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Lesson24 A skeleton in the cupboard

发布者: 雪狼 | 发布时间: 2006-6-6 16:45| 查看数: 21947| 评论数: 8|



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We often read in novels how a seemingly respectable person or family has some terrible secret which has been concealed from strangers for years. The English language possesses a vivid saying to describe this sort of situation. The terrible secret is called 'a skeleton in the cup board '. At some dramatic moment in the story the terrible secret becomes known and a reputation is ruined. The reader's hair stands on end when he reads in the final pages of the novel that the heroine, a dear old lady who had always been so kind to everybody, had, in her youth, poisoned every one of her five husbands.

It is all very well for such things to occur in fiction. To varying degrees, we all have secrets which we do not want even our closest friends to learn, but few of us have skeletons in the cupboard. The only person I know who has a skeleton in the cupboard is George Carlton, and he is very proud of the fact. George studied medicine in his youth. Instead of becoming a doctor, however, he became a successful writer of detective stories. I once spent an uncomfortable week-end which I shall never forget at his house. George showed me to the guestroom which, he said, was rarely used. He told me to unpack my things and then come down to dinner. After I had stacked my shirts and underclothes in two empty drawers, I decided to hang in the cupboard one of the two suits I had brought with me. I opened the cupboard door and then stood in front of it petrified. A skeleton was dangling before my eyes. The sudden movement of the door made it sway slightly and it gave me the impression that it was about to leap out at me. Dropping my suit, I dashed downstairs to tell George. This was worse than 'a terrible secret'; this was a real skeleton ! But George was unsympathetic. 'Oh, that,' he said with a smile as if he were talking about an old friend. 'That's Sebastian. You forget that I was a medical student once upon a time.'

skeleton (title) /'skelithonetic Symbol";">+n/ [ˈskelitn]n. 骷髅

seemingly (1. 1) /'si:mihonetic Symbol";">Rli/ [ˈsi:miŋli]adv. 表面上地

respectable (1. 1) /ri'spekthonetic Symbol";">+b+l/[risˈpektəbl] adj. 体面的,雅观的

unpack (1. 15) [ˌʌnˈpæk]vt. (从箱中)取出

conceal (1. 2) [kənˈsi:l]v. 隐藏,隐瞒

stack (1. 16) [stæk]v. (整齐地)堆放,排放

vivid (1. 3) ['vivid] adj. 生动的

underclothes (1. 16) [ˈʌndəkləuðz]n. 内衣

dramatic (1. 5) [drəˈmætik]adj. 令人激动的,扣人心弦的

drawer (1. 16) [drɔ:]n. 抽屉

petrify (1. 18) ['petrifai]v. 使惊呆

ruin (1. 6) ['ru:in] v. 毁坏

dangle (1. 18) ['dæŋɡl]v. 悬挂

heroine (1. 8) ['herəuin] n. 女主人公

sway (1. 18) [swei]v. 摇摆

fiction (1. 10) ['fikʃən] n. 小说

unsympathetic (1. 21)[ˈʌnˌsimpəˈθetik] adj. 不表同情的,无动于衷的

varying (1. 10) [ˈvɛəri] adj. 不同的

medicine (1. 13) ['medisin] n. 医学

medical (1. 22) ['medikəl] adj. 医学的

在小说中,我们经常读到一个表面上受人尊重的人物或家族,却有着某种多年不为人所知的骇人听闻的秘密。英语中有一个生动的说法来形容这种情况。惊人的秘密被称作“柜中骷髅”。在小说的某个戏剧性时刻,可怕的秘密泄漏出来,接着便是某人的声誉扫地。当读者读到小说最后几页了解到书中女主人公,那位一向待大家很好的可爱的老妇人年轻时一连毒死了她的5个丈夫时,不禁会毛骨悚然。

这种事发生在小说中是无可非议的。尽管我们人人都有各种大小秘密,连最亲密的朋友都不愿让他们知道,但我们当中极少有人有柜中骷髅。我所认识的唯一的在柜中藏骷髅的人便是乔治·卡尔顿,他甚至引以为自豪。乔治年轻时学过医,然而,他后来没当上医生,却成了一位成功的侦探小说作家。有一次,我在他家里度周末,过得很不愉快。这事我永远不会忘记。乔治把我领进客房,说这间房间很少使用。他让我打开行装后下楼吃饭。我将衬衫、内衣放进两个空抽屉里,然后我想把随身带来的两套西服中的一套挂到大衣柜里去。我打开柜门,站在柜门前一下子惊呆了。一具骷髅悬挂在眼前,由于柜门突然打开,它也随之轻微摇晃起来,让我觉得它好像马上要跳出柜门朝我扑过来似的。我扔下西服冲下楼去告诉乔治。这是比“骇人听闻的秘密”更加惊人的东西,这是一具真正的骷髅啊!但乔治却无动于衷。“噢,是它呀!他笑着说道,俨然在谈论一位老朋友。“那是塞巴斯蒂安。你忘了我以前是学医的了。”

最新评论

shunitang 发表于 2008-9-10 15:17:04
last saturday,I came to UC English corner and one guy said it was a good way to read and read again,and many people also recommend to recite the lessons,I never do it like that..

then I wanna have a try...
wenjing821124 发表于 2009-3-31 20:35:31
wenjing821124 发表于 2009-4-1 08:52:37
书读百遍,其义自现
wenjing821124 发表于 2009-4-4 19:49:31
xiamingyu1979 发表于 2010-1-25 13:56:23
Can I ask a few question,please tell me that what kind of the word style is in text.by the way i am interestingthe word stly.
loveto 发表于 2010-10-20 10:27:26
Sebastian was the skeleton that George had when he was a medical student.
lvsuoguo 发表于 2012-1-6 23:40:29
在英文中,一个词或词组通常有两层含义,一层是literal meaning字面意义,另外一层是figurative meaning引申意义。这篇课文使用了一个具有引申意义的成语a skeleton in the cupboard不为人知的家丑,来讲述一件真事,而讲述的事情又借用了这个成语的字面意义literal meaning。 The whole story is actually built upon the play of a word literal and figuative meaning,it's not a hard story.But anyway what a strange man George was? Maybe when he was a medical student,he used the skeleton to find out the secret of human bodies.Now he was a detective story writer,he kept the skeleton in order to find out the secret of human minds.基督教中的确有过一个传说,说到有个圣人叫Saint S多次起死回生,George给他的骷髅起了这么一个名字,也许是说骷髅随时对他都可以起死回生吧。
lvsuoguo 发表于 2012-1-6 23:41:41
The whole story is actually built upon the play of a word's literal and figuative meaning,
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