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新视野大学英语第三册读写教程unit4 (2)

Unit 4: Section A Five Famous Symbols of American Culture

Intensive Study

Five Famous Symbols of American Culture
1 The Statue of Liberty 2 In the mid-1870s, French artist Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was

working on an enormous project called Liberty Enlightening the World, a monument celebrating US independence and the FranceAmerican alliance. At the same time, he was in love with a woman whom he had met in Canada. His mother could not approve of her son’s affection for a woman she had never met, but Bartholdi went ahead and married his love in 1876.

Intensive Study
3 The same year Bartholdi had assembled the statue’s right arm

and torch, and displayed them in Philadelphia. It is said that he had used his wife’s arm as the model, but felt her face was too beautiful for the statue. He needed someone whose face represented suffering yet strength, someone more severe than beautiful. He chose his mother. 4 The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on an island in Upper New York Bay in 1886. It had his mother’s face and his wife’s body, but Bartholdi called “my daughter, Liberty”.

Intensive Study
5 Barbie 6 Before all the different types of Barbie dolls for sale now, there

was just a single Barbie. Actually, her name was Barbara. 7 Barbara Handler was the daughter of Elliot and Ruth Handler, co-founders of the Mattel Toy Company. Ruth came up with the idea for Barbie after watching her daughter play with paper dolls. The three-dimensional model for Barbie was a German doll – a joke gift for adults described as having the appearance of “a woman who sold sex”. Mattel refashioned the doll into a decent, all-American – although with an exaggerated breast size – version and named it after Barbara, who was then a teenager.

Intensive Study Since her introduction in 1959, Barbie has become the universally recognized Queen of the Dolls. Mattel says the average American girl owns ten Barbie dolls, and two are sold somewhere in the world every second. 9 Now more than sixty years old, Barbara – who declines interviews but is said to have loved the doll – may be the most famous unknown figure on the planet. 10 Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, was introduced in 1961 and named after Barbara’s brother. The real Ken, who died in 1994, was disgusted by the doll that made his family famous. “I don’t want my children to play with it,” he said in 1993.

Intensive Study
11 American Gothic 12 Grant Wood instantly rose to fame in 1930 with his painting

American Gothic, an often-copied interpretation of the solemn pride of American farmers. The painting shows a serious-looking man and a woman standing in front of a farmhouse. He was strongly influenced by medieval artists and inspired by the Gothic window of an old farmhouse, but the faces in his composition were that captured the world’s attention. 13 Wood liked to paint faces he knew well. For the grave farmer he used his dentist, a sour-looking man. For the woman standing alongside him, the artist chose his sister, Nan. He stretched the models’ necks a bit, but there was no doubt who posed for the portrait. 14 Nan later remarked that the fame she gained from American Gothic saved her from a very boring life.

Intensive Study The Buffalo Nickel Today, American coins honor prominent figures of the US government – mostly famous former presidents. But the Buffalo nickel, produced from 1913 to 1938, honored a pair of connected tragedies from the settlement of the American frontier – the destruction of the buffalo herds and the American Indian. 17 While white people had previously been used as models for most American coins, famed artist James Earle Fraser went against tradition by using three actual American Indians as models for his creation. 18 For the buffalo on the other side, since buffalo no longer wandered about the great grasslands, Fraser was forced to sketch an aging buffalo from New York City’s Central Park Zoo. Two years later, in 1915, this animal was sold for $100 and killed for meat, a hide, and a wall decoration made form its horns.
15 16

Intensive Study Uncle Sam Fourteen-year-old Sam Wilson ran away from home to join his father and older brother in the fight to liberate the American colonies from the British during the American Revolution. At age 23, he started a meatpacking business and earned a reputation for being honest and hard working. 21 During a later war in 1812, Wilson gained a position inspecting meat for US Army forces, working with a man who had signed a contract with the government to provide meat to the army. Barrels of meat supplied to the army were stamped “EA-US”, identifying the company (EA) and country of origin (US). According to one story, when a government official visited the plant and asked about the letters, a creative employee told him “US’ was short for “Uncle Sam” Wilson. Soon soldiers were saying all army supplies were from “Uncle Sam”.
19 20

Intensive Study After the war, a character called Uncle Sam began appearing in political cartoons, his form evolving from an earlier cartoon character call Brother Jonathan that was popular during the American Revolution. Uncle Sam soon replaced Brother Jonathan as American’s most popular symbol. The most enduring portrait of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg in his famous army recruiting posters of World Wars I and II. That version – a tall man with white hair and a small white beard on his chin, a dark blue coat and a tall hat with stars in it – was a selfportrait of Flagg.

work on – have sth as the subject of thought or effort


They are working on a report of their investigation of the case. I want to work on perfecting my style before trying anything new.

enlighten – give sb more information about sth so that he or she knows the truth e.g. ? I cannot remember how the trains turned round to return to London. Could enlighten me? ? It can be an enormously enlightening and exciting experience.

go ahead 1. Continue or advance (with or without permission) ? If you go ahead and sell this medicine, your license will be revoked. ? The council gave us permission to go ahead with our building plans. ? In spite of the chairman’s illness, the meeting will go ahead as planned. 2. Move in front of sth or sb. ? I’ll go ahead and tell them you’ll be there shortly. 3. Give permission to do sth ? Go ahead, we are all listening. ? -- Can I use your dictionary? -- Go ahead.


1. Fit the parts of sth together ? We spent all day trying to assemble our new bookshelves. ? At last, he managed to assemble the bike back together. 2. Come together in a group; gather or collect ? The leaders assembled in Shanghai for the meeting. ? I’ve assembled all the information I need for the essay.


1. Hold a ceremony for the opening of a building ? The oil refinery is scheduled to be dedicated next Monday. 2. Use sth as a memory for ? The monument is dedicated to the soldiers who died during the war. 3. Devote (to) ? He dedicated himself to the revolutionary cause.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on an island in Upper New York Bay in 1886 October 28, 1886 was declared a public holiday to allow Americans to celebrate the statue’s unveiling. More than 1 million people lined the streets for a parade.


1. A thing which is based on sth else but which has some details that are different ? -- the five-door version of the Ford ? -- the film version of Romeo and Juliet 2. An account of an event, etc. from the point of view of one person ? The two drivers gave different versions of the accident.


1. An explanation or understanding of sth. ? He’s always putting a wrong interpretation on what I say. ? What’s your interpretation of these statistics. 2. Making clear or bring out the meaning of (a character, music, etc0 ? The actor’s interpretation of Hamlet was severely criticized.

inspire – give sb a feeling of wanting and being able to do sth good, create a work of art, etc. ? ? The novel was inspired by his relationship with his first wife. Our work is to motivate the voters and inspire them to join our cause.


1. (used about people) sad or serious ? He was looking extremely grave. ? Anxiously, she examined his usually grave face. 2. Seriously bad ? These events could have grave consequences for all of us.

go against – be opposed to; be not in favor of; act against

? ?

Lying goes against my principles. I should warn you that if the case goes against you, you may find yourself in prison. Your unfortunate report might go against your chances of winning the contract.


1. Look at sth closely or in great detail ? The detective inspected the room for fingerprints. ? The firemen are inspecting an abandoned warehouse for potential fire hazard. 2. Make an official visit to make sue that rules are being obeyed, work is being done properly, etc. ? Several government officials came to inspect our factory last week.


1. n. a legal document that states and explains a formal agreement between two or more people or groups ? He was given a seven-year contract with an annual salary of $150,000. 2. Make a written legal agree ? His firm has been contracted to supply all the furniture for the new building. 3. Get an illness ? She contracted AIDS from blood transfusion. 4.become or make sth smaller or shorter ? Metals contract as they cool.

evolve (from/out of) – develop in gradual stages from


Some people still do not believe that man evolved from monkeys. The painter’s ideas about form and color evolved from the works of an earlier artist.


1. persuade sb to become a new member of an organization, esp. army ? The state is recruiting young people to the teaching profession. ? The police are trying to recruit more black and Asian officers. 2. A new member of an organization, esp. the army ? The new recruits were trained for six months and then sent to the war front.

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