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SAT小说必读之伟大的狄更斯《雾都孤儿》与狄式小团圆

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  一、狄式小团圆

  在上次的分享中,我们简要谈及狄更斯的名著《远大前程》,详见拙作:伟大的狄更斯(中)《远大前程》: 对人类的祝福。很多朋友留言,询问为什么狄更斯在写《远大前程》时,明明Pip已经山穷水尽,最终却偏偏要给一个不算那么悲凉的结局?

  先给出一个基本说法,就是“狄更斯式的小团圆”,简称“狄式小团圆”。同时声明,这个说法不是本人原创的,而是在一本书里读到的:木心先生的《文学回忆录》。我们甚至不确定这是否是木心先生的原创。不过无所谓,信息爆炸的年代,能找到这一则信息已经不易。

  摘引一下木心先生对狄更斯的评价:

  木心说,“狄更斯的小说结尾,失散或久别的亲友又在一起了,总是夜晚,总是壁炉柴火熊熊燃,总是蜡烛、热茶,大家围着那张不大不小的圆桌,你看我,我看你,往事如烟,人生如梦,昔在,今在,永在。这种英国式的小团圆,比中国式的大团圆有诗意得多。”

  这就是很美好、很暖心的“狄式小团圆”模式,温情脉脉。具体细节,我们后面聊《雾都孤儿》的时候,慢慢品味。

  二、《雾都孤儿》

  1、基本架构

  《雾都孤儿》这本书的结构并不复杂,我们可以按照之前讲过的三段式阅读方法,粗略将这本小说分为三部分:

  第一部分:从主人公Oliver Twist在贫民窟诞生,同时母亲身亡讲起;用极其辛辣阴沉的笔法,描述当时所谓的“贫民习艺所”黑暗现实;之后描述Oliver Twist作为幼童,却不得不参加工作,同时饱受虐待,最终逃亡伦敦;

  第二部分:写主人公Oliver Twist在伦敦的经历,最初落入小偷集团的魔掌,险些沦为盗贼,之后两次被善良人士所救,并逐渐揭开Oliver的身世,最终正义战胜邪恶,小偷集团首脑活罪;

  第三部分:尾声;以“狄式小团圆”收尾,给出小说中主要角色的各自结局,善有善报,恶有恶报。

  2、经典节选

  小说脉络上很清楚,同时精彩段落数不胜数,尤其是前7章,回回精彩,笔法凝练,人物鲜活,试举两例,大家再体会一下。

  (1)Oliver在习艺所询问更多的食物(Chapter 2)

  The room in which the boys were fed, was a large stone hall, with a copper at one end: out of which the master, dressed in an apron for the purpose, and assisted by one or two women, ladled the gruel at meal times. Of this festive composition each boy had one porringer, and no more -- except on occasions of great public rejoicing, when he had two ounces and a quarter of bread besides. The bowls never wanted washing. The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again; and when they had performed this operation (which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls), they would sit staring at the copper, with such eager eyes, as if they could have devoured the very bricks of which it was composed; employing themselves, meanwhile, in sucking their fingers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any stray splashes of gruel that might have been cast there on.Boys have generally excellent appetites.

  Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months: at last they got so voracious and wild with hunger, that one boy, who was tall for his age, and hadn't been used to that sort of thing (for his father had kept a small cook-shop), hinted darkly to his companions, that unless he had another basin of gruel per diem, he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy who slept next him, who happened to be a weakly youth of tender age. He had a wild, hungry eye; and they implicitly believed him. A council was held; lots were cast who should walk up to the master after supperthat evening, and ask for more; and it fell to Oliver Twist.

  The evening arrived; the boys took their places.The master, in his cook's uniform, stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said over the short commons. The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered each other, and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbors nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery.He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand,said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:

  'Please, sir, I want some more.'

  The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralyzed with wonder; the boys with fear.

  'What!' said the master at length, in a faint voice.

  'Please, sir,' replied Oliver, 'I want some more.'

  The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.

  The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,

  'Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!'

  There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.

  'For _more_!' said Mr. Limbkins. 'Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?'

  'He did, sir,' replied Bumble.

  'That boy will be hung,' said the gentleman in the white waist coat. 'I know that boy will be hung.'

  当时的绅士立下的“规矩”,是所有的穷人都可以呆在习艺所里缓慢地饿死,或者离开这里立即饿死,二者间任选其一。因此,男孩们分到的食物,就是苟延残喘,直到最后被活活饿死。当一个大男孩,要求Oliver去讨要更多的食物时,一个经典场面发生了:厨师需要用手去扶铜锅才不会被吓倒,并用粥勺打Oliver的头;周围的人,都为之一惊,惊慌失措;教区管事更是一语中的,“那孩子将来准给绞死”。而这所有事情的起因,只因为Oliver的一句话:“求您,先生,我想还要再添一点儿”。

  (2)Oliver受到殴打和虐待(Chapter7)

  This flood of tears left Mr. Sowerberry no alternative. If he had hesitated for one instant to punish Oliver most severely, it must be quite clear to every experienced reader that he would have been, according to all precedents in disputes of matrimony established, a brute, an unnatural husband, an insulting creature, a base imitation of a man, and various other agreeable characters too numerous for recital within the limits of this chapter. To do him justice, he was, as far as his power went--it was not very extensive--kindly disposed towards the boy;perhaps, because it was his interest to be so; perhaps, because his wife disliked him. The flood of tears, however, left him no resource; so he at once gave him a drubbing, which satisfied even Mrs. Sowerberry herself, and rendered Mr. Bumble's subsequent application of the parochial cane, rather unnecessary. For the rest of the day, he was shut up in the back kitchen, in company with a pump and a slice of bread; and at night, Mrs. Sowerberry, after making various remarks outside the door, by no means complimentary to the memory of his mother, looked into the room, and, amidst the jeers and pointings of Noah and Charlotte, ordered him upstairs to his dismal bed.

  It was not until he was left alone in the silence and stillness of the gloomy workshop of the undertaker, that Oliver gave way to the feelings which the day's treatment may be supposed likely to have awakened in a mere child. He had listened to their taunts with a look of contempt; he had borne the lash without a cry: for he felt that pride swelling in his heart which would have kept down a shriek to the last, though they had roasted him alive. But now, when there were none to see or hear him, he fell upon his knees on the floor; and, hiding his face in his hands, wept such tears as, God send for the credit of our nature, few so young may ever have cause to pour out before him!

  For a long time, Oliver remained motionless in this attitude. The candle was burning low in the socket when he rose to his feet. Having gazed cautiously round him, and listened intently, he gently undid the fastenings of the door, and looked abroad.

  It was a cold, dark night. The stars seemed, to the boy's eyes, farther from the earth than he had ever seen them before; there was no wind; and the somber shadows thrown by the trees upon the ground, looked sepulchral and death-like, from being so still. He softly reclosed the door.Having availed himself of the expiring light of the candle to tie up in a handkerchief the few articles of wearing apparel he had, sat himself down upon a bench, to wait for morning.

  Oliver明明是受同龄孩子的欺负才奋起反抗,但是,由于女主人的眼泪,使得男主人不得不下狠手殴打Oliver(否则就会得到无尽的坏名声),并对他实行禁闭。受尽虐待的Oliver,也只有在孤身一人时,才痛哭流涕,而此时,寒星点点,树影婆娑,阴森可怖。本文为天道教育常志诚老师原创文章,转载请注明出处和作者,违者必究!
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