1201_ Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Lives (1)

This famous author saw both hard times and good times

[Steve & Hazel]

1.hardship:difficult time, CN or UN both are ok

2.steady:stable;something that is not going to change suddenly.


4.debt:money that is owned to somebody

5.sibling:brother and sister.

6.polish:kind of aid that make something shine

7.harsh:intense difficult

8.slave away:work hard

9.haunt:have fear about something

[Chelsea & Chip]

For English author Charles Dickens (1812-1870), life included the best of times and the worst of times. Although he became successful as an adult, his childhood was full of hardship.

Dickens’ difficulties began when he was a young boy. Even though his father had a steady job, he didn’t handle money well. When Dickens was just 12, his father was put in prison for debt  /dɛt/. This experience deeply affected the young Dickens. While his mother and seven siblings lived with his father in prison, Dickens was forced to work instead of attending school. He put labels on black shoe polish bottles in a factory for three months. Conditions in the factory were harsh, and Dickens found himself feeling lonely and hopeless. Later that year, Dickens’ father was released from prison, and young Dickens returned to school. His days spent slaving away in the factory, however, haunted him for life. They also influenced his writing.

[More Information]


[Ashley & Ken]

A: So, Ken. What have you been reading lately?

K: Oh, I’ve been reading Charles Dickens book A Tale of Two Cities.

A: Oh, that’s a great book.

K: Well, I just got started. But I can’t get pass that first sentence. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. How can time be both the best and the worst?

A: That statement is called a paradox which is a statement that has two opposite parts. The parts seem to contradict each other.

K: Okay, I can see how the two parts contradict.

A: In that statement, Dickens is saying that for some it was the best of times, but for others it was the worst of times. Of course, you’ll have to read the book to find out more.

K: Okay, but I think I need another example to help me understand.

A: Okay, let’s talk to Doris to hear another example.

K: Okay.


D: Any time there is a paradox, there is something about it that is self-contradicting. For instance, nobody goes to that restaurant, it’s too crowded. If nobody went to the restaurant then why would it be so crowded all the time? It must be popular. So in this case, we have a paradox.


A: That was a great example. Hey, Ken. What if I told you I always fly?

K: Hmm, by saying you always fly, you’re telling the truth.

A: No, I lied. I always tell the truth.

K: You couldn’t possibly tell the truth all the time. Sometimes people lie.

A: That’s true. See, it’s a paradox.

K: Ah, I see the differences. Thanks for your help, Ashley. That was confusing and easy to understand at the same time.

A: Another paradox.

K: Yep.


今天這一課介紹Charles Dickens,課文中一開始就說Dickens的生命included the best of times and the worst of the times。這句話其實是取自於Dickens的小說《雙城記》,這是《雙城記》的開場白,It was the best of the times. It was the worst of times(那是最美好的時代,那也是最糟糕的時代)。這句話是所謂的paradox,就是自相矛盾的話。我們可以再舉個例子,Nobody goes to that restaurant, it’s too crowded(沒有人去那家餐廳吃飯,因為人太多了),這就是一個paradox,一個似是而非的論調,一個自相矛盾的話。



polish (n) 擦亮劑        (v) 磨亮,擦亮

shoe polish 擦鞋油

furniture polish (家具用的)擦亮劑

silver polish 擦拭銀器專用的擦亮劑

Tim polishes his shoes every morning before going to work.


slave away 像奴隸一樣地辛苦工作,做苦工

Rita has been salving away all day at her proposal and hasn’t even had time to eat.


Mom slaved away in the kitchen all afternoon to prepare for tonight’s big feast.


haunt (v) 纏繞,縈繞在心頭

Even though years have passed, the terrible accident scene still haunts the driver.


Irene was haunted by the harsh words of her best friend.



[Vocabulary & phrase]

hardship (n) 艱難,困苦

steady (adj) 穩定的

sibling (n) 兄弟姐妹

polish (n) 亮光劑

slave away 賣命工作

haunt (v) 糾纏


put in prison, hardship, steady, debt, paradox, self-contradicting, haunt, harsh, sibling

本篇發表於 Studio_C 並標籤為 , , , , , , , , 。將永久鏈結加入書籤。



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