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光華美高英語教研組組長帶您分析英語中的“比較結構”

來源:光華美高 時間:2020-04-26 10:40:49

  以下內容來自光華美高英語教研組組長田薈老師的個人原創,感謝田老師的學術分享。本文以經典英國小說《傲慢與偏見》為背景,選取其中的片段,詳細分析了英語中的“比較結構”。文章較長,可收藏分段閱讀。

光華美高440.jpg

光華美高

  簡·奧斯汀的《傲慢與偏見》客觀講述了19世紀初英國一個中產家庭嫁女兒的故事,以男女主角- 達西先生Darcy與伊麗莎白小姐Elizabeth的婚姻為主線,順便成就了其它三段婚姻。

  這四段婚姻給讀者留下了很多思考,究竟什么是最好的愛情與婚姻?對,作者沒有在書中告訴我們孰優孰劣。但是在簡奧斯汀的無處不在的對比中,讀者也會情不自禁比較個一二三來。

  先來理一下故事線。

  Bennet 先生膝下無子,5個女兒待字閨中。當時英國社會的限定繼承使得這家人很著急,婚姻是保障她們不淪落街頭的唯一方式了。于是老母親四處奔走,帶著女兒們參加各種舞會,以期認識金龜婿。一次舞會上,大女兒Jane與翩翩公子Bingley看對了眼,二女兒Elizabeth與Bingley的好友Darcy也在人群中多看了彼此一眼,但是Elizabeth眼中的Darcy就是pride(傲嬌)的化身,自持高貴,傲慢無禮。接著,Darcy的閏土級別伙伴Wickham以風度翩翩的“完美受害者”形象出現,大肆造謠Darcy手段卑劣 ,將他活生生從一個財產繼承人變成了四處奔走的軍人;另一邊,她大姐Jane與Bingley的婚事也告吹了。在去好閨蜜Charlotte婚后新家做客時,Elizabeth碰到了很談得來的Darcy表弟;于是獲知,Darcy為攪黃了好友的婚事而沾沾自喜。至此,基于先前第一印象,滿懷對Wickham同情與對Darcy忿恨,以及對Darcy插手Jane與Bingley愛情的記恨,Elizabeth對他的看法簡直壞到了極致??墒?,這時候Darcy卻經常在她眼前晃動,還時不時在她享受獨步時來個偶遇,而且還帶來了浪漫的自殺式求婚。

  求婚現場

  In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. (Chapter 34)

  一般人聽到這樣的真情告白,可能感動加感激了。而Elizabeth的表情卻是這樣子的:

 ?、?Elizabeth’s astonishment was beyond expression. (Chapter 34)

  解釋:beyond + noun. (expression, comparison, recognition etc.) 不可... ,言語不能表達她的震驚(此處含有最高級的意味了)。

  看對方沒反應,Darcy就趁勢攻擊一下對方的情感:

 ?、贛r. Darcy spoke well, but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed, and he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride. (Chapter 34)

  解釋:not more + adj./adv. + A than B,字面意思“A 不比 B更…”,即強調后者。此句意思是,哪怕是繾綣情愫,他也是傲嬌地表露,沒有溫柔。

  Elizabeth看他那十拿九穩的樣子,又還在傲嬌,自然沒有好話,一來沒有禮貌性的感激,二來讓他再以當初壓制情感的方式把他的愛克制下去,簡直讓貴公子Darcy措手不及:

 ?、跰r. Darcy, who was leaning against the mantelpiece with his eyes fixed on her face, seemed to catch her words with no less resentment than surprise. (Chapter 34)

  解釋:no less (adj./adv./noun.) A than B, A 和 B 一樣都…, 兩者都…, Darcy聽到這番話是又吃驚又生氣。

  于是開始詢問Elizabeth為甚么這么輕而易舉就拒絕了他,而且嘴欠地來了句,雖然理由并不重要。Elizabeth本來就對他成見(prejudice)滿滿,這正好有了發泄機會:

 ?、躖ou cannot deny that you have been the principal, if not the only means of dividing them from each other, of exposing one to the censure of the world for caprice and instability, the other to its derision for disappointed hopes, and involving them both misery of the acutestkind. (Chapter 34)

  解釋:one…, the other…, 兩者指的是婚姻的主要當事人Bingley與Jane; acutest,最高級,極度的。Elizabeth指責Darcy分開這對年輕人,讓姐姐成為大家的笑柄,并使他們陷入極度的傷痛。

 ?、?You deprived the best years of his life, of that independence which was no less his duethan his desert. (Chapter 34)

  解釋:best years, 最高級,最好的年華;no less (adj./adv.) A than B, A 和 B 一樣都…, 兩者都…。Elizabeth接著指責 Darcy剝奪了原本屬于Wickham應得與饋贈的經濟獨立。

  聽到這里,Elizabeth沒有答應他的求婚,還公然指責他的人品, Darcy已經很不開心了,繼續犯渾:

 ?、轈ould you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?(Chapter 34)

  解釋:inferiority,inferior的名詞,意為“低劣”,常見于 be inferior to…,這是暗含的比較,相當于be lower than…; beneath,介詞屬性,意為 “在…之下”。Darcy自視高貴,嘲諷Elizabeth家親戚地位低,不配與他這樣上等人結為親戚。

  Elizabeth 面對表白不成,還嫌棄自家親戚的Darcy,可以說是氣急敗壞了:

 ?、逧lizabeth felt herself growing more angry every moment; yet she tried to the utmost to speak with composure when she said: “ you are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentleman-likemanner.” (Chapter 34)

  解釋:grow more angry,比較級,情感變化;utmost,絕對詞,意為”最大可能“,她在隱忍,盡可能控制自己的情緒維持禮節;any other (+ A) than B, 除B以外都含在內,這半句略微有點復雜,先說than后的部分:“ as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner”

  第一層:as it spared me the concern; as 引導的方式狀從,作為 in this (any other) way 的并列方式,it 指代前文“mode of your declaration”,即你的表白方式除了給我帶了不安。

  第二層: (the concern) which I might have felt in refusing you; concern后有定語從句限定,“不安源自于拒絕”;

  第三層:had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner;這是if 非真實條件句對過去的虛擬+省略 (ding, 高級句式),假如你剛才表白再紳士禮貌一些,或許我會因為拒絕你而覺得不安。言外之意,你這么嫌棄我家人,還指望我因為拒絕你而有一絲不安嗎?

  再加上前面有“you are mistaken” 算是半個否定轉移,所以Elizabeth意思是“假如你剛才表白方式再紳士禮貌一些,或許我會因為拒絕你而過意不去。除了這丁點不安之外,你要是覺得你的表白還對我產生任何其它的影響,那真是大錯特錯了。”

  Elizabeth趁著機會,把她內心深處對他的第一印象也全部倒了出來:

 ?、郌rom the very beginning, from the first moment I may almost say, of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form that groundwork of disapprobation. (Chapter 34)

  解釋:fullest belief,最高級“fullest”修飾 belief,“篤定地認為,不帶一絲懷疑”。意即,從一開始,從我們第一刻認識,你的舉止行動就讓我篤定地認為,你傲慢無禮,狂妄自大,自私自利,瞧不起別人的感受,這足以讓我對你深惡痛絕。

  拒絕的理由充分了,個人的厭惡情感也表達了,Elizabeth再重申一下自己的決定:

 ?、?I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry. (Chapter 34)

  解釋:the last ( + noun.) + to do, 字面意思,最后去做什么,“最不愿意做”。意即,我認識你不到一個月,我就覺得,天底下所有的男人中,你是我最不愿意嫁的那種人。

  回到閨蜜家里,Elizabeth大哭了半小時,心情久久不能平復。第二天,這件事仍縈繞她心頭,讓她沒辦法專注,于是她就去花園散步。忽然,Darcy跳出來,給她遞了封信,就走開了。雖然心里很厭惡,但是行動很老實,她迫不及待讀起了信。

  自救現場

 ?、釯 write without any intention of paining you, or humbling myself, by dwelling on wishes which, for the happiness of both, cannot be too soon forgotten; and the effort which the formation and the perusal of this letter must occasion, should have been spared, had not my character required it to be written and read. (Chapter 35)

  解釋:not …too + adj./adv., 太…也不為過,強調后面的adj./adv. 程度。寫信的目的,不是為了舊事重提,讓雙方難堪,為了雙方幸福,還是快快忘掉昨天的訴情與表白。但是,拗不過自己的性格,寫下這封信,勞煩對方花心思靜心讀信。

  這么一聽,感覺Darcy很體面,與昨天判若兩人。盡管昨天被殘忍拒絕,Darcy仍然照顧對方感受,用信件來說明情況,避免雙方隨時爭吵起來。于是,他開門見山,告訴Elizabeth,她對他的兩項指責完全不是一個性質。

  ⑪Wilfully and wantonly to have thrown off the companion of my youth, the acknowledged favourite of my father, a young man who had scarcely any other dependence than on our patronage, and who had been brought up to expect its exertion, would be a depravity, to which the separation of two young persons, whose affection could be the growth of only a few weeks, could bear no comparison. (Chapter 35)

  解釋:scarely any other A than B = no other (A) than (B)… 正是B,除了B 再也沒有其它的(A), 一個除了仰仗我們資助別無依靠的青年人;A bear no comparison to B, A 與 B 不可相提并論。意即,”我小時候的伙伴,大家公認是先父的寵兒,一個無依無靠從小就仰仗我們施恩的青年, 一個被領養到能夠自力更生的青年,竟被我無情無義拋棄了,這真是我的罪;但是,那對青年男女,不過只有幾星期的好感而已,拆散他們和這件罪不能相提并論。”

  先說Elizabeth最關切的親姐姐的婚事,Darcy 把全程經過一五一十都寫出來了。

  ⑫Bingley preferred your eldest sister to any other young woman in the country. (Chapter 35)

  解釋:prefer A to B, 比起B,更偏愛A,Bingley 在當地所有的少女中偏愛令姐Jane。

  可是,當時在Lucas家舉辦的舞會上,Darcy與Elizabeth跳舞時,偶然間聽到Lucas老先生說, Bingley對Jane的愛慕已經人盡皆知,以為他們就要談婚論嫁了。于是,Darcy開始觀察Bingley和Jane的行為,發現前者愛意明顯,但是后者卻不中意任何人,而且不容易被取悅。昨天聽到Elizabeth告訴他,姐姐矜持嫻靜,在她面前也不透露自己的真實情感。他有些懷疑自己的判斷了:

  ⑬Your superior knowledge of your sister must make the latter probable. (Chapter 35)

  解釋:superior,常用于 be superior to…, 優于…, 高于…; 這里Darcy認為Elizabeth比自己更加了解Jane,所以他先前的判斷是錯的,他錯怪了Jane。

  ⑭ I shall not scruple to assert, that the serenity of your sister’s countenance and air was such as might have given the most acute observer a conviction that, however amiable her temper, her heart was not likely to be easily touched. (Chapter 35)

  解釋:the most acute, 最高級,觀察力最敏銳的人也以為Jane性格和藹,但很難打動。

  但基于先前對Jane為人的誤判,Darcy很擔心Bingley卷入看似心機滿滿的婚姻中,于是極力勸阻他,將反對婚姻的原因不吐不快:

  ⑮The want of connection could not be so great an evil to my friend as to me. (Chapter 35)

  解釋:not so + adj./adv. + as…, as … as… 否定形式,強調后者,即我朋友不如我重視門戶高低問題。

  說完了門第問題,Darcy又說到了Elizabeth媽媽的娘家人地位低,而且全家人行為舉止毫無體統,但是Elizabeth和Jane除外(自救現場):

  ⑯Amidst your concern for the defects of your nearest relations, and your displeasure of the representation of them, let it give you consolation to consider that, to have conducted yourselves so as to avoid any share of the like censure, is praise no less generally bestowed on you and your elder sister, than it is honorable to the sense and disposition of both.(Chapter 35)

  解釋:nearest relations 至親,指的是媽媽的娘家人;no less (adj./adv./noun.) A than B, A 和 B 一樣都…, 兩者都…。這里把Jane和Elizabeth從她們毫無體統的家里除開,還夸她們舉止優雅,聰明大方,性情適宜。(誰還能拒絕褒獎呢?)

  繼續說回拆散Jane姻緣:眼見Elizabeth這家父母親和三個小妹妹如此失禮,Darcy覺得很有必要幫助好友擺脫這場婚姻:

  ⑰ I will only say farther that, from what passed that evening, my opinion of all parties was confirmed, and every inducement heightened, which could have led me before to preserve my friend from what I esteemed a most unhappy connection. (Chapter 35)

  解釋:farther,更進一步,遞進的關系;a most + adj. + noun. = very adj. + noun.,此處指一樁非常不幸的婚姻。意即,“我還想說,從那晚看到那種情形之后,我不禁越發確定對每個人的看法,越發加深了我的偏見,覺得我很有必要阻止我的朋友,不讓他締結這門很不幸的婚姻。”

  接著坦承自己在這場分離中的所作所為,先是追隨Bingley回到倫敦,阻止他回去,并且極力勸說他放棄對Jane的追求。順便提到:

  ⑱ Bingley has great natural modesty, with a stronger dependence on my judgement than on his own. (Chapter 35)

  解釋:stronger A than B,也就是,Bingley 生性謙和,一遇到事情,更仰仗Darcy來出主意。

  出的主意想必大家也從前文知道了,而且Darcy做了一件自認為非常不光彩的事情,就是故意隱瞞Jane來倫敦的消息,盡管略失身份,但是事已至此:

  ⑲ On this subject I have nothing more to say, no other apology to offer. (Chapter 35)

  解釋:nothing more, 沒有更多的,或常見于 nothing more than A, 僅僅只有 A,別無其它;no other + noun., 沒有其它的…。 意即,“以上都是我所知所想所做,不當之處我已經致歉,沒什么好辯解的。”

  關于第二項指責,Darcy直截了當地否認了,然后說出他與Wickham兩家的關系,陳述事實真相,還找到不少做派正直的人來做見證。兩家關系要從Wickham父親給Darcy家里做管家說起,因為老Wickham先生工作得力,人品正直,引得Darcy老先生決定幫他們家一把,尤其是他的兒子Wickham。于是先是供他讀書,把他培養成紳士;還在遺囑里叮嚀Darcy要輔助他在教堂里謀一份職務,并且盡可能幫助他晉升,另還給他1000英鎊。但是,Wickham不愿意接受神職,以要學法律為由,與Darcy做了一份交易,即放棄眼下與將來任何在教堂任職的機會,而且作為補償,Darcy要付給他3000英鎊??墒堑鹊藉X花得差不多了,Wickham就反悔了。但是他再謀神職的申請被Darcy拒絕了。兩人的梁子便結下了。他的境遇愈困苦,怨恨就愈深:

  ⑳His resentment was in proportion to the distress of his circumstances — and he was doubtless as violent in his abuse of me to others as in his reproaches to myself.

  解釋:as + adj./adv./noun. A as B, 意為 A 和 B一樣…,即 無疑,他當面指責我還是在背后辱罵我都是一樣兇狠惡毒。

  本已沒有交情的兩個人,卻因一件Darcy不想為外人道的事情改變了:

  ㉑ I must now mention a circumstance which I would wish to forget myself, and which no obligation less than the present should induce me to unfold to any human being.

  解釋:no less (adj./adv.) A than B, A 和 B 一樣都…, 兩者都…,這里指“既是義務又是當前情況”;補充:

  1) no more(adj./adv.) A than B: A 和 B 一樣都不…, 兩者都不;

  2) not more(adj./adv.) A than B: A 不如 B …;

  3) not less (adj./adv.) A than B: A 比 B更…, 類似于 more A than B。

  這件事便是,Wickham故意靠近Darcy的妹妹,并且利用小時候的交情取得了妹妹的信任和喜愛,讓她以為這是愛情,并慫恿她不顧一切私奔。好在Darcy趕過去阻止了這一切??吹竭@里,Elizabeth似乎懵了,這與她之前從Wickham那里聽到的故事完全不同,而且幾乎撕裂了她之前對充滿了傲嬌(pride)的Darcy先生的偏見 (prejudice)。

  這場不成功的表白與成功的自救是這本書的高潮部分,看似兩人的愛情隨著求婚失敗而終止,但Elizabeth對Darcy的感情卻是從這封信開始的,轉折由此開始。當然故事還剩下25章節,男女主角并不是由此直接牽手步入婚姻殿堂,還有助攻。至于是誰的什么助攻,那就要靠大家自己去閱讀領略了。

  這篇文章寫在世界讀書日(4月23日),當大家都在為選讀哪本書的時候,不妨靜下心來讀讀這本世界經典,跟著簡奧斯汀學英語(比較的表達法)。當然,文中列出來的21處比較表達只來自于34/35章節,文中還有大量其它的比較表達,這是與作者寫此書的主題是契合的,即婚姻是如何妥協和突破階級觀念與階級束縛。通讀全篇,不僅令讀者感嘆作者細膩入微的洞察力與尖銳直白的思想,還有令人嘆為觀止的表達力,如遣詞造句,虛擬語氣,詼諧幽默等)。讓我們一睹為快吧。

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