:to push back shoulders with back straight, usually to show determination (4)From this conversation we can see the two mothers' behavior was typically Chinese . Under the same circumstances,an American parent would simply say:"My daughter is great! I'm proud of her!"

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Jing-mei hated being compared to Waverly.She knew what her mother said was not true and that it was nothing but foolish pride that made her say so.Therefore,she was determined to put a stop to this.

Subsection 5(Paras.47-60)
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Jing-mei was to perform in a talent show held in the church.This was a good opportunity for parents to show off their talented children to their friends.Jing-mei started all right and soon made a mess of her performance.Undoubtedly this was a heavy blow to her mother.The girl expected angry accusations from her mother.

Subsection 5(Paras.47-60)
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To her surprise as well as disappointment,nothing happened when they got home.As readers we can't help wondering what this silence means.We feel that a storm is imminent.Maybe the crisis, or the climax,of the story is about to come.

Old Chong and my mother conspired to have me play…in the church hall
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(1)The word “conspired?? reveals the narrator?s relationship with her mother:They were opponents of the sharp conflict. conspire:to plan something harmful or illegal together secretly. (2)a talent show:才艺表演

Wurlitzer spinet 小型立式钢琴
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Rudolph Wurlitzer was a German immigrant and the founder of a company in Ohio,the USA,which makes and sells musical instruments.In 1880 the first Wurlitzer piano was built in the USA

The Spinet - Smallest Of All Pianos

It was the showpiece of our living room
这是我家起居室的惟一摆设(陈列品)。

I was to play a piece called "Pleading Child" from Schumann's …
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(1) For Robert Schumann,see Note 7 to the text. (2)Scenes from Childhood is a collection of 13 little pieces for piano published in 1839

I dawdled over it
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To dawdle (over) means to take a long time to do something,e.g. Don't dawdle -- we are late already !

The part I liked to practice best was the fancy curtsy…and smile
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我最喜欢练习的部分是花哨的谢幕行礼动 作:先出右脚,脚尖点在地毯上的玫瑰图 案上,身子侧摆,左腿弯曲,抬头,微笑。

My parents invited all the couples from the Joy Luck Club…to witness my debut
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(1)debut:a first appearance in public as of an actor The narrator used such formal words with a note of irony to imply that her parents,to be more exact, her mother,attached too much importance to this occasion

They recited simple nursery rhymes, squawked out tunes.., enthusiastically
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(1)squawk:to utter a loud,harsh cry,as a parrot or chicken (2)prance:to rise up on the hind legs in a lively way,while moving along; said of a horse, to move about in a way suggestive of a prancing horse

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他们背诵简单的童谣,用微型小提琴拉出 又响又粗 的调子,跳呼拉圈舞,穿着粉色 的芭蕾舞短裙蹦蹦跳跳。当他们鞠躬行礼 时观众同声发出"啊,啊"的赞叹,然后热 烈地鼓掌。

This is it
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This is the chance for my prodigy side to come out

I looked out over the audience,at my mother's blank face
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(1)stiff-lipped smile:awkward, unnatural smile尴尬、不自然的笑容 (2)sulky:showing annoyance, resentment,dissatisfaction

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Here the narrator saw four people with four different facial expressions.The mother had a blank face because her feelings at this moment were mixed.She had high hopes and expectations and she was nervous,too.Whatever she felt she must hide her feelings.

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The father yawned,showing he didn't care so much as the mother and he was bored by this children's activity.

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Auntie Lindo's stiff-lipped smile revealed that she tried to put on a polite smile but only succeeded in an awkward,unnatural smile. Obviously she was afraid that Suyuan's daughter's success might overshadow her own daughter. Waverly,being a child,failed to hide her unhappy feeling very well

As I sat down I envisioned people jumping to their feet…on TV
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envision:to imagine something not yet in existence;to picture in the mind As I sat down at the piano,I imagined that my performance would be such a great success that everybody would jump to their feet in excitement and even Ed Sullivan would be so impressed that he would rush up to introduce me on his TV program

A chill started at the top of my head...switching to the right track
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bewitch:to get control over someone by putting a magic spell on them 一股凉气从头顶开始,然后一点点传到全 身。但我却不能停止演奏,双手好像着了 魔似的。我不停地想,我的手指会调整好, 就像火车会被扳到正确的轨道上。

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I played this strange jumble…all the way to the end jumble:an untidy mixture of things, e.g.These notes recorded a jumble of thoughts and feeling sour notes:notes that are gratingly wrong or off pitch

Maybe I had just been nervous and the audience…anything wrong at all
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When the performance was over, the girl was hoping that she did not play that badly after all.Maybe she was just imagining that she had played terribly owing to nervousness and that the audience had not noticed any mistakes

But then I saw my mother's stricken face
stricken:(formal) afflicted or affected by something painful or distressing;very badly affected by trouble,illness,etc. Examples: ? a stricken conscience ? flood-stricken areas. ? Panic-stricken crowds ? A grief-stricken mother
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When I saw my mother's stricken face,I knew that was not mere illusion. I really gave an awful performance.Otherwise my mother's face would not be looking so painful and distressed.

The audience clapped weakly
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This shows that not only her mother but also everybody else,except the deaf Old Chong,noticed what a poor job she had done.

We could have escaped during intermission…to their chairs
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(1)intermission:an interval of time between periods of activity; pause.as between acts of play (2)anchor:锚 To anchor something means to keep something from drifting or giving away,etc.by or as by anchor;to fasten something firmly so that it cannot move.

Express the meaning in your own words
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We had the chance to leave the show during intermission,but we didn't.My parents remained firm in their seats throughout the show, probably out of pride and some strange sense of honor

…juggled flaming hoops while riding a unicycle
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(1)juggle:to keep three or more objects moving through the air by throwing and catching them very quickly

juggler

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(2)unicycle:a one-wheeled vehicle straddled by the rider who pushes its pedals uni-:(prefix) one; having or consisting of one only (e.g.unicellular,unisex) Compare:bicycle,tricycle

The breasted girl with white makeup who sang from Madama Butterfly…mention
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(1)breasted:bare-breasted,smallbreasted,large-breasted What does the breasted girl mean? It may convey something about (a) the awareness by the young about persons who are different (b) the narrator?s adoption of the male point of view (c) the pre-adolescent physical development of many of the contestants

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Here are some more phrases with the word “breast”: 1. at the breast(婴儿)在吃奶的 2. beat one's(或the) breast a. 捶胸悲叹,表示内 疚、懊悔、忏悔或自责,以夸张形式表示难过 b. 大事张扬(或夸耀)自己的成功 3.breast oneself to毅然对抗,抵抗;慨然承当 4.breast the tape【体育】冲线,冲到终点;跑第一 5. single breasted 单排扣; double breasted双排扣

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6.give the breast to child给孩子喂奶[亦作 give a child the breast] 7.keep someone breasted of 经常向某人通 报…的情况 8.make a clean breast of 完全承认,彻底坦 白供认(过失、罪行等),把…和盘托出 9.past the breast已断奶的 10.strain someone to one's breast(或 bosom, heart)把某人紧抱在怀里

white makeup
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The girl was singing an aria 独唱曲, 咏叹调, 唱 腔sung by the Japanese geisha (艺妓) CioCio" San in Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly. Cio-Cio-san falls in love with the American naval officer Pinkerton and is married to him against her family's strong opposition. Pinkerton returns to the USA with the fleet. When Cio-Cio-San comes to know that her husband has betrayed her and is married again to an American woman, she takes her own life. In the opera, as a Japanese geisha, Cic-Cio-San wears heavy white makeup.

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(3)honorable mention:a special honor in a competition for work that was of high quality but did not get a prize(没有进名次的)优秀奖 (4) a tricky violin song:技巧性很强的 小提琴曲 tricky: requiring great skill or care

Auntie Lindo said vaguely,smiling broadly
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When the family friends came up to Jing-mei's parents after the show,they were supposed to say something nice about Jing-mei's performance.However,the poor job Jing-mei had done made it hard for them to make comments.What Auntie Lindo said was a general,ambiguous comment,thus "vaguely".But her smile was broad and genuine,unlike the stiff-lipped smile on her face before Jing-mei played,for now she felt relieved because her friend's daughter had not been able to outshine her own daughter.

Subsection 6 (Paras.61-76)
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Paragraphs 61 to 76 form the last subsection of the middle part of the story. The girl assumed that her failure at the show meant she would never have to play the piano. Yet two days later her mother urged her to practice as usual. She refused and the mother insisted. They had the most fierce quarrel they had ever had. This is the crisis or climax of the story when the plot reaches a point of the greatest emotional intensity.

I assumed my talent-show fiasco…play the piano again
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Since my talent show ended in a ridiculous failure, I took it for granted that my mother had given up on me and would not make me play the piano again.

I wedged myself more tightly in front of the TV
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I pushed myself more tightly in front of the TV (to show her reluctance to go away for the piano practice)

To wedge is to force something firmly into a narrow space.

I wasn't her slave.This wasn't China
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In her mind, a daughter was as obedient as a slave in China. She regarded herself as an American and was determined not to be a Chinese daughter.This shows that this mother-daughter conflict was not only between two generations but also between two cultures.

She was the stupid one
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She was to blame for what happened at the talent show. She was the one who caused the ridiculous failure.

I saw her chest heaving up and down in an angry way
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(1)I saw her breathing hard in great anger. (2)To heave means to swell up, bulge out;to rise and fall rhythmically

"No!'? I said,and I now felt stronger, as if my true self had finally emerged
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This "No" signifies disobedience and rebellion.Her true self had finally emerged and she found strength in her true identity.

She was frighteningly strong
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她的力气大得吓人。

throw rug
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American English for a scatter rug, a rug for covering only a limited area; area rug

Only two kinds of daughters
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These words clearly reveal the mother's firm belief in parental authority.Her traditional Chinese views convinced her that daughters should listen to and obey their mothers' commands.She was aware that American daughters were not obedient.She wanted her daughter to have a Chinese character in the American circumstances.

As I said these things I got scared
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She got scared because she knew those were terrible things for a child to say to his/her parent.It means declaring that you have decided to disown your family.

It felt like worms and toads and slimy things crawling…had surfaced,at last
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slimy:covered with a thick slippery substance that looks or smells unpleasant Explain the meaning of the sentence and tell why the narrator felt this way.

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When I said those words, I felt that some very nasty thoughts had got out of my chest,and so I felt scared.But at the same time I felt good and relieved,because those nasty things had been suppressed in my heart for a long time and now they had got out at last.

Here the author uses a simile to describe her feeling vividly.
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Worms and toads are among things that a child is likely to associate with nasty feelings.This is one of the examples that show how the author uses a child's point of view successfully.Other examples are found in her earlier references to Peter Pan, Cinderella,and the nursery rhyme of the cow jumping over the moon.

And I could sense her anger rising to its breaking point…it spill over
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breaking point:the point at which one's endurance,self-control, etc.collapses under trial I could feel that her anger had reached the point where her selfcontrol collapsed,and I wanted to see what my mother would do when she lost complete control of herself

Alakazam
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A famous magic charm used by a magician. When A magician says abra, kadabra,alakazam,and a miracle will happen.

her face went blank, her mouth closed, a small brown leaf, thin, brittle, lifeless
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她的脸部失去了表情,嘴巴紧闭,双臂无 力地垂下。她退出了房间,神色惊异,好 像一片枯黄的树叶被风吹走,那样单薄、 脆弱、毫无生气。 好像我念了什么咒似的,顿时,她呆住了, 她放开了手,一言不发地,蹒跚着回到自 己房里,就像秋天一片落叶,又薄又脆弱, 没有一点生命的活力。(程乃珊)

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What magical effect did those words produce? Those words were like magic words,transforming the mother,in a flash of a second,from a frighteningly strong woman into a silent,stunned and helpless woman like a small thin leaf blown away.She looked as if she had been defeated by an invisible enemy.

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At this critical point,a careful reader must have many questions. What brought this sudden change in the mother? Why could these words work like magic words and produce such a dramatic effect? The complete answer cannot be found in this part of the story.One has to read the whole novel.

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But at least some clue can be inferred: the loss of the babies was an unspeakable secret of the mother, for "we never talked about“ them.The girl must have hurt the mother so deeply that she was powerless to react.

Part III (Paras. 77-93)
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Paragraphs 77 to 93 form Part Three, the end of the story. This concluding part is narrated from a different point of view.Now the daughter had grown up from a little girl to a mature woman. This part is divided into two subsections.

Subsection 1(Paras.77-89)
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Paragraphs 77 to 89 form the first subsection in which the clash between mother and daughter subsided.They stopped quarreling and made peace with each other.

In the years that followed, I failed her so many times…I dropped out of college
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(1)These sentences sum up what happened in the many years that passed between the time when the daughter was a small child and when she was thirty. Although this part is still narrated by the daughter, now she had grown up to be a mature woman. While the narrator remains the same, the point of view has shifted

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(2)I failed her so many times:This is explained by the next sentences. I didn't get straight As. I didn't become class president. I didn't get into Stanford. (3)fall short of expectations:to fail to meet the expectations

The lid to the piano was closed, shutting out the dust, my misery, and her dreams:
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When the lid to the piano was closed, it shut out the dust and also put an end to my misery and her dreams.

"No, this your piano. Always your piano. You only one can play"
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No,this is your piano. It has always been your piano.You are the only one who can play.

"You could been genius if you want to"
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You could have been a genius if you had wanted to. After so many years, this is the first time that the mother said such encouraging words to the daughter. These words show that the mother knew her own daughter very well. She fully recognized her natural talent and clearly knew that she did not want to try her best.

And she was neither angry nor sad
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This calm tone shows that she had completely reconciled herself to the reality.

And after that,every time I saw it…I had won back
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(1)the bay window:a window or set of windows jutting out from the wall of a building and forming an alcove within, usually with glass on three sides

Why did the daughter feel proud and see the piano as a trophy she had won back?
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The piano had become a symbol. When she was forced to learn to play it, it was a symbol of her misery and her mother's dreams. When her mother offered it to her for her thirtieth birthday,the offer meant forgiveness and reconciliation. Now she heard her mother praising her. Her mother's appreciation was like a trophy that she had won at long last.

Subsection 2(Paras. 90-93)
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Paragraphs 90 to 93 are the second half of the concluding part of the whole story. It is narrated a few years later after the previous scene. Now her mother had died. This part not only brings the story to its end but also contains an epiphany, a moment of discovery, insight,and revelation, by which the narrator's view is altered.

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tuner:a person who tunes musical instrument (a piano tuner)调音师 recondition:to put back in good condition by cleaning,or repairing

all the colors I hated
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The colors were too bright,loud for a refined,sophisticated taste

moth-proof:
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treated chemically so as to repel the clothes moths

I rubbed the old silk against my skin…take them home with me
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What the daughter did has symbolic meanings. It tells us that she loved and missed her mother and she decided to keep those typical Chinese dresses as part of her Chinese heritage.

And for the first time,or so it seemed,I noticed the piece…longer,but faster
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(1)Translate these sentences into Chinese: 第一次,或好像感觉是第一次,我注意到 右边的乐曲。它的名称是"心满意足"。我 也试着弹这首曲子。它的曲调比较轻松, 但节奏同样 流畅,不是很难。"祈求的孩 子"较短、较慢,而"心满意足"更长、更快 一些。

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(2)or so it seemed:Since she practiced "Pleading Child“ so often she must have seen the other piece on the right-hand side,but at that time with all her attention concentrated on "Pleading Child”, she simply didn't notice it.

And after I played them both a few times, I realized they were two halves of the same song
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(1)Translate the sentence into Chinese: 在我弹了几遍后,我意识到,原来这两个 曲子是同一首歌的两个组成部分。

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What did the narrator mean when she said they were two halves of the same song? Why does the author end the story this way?

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The last sentence is very meaningful.At this stage, the narrator was able to see that her childhood was made up of two sides. Although there were unhappy moments, on the whole it was filled with perfect happiness. The titles of the two different piano pieces are clearly suggestive.

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When she was a little girl, she only saw one side of her childhood. She couldn't understand her mother, regarding her mother's hopes and expectations as tormenting pressure that only brought misery to her. So she saw herself as a pleading child.

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Now as she realized how her mother loved and appreciated her, she felt perfectly contented. This last sentence is significant because it contains the narrator's epiphany, by which the character's view is greatly altered.


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