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SAT阅读材料《Let the Great World Sp

来源:网络 2020-07-31 17:31:47

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Let the Great World Spin  Plot  The plot of the book revolves around two central events. The first, laid

out clearly in the book´s opening pages, is the sensational real-life feat of

the Twin Towers tightrope walk of Philippe Petit 110 stories up, performed in

1974. This first of the two "central events," being focused on the old Twin

Towers, lays the groundwork for the author´s description of the human ability to

find meaning, even in the greatest of tragedies, for which the Twin Towers serve

as a sort of an allegory. The second central event, which is only revealed

halfway through the book, is the fictional courtroom trial of a New York City

prostitute. This second central event serves as a sort of point of balance,

bringing the book back down to its more earthly, and therefore more real basic

story lines.  Approach  In the novel the author employs the unusual literary technique of

designating multiple protagonists within the same book. In fact, no less than 11

different protagonists are introduced throughout the course of the book, each in

their own dedicated chapters. Additionally, the various protagonists are

sometimes cast in roles which are naturally in conflict or tension with one

another: for example, first a prostitute, and then the judge who must pass

sentence upon her. In this particular case, first an earlier chapter of the book

presents the courtroom story through the eyes of the prostitute, later in the

book the same story is retold through the eyes of the judge.  Themes  Throughout the book the author weaves the stories of each of his

protagonists through both of the two central events, exploring the personal

impact that each of these two events had on the lives of each of the various

protagonists. Additionally, some other issues which are unique to certain of the

various protagonists are touched upon, such as the loss of a child, or the

personal struggles that a member of a Catholic religious order must contend

with. (This religious protagonist named "Corrigan" happens to be loosely based

on the real life Catholic priest, Daniel Berrigan.) [1]  While some of the story lines may pass more directly through one of the two

central events than the other, all are either directly or indirectly linked to

them both. Through the author´s ability to draw the reader into the minds of

each of the many and varied protagonists, the reader is given an in-depth and

multifaceted view of both the heights and the depths of life in New York city

for both its ordinary, and its more extraordinary citizens. In subsequent

interviews, the author has noted his intention to point out the melodramatic

tensions present in all of our lives, whether perched upon a death-defying high

wire, or merely trying to live out a more "ordinary" life, "where there is still

an invisible tight-rope wire that we all walk, with equally high stakes, only it

is hidden to most, and only 1 inch off the ground". [1]  Reception  New York Times reviewer Jonathan Mahler ranked this book as, "One of the

most electric, profound novels I have read in years." [2] This book received the

2009 National Book Award for fiction.

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