Lesson 2 教学单位：江西师范大学主讲教师：何平香 Waiting for the Police J. Jefferson Farjeon
Lesson 2 • Contents • Part One: Warm-upPart Two: Background InformationPart Three: Language PointsPart Four: Text Appreciation
Warm-up A joke Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip in Marbella. As they lay down for the night, Holmes said:"Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see."Watson said, "I see millions and millions of stars"."And what does that tell you?", asked Holmes.Watson thought for a moment then said, "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"Holmes replied, "Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent."
pre-class questions • Can you name some famous English mystery stories as well as their authors? • Have you ever read any detective/mystery stories? Would you like to share one with us? • What would the essential factors taken into consideration when writing a detective / mystery story?
Background Information • J. Jefferson Farjeon (1883—1955) • The story “Waiting for the Police” was written by, a British writer. He is best known for his mystery stories and is one of the first modern authors to mix romance and humor with crime. • As an English novelist, playwright, and journalist, he was born in London into literary circumstances. His father, Benjamin Farjeon, was a well-known novelist and he was the brother of the children’s writer Eleanor Farjeon and the playwright Herbert Farjeon. • Although known for his keen humor and flashing wit, he was no stranger to the sinister and terrifying. The critic for the Saturday Review of Literature praised Death in the Inkwell, one of his later books, calling it an “amusing, satirical, and frequently hair-raising yarn of an author who got dangerously mixed up with his imaginary characters. Tricky.”
Mystery fiction • It is a loosely-defined term that is often used as a synonym of detective fiction — in other words a novel or short story in which a detective (either professional or amateur) solves a crime. The term "mystery fiction" may sometimes be limited to the subset of detective stories in which the emphasis is on the puzzle element and its logical solution, as a contrast to hardboiled detective stories which focus on action and gritty realism. However, in more general usage "mystery" may be used to describe any form of crime fiction, even if there is no mystery to be solved. For example, the Mystery Writers of America describes itself as "the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre". However, a mystery story can also be a story that has a villain that is ghostly and unknown. In this type of mystery story it is just word of mouth that passes on the story from one person to another and the being that is the villain may never be found by the reader or detective in the story, hence the name mystery fiction.
The Mystery Writers of America, an organization for authors of mystery, detective, and crime fiction, was founded in 1945. This popular genre has made the leap into the online world, spawning countless websites devoted to every aspect of the genre, with even a few supposedly written by real detectives. Although normally associated with the crime genre, the term "mystery fiction" may in certain situations refer to a completely different genre, where the focus is on supernatural mystery (even if no crime is involved). This usage was common in the pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s, where titles such as Dime Mystery, Thrilling Mystery and Spicy Mystery offered what at the time were described as "weird menace" stories – supernatural horror in the vein of Grand Guignol. This contrasted with parallel titles such as Dime Detective, Thrilling Detective and Spicy Detective, which contained conventional hardboiled crime fiction. The first use of "mystery" in this sense was by Dime Mystery, which started out as an ordinary crime fiction magazine but switched to "weird menace" during the latter part of 1933.
History of Mystery Fiction • The earliest known murder mystery and suspense thriller with multiple plot twists and detective fiction elements was "The Three Apples", or in Arabic, Hikayat al-sabiyya 'l-muqtula ("The Tale of the Murdered Young Woman"), one of the tales narrated by Scheherazade in the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights). In this tale, a fisherman discovers a heavy locked chest that is painted pink with flowers on it along the Tigris river and he sells it to the Abbasid Caliph, Harun al-Rashid, who then has the chest broken open only to find inside it the dead body of a young woman who was cut into pieces. Harun orders his vizier, Ja'far ibn Yahya, to solve the crime and find the murderer. This whodunit mystery may be considered an archetype for detective fiction.
Modern mystery fiction is generally thought to begin with The Murders in the Rue Morgue莫尔格街凶杀案by Edgar Allan Poe (1841), followed by The Woman in White白衣女人(1860) by Wilkie Collins. Collins wrote several more in this genre, including The Moonstone月亮宝石(1868) which is thought to be his masterpiece. The genre began to expand near the turn of century with the development of dime novels and pulp magazines. Books were especially helpful to the genre with many authors writing in the genre in the 1920s. An important contribution to mystery fiction in the 1920s was the development of the juvenile mystery by Edward Stratemeyer. Stratemeyer originally developed and wrote the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries written under the Franklin W. Dixon and Carolyn Keene pseudonyms, respectively (and later written by his daughter, , and other authors). The 1920s also gave rise to one of the most popular mystery authors of all time, Agatha Christie.
Language Study Contents • Words ＆Phrases • Sentence Paraphrase • Word Building • Grammar
Words ＆Phrases 1.whip sth/sb up 2. take advantage of 3. pop in and out 4. eccentric 5 chill 6. allot 7. shriek 8. nasty 9. mess 10.gulp 11. inquire 12. aggression 13. oblige 14. vicious 15. ascend
whip sth/sb up: to make people become excited, enthusiastic, etc • They went all out but they didn’t succeed in whipping up much support for their candidate. • The terrorist attacks whipped up many people into a frenzy of rage. • take advantage of: • (1) to make use of sth in a good sense利用 • (2)to make use of sb/sth in an unfair or dishonest way to get what one want占…便宜 • It is mean of him to take advantage of a widow. (2) • You should be on your guard against those who have eyes on your money and will take advantage of your generosity. (2) • The school you are entering is a prestigious one. You should take advantage of the facilities. (1)
pop in and out：to make brief visit and then leave suddenly • She’s always popping in and out. 她总是来去匆匆。 • pop: to go sw quickly, suddenly, or unexpectedly (＋in/out/round/to etc) • I’ve just popped in to say hello. • I’m afraid she’s just popped out for a few minutes. • Our neighbor popped in for short call. • I am just popping round to the shop. • pop round when you get time. • Pop down to the shops and get a bottle of milk.
eccentrica. departing from a recognized, conventional, or established norm or pattern 指人的行为偏离常规准则，不同一般。 • b. deviating from a circular form or path, as in an elliptical orbit 不同圆心的 • The old lady has some eccentric habits. • Wearing evening gowns all day is just part of her eccentric behavior. • Mars, Venus and the other planets move in eccentric orbits.火星、金星及其他行星沿不正圆的轨道运行。 • strange: 应用最广，指由于不常见、不认识、从未见过，因而不熟悉的东西。 • Does Geoff’s behavior seem strange to you? • She looks a bit strange today– she never looked thus before. • peculiar: distinct from all others, unusual, unique在很多情况下，可与odd互换，但其基本词义是具有独一无二或特别性质的。 • This fish has a peculiar taste; do you think it’s all right? • Language is peculiar to mankind. • He looked at me with a very peculiar expression.
odd: deviating from what is ordinary, usual, or expected不同寻常的或超出常规的，有时达到希奇古怪的程度。 How odd to see snow in summer! It strikes me as odd that the young man should have married that senile woman. (an odd glove 单只手套odd job 临时工作) queer: markedly from the norm 此词所指的东西不仅strange而且希奇古怪，不可解释。 “Now, my suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose .” “现在，我的怀疑是宇宙不但比我们所假想的要奇异，而且比我们能假想的还要奇异。” (霍尔丹） It is indeed a queer accident, in which nobody wan hurt, but both cars were write-offs.
chill n. a. a feeling of coldness b. a feeling of fear caused by sth. that is very unpleasant or cruel c. a mild illness with a fever d. a way of behaving or speaking that is very unfriendly • There is a noticeable chill in the air today. • Her description of the massacre sent a chill through the audience. • It began to snow on the way home and I caught a nasty chill. • There was a marked chill in his voice when he answered. • cf. chill寒冷的/chilling令人毛骨悚然的，令人害怕的/chilled冷冻的，冷却的/chilly寒冷的；冷淡的，不友好的a. • a chill/chilling wind • The evenings are getting chilly. • a very chill/chilly response • a chilling ghost story • a bottle of chilled champagne
allot v. a. to parcel out; to distribute or apportion b. to assign as a portion; to allocate • They allotted a parking-space to each employee. • Can we do the work within the time they have allotted to us? • assign, allot, apportion, allocate • These verbs mean to set aside or give out in portions or shares. • assign/allot-refer to arbitrary distribution, but neither implies equality or fairness of division: The hardest work was assigned to the strongest laborers. • apportion- is to divide according to prescribed rules and implies fair distribution: apportion the money fairly • allocate- usually means to set something apart from a larger quantity, as of money, for a specific purpose or for a particular person or group: allocate rations for a week-long camping trip
shriek n. a. a shrill, often frantic cry b. a sound suggestive of such a cry v. a. tomake a very high, loud sound (shriek with joy/pain/fright etc b. to say sth in a high, loud voice because you are excited, afraid or angry Examples: • A sudden terrible shriek froze the passenger to the spot. • We heard the shriek of the engine’s whistle. • They were all shrieking with laughter. • Anne stood in the doorway shrieking abuse at him.
nasty adj • a. unkind and unpleasant, malicious • There is a nasty streak in her character. • be nasty to对…不友善：Don’t be so nasty to your mum. • get/turn nasty突然变凶：Don’t tease the dog. He might turn nasty. • b. having a bad appearance, smell, taste etc • The medicine tastes nasty, but it works. • c. an illness etc that is severe or very painful: nasty illness/cut/wound • d. a nasty experience, feeling or situation is unpleasant: nasty weather • e. nasty language 下流话
mess • n.a. a cluttered, untidy, usually dirty condition b. a confused, troubling, or embarrassing condition • Examples: • I’ll have to clear up all the mess in this room. • The copper industry was in a mess. • This illness makes a mess of my holiday plans. • She messed up her new dress with red ink. • Don’t mess with him when he is angry. 和他捣乱 • a messy court case 一件难缠的官司
gulpv • a. gulp sth down: to swallow sth quickly • She gulped down the rest to her coffee and left. • b. gulp sth in: to take in quick large breaths of air • We rushed outside and gulped in the sweet fresh air. • c. to swallow suddenly because you are surprised or nervous(因惊讶或紧张而）倒吸气 • I gulped when I saw the bill. • d. gulp sth back: to stop yourself from expressing your feelings • She tried to gulp back her tears.
inquire • v. to seek information by asking a question • to make an inquiry or investigation • I’ll inquire about the flights.询问，打听 • She inquired after my mother’s health.问候，问好 • The director inquired of me about/concerning our work.向（某人）询问 • We inquired into his story, and found it was true.查问，查究，调查 • The waiter inquired whether we would like to sit near the window. • inquiries /inquiry/ inquisitive/ inquiring/ inquisition • inquiring （神色）有疑问的 • an inquiring mind好探索的精神 • inquiringly 诧异地，怀疑地，好问地 爱打听地 • inquisition（带威胁、令人不快的）盘问，查问 When I got home I had to face a two-hour inquisition from my parents about where I ‘d been. • inquisitive过分好奇的，过分好问的，好追根究底的；好奇的，爱钻研的Filling the blanks with the appropriate forms of “inquire”:
inquiries /inquiry/ inquisitive/ inquiring/ inquisition • Have they made any ____ after me? • The object of scientific _____ is to discover the laws of nature. • Don't be so _____; I’m not telling you what I’ve promised not to say. • An _____ mind is very vital and valuable in pursuing knowledge. • I knew I’d face an _____ when I got home.
aggression • n. a. the act of initiating hostilities or invasion b. the practice or habit of launching attacks • Examples: • The statement condemned the country’s brutal aggression against its neighbor. • Boys usually express their aggression by hitting each other. • so far they had showed no aggression towards him. • physical/verbal aggression 人身侵犯/口头侵犯
a. aggressivea. inclined to behave in a hostile fashion • b. assertive, bold, and enterprising • c. fast growing; tending to spread quickly • Examples: • Bailey became increasingly aggressive in his questioning of the witness. 越来越咄咄逼人 • Today’s executives are hungry, competitive, and aggressive.雄心勃勃，竞争意识强，有进取精神 • an aggressive tumor 迅速蔓延的肿瘤
oblige • v. a. to constrain by physical, legal, social, or moral means • b. to make indebted or grateful • c. to do a service or favor for • Examples: • The law obliges parents to send their children to school. • I am obliged to you for your gracious hospitality. • Could you oblige me by posting this letter? • Grace obliged the company with a song.
vicious • a. a. having the nature of vice; evil, immoral, or depraved • b. spiteful; malicious • c.disposed to or characterized by violent or destructive behavior • It was one of the most vicious crimes of the century. • She made up a vicious story about me to get even. • The vicious dog ought to be on a leash. • vicious circle/cycle of poverty-ignorance-poverty
ascend v. a. to go or move upward; to rise b. to slope upward; to move upward upon or along; to climb c. to succeed to; to occupy Examples: • The stairs in the Five-Star hotel ascend in a graceful curve. • They began slowly ascending the rock face. • The emperor ascended the kingdom when he was only five.
Sentence Paraphrase • 1) But life—and particularly evening life—was notoriously dull in her boarding-house, and every now and again one tried to whip up a little interest. (Para. 2) • ---Life in the boarding-house was terribly boring especially in the evening. To liven up the atmosphere, every now and then someone tried to stir up a little interest. • 2) but he was as polite as he was pale and he always did his best to keep any ball rolling. (Para. 4) • His politeness and paleness were of the same degree, implying, humorously, that he was polite because he was pale. • 3) Bella was the boarding-house lovely, but no one had taken advantage of the fact. (Para. 7) • ---Bella was young and pretty and was seen as the beauty of the boarding-house, but no one had shown any particular interest in her. • Notice the humorous touch here.
4) He possessed a brain, and since no one understood it when he used it, it was resented. (Para. 13) • ---Mr. Penbury was intelligent, but no one in the boarding-house liked him for that. He was too smart for them, and everybody felt annoyed. • 5) But Mrs. Mayton never allowed more than three minutes to go by without a word and so when the silence had reached its allotted span( the time given for a particular purpose), she turned to Penbury and asked: (Para. 13) • ---But Mrs. Mayton would not tolerate any silence for more than three minutes. So when no one broke the silence within three minutes, she lost her patience and turning to Penbury, asked. • 6) The effect was instantaneous. Bella gave a tiny shriek. Mrs. Mayton’s eyes became two startled glass marbles. Monty Smith opened his mouth and kept it open. Mrs. Calthrop, in a split second, lost all inclination to doze. (Para. 21) • ---Mr. Penbury’s announcement brought about an immediate effect. Bella gave a sudden shout in a weak and frightened voice. Mrs. Mayton became so shocked that her eyes opened wide and looked like two glass marbles. Mr. Calthrop, in an instant, became fully awake and had no intention of dozing off again. • Notice the effect of characterization.
7) “But so have you!” exclaimed Monty, with nervous aggression. (in a nervous and aggressive manner, ready to quarrel or attack) (Para. 40) ---It was obvious that Mr. Monty didn’t like Penbury’s remark. He therefore quickly retorted, trying to pick holes in what Penbury had said. 8) “Would you oblige (fml) to do sth. for sb. as a favor or a small service) next, Mr. Calthrop? We all know you walk in your sleep. …” (Para. 59) ---Would you please do me a favor and be the next to give your alibi, Mr. Calthrop? We all know you are a sleep walker. ( suggesting he might have committed the murder in his sleep.) 9) “I should be the last person (used to emphasize that one definitely does not want to do sth., that sb./sth. is the least likely or suitable) to refute such an emphatic statement,” he said. (Para. 65) --He said that he would certainly not say that Mr. Calthrop’s statement was untrue. 10)“If you’ll be so good,” answered Penbury. “Just as a matter of form.” (formality) .(Para. 65) as a matter of form: something which has to be done even though it has no practical importance or effect---Will you be so kind as to give your alibi now since we’ve all had our turn? It is something you have to do.
Word Building • 1.Derivatives of “form” • form: the shape and structure of an objectinform: in 在 内+form形状；在心里造成形状就引申为通知 • conform /deform /misinform /perform /reform /transform /formation /format • 2. Derivatives of “scribe” • scribe:from Late Latin “scrĪe” : to write：写，记下 • Ascribe (attribute) /describe /inscribe /prescribe /subscribe /transcribe • 3. Affix— rupt • rupt: from Latin “rumpere” : to break • abrupt /bankrupt /erupt /corrupt /disrupt (cause to break)/ interrupt /rupture (break) • 4. Suffix— -mit: Latin suffix: to send 呈交，放开admit: ad-=to 向，对 • admit /commit /emit /remit汇出，传送transmit
Grammar Parenthetical Elements • Before going into his room he made an old remark which—in the circumstances(Prepositional phrase as a parenthetical expression to add some explanations of the situation) —is worth repeating. • Parenthetical elements are often used as transitional and explanatory expressions or afterthoughts • 1.Many students choose Saturday for sports or social activities. Sunday, on the other hand, seems to be the best study day for many students. (transitional) • 2.Economics, especially at an advanced level, is closely related to mathematics. (explanatory) • 3.For an hour—it was that long, I am sure—my eyes stared at the ceiling, and held on to it for dear life. (afterthoughts) • 4.I kept out till —approximately—nine o’clock. (explanatory) • Study the following sentences below, identify parenthetical elements and point out whether they are transitional and explanatory expressions or afterthoughts.
Text Appreciation Text Analysis Setting Characters Structure Further discussion Writing Devices Transferred Epithet Humor
Setting • This story is set in a boarding house where life, especially evening life, is notoriously dull for the odd collection of people who live there. But one of the guests manages to think of something which does stir up quite a bit of interest. Characters • Mrs. Mayton / landlady / try to keep everyone talking • Mr. Monty Smith/as polite as pale/keep any ball rolling • Miss Wicks /oldest /knitting all the time • Bella/ young lovely/ not particularly smart • Mr. Calthrop/ middle-aged/ walk in sleep, doze all the time • Mr. Penbury /eccentric intelligent /have a chilling effect possess a brain
Structure of the text • Part I (Paras. 1—11): an idle discussion about where Mr. Wainwright has gone and serving to introduce the characters who live in the boarding-house. • Part II (Paras. 12—33) Mr. Penbury announces that Mr. Wainwright is dead. • Part III (Paras. 34—88) Mr. Penbury direct a general rehearsal of their alibis while waiting for the police. • Part IV (Paras. 89—91) a suspense ending.
Further Discussion • 1) How is the story started? • The story starts with a question from the landlady Mrs. Mayton. • This as an appropriate and direct beginning. The question immediately arouses the attention of the boarders gathered in the drawing room. This first bit of conversation is actually the beginning of an idle conversation conducted by bored people to kill time. But this part gives us a brief introduction of all the boarders and prepares us for an unexpected turn of events. • 2) Why did Mrs. Mayton ask this question? • It didn’t matter to her in the least where Mr. Wainwright had gone. • What she is really interested in is the money paid by the boarders. And sometimes, as a landlady, she felt obliged to whip up a little interest to start an idle conversation.
3) What did Mr. Penbury say that got everybody’s attention? What was his purpose by doing this? • He announced that Mr. Wainwright is dead, which shocked everyone except Miss Wicks. • He might feel too bored at such an evening hour and tried to stir up some interest to kill time, so he can be described as the director of this little melodrama. • 4) What was Mr. Penbury’s suggestion? What effect did he want to cultivate? • He told them he had phoned the police and propose that they consider their alibis while waiting for the police to come. • By directing a general rehearsal of their alibis, he tried to arouse everybody’s attention and created an atmosphere of tension and horror, which might be better than boredom.
5) What did everyone respond to Mr. Penbury? How did they try to offer their alibis? • Most of them tried hard to clear up a little ground by considering their alibis, though they are nervous, excited, anxious, impatient, angry, … • Being the only person to know the inside story, Miss Wicks responded to Mr. Penbury’s conspiracy amusedly by making up a vivid plot of killing “Mr. Annoyance”. • 6) What was the end of the story? Did it surprise you? • The story ends when they hear footsteps entering and hear Mr. Wainwright’s cough • It really has all the basic qualities of a little mystery story and keeps us readers guessing who has killed Mr. Wainwright until we come to this surprise ending. We suddenly realize that the almost everyone including we readers have been fooled.
Writing Devices • Humor • The author skillfully mixed humorous elements in his story, which help to make the characterization and the plot more vivid and interesting. • Read the following examples from the text and try to analyze the humorous effects • He was as polite as he was pale. (be polite because of being pale) • She had knitting for seventy years, and looked good for another seventy. (Hyperbole is used to achieve humor) • Bella was the boarding-house lovely, but no one taken advantage of the fact. (No one is interested in her) • She had promised to knit at her funeral. (Is it possible to do sth. at one’s own funeral?) • “Only one?” I answered “You’re luckier than I am.” (self-mockery to imply a lot people hate him) • “But let me suggest that you give the statement to the police with slightly less emphasis.” (the satirical tone to imply that he might no be telling the truth.)
Transferred Epithet: (转类形容词） It is a figure of speech where an epithet (an adjective or descriptive phrase) is transferred from the noun it should rightly modify(修饰) to another to which it does not really apply or belong. For instance, I spent sleepless nights on my project.这种修辞方法通常把表达人的感情的词转类用于描写非人物品或抽象的概念或情感。 • amazed silence • dignified charity bazaar • There was a short, thoughtful silence. 出现了一阵短暂的、令人沉思的寂静。 • The old man put a reassuring hand on my shoulder. 老人把一只令人安心的手放在我的肩膀上。
"The plowman homeward plods his weary way, / And leaves the world to darkness and to me" (Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard") — weary way is a transferred epithet : it is the plowman, not the way, that is weary. • "restless night" — The night was not restless, but the person who was awake through it was. • "happy morning" — Mornings have no feelings, but the people who are awake through them do. • "female prison" — Prisons do not have genders, but the people who are inside them do. • "condemned cell" — It is not the cell that is condemned, but the person who is inside it. • "careless error" — The error is not careless, but the person who commits it is.