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2018外研社·国才杯全国英语写作大赛决赛记叙文/议论文赛题及作品展示


科学实验是否应看重结果,而非实验手段?这一话题充满争议,见仁见智。前面我们跟随2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛亚军对这一话题进行了探讨,其他选手还有哪些独到见解呢?今天来看下一等奖选手的精彩解读吧!

 

真题分享

 

Write an essay in response to the passage below. You should discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the passage and explain your reasons for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the author's opinion might or might not hold true and explain how these consideration shape your position. 


You should write about 800 words. 

 

选手作品欣赏

 

赵隽元,华东师范大学(指导教师:王越)

2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛一等奖

 

(为真实展示选手赛场上的写作风貌,文章为从iTEST 大学外语测试与训练系统中摘出的原生作品,仅供学习分享使用。)


The moment the innocent little monkey creeps to its pseudo mother helplessly for help, Dr. Harlow's renowned zoo-behavioral-psychological experiment has been referred to as "cruel". As reporters and critics first spot the controversial experiment on monkeys rather than ordinary rats or rabbits which have sacrificed for science for nearly four centuries since the emerging of modern medical science, light has been cast on the so-called legality of all experiments conducted on animals, especially primates. However, the fiercely critical mass media and the public have made a confusion, in my opinion, between science and real-world life, between which lies huge distinction.


To begin with, by analyzing the criticism from the society, we may find a vital mechanism that functions through, which is called "empathy". Empathy is widely considered to be one of the universal characters of human beings, which leads to sympathy and self-identification while one witnesses the "mom-and-kid" tragedy. From my perspective, empathy should be present in daily life, but in science discourse, absent, which can be proved by the development of modern science.


The theoretical basis of the argument is that science experiments are defined to be different from daily life, since the establishment of logic-positivism science. Logic-positivism science, in its usual term, experimental science, stands for a paradigm of research that utilizes experimental approaches to probe the mechanism or relationship underlying the world. As the France philosopher and mathematician Descartes once pointed out, the instant moment people start to view the world, in other words, to explore, they have distinguished themselves from any other surrounding, which means the single word "human" is established in that other objects are "non-human". Descartes' idea has clearly delineated the boundary between science and daily life and thus prevented empathy from intruding the field of science.


Empathy jeopardizes science, since empathy is most likely to prevail, as emotionalism often does. If we scroll back to the Harlow conflict, it is apparent that those critics are mostly emotion-driven, since there is a strong instinct among human beings to endow objects such as plants and animals with human-like emotions, which has been long utilized by romantic poets and playwrights like Shakespeare to produce literally important masterpieces. Emotion never reasons, since we cannot prove the actual and scientific resemblance of the monkey tragedy to be typical human tragedies, but it tempts human into emotional protests and criticism that cannot be soothed easily, as it often does in the theatre, which significantly hinder the progress of science. It is rather hard to imagine that on the day when the switch of emotion is turned on, any science experiment that includes living organisms could be labelled as cruel and immoral. Besides, it should be re-stated that excluding emotion from science experiments does not necessarily equals causing harm to the environment, since basic ethical rules have made regulations on the proper disposal of lab wastes.


To get my point further, we cannot deny the essence of science is absolute utilitarianism, that is to say, a history of experimental science is equivalent to a bibliography of cruelty. Animal experiments have been designed only to avoid unnecessary harm to human, which can get its evidence from the fact that numerous rats and rabbits have long been used as experimental materials in medical schools so as to function as a platform to test newly-developed chemicals or novel therapies. To trace back to the history of science, many of the scientific findings are conducted at the cost of harm to animals or plants, such as the finding of conditioned reflex, which was done on the pet dog of the Russian scientist Pavlov. As I have stated above, the moment the first human being stretched out to the outer world, he started to seek benefit for himself, either emotionally or materially, which, indeed, is deliberately neglected by some humanitarians. As naturalists and animal protectors insist, nature can adjust to the most balanced condition, so once human beings gain, the surroundings lose.


However, harm to animals has nothing to do with cruelty to people, which means ethical regulations on body experiments should never be loosened even to the slightest extent. The uprising issue of two genetically-modified infants that might be immune to AIDS has stirred up hot debates online that spat venom criticism on a Chinese scientist from Shenzhen. From where I stand, I would strongly oppose the gene-editing practice, as it might trigger complicated aftermath and hidden ethical paradoxes that might mess up the whole post-modern society and thus poison ourselves in turn. It contradicts the essence of science, namely egoism or utilitarianism, as I have circulated above.


Aggressive as my points might be, I would like to clarify and reinforce my opinion that the purity of experimental science along with its paradigm must not be stained due to the admixture of emotion and empathy from the one-sided media, while basic ethical rules of environmental protection and regulations on human gene-editing cannot be surpassed according to the core of utilitarianism.


As countless science figures shine beyond: only with rationalism can science progress, so can we insignificant human beings creep nearer, to the core of universal truth.

 

嘉宾点评

董革非,东北大学

2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛亚军指导教师

 

初读此文,感觉文章的观点的确有些aggressive, 但文章整体论点鲜明,行文流畅,论证层层递进,结构层次清晰,结论铿锵有力,也是让人印象颇深的一篇议论文。议论文的一个重要之处就是自圆其说,该篇议论文就是给人这样的印象,作者始终围绕自己的论点展开论证,论证过程逻辑思路清晰。


首先,文章开头部分第一句直接点题,一句话点明这场论争的主题“The moment the innocent little monkey creeps to its pseudo mother helplessly for help, Dr. Harlow's renowned zoo-behavioral-psychological experiment has been referred to as 'cruel'.”,innocent、helplessly、cruel 等词汇突出了强烈的反差效果,激发了读者的阅读兴趣,想进一步了解作者的观点到底是支持哪一方。然而本文作者并没有直接明确地亮出自己的观点,而是笔锋一转,进而分析公众及媒体对此类科学实验进行批判的原因,可以看出作者意在通过发掘另一方观点的逻辑漏洞来论证自己的观点,体现了较强的逻辑思维能力。


第二,作者通过引证哲学理论、定义等论证自己的观点。作者认为公众及媒体混淆了科学与现实生活的界限,现实生活中人们的“共情”心理让人对动物的悲剧性遭遇产生同情,这种“共情”心理不应该侵入科学领域。为了论证自己的观点,作者从逻辑实证主义理论出发,引用了笛卡尔关于人与外界环境及其他非人类的区别的思想the instant moment people start to view the world, in other words, to explore, they have distinguished themselves from any other surrounding, which means the single word “human” is established in that other objects are “non-human”. 以此为理论基础,作者认为“共情”发生在现实生活,而科学研究与现实生活是两码事,不应该让“共情”侵入。


第三,在接下来的一段,作者从反面论证“共情”对科学的影响,提出Empathy jeopardizes science,作者认为赋予动植物以感情是诗人和剧作家的运用的手段,而在科学研究领域,无法证实猴子的悲剧等同于人类悲剧,“共情”反而会阻碍科学的进步。而科学发展的本质在于“功利主义”(the essence of science is absolute utilitarianism),运用动物进行实验研究的目的在于避免对人的伤害,并造福人类,作者举出在医学领域的研究实例,许多重要发现正是通过动物实验来完成的。这样在这场论争中,作者明确地站在了赛题中“I”的立场上,即科学实验的结果比手段更加重要。但作者也就当前的热门话题基因编辑婴儿以预防艾滋病提出了自己的观点,认为基因编辑后果复杂,可能毒害人类社会,因此坚决反对。


文章结尾再次强调科学的进步依赖的是理性,不应该有情感或“共情”的介入。结尾表达简洁、有力,不是前文观点的简单重复,rationalism一词的使用对于前文内容既有总结,又有升华,提升了文章的思想深度。

 


不足之处:


1. 文章的观点特别鲜明,但也会有过于极端之嫌,或者像作者本人所说的“aggressive”, 对于相反观点的合理内容没有适当的解析,有些语言表述也过于绝对,例如“the essence of science is absolute utilitarianism”这样反而削弱了论证的力度。


2. 部分论证不够充分,例如文章第二段结尾,在科学发展的历程中如何可以证明“共情”的缺席,可以有进一步的展开。


3. 文章引证逻辑实证主义支撑自己的观点,但对逻辑实证主义的解读不完全准确,也是文章的一点瑕疵。


4. 文章的语言整体流畅,但还有部分中式英语搭配的痕迹,例如made a confusion,部分拼写错误或词汇使用不准确。文章中所使用的句式略显单调,例如全文定语从句使用近20处,有部分句子出现了主谓一致方面的语法错误。多数表示因果关系的句子大多使用了since, 也缺少一些变化。


5. 文章第四段的结尾,作者提及的从科学实验中排除情感因素影响不一定会破坏环境,有关环境破坏这一话题似乎与本文的中心话题有所偏离。此外,文章没有拟标题,也让人感觉似乎缺少了点东西。



选手破题思路

 

易文菲,东北大学(指导教师:董革非)

2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛亚军

 

打英辩的时候有一个思路:To prove your worst case better than the other side's best case. 这个思路在写这篇议论文时同样适用。即便使用题目中的手段取得了卓越的科学成果,造福了世人(best case),我们人类在这一过程中也失去了更为宝贵的东西——对生命的普遍尊重,以及“人性”这一词汇的深度。

 

看完题目并确定立场之后(我反对科学家利用动物进行实验),我明晰了自己要论证的事情有三:


1)通过坚持这一立场,我想要达成什么样的效果?我是在默认人类的科学研究进度会因为这一禁令而停滞不前吗?科研成果的取得和实验对象的“赦免”真的是mutually exclusive吗?


2)为什么我会坚持所有生灵皆平等这一说法?有没有理论可以支撑这一立场?


3)为什么会出现这样的题目?这个题目背后隐藏的社会普遍现象是什么?我和题目中的科学家Harlow对科学的目的和意义是不是有不一样的认知?

 

我用第一段概括了题目中凸显的中心冲突,同时表明了自己反方的立场。


第二段用来初步揭露这一手段的弊端:人类的贪婪和野心是无止境的;这样的实验会给动物带来严重的精神伤害(我用了弗洛伊德对trauma的分析佐证这一点);同时“人性”这一词汇所涵盖范围的扩展和人类文明的进步是划等号的。


第三段,我回答了上文的三个问题:


1)通过坚持这一立场,我不是默许科研进度的停滞,反之,我希望借这一契机推动虚拟实验技术的进步。我希望通过宣传这一立场,能够将科学家心中人性的标尺具象化,使人类在发展自身的同时对这个世界永远充满善意的敬畏。


2)一切生灵皆平等。我借用了索绪尔的语言学理论论证共情的重要性,同时借用了William Blake的诗句突出人类对自然和世界缺乏敬畏性这一问题的历史性。


3)出现这道题目的原因与当今社会科学飞速发展的背景息息相关。如今人类对科学的重视达到了前所未有的程度,而对科技进步速度的追求也会促使人们淡化心中的道德标尺。而科学的终极目的是什么呢?是全体意义上的造福还是允许少数牺牲的造福?我认为是前者。既然我们发明创造的初心是造福世界上的每一个生灵,那么对于任何潜在的伤害我们都要三思,甚至要杜绝。通过自我反思,我认为本文存在一定的论述限制性。首先是有些词汇的拼写失误,其次通过张文忠教授的赛后指导,我认为此篇文章的论述过于单向。论辩型写作需要对于两个方向的解读和剖析,以及对于对方立场的宽容。

 

Matthew Arnold曾用Sweetness and Light一文抨击维多利亚时期英国国民过于重视工业进步而导致精神世界荒芜的现象。作为这篇议论文的致意,我希望在当今社会人们追求科技进步的同时永远不要弱化自己内心的道德标尺。

 

选手作品欣赏


(为真实展示选手赛场上的写作风貌,文章为从iTEST 大学外语测试与训练系统中摘出的原生作品,仅供学习分享使用。)

 

Scientific Experiments Entail Justifiable Means


Presentations of scientific outcomes are always mired in controversies. To whom the outcome mattars more than the process, it is a practice entailing fame and accolades. On the contrary, the justifiability of experimental methodologies can also arouse copious chatter. Exemplified by Harry Harlow's psychological experiments, certain scientific studies have proved their methodology unsettling. Scientists became embodiments of voracious, intuitive and presumptuous beings, and I share the same fear towards this issue. While the human society is seeking progress in scientific areas, the adoption of the edgiest technologies may born the risk of inflicting truma on the innocents. From my standpoint, I am firmly opposed to utilizing improper deeds to achieve research purposes.


To prove the necessity and variety of maternal bonding, Harlow arbitrarily exercised his "prerogative" as to deprive a baby monkey of his mother's caress and tenderness, and under an international backdrop, this phenomenon is barely one in a million. The processing and advancement of this experiment shall be envisoned as gruesome in a vocarious way. As monkeys can not supersede human beings on the level of intelligence and emotional sentiments, an outcome of precision may require samples of more intelligent bodies. While some laud the achievements and accolades, I lament the innocent samples functioning as guinea pigs. The psychologist, Sigmund Freud, has long pointed out that the trauma inflicted on both human beings and animals can induce mental handicaps. He refers to the aftermath as "repetition" and "repression". Victims shall spend their life hindering a deluge of strong, stimulus reminiscence from dominating their sobriety. While some declare that animals are not as developed in their carnal fuctions as humans, I still deny the justifiability of this practice for their potential damage. Humanity shall cover the range of all beings alive, and the augmentation of this notion represents the advancement of our civilization.


Three arguments can be enlisted in order to strengthen my motion. On the outset, by universally defying scientists' intuitive utilization of animal samples, we are preventing tragedies from being ubiquitous. On the contrary of hindering scientific advancements and delivering assailant comments, we are, in essence, promoting the deveopment of edgy technologies. By reinforcing the idea that scientists can only resort to using the given methods in a terrible predicament, we can provide incentives and momentums for the publishing of virtual experiments. Author of the given paragraph stand unfazed towards the jeopardy for he subconsciously neglected the tentativeness underling those experiments. Doubts are prevalent. Sagacity and meticulousness are required. Inflicting ethical burden on scientists can reduce spiritual damage considerably. Second, all beings enjoy equal rights in terms of mental well-being. Empathy is a necessity. The renowned scholar, Saussure, has long pointed out its significance from the prospective of linguistics by claiming that there exists a certain arbitrariness between the signifier and the signified, while the school of Frankfurt reinforced that idea by manifesting it from an augmented prospective. Human beings are born with a lofty sense of prerogative, and evaluate the ranking of other lives without bona fides. Poet William Blake has stated this issue in a sarcastic way by reaffirming human authority overtaking god's will in his Song of Innocence. By granting a license on scientists' reverie instead of solacing it with due respect, we shall witness drastic exasperation in the near future. Finally, the contention between me and the given author derives from our distinguished definitions on the function and purpose of scientific development. He intends that science shall serve better on the basis of accumulated sacrifices, while I belive the very existence of science fuctions as an effective tool to alleviate suffering and eradicate every possibility of its proliferation. An outrageous methodology of presenting scientific experiments is only a facade of human beings' insatiable demand for development and the insufferable methods they are willing to adopt to fulfill this purpose. The burgeoning intelligence of human is unsettling, for it exacerbates the corruption of our mentality as voracious, presumptuous and intuitive. While human lives are ephemeral, our ambitions everlasts in their pampering of every penchants, even in the name of science, which automatically serves as a potential threat. Once we are exposed to it, our curiosity is bombarded with a myriad of outrageous methods, which are doubtful both in their utility and their legitimacy. Lives are too essential to be harmed by human whims. Astute, tenacious and vigilent as lives are, they shall enjoy due respect and even an ethical asylum to prevent them from future calamity.


By berating and reprimanding the scientists' audacious behaviour, we are literaly rendering them momentums to make asssiduous efforts to simulate experimentation while respecting lives, instead of defying the general experimental mechanism. The given paragraph manifests a prevalent phenomenon in the status quo that the burgeoning scientific progress may incur deviation from our moral criteria. I hope the castigation above shall serve as a siren towards human beings' insatiable ambition in scientific areas, and assist us to seek progress with due prudence and respect.

 

名师点评

 

祝捷,武汉大学外语学院副教授

2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛冠军指导教师

 

本届议论文赛题以美国心理学家Harry Harlow著名的猴子母爱实验为案例,提出一个观点:只要科学实验的结果对人类有利,实验手段是否合理可以忽略不计。参赛选手需要表明态度是否赞同此观点,并进行论证。


初读此篇参赛作品的感受可以用“震撼”两个字形容,细细品味之后发现以下特点成就了这篇优秀的议论文。

 

1. 立论有力


首先作者用一个完整句作为标题明确提出自己的观点:“Scientific Experiments Entail Justifiable Means”,寥寥五个单词既开门见山、言简意赅地表明立场,又囊括几乎所有关键词,起到点题点睛的作用,堪称精彩巧妙。


第一段介绍人们对科学实验手段的对立看法后,层层递进,在结尾处重申个人立场:坚决反对通过不正当手段达到科学目的(I am firmly opposed to utilizing improper deeds to achieve research purposes.),成功达到了立论的目的。


第二、三段经过正反两方面充分论证之后,分别在结尾处提出重要的分论点:


1) Humanity shall cover the range of all beings alive;


2)I believe the very existence of science functions as an effective tool to alleviate suffering and eradicate every possibility of its proliferation.


作者综合运用举证、递进、因果分析、正反对照等手法充分论证主要论点,令读者印象深刻。

 

 2 . 结构严谨


第一段立论之后,第二段进入驳论部分。针对Harlow的实验,作者主要从三方面提出批评:


1)科学家利用自己的特权将幼猴与母猴分开是极其残忍的;


2)引用弗洛伊德的理论,说明这种实验会对无辜的实验对象产生极大的心理伤害,沦为实验的牺牲品;


3)不能因为动物不如人类高级就对它们为所欲为,从而在最后一句话提出本部分最重要的分论点:人性应该是普世的。


第三段从三方面再次深入探讨论证主论点,并在第三点中提出另一重要分论点:科学发展的目的和作用在于减轻乃至消除痛苦。


值得一提的是,这一段虽然篇幅长,内容多,但并不显冗赘,得益于有效的组织连接。第一句简单交代本部分包含三条论据,并精炼地使用“on the outset”(注:正确搭配应为at/from the outset), “second” 和“finally”实现了自然过度,层次分明、逻辑清晰。


最后一段重申主要立场,并在最后一句提出建议:人类在追求科学进步的道路上应始终保持谨慎及对其他物种的尊重。以提出解决办法(solution)方式结束全文达到了篇章结构的完整。


纵观全文,作者以“立论—驳论—再立论—结论”的思路构架论述过程,有立有驳、论证充分、逻辑清晰,整体结构一气呵成、浑然一体,值得称道。

 

3 . 文风独特


语言运用是本文另一大亮点,高级词汇丰富,信手拈来,且专业性强。句型灵活多变,简单句、并列句、各种复合句转换自如。以第三段为例:在第一部分中,作者没有一味使用主复合句,而是以“by”、“on the contrary of”等介词(短语)引导分词短语组成难度较大的单句,并使用插入语等给严肃正式的语言平添几分变化,增强了阅读愉悦感。同时,短句(如:Doubts are prevalent; Sagacity and meticulousness are required.)与长句的结合也丰富了语言的节奏感和力量感。


第二部分的前两句(all beings enjoy equal rights in terms of mental well-being. Empathy is a necessity.)短小精悍,直击论点,后一句则改用以“while”连接的并列句清楚明了地列举了两个例证,显示出很强的造句能力。


在有限的时间内能展现如此丰富的词汇量,以及如此灵活多变且符合文体要求的句型转换,可见作者具有很强的语言驾驭能力。

 

4. 例证面广


作者在本文中一共举例四次,分别涉及心理学(心理学家弗洛伊德)、语言学(语言学家索绪尔)、哲学(法兰克福学派)和文学(英国诗人威廉·布莱克)等领域,旁征博引,充分显示出作者的知识广度和视野维度,令人叹服。


总之,作者在有限时间内通过阅读分析所提供的文献,确立态度鲜明的论点,以丰富多变的词汇、灵活得体的句型、立驳兼顾的论证、涉猎面广的举例、严谨完整的结构,出色地完成了论述任务,实属难能可贵,展现出不凡的写作实力和综合素质。

 

百尺竿头,更进一步。本文如果能在以下几方面进一步打磨会更加完美:

      

1)更精准恰当地使用高级词汇;


2)在没有确凿证据之前,尽量避免使用激烈度较高的词汇和过于绝对的论断,以避免武断之嫌;


3)举例可以更深入透彻,适当增加更具时代特色的例证。



不同的人,不同的视角,演绎不同的故事。今天为大家继续展示写作大赛记叙文部分,在2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛的舞台上,来自武汉大学的张鉴鼎同学为我们演绎了他的故事。

 

真题分享

 

Write a story based on the following painting entitled Nighthawks by Edward Hopper in 1942. 


You should write between 600 and 800 words.


 

选手破题思路

 

张鉴鼎 武汉大学(指导教师:祝捷)

2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛冠军

 

这篇作文的要求和以往提供文字背景开头的记叙文赛题非常不同,题目给出的信息,乍一看很“少”——仅仅只有一幅油画,和1942的创作年代,但是实际上所涵盖的思维维度非常之“大”——它提供了一个朦胧的原点,每位参赛作者可以基于自己对油画主题和氛围的个性化理解,用文字诠释画的内涵,构思属于自己的故事。


这道题目首先能够让人浮想联翩的是时代——1942年。1942年是第二次世界大战的一个关键时间点,很难让人不联想到那个时代里,战争对于人类,对于整个世界带来的影响。而就这幅画而言,空荡的街道和冷清的餐厅,收敛的人物装束与体态,整体高饱和度冷色调的运用让人明显感觉到压抑感、孤独感、绝望感、迷失感和不确定感。与时代背景相联系,战争的残忍不仅仅体现在硝烟弥漫的战场,对后方的每一个人、每一个家庭也都会产生无尽的痛苦。而画面中的几个人到底是谁?他们之间有着怎样的故事?这些问题都需要我们去思考,去构思,去解决。在我的文章里,“我”,一个painter,以第一人称的口吻,讲述了这幅画背后的故事,让他和这幅画的赠与者的一段对话,带领读者探索一个家庭的忧伤分离故事以及世界大战对于平凡人的影响。或许与画的原意有所出入,但求定格时代,安抚心灵。

 

作品欣赏

(为真实展示选手赛场上的写作风貌,文章为从iTEST 大学外语测试与训练系统中摘出的原生作品,仅供学习分享使用。)


It was a cold and chiily night in 1942. I was a painter back then, I still remember the feeling when I walked down the street in the town and saw nobody, tragic and hopeless. Three years ago, everytime I came to this town, the street was crowed with shouts and laughters. But every store on the street closed their doors, keeping themselves away from the atmosphere of lonliness and boredom in the town. Males had left their homes, heading for the battlefields, and fighting for their country. Walking in the street, I thought I might never see a light in this haunted town, but fortunately, a house in bright life emerged in front of me, so conspicuous compared with other darkened place.


It was a tiny pub, with only an old man cleaning the table quietly. I opened the door, and walked in. "Excuse me, I am sorry to bother you, but have you closed already?". After uttering the word out, I suddenly felt how warm and cosy it was in this tiny pub. The floor was meticulously cleaned by the old owner, and the table was juxtaposed in arrangement, leaving ample room for friends to talk and chat. "No, no, we haven't closed, please feel free to have a seat". The old owner smiled his words to me. But I can see there is something sad hidden in his eyes, like a diamond of lake.


"Can you believe that you are the third guest entering my pub today?" He said with a gentle and graceful voice. "What would you like to drink?" "A cup of coco, please". I thought a warm cup of coco would perfectly match this cold, chilly night. When making the coco, the old owner was mumbling something, too light and too fast for me to catch up his word. So I just sit there, watching him clean the table and talking. He seemed to be taking about his son and his family.


I took out a piece a paper, trying to draft and depict how sadly quite this town was. When he asked me if I would like to refill my cup of coco, he saw me painting. "Are you a painter?" He curiously asked. "Yes, sir." I replied, "If you wish, I can paint for you".


His eyes shined with surprise but then darkened again. "My son is as same old as you. He also loves painting. Although I always joke that his doodles could be hardly said as paintings. But how I wish I could compliment him more back then."


"Why?" I asked.


"He was recruitied by the army and headed for the front three years ago". He sighed, "He used to write a letter to me once a month, but I haven't heard from him since last year. I even have no idea whether he is still alive or not"


"I miss the day when the town was crowded with people. Men and women would come here and have talks. He would always be helping around, when there was no other guests, he would always chat with me with his wife. After he was gone, his wife moved to another safer town, carrying her baby. Now, you cannot see the town people any more, because they have all gone to nearby city to hide. I am alone here. And I feel so lucky to see you today."


"So why did you stay in this town rather than move to the city with your wife", I asked, with confusion.


"I have spent most of my life in this tiny town. I grow up here as a boy and must end here as an old man. I have witnessed how this town flourished with crowds of people and how it darkened with the outbreak of the war. The last thing I could ever do is to leave this town, I am old, but I will accompany this town till the end of my life."


My eyes moisted. I insisted that I want to record the pub and the town. What I have seen is an old man cleaning his table in a pub surrounded by the empty street. But I hope to depict how happy the old man was talking to his son and daughter-in-law, and I just sit next to them, watching them talking in this cold, chilly, windy night. At last, I left the painting to the old man, hoping it can confort him and, more importantly, remind whoever will see this painting the brightness and the darkness, and the wax and wane of this tiny, little town.

 

名师点评

 

刘力,博士,硕士生导师,现任中国人民大学大学英语部副主任。


担任2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛评委,近几年出版《英文教师写作能力与写作决策评价》等专著,参编数本教材,在国内多个语言类核心刊物发表学术及教学研究论文数篇,并曾主持和参与多项研究及教改项目。2017年获中国人民大学教学成果一等奖。

 

在记叙文中,除了描绘人物和事件经过,突出事件的社会意义,以达到用事件来教育或提醒人们的目的也是十分重要的。本文的作者从一个画家的视角出发对其所处的社会环境和生活在其中的人物进行描绘,展示出作者对于当时历史背景的把握,并选择通过故事中的叙事来告诉人们,生活即使充满沉浮,也总是要有希望的。


第一,人物角色设定出彩,巧妙点题。文章不同于其他的地方在于在一开头作者就清楚的设定了自己的角色—一位画家,也呼应大赛题目中这幅画的画家,即:“I was a painter back then, I still remember the feeling when I walked down the street in the town and saw nobody, tragic and hopeless.”。这也决定了文章将是由这位画家从艺术家的视角出发,用自己的画笔来记录当时的时代特征和人物特征。从另一个角度来说,画家的角色设定也为文章的结尾埋下伏笔,在画家记录下的小酒馆是现实和想象的交织,最后他描绘出的图景并不是生活在苦难和阴郁之中的普通人,而是一派平和幸福的景象。除了画家本身,剩余的三位人物关系设定为酒馆的主人以及其儿子一家两口,即:… the old man was talking to his son and daughter-in-law, and I just sit next to them, watching them talking in this cold, chilly, windy night.”。这也恰是题目中图画呈现出的场景,进行了巧妙点题。


第二, 环境描绘和人物描述相互联系。一方面,作者在文章开头部分使用一定笔墨进行环境描绘,并且对比城镇在战争前后的图景,给人强烈的现实感,如:Three years ago, everytime I came to this town, the street was crowded with shouts and laughters. But every store on the street closed their doors, keeping themselves away from the atmosphere of loneliness and boredom in the town. 另一方面,文章也得益于对于环境描写的细节。记叙文是由细节组成的,但细节过多会使读者如堕烟海 , 兴趣顿消。因此要注意选用与内容有关或能表现主要观点的细节, 才能产生预期的效果 。作者在恰当时候进行细节描写,比如:在进入酒吧后描述酒吧里的地板、桌子,“The floor was meticulously cleaned by the old owner, and the table was juxtaposed in arrangement, leaving ample room for friends to talk and chat.”侧面反映出酒吧主人即使在战争氛围笼罩下的社会环境中仍持有积极的生活态度。小酒馆的井井有条和城镇的整体氛围形成鲜明对比。结合这样环境的描述再刻画人物的举止谈吐,比如“The old owner smiled his words to me. But I can see there is something sad hidden in his eyes, like a diamond of lake.”,使人与环境相互关系结合更加完美。


第三, 两条故事线并行。一方面作者在讲述进入酒店后发生的事情,另一方面作者通过酒店老板的讲述,描绘出普通人在战争生活中的无奈和坚持,作为一个缩影,再次通过酒店老板的话语来展现小镇的兴衰变化,如“I have witnessed how this town flourished with crowds of people and how it darkened with the outbreak of the war.”。这样的双重叙事让整个故事更加丰满,也达到作者的目的“…remind whoever will see this painting the brightness and the darkness, and the wax and wane of this tiny, little town.”。


第四,语言简洁流畅,行文通顺。作者并未像很多其他选手一样使用很多复杂词汇,而是通过朴实的语言表达来描绘情景和人物,减轻阅读复核,让读者关注于故事本身。除去个别语言使用略有不恰当的地方,这是一篇可读性很强的记叙文。



选手破题思路
 

吴晓灵 厦门大学(指导教师:Jasen Grant)
2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛亚军


Narrative writing和argumentative writing对我来说其实是完全不同的两种体裁。对argumentative writing,我更注重逻辑、句式和词汇;而在narrative writing中,氛围和主题是最重要的。也可能是因为这样的想法,我看到题目“write a story based on the given painting”时并没有很诧异。因为不过于注重复杂的情节,我在拿到题目时从画作入手,让这幅画引导我写一篇故事。或许是因为这学期接触了较多西方艺术史的缘故,我对art本身是有兴趣的,在此也启发大家平时要广泛涉猎,接触不同的领域。因此,我从composition(构图)、subject(人物)、environment(环境)、color combination (色彩)及历史大背景(二战)入手分析这幅画,自然地在分析过程中得出画家传达给观众的二战时期年轻人的迷茫心态及战争带来的影响。在本篇文章写作中,我没有写大段对话,而是把对话作为推动故事发展的节点,在主人公(bartender)的独白和回忆中给读者展现二战时期人们的精神生活。我希望打破时空的局限,因此在最后留下开放式结尾,希望通过这个故事建立读者与画中人之间的联系,引导他们反思自己、反思过去,走进这幅画,走进自己的心灵。


作品欣赏


I am a bartender. I have worked at Phillies for nearly ten years, and multiple horrible events happening in the last decade have transformed me from a talkative, dynamic man to a silent, middle-aged bartender. I don't want to talk; sometimes I just sit on the chair, witnessing pedestrians striding quickly by without any emotions revealed from their faces. To be frank, being surrounded by a brown triangular wooden table edge assures my mind, partially due to the caprices of life - perhaps my brother will die in the next second.

I smell the war; it has been ongoing for five years, and people have learnt how to bear and live with it - some of them have become relentlessly resilient after the war started, and others have initiated a carefree lifestyle seemingly in search of the ultimate goal of life. Here come three guests tonight; apparently, people no longer relish in the peaceful life once the nation plunged into the war - they do not cherish that pleasure and these people who came here tonight, I guess, are merely another bunch of men and women who are seeking the meaning of life in a chaotic world. Having served hundreds of guests since I was 19, I have developed an eagle eye that can penetrate one's mind and read inner thoughts. That's the reason why I don't usually talk, at least for the time being - I appreciate my observant quality and quite often, I realize the potential to investigate and examine the fragile relationship between strangers, friends, couples, and families. The lady is in a scarlet dress and with blonde hair, leaving me a unique impression the first moment she entered the Phillies. Having ordered a glass of beer, she barely talks and is carefully, if not indifferently, watching the smoke - another lost girl dragged down by the dismal reality, with the air exhaling from her mouth turning into a string of glowing circles. In contrast, the man next to her did not order anything, and he seems to know the girl just a few days ago yet he does not initiate any casual talk with the girl. That's a norm nowadays though, with no one listening and talking to you; rather, everyone is trapped in the small triangle of their inner self - we only feel emotionally stable and consistent when we stare at the surrounding without anything interrupting our life. Admittedly, we do not expect any incandescently surprising or ecstatic moments, which are almost impossible in a time bombarded with guns and shrieks.

I pretend to be wiping the silverware, while my eyes are fixed on the other man sitting across from me. He wears a black hat and a black suit, perfectly matching the lifeless bar in the stale air. All of a sudden, he asks, "How long have you been working here?" "Ten years," the two words spring from my mouth like bullets, piercing through the bleak autumn night and punctuating the silence of our favorite. "Oh, so many unpredictable changes happened in these years," another snide remark that I’m trying to ignore. Definitely, I understood his sarcasm; we were both born in the roaring 20s, when we could dance to the jubilant jazz music, and spoiled ourselves with a thick wad of notes, and most importantly, we had a buoyant life at that time. Whereas now, we are just cautious enough not to refer to the traumatic word - war, which has left a unrecoverable scar on the heart, especially in the nightmare every time I awaken to the bloody red scar stretching all the way along my brother's right cheek - he deserves a salubrious life, yet he is tortured and tormented by the bottomless war groaning like a wild wolf that is desperate to suck human blood. Gentle as my brother is, he shouts at me sometimes, complaining that he has suffered unbearable pains from the war and his life - all his friends go to the battlefield and they have never been in contact with each other since the war began; he becomes nostalgic, and so do I.

"A beer, please," the man sitting beside the blonde-haired girl pulls me from a distant hurtful memory with a heavy metallic voice. I've always wondered why alcohol was invented - Was it because the inventor wanted to escape from the bloody truth wrapped in a net of lies? Was it because he could not find any panacea to heal himself but resorted to alcohol? Was it an accident like what was happening all the time at the incarnadine battlefield? All in all, he must be like any one of us; we would rather sweet intoxication to sobriety – it is just too painful to remain tuned to the turbulent reality.

"Da..da..dada...," the girl is whispering some babyish words, simple yet meaningless. Pathetically, we are all the same - meaninglessness is the ultimate meaning of our generation.


(为真实展示选手赛场上的写作风貌,文章为从iTEST 大学外语测试与训练系统中摘出的原生作品,仅供学习分享使用。)


名师点评

田朝霞教授 南京师范大学
2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛评委


文学博士,剑桥大学、伦敦大学学院、墨尔本文法学校访问学者。南京师范大学“教学十佳”及“教书育人”奖获得者。2001年起指导学生参加各类英语赛事,多次获国家和省级奖项。自2015年起,多次担任“外研社杯”全国英语写作、阅读大赛评委,《“外研社杯”全国英语写作大赛官方指南》作者及阅读大赛学术总顾问。

油画完成于1942年珍珠港事件之后,描绘人们坐在小餐厅吃晚餐的情景。三位客人,一个伙计,整个场景笼罩着一种苦闷、孤独和迷惘。当然,不同的观众可能有不同的解读。

虽然题目并未要求选手必须回应1942年所蕴含的信息,但是许多选手仍选择了二战背景。这一篇也是以二战为背景,但却能脱颖而出,令人久久不能忘怀。玩味再三,初读时感受到的那种亦近亦远、清晰又似隔着一层纱的场景依旧让人欲罢不能,那种沉迷而又迷惘的情绪依旧笼罩心头。在89篇决赛记叙文中,这一篇故事通过一位小餐厅(酒吧)伙计的眼睛和心理活动透视世界。其写作手法娴熟,独具匠心,是一篇难得的英语记叙文!

大学生常感到英语记叙文很陌生,无从下手,不知所措。很多记叙文的故事或不完整,或过于平淡,或没有寓意,或英语表达的不达不雅。而这一篇记叙文几近完美,表现出选手深厚的功力,在四个方面可以作为示范。

第一,主题明确,中心突出。这是英语作文中常说的“unity”,也是记叙文最难达到的境界——整个故事围绕一个中心展开。这篇看似没有主线的故事实际上充满了故事,画面中每一个人的故事碎片合在一起,渲染了一个世界,营造了一种情绪。主人公餐厅伙计从意气风发的青年到沉默忧郁的未老心已衰,目睹人世的艰难,感受兄弟身体与心灵的伤痛,品味战争的味道,明白物是人非,但还能从观察人来人往之中获得一些兴致。红衣金发的女子迷失在灰暗的现实中,只凝视吐出的烟圈,不知所思。身边的男子毫无热恋的兴致,甚至不愿开口交谈。另一角落,一位与伙计年龄相仿的黑衣黑帽男子,与这毫无生机的环境融为一体。冷不丁地对“我”开口:“这许多年,已物是人非了”——淡然而不无讽刺的语气。我们看到,每一个人都有自己的故事,几乎一句话就是一个小故事。而这所有的故事又汇成同样的一个故事,所有人的故事都是同一个时代的同样故事——这就是这篇故事的unity所在。在英语作文中能够做到形散而神不散,可见选手对故事的驾驭能力。值得点赞!

第二,描写刻画细致,烘托手法高明。人物刻画细致入微,如Having ordered a glass of beer, she barely talked and carefully, if not indifferently, watched the fog - another lost girl dragged down by the dismal reality, with the smoke exhaling from her mouth turning into a string of glowing circles。文字与画面相映,女子的形象更加鲜活,所传递的情感更加清晰。这种例子在文中比比皆是。讲故事其实是传递思想,但是好的故事不会明说,只是展现。这是我们常说的“show instead of tell”。这篇故事的人物容貌和心理的刻画以及环境的描写,均旨在烘托一种情绪,一种语言表达不清楚的情绪,一种长期的战争带给所有人的一种淡淡的无尽头的迷惘和孤独感。虽远离硝烟,但是每一个人都被囚困在战争中了。他们以不同的形式展示着战争所带来的“囚困”感,正如文中所言:everyone was trapped in the small triangle of their inner self - we only felt emotionally stable and consistent when we stared at the surroundings without nothing interrupting our life. 多数选手能够讲出(tell)这种苦闷,但是能够如此清晰、准确、深刻地用英语语言描绘出来的人寥寥无几。这位选手的技艺,用炉火纯青来形容也不算太夸张。

故事的倒数第二段达到一个小高潮:人们为什么喜欢醉于酒中呢?选手用一列排比,道出人们欲逃离战争现实的事实,也算是给全文烘托的一个交代。

第三,英语语言运用准确、娴熟。选手不仅词汇量大,而且使用准确。上面一段中的两个例子已能够体现。再例如“... secures my mind”、“capricious life”、“smelt the war”、“examine the fragile relationship”、“turbulent reality”等搭配使用的准确;“he deserved a salubrious life, yet he was tortured and tormented by the bottomless war groaning like a wild wolf that is desperate to suck human blood”等句子中头韵、拟人、比喻等多重修辞手法在同一个句子中的使用;“I've always wondered why the alcohol was invented - Was it …? Was it …? Was it …?”排比的使用。语言使用中可圈可点的地方很多,足以判断这位选手“浸泡”在英语中已久。

第四,对艺术的感悟能力极强。如果这位选手之前并不了解这幅世界名画,那么她对艺术的感悟力令人惊叹。她描绘的深夜小餐厅的一幕就是战争影响和改变着的人们。每个人都被“trapped”,都“lost”;人们需要一点儿“alcohol”,“we would love to be drunk than sober - it was too painful to remain tuned to the turbulent reality”;战争时期的生活意义对这一代人都一样,“Pathetically, we are all the same - meaninglessness is the ultimate meaning of our generation”。这样的感悟力,既说明名画之出色,更说明我们这位选手之出色。

若说还有一点儿遗憾,有两点。第一,结尾处(最后两段)的高潮似乎还不够强烈,但也可能是选手有意为之——就是要让人感觉意犹未尽。第二,有个别语言疏忽,但也有情可原,毕竟是在竞赛场景的有限时间所完成。

总体来说,这是一篇难得的优秀记叙文。

来源:全国英语写作大赛官网


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