The summary of the story


The summary of the story

The novel, The Scarlet Letter, is about the struggle three people face while trying to live their lives and find happiness in a Puritan society. It told the story like this. In the early 1640s, Hester has come to the small town of Boston, Massachusetts, from Great Britain, while her husband, Chillingworth has left to deal with something .But after then, there is no news about him and nobody know whether he is alive or not for two years. Then Hester and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, the town's priest, engages in the act of adultery and produce a baby girl named Pearl. Although only Hester know that Dimmesdale is the father, she has promised Dimmesdale not to reveal his identity. Hester is put on display in front of the entire town in order to punish her, and to also serve as an illustration to the town's people from sinning. She is then put in jail with the baby for a few months and forced to wear a scarlet letter "A" which stands for "Adultery" forever. Hester's husband, Roger Chillingworth, who had been captured by Native American Indians on his way to New England and held in captivity for two years, escapes and enters the town of Boston. After learning of what Hester had done, Chillingworth poses as a doctor and vows to discover the identity of Hester's partner in sin. Hester agrees to keep his true identity a secret, too. "From main idea of this story, it's easy for us to see the fact that it exposed gloomy and despicable repulsion of human nature and at the same time extolled glorious soul by portraying the dark reality under Puritanism in the 17th century."[3] (P92) Through this novel, the characters and situations have helped to describe the Puritan town Boston and Puritanism。

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s attitude towards Puritanism

In this novel, Hawthorne used the repressive, authoritarian Puritan society as an analogue for humankind in general. The Puritan setting also enabled him to portray the human soul under extreme pressure. Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth, while unquestionable part of the Puritan society in which they live, also reflect universal experiences. Hawthorne speaks specially to American issues, but he circumvents the aesthetic and thematic limitations that might accompany such focus. His university and his dramatic flair have ensured his place in the literary canon。

Back to his attitude towards the Puritanism of ancestors, when Hawthorne read the accounts about his first American ancestors, he was reported to have read them with fascination and horror. He was different from his ancestors; he had a feeling to some extent of Puritanism as being intolerant and cruel. He seemes to think that the Puritan religion was too strict and harsh. You can see how he disliked them by the way people act, talk, and live。

Meanwhile, he also showed how he thought the Puritan people would react to the manner in which Hester stitched the "A", and he did not make them look very pleasant. By showing them as being ruthless, and evil, Hawthorne was able to reveal his views of the Puritan people, and how he disliked them through the townsfolk (the woman in particular). He made them come across as people you would love to hate. Throughout the entire book, Hester was looked down upon though slightly less as the story progressed, and treated like a second class citizen. Hawthorne showed his distaste of the Puritan culture by expressing himself through the characters and their actions. Not one person in this novel was truly good, and all the characters sinned. It was impossible to have a perfect society, and Nathaniel Hawthorne explained to us in The Scarlet Letter, that one ruled by the Puritan religion, proved this true。

In a whole, Hawthorne’s attitude towards Puritanism was split. There were things he was absolutely in favor of and things he condemned from the depth of his heart. And to some extent, Hawthorne was a Puritan because of his Puritan origin. It was Puritanism that has led to today’s American achievement oriented society. But Hawthorne described the Puritan society of the 17th century as narrow and relentless. He did not share the dogmas and delusions of the people be condemned because he had little interest and less belief in doctrines and theological debate. His imagination was repeatedly drawn the subjects of temptation, guilt and shame. He sought the depth of the human things。

Of course Hawthorne’s point of view is that of the 19th century, not that of 17th century, where his short stories are settled. He is aware of his roots and history, but he questions these roots and history from his modern point of view。


The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne explores several aspects in the Puritan community of 17th century Boston.Such as the relationship, religion, community, discipline and punishment and so on.Relationship between men and women are very constrained and that are what made adultery such a bad sin in the eyes of everyone in the community. Religion seemes to govern over all. Reverends own high status in the Puritan society and people completely believe that their fate are relevent with God. Public discipline and punishment are used to discourage everyone else from committing the same crime or sin as the offending criminal did. The communities always follow the belief of God and try best to do their duties. And are always here to criticize and punish all who disobeyed the religion or lawsIn 17th century Boston every thing was very strict and everyone was expected to follow the laws, which makes Hester's sin such an excellent illustration of the belief of that time period. Through the things like relationship, religion, community, discipline and punishment,the reader can get a better understanding of what was expected of town’s people in the 17th century. The Scarlet Letter shows the pain and suffering a woman went through when she broke her marriage, and disobeyed her religion. The fate driven religious society in 17th century Boston would not accept sin of any kind so they branded Hester Prynne with the letter A for the rest of her life and made her stand in front of the whole community as an illustration for everyone that sin and corruption was not accepted in their Puritan society.After the 17th century, the Puritans as a political entity largely disappeared, but Puritan attitudes and ethics continued to exert an influence on American society. They made a virtue of qualities that made for economic success---self-reliance, frugality, industry, and energy, and through them influenced modern social and economic life. Their concern for education was important in the development of the United States, and the idea of congregational democratic church government was carried into the political life of the state as a source of modern democracy. Through The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorn highly praises the beauty of human nature and comprehends the Puritan thought and values which deeply influence the Americans.He also “condemns the negative impact of Puritan society on people’s spirit.”[11](P41) And at the same time helps peopleto realize the dark side of Puritan: harshness and persecutions。

第二篇:The story of English 41200字




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There once was a master who went to India. In those times, we didn't have the

communications or airplanes or many kinds of transportation that we do now. So the master went to India on foot. He had never been to India before; perhaps he came from Persia. And when he got there, he saw a lot of fruit. In India they have plenty of fruit to sell, but much of it is expensive because they can't grow much due to the water situation. So he saw one basket, a big basket of some very red, long fruit. And it was the cheapest in the shop, not expensive at all.


So he went up and asked, "How much per kilo?" And the shopkeeper said, "Two rupees." Two rupees in India is nothing; it's like dirt. So he bought a whole kilogram of the fruit and started eating it. But after he ate some of it: Oh, my God! His eyes watered, his mouth watered and burned, his eyes were burning, his head was burning and his face became red. As he coughed and choked and gasped for breath, he jumped up and down, saying, "Ah! Ah! Ah!"

他就走过去询问:“这个一公斤要多少钱?”小贩回答:“两卢比。”两卢比在印度根本不算什么,像尘土一样不值钱,于是他就整整买了一公斤,然后开始吃。 吃了几口之后,这位师父就眼泪、口水齐流,眼睛发红,嘴巴辣得像着火一样,整个头好像要烧起来,他又咳又呛,满脸通红地喘不过气来,在那里边跳边叫.

But he still continued to eat the fruit! Some people who were looking at him shook their heads and said, "You're crazy, man. Those are chilies! You can't eat so many; they're not good for you! People use them as a condiment, but only a little bit to put into food for taste. You can't just eat them by the handful like that; they're not fruit!" So the stupid master said, "No, I can't stop! I paid money for them, and now I'll eat them. It's my money!"



And you think that master was stupid, right? Similarly, we sometimes do a lot of things like that. We invest money, time or effort in a relationship, business or job. And even though it's been a long time, bitter experience tells us it won't work, and we know there's no more hope that things will change in the future - this we definitely know by intuition - we still continue just because we've invested money, time, effort and love into it. If so, we're kaput in the brain. Just like the man who ate the chilies and suffered so much but couldn't stop because he didn't want to waste the money he'd paid.


So even if you've lost something, let it go and move on. That's better than continuing to lose.

就算你会有所损失,还是要放下,然后继续前进!这样总比一直损失下去来得好。 (二)

A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop. She was engrossed in her book but happened to see that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be, grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene. So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.


She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking,"If I wasn't so nice, I would blacken his eye." With each cookie she took, he took one too. When only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half. He offered her half, as he ate the other.


She snatched it from him and thought...oooh, brother. This guy has some nerve and he's also rude. Why he didn't even show any gratitude! She had never known when she had been so galled and sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the ingrate thief.

她从对方手里夺下半块曲奇饼,想,哦,老兄!这家伙有点太胆大、太无理了。他竟然都没有露出一点感激的意思!她从来也没有像这样恼怒过,所以在她的航班通告响起时,她如释重负地叹了口气。她收拾好了行李,走向登机口,根本不想再看一眼那忘恩负义的小偷。 She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat. Then she sought her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise. There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes. If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were his, and he tried to share. Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.


How many times in our lives have we absolutely known that something was a certain way, only to discover later that what we believed to be true...was not?


It is only when we silence the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us.


When you find something funny search it for hidden truth.



A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her ,She did not know she was going to make it and want to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling .It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.


Her father, a cook ,took her to the kitchen ,He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire .Soon the pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs, and in the last he placed ground coffee beans. He led them sit and boil, without saying a word.


The daughter sucked her teeth and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. In about twenty minutes he turned off the burners, He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a mug. Turning to her he asked," Darling, what do you see?"

女儿咂巴着牙齿发出声响,不耐烦地等着,对父亲的行为感到很纳闷。大约二十分钟后,父亲关掉了火炉,把胡萝卜捞出来,放到一个碗里。又把鸡蛋拣出来放进另一个碗里,接着把咖啡用勺子舀出来倒进一个杯子里,然后转过头来,对她说,“亲爱的,你看到的是什么?” "Carrots, eggs, and coffee." she replied.


He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots, She did and noted that they were soft .He then asked her to take an egg and break it ,After pulling off the shell ,she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee .She smiled ,as she tasted its rich aroma.


"What does it mean ,Father?" she humbly asked.


He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling wate ,but each reacted differently, The carrot went in strong, hard ,and unrelenting ,But after being subjected to the boiling water ,it softened and weak. The egg had being fragile, Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But after sitting through the boiling water ,its inside became hardened ,The ground coffee beans were unique ,however ,After they were in the boiling water ,they had changed the water .

父亲解释说,这三洋东西面临着同样的逆境——煮沸的水。但它们的反应却各不相同。胡萝卜本是硬的,坚固而且强度大,但受到煮沸的水的影响后,它变得柔软而脆弱。鸡蛋本来易碎,薄薄的外壳保护着内部的液体。但是在经历过煮沸的水以后,它的内部却变得坚硬。不过,最独特的却是磨碎的咖啡豆,当它们被放入煮沸的水之后,它们却改变了水。 "Which are you?" he asked his daughter.


When adversity knocks on your door ,how do you respond? Are you a carrot ,an egg ,or a coffee bean?

当逆境找上你时,你该如何应对呢? 你是胡萝卜、鸡蛋,还是咖啡豆?


Never ever had he been so thirsty for a look at the world outside the window like now.

The disease befell so furiously that he could not be spared and was arranged in a small ward with another patient in the segregation area in a hospital. The ward had nothing other than a small window that connected to the outside world.

His roommate was allowed to sit up in bed because some medical instruments would take some liquid out of his lung every afternoon. His roommate?s bed was tightly close to the window, while he could only lie in bed all day long.

Every afternoon, when sitting up by the window, his roommate would gleefully tell him the ongoing scenes outside the window: Seen through the window, a lake was lying placidly in the park, on which there were ducks and swans. Children were happily casting pieces of bread to the fish or playing with their model ships. Young lovers were leisurely walking strolling hand in hand under the trees. Some people were playing balls in the grass with plenty of flowers blooming. Above the farthest row of trees was the beautiful sky. He was listening attentively and enjoying every precious minute of life. He was told that a child almost fell into the lake and that an attractive girl was dressed in a delicate skirt. His roommate?s vivid depiction made him feel like seeing the real scene with his own eyes. The picture of life was so harmonious and loving!

In a slightly rainy dusk, he felt not reconciled to his situation suddenly: Why could his roommate enjoy the beautiful landscapes outside the window while he couldn?t? He felt deeply upset as if a bug was eating through his heart. The more he thought, the more eagerly he would like to exchange his position with his roommate?s.

In the midnight, he stared at the ceiling and sank into thought. All of a sudden, his roommate was coughing heavily and wanted to call the nurse, but failed to reach the button of the bell. He pretended to be sound asleep, but after second thought he wanted to press the bell button….. In his hesitation of seconds, he stunningly found that his mate had stopped breathing.

On his roommate?s death, he felt lonely, greatly miserable and guilty for not saving him. The doctor thought that he did not want to face an empty bed every day, so he promised to change another ward for him. Just the moment he was lifted on the stretcher, he spotted the scene outside the window—a pale wall.




每天下午,睡在窗旁的那个人坐起来,都会饶有兴致地给他讲一些窗外的情景:从窗口向外看可以看到公园里的湖;湖内有鸭子和天鹅,孩子们在那儿撒面包片,放模型船: 年轻的恋人在树下携手散步,在鲜花盛开、绿草如茵的地方有人玩球嬉戏,后头一排树顶上则美丽的天空。

他静静地倾听着,享受生命里每一分钟。他听见一个孩子差点跌到湖里, 一个美丽的女孩穿着漂亮的裙子 。同伴的描述使他如同亲历外面的美景。生命的图画如此和谐,让他眷恋。





Wanda, the neighborhood witch, was a good witch and had been one for about 221 years. Her fondest dream was to become a fairy godmother. She had been going to the Fairy Godmother Academy for 103 years, learning fairy godmother magic: how to turn pumpkins into coaches, how to make things vanish in clouds of smoke, even how to change mice into horses and footmen.

Just that very morning the principal of the Academy had said Wanda was ready for her final test. She was to change the first animal she met into something else. The animal was to be so happy at becoming whatever it became that it would say, “Oh, happy day! I?m a ____.” If it did, Wanda would pass the test. She would become a fairy godmother,

with a sparkling pink dress, a golden crown, and a magic wand tipped with a shining star.

However, if she failed, she would have to start school all over again—all 103 years of it.

“Good luck,” the principal said as Wanda left the Academy.





The very first animal Wanda bumped into was Charley, a little green frog who sat in a pond by the side of the road catching bugs with his long, sticky tongue and croaking “Baroomp! Baroomp!”

When Charley saw Wanda he jumped onto a lily pad. “Hi,” he cried. “Witch way are you going? Ha, ha. That?s a joke, Wanda. ?Witch way are you going?? Get it?”

“I get it, Charley,” replied Wanda, “but it?s not much of a joke. Anyway, I'm glad you?re here. I have a surprise for you. You?ll be so happy.“ Then, without even an“if you please,” Wanda waved her wand, said a magic word, and poof! Charley, the little green frog, turned into a prince!

He was a handsome prince but a wet one. The lily pad had collapsed under his weight and dumped him into the water. Charley-turned-prince stood up and looked at his reflection in the water. “Hey!” he cried. “You turned me into a prince! It?s a surprise all right, but I don?t want to be a prince. I want to be a frog! Change me back right now!”

“Oh, dear,” Wanda said. “You know I don?t like to be yelled at, Charley. Now you?ve made me forget the reverse spell. But who wouldn?t rather be a prince than a frog?” 旺达遇到的第一只动物正好是查理,一只绿色的小青蛙,它正坐在路边的池塘里,一边伸出长长的舌头粘住虫子卷进嘴里,一边唱着歌:呱呱呱,呱呱呱




The wolf and the fox wanted to eat the rabbit, but it wasn't easy to catch him.

One day the wolf said to the fox, "You go home and lie in bed. I'll tell the rabbit that you are dead. When he comes to look at you, you can jump up and catch him." That's a good idea," said the fox.

He went home at once. The wolf went to the rabbit's house and knocked at the door. "Who is it?" asked the rabbit. "It's the wolf. I've come to tell you that the fox is dead." Then the wolf went away.

The rabbit went to the fox's house. He looked in through the window and saw the fox lying in bed with his eyes closed. He thought, "Is the fox really dead or is he pretending to be dead? If he's not dead, he'll catch me when I go near him." so he said, "The wolf says that the fox is dead. But he doesn't look like a dead fox. The mouth of a dead fox is always open." When the fox heard this, he thought, "I'll show him that I'm dead." So he opened his mouth.

The rabbit knew that the fox wasn't dead, and he ran as quickly as he could. 狼和狐狸想要吃掉兔子,但是这只兔子太难抓到了。







For long, a little boy was wondering why his next-desk-pal could rank 1st in the class whenever he wanted to, whereas he himself failed to: he only ranked 21st.


At home, he asked his Mom, “Mom, am I more stupid than others? I feel I am as obedient and as careful as him, but how come I always lag behind? "Hearing the words, Mom was aware that her son began to gain amour-propre, which was now being undermined by the ranking system. Staring at him, she went wordless, not knowing how to explain. 回家后他问道:“妈妈我是不是比别人笨?我觉得我和他一样听老师的话,一样认真地做作业,可是,为什么我总比他落后?”妈妈听了儿子的话,感觉到儿子开始有自尊心了,而这种自尊心正在被学校的排名伤害着。她望着儿子,没有回答,因为她也不知道怎样回答。 In another test, the son ranked 17th, while his pal remained 1st. Back home, he raised the same question. Mom really wanted to inform her son that intelligence differs, which means that students ranking 1st are supposed to be cleverer than normal ones. However, was this disillusioning answer the one that her son was constantly curious about? Thank goodness she did not open her mouth.


How to answer her son?s question? There were times she felt an impulse to equivocate, “You are too lazy. You are not as industrious as others…” but she stopped when envisioning her son suffering from the pains of unsatisfied grades and rankings. She thought it cruel to inflict any additional burden on his son and was trying to find out a perfect answer.


Time elapsing swiftly, the son finished primary school. Despite studying harder and better, he was still unable to keep up with his pal. To show her pride of him, Mom decided to take him to the sea. During the trip, she managed to give out an answer.


Now, the son no longer worries about his rankings, and there are no longer boring guys who would inquire his rankings in primary school, because, with the 1st ranking, he is accepted by Tsinghua University. Back home in winter vacation, he was invited to address the students and parents in his high school. In the speech, he mentioned an valuable experience in his childhood, “…When my mother and I was lying on the beach, she pointed to the front and said, ?Do you see the seabirds scrambling for food over there? When the waves come near, little birds can rise quickly while “clumsy” sea-gulls would take more time to complete the process. However, have you noticed birds that finally fly across the endless ocean are none other than “clumsy” sea-gulls??” The moving speech provoked many mothers present into tears, including his mother.



Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new siblin.They find out that the new baby is going to be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sings to his sister in Mommy's tummy.


The pregnancy progresses normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. Then the labor pains come. Every five minutes, every minute. But complications arise during delivery. Hours of labor. Would a C-section be required?


Finally, Michael's little sister is born. But she is in serious condition. With siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushes the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee. The days inch by. The little girl gets worse. The pediatric specialist tells the parents, "There is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst." 迈克尔的妹妹终于出生了。但她的情况很糟。救护车呼啸着连夜把她送到田纳西州诺克斯维尔圣玛丽医院的新生儿重症监护室。一天天过去了,妹妹的情况却更严重了。儿科专家通知父母,“没什么希望了。做好最坏的打算。”

Karen and her husband contact a local cemetery about a burial plot. They have fixed up a special room in their home for the new baby now they plan a funeral. Michael, keeps begging his parents to let him see his sister, "I want to sing to her," he says.


Week two in intensive care. It looks as if a funeral will come before the week is over. Michael keeps nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. But Karen makes up her mind. She will take Michael whether they like it or not. If he doesn't see his sister now, he may never see her alive.


She dresses him in an oversized scrub suit and marches him into ICU. He looks like a walking laundry basket, but the head nurse recognizes him as a child and bellows, "Get that kid out of here now! No children are allowed. The mother rises up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glares steel-eyed into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line.


"He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!"


Karen tows Michael to his sister's bedside. He gazes at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. And he begins to sing. In the pure hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sings: 凯伦拉着迈克尔来到妹妹床前。他凝视着这个即将离开人世的小婴儿,开始唱歌。Michael用他三岁孩子稚嫩的童音,发自内心的歌唱:

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray..." “你是我的阳光,我唯一的阳光,你让阴郁的天空充满欢笑……”

Instantly the baby girl responds. The pulse rate becomes calm and steady.


Keep on singing, Michael.



It all began with a stop at a red light.

Kevin Salwen, a writer and entrepreneur in Atlanta, was driving his 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, back from a sleepover in 2006. While waiting at a traffic light, they saw a black Mercedes coupe on one side and a homeless man begging for food on the other. 故事开始于一个十字路口,路口亮着红灯。


“Dad, if that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal,” Hannah protested. The light changed and they drove on, but Hannah was too young to be reasonable. She pestered her parents about inequity, insisting that she wanted to do something.


“What do you want to do?” her mom responded. “Sell our house?”


Warning! Never suggest a grand gesture to an idealistic teenager. Hannah seized upon the idea of selling the luxurious family home and donating half the proceeds to charity, while using the other half to buy a more modest replacement home.


Eventually, that?s what the family did. The project — crazy, impetuous and utterly inspiring — is chronicled in a book by father and daughter scheduled to be published next month: “The Power of Half.” It?s a book that, frankly, I?d be nervous about leaving around where my own teenage kids might find it. An impressionable child reads this, and the next thing you know your whole family is out on the street.


At a time of enormous needs in Haiti and elsewhere, when so many Americans are trying to help Haitians by sending everything from text messages to shoes, the Salwens offer an example of a family that came together to make a difference — for themselves as much as the people they were trying to help. In a column a week ago, I described neurological evidence from brain scans that altruism lights up parts of the brain normally associated with more primal gratifications such as food and sex. The Salwens? experience confirms the selfish pleasures of selflessness.


Mr. Salwen and his wife, Joan, had always assumed that their kids would be better off in a bigger house. But after they downsized, there was much less space to retreat to, so the family members spent more time around each other. A smaller house unexpectedly turned out to be a more family-friendly house.


“We essentially traded stuff for togetherness and connectedness,” Mr. Salwen told me, adding, “I can?t figure out why everybody wouldn?t want that deal.”



For the last 16 years, Nick Fahey has been living on an island in the San Juan 1)archipelago north of 2)Puget Sound, in Washington State, where his only full-time companion is a 26-year-old3)quarter horse. Mr. Fahey, 67, lives in a cabin on 100 wooded acres; it has no refrigerator, but there is electricity generated by solar panels, so he has light and can

4)charge his cell phone. There are few 5)amenities of the material kind, but his days are his own. With the exception of cutting wood for fuel and to support himself—occasionally he makes a trek to neighboring islands or the mainland, to sell the wood or buy groceries—he is free to do as he pleases.


Getting away from it all: it?s a common fantasy. But for some people, fantasizing isn?t enough. For whatever reason, perhaps the desire for peace and quiet in an increasingly

6)frenetic world, an attempt to escape the intrusiveness of technology or the need for an isolated place to recover from heartbreak, they feel compelled to act out the fantasy, seeking the kind of solitude found only in the remotest locations.


The compulsion to live in isolation can be attributed to any number of factors, said psychologist Elaine N. Aron. Some people might “really need their 7)downtime,” Dr. Aron said, and may seek out “isolation that avoids all social intercourse.” Others may have developed an “8)avoidant attachment style” in childhood, resulting in “a need to prove to themselves that they don?t need anybody,” she said. For many people, though, the desire for extreme solitude may have simpler roots, she noted: “It could be because they want a mystical experience. You can?t 9)pathologize that.”


In Mr. Fahey?s case, he moved to the island full time in 1994, several years after he divorced. Not because he was 10)traumatized, he said, but because he liked the “feeling of freedom when you?re by yourself. You don?t have to answer to anybody.” Once a week, though, he goes to Anacortes, a town on the mainland, 10 miles away by boat, to visit his 99-year-old father in an assisted-living home and to see his girlfriend, Deborah Marti

n, whom he has been dating for 15 years. Ms. Martin, 56, explained: “We are both pretty independent, and I imagine that?s partly why it works. We don?t have the same expectations that other couples might, like, ?I need you to be here every night.?”


(十一) An only child, a perfectly ordinary little girl in rural Wisconsin, I wanted sisters more than anything. When I turned seven, my parents made a decision that delighted me beyond measure: they chose to adopt.


It was Christmastime when my two new sisters, aged 6 and 3, arrived from Colombia. They came with a great flourish of celebration, as friends and relatives visited us bearing gifts to welcome them. That evening our guests went home and we were left to ourselves. My sisters and I went to the bedroom we were to share; as we crawledsintosour beds, our parents came to each of us, tucking us in and saying goodnight.“Te amo,”they whispered to my new sisters in Spanish,“I love you.”

那是圣诞节期间,我的两个新妹妹,一个6岁,一个3岁,从哥伦比亚来到了我家。她们的到来带来了喜庆,亲朋好友带着礼物来我家欢迎她们。那天晚上客人们走后,剩下了我们自己,我和妹妹们走进我们共用的卧室;当我们爬上床时,父母进来了,为我们一一掖好被角并且道了晚安,“Te amo”,他们用西班牙语向我的新妹妹耳语道,“我爱你”。

From the beginning these newcomers were like my own flesh and blood; we played and bickered and learned just as if we had always been sisters. From the beginning we all were my parents' daughters equally, as they supervised and scolded and encouraged us.


Life seemed great. Beneath the surface, however, my parents were struggling with their own marital problems. As we girls were approaching our teen years, my parents uttered the fateful words,“We're getting a divorce.”


My sisters had been hurt before. They had been dealt a great wound when their birth mother abandoned them, and none of us understood the depth of their inner turmoil. It was a pain that now resurfaced, as the emotions from that abandonment years earlier overwhelmed them. ”


We all struggled during this time. My father remarried and strove to provide some sort of stability for us through this new family: another mother, brother and sister. But the bonds between my parents and sisters continued to disintegrate. By the time I left for college, my family was in profound disarray.


During my college years, my outlook on life evolved in significant ways. This personal transformation led my parents and sisters to reevaluate their own lives and make changes that ultimately brought us together as a family. My mother and father have again become great sources of encouragement for us three sisters. They have succeeded in providing our lives with a foundation of stable love. One of my sisters has recently married,and family gatherings are now occasions of happiness and renewal.


Chinese friends sometimes ask me why I am in China, working at a low salary when I c

ould be prospering in America. It is the experiences I went through while growing up that have made me who I am today. I am on the staff of CBN, a humanitarian organization in Beijing that seeks to help people in distress. Among our many projects, we often work with orphans.

(十二) One of my patients, a successful businessman, tells me that before his cancer he would become depressed unless things went a certain way. Happiness was "having the cookie." If you had the cookie, things were good. If you didn't have the cookie, life wasn't worth a damn. Unfortunately, the cookie kept changing. Some of the time it was money, sometimes power, sometimes sex. At other times, it was the new car, the biggest contract, the most prestigious address. A year and a half after his diagnosis of prostate cancer he sits shaking his head ruefully. "It's like I stopped learning how to live after I was a kid. When I give my son a cookie, he is happy. If I take the cookie away or it breaks, he is unhappy. But he is two and a half and I am forty-three. It's taken me this long to understand that the cookie will never make me happy for long. The minute you have the cookie it starts to crumble or you start to worry about it crumbling or about someone trying to take it away from you. You know, you have to give up a lot of things to take care of the cookie, to keep it from crumbling and be sure that no one takes it away from you. You may not even get a chance to eat it because you are so busy just trying not to lose it. Having the cookie is not what life is about."


My patient laughs and says cancer has changed him. For the first time he is happy. No matter if his business is doing well or not, no matter if he wins or loses at golf. "Two years ago, cancer asked me, 'Okay, what's important? What is really important?' Well, life i

s important. Life. Life any way you can have it, life with the cookie, life without the cookie. Happiness does not have anything to do with the cookie; it has to do with being alive. Before, who made the time?" He pauses thoughtfully. "Damn, I guess life is the cookie


(十三) 世界上最远的距离不是生和死,而是我在你眼前,你却不知道我爱你。

She was not beautiful. Nothing about her was extraordinary. Nothing about her made her stand out in a crowd. She grew up in a family of six and being the eldest, she learned responsibility at an early age.


As she grew, she instilled a sort of light and cheer to whomever she met. She was not beautiful, but she made others feel better about themselves. She meets a rebel boy who thinks he is all man, they become fast friends and she fell in love with him.


The man then fell in love with a girl named Anna. He tells her Anna is like a beautiful angel. The girl swallows a lump at her throat. She was not beautiful, she did not posses the heart of the one he loved, but she did not care. As long as he was happy, she would be happy. She helped write the most beautiful letters to his angel. All the time visioning it was she herself receiving those very letters. And so the girl helped him choose the right clothes, say the right words, and buy the right gifts for his angel.


His angel brought him much joy. Then one day, the angel he loved left him for another richer man. The boy was stunned. He was so hurt, he did not speak for days. The girl went to him. He cried on her shoulder. Time went by and so wounds heal. The boy realizes something about his friend. Something he never realized before. How her laughter sounded heavenly and how her smiles brightened up the darkest days! This plain, simple girl was beautiful to him. On one day, he picked up all his courage to see her. He walked to her house, nervous, and fidgeting, Running his thoughts over and over his head.


He was going to tell her how beautiful she was to him. He was going to tell her how wonderfully in love he was with her. He knocked. No one was home. The next day, he found out that the girl he truly fell in love with had a brain tumor that put her into a coma. The doctors were grim.


Finally, he got to see her. He held her hand and he cried for this beautiful girl. She had taught the rebel boy to love and what it is to be loved. She was the most beautiful girl in the world to him. He cried, but it was too late.


Look around. Aren't there a lot of plain faces? Take a good look or you might just miss out that beautiful person.



Imagine reading that your husband or brother who has been held in a prison for years is finally going to be released. You make the long journey to the prison and stand outside the prison gates, waiting desperately for the moment you'll be reunited with your loved one, only to hear... 'April Fools! No one's being released!' This experience happened to sixty people in April 2000 who read in the Opinia newspaper that their loved ones were going to be released from the Baia Mare prison in Romania. They made the long journey to

the prison, only to learn that the paper had played an April Fool's joke on them. The Opinia later published an apology.


2.Glenn Howlett's colleagues at London city hall thought they had dreamed up a great gag. They sent him a memo informing him that the really big report he was working on was going to be due early, in just two weeks. The tip-off was that the memo was dated April 1st. Ha Ha. Except Howlett didn't realize it was a joke. He received the memo while on vacation and immediately cut his vacation short and phoned the office to tell everyone to start getting busy. But as he contemplated the new deadline he worked himself up into an increasing state of panic, until soon he began to experience heart palpitations. Finally he collapsed from the stress and had to take leave from work. As he was recovering he realized it just wasn't worth risking his health to finish the report, so he filed for early retirement. At which point someone told him the early deadline was just a joke. He responded by suing for damages. As a consequence of his lawsuit, city hall banned employees from pulling any more pranks.

伦敦市政厅工作的 Glenn Howlett,被他的同事狠狠整了一次。在他度假的时候,他的同事告诉他,他要做的一份报告必须提前上交,最后期限就是4月1日。他信以为真,取消了休假,日夜赶工的同时身体也累垮了,住院的时候他琢磨着这样不行啊,不能因为工作把人给弄残了,于是申请提前退休。就在这时有人告诉他,他被耍了。随后 Glenn Howlett控诉他的那几个同事,结果伦敦市政厅从此之后禁止员工之间开这样的玩笑。

3.Paul Goobie tied a dead chihuahua to the bumper of his co-worker's car. His co-worker, Kevin Meloy, got in the car and drove off, unaware that the chihuahua was there. Obviously passing motorists were horrified. But what made the situation even worse was that Meloy was deaf, so he couldn't hear the other motorists frantically honking at him. Happily he drove on for miles until finally someone was able to get his attention. Police charged Goobie with unlawful disposal of a dead animal.

一个叫Paul Goobie的人在同事Kevin Meloy车子的保险杠上拴了一只死去的吉娃娃狗。Kevin驾车上街后,街上的人都给吓坏了。因为Kevin是聋子,他听不见别的司机冲他揿喇叭的声音,所以就拖着一只死狗一路奔驰。最后被起诉非法处理死去的动物尸体。

4.Randy Wood's marriage was over, but apparently he was still a little bitter about the divorce. So he decided to play a prank on his ex-wife. He called her up and asked her to come over, telling her that he had something to show her. Obligingly she drove over, only to find him hanging by a noose from a tree in his front yard. Terrifed, she immediately dialed 911. Emergency services, including firefighters, policemen, and paramedics, soon showed up. But when they went to cut Wood down they discovered he wasn't dead. He wasn't even hurt. He had strung himself up as a prank to scare his ex-wife, using a lineman's harness similar to those used by utility crews. The authorities warned that he would face a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in jail for his prank.

一个叫Randy Wood的人在愚人节给他前妻打电话,说想见她。他前妻来的时候却惊恐地发现他上吊自杀了。于是她拨打了急救电话,还叫了消防队和警察。等人都到齐后,大家才发现是假的,他是用吊不死人的背带上吊的。警方说,罚款可能高达1000美元,并可能入狱一年。

5.Sitra Walker was an employee at a clothing store in Columbus, Ohio. She had only been working there for two weeks, but already she felt that she knew the manager well enough to joke around with him. So on April 1, 2003 she called him up at his home and told him that armed men were robbing the store. The manager immediately called the police, who promptly dispatched four cruisers. Minutes later Walker phoned the manager again and screamed 'April Fools'. Too late. When the police arrived moments later they weren't amused and charged her with inducing a panic. Walker's manager fired her.

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