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Unit 6 Text A The weight men carry翻译,原文和录音

[2018年11月6日] 来源:新视野大学英语Unit 6 编辑:给力英语网   字号 [] [] []  

The weight men carry


1 When I was a boy growing up off the grid in the Commonwealth of Virginia the men I knew labored with their bodies from the first rooster crow in the morning to sundown. They were marginal farmers shepherds just scraping by or welders steelworkers carpenters; they built cabinets dug ditches mined coal or drove trucks their forearms thick with muscle. They trained horses stocked furnaces made tires stood on assembly lines welding parts onto refrigerators or lubricating car engines. In the evenings and on weekends they labored equally hard working on their own small tract of land fixing broken-down cars repairing broken shutters and drafty windows. In their little free time they drowned their livers in beer from cheap copper mugs at a bar near the local brewery or racecourse.


2 The bodies of the men I knew were twisted and wounded in ways visible and invisible. Heavy lifting had given many of them spinal problems and appalling injuries. Some had broken ribs and lost fingers. Racing against conveyor belts had given some ulcers. Their ankles and knees ached from years of standing on concrete. Some had partial vision loss as the glow of the welding flame damaged their optic receptors. There were times studying them when I dreaded growing up. All around us the fathers always seemed older than the mothers. Men wore out sooner being martyrs of constant work. Only women lived into old age.


3 There were also soldiers and so far as I could tell they scarcely worked at all. But when the shooting started many of them would die for their patriotism in fields and forts of foreign outposts. This was what soldiers were for  they were tools like a wrench a hammer or a screw.


4 These weren't the only destinies of men as I learned from having a few male teachers from reading books and from watching television. But the men on television  the news commentators the lawyers the doctors the politicians who levied the taxes and the bosses who gave orders  seemed as remote and unreal to me as the figures in old paintings. I could no more imagine growing up to become one of these sophisticated people than I could imagine becoming a sovereign prince.


5 A scholarship enabled me not only to attend college a rare enough feat in my social circle but even to traverse the halls of a historic university meant for the children of the rich. Here for the first time I met women who told me that men were guilty of having kept all the joys and privileges of the earth for themselves. I was puzzled and demanded clarification. What privileges? What joys? I thought about the grim wounded lives of most of the men back home. What had they allegedly stolen from their wives and daughters? The right to work five days a week 12 months a year for 30 or 40 years wedged in tight spaces in the textile mills or in the coal mines struggling to extract every last bit of coal from the rock-hard earth? The right to die in war? The right to fix every leak in the roof every gap in the fence? The right to pile banknotes high for a rich corporation in a city far away? The right to feel when the lay-off came or the mines shut down not only afraid but also ashamed?


6 In this alien world of the rich I was slow to understand the deep grievances of women. This was because as a boy I had envied them. Before college the only people I had ever known who were interested in art or music or literature the only ones who ever seemed to enjoy a sense of ease were the mothers and daughters. What's more they did not have to go to war. By comparison with the narrow compartmentalized days of fathers the comparatively lightweight work of mothers seemed expansive. They clipped coupons went to see neighbors or ran errands at school or at church. I saw their lives as through a telescope all twinkling stars and shafts of light missing the details that truly defined their days. No doubt had I taken a more deductive look at their lives I would have envied them less. I didn't see then what a prison a house could be since houses seemed to me brighter handsomer places than any factory. As such things were never spoken of I did not realize how often women suffered from men's bullying. Even then I could see how exhausting it was for a mother to cater all day to the needs of young children. But as a boy if I had to choose between tending a baby and tending a machine I think I would have chosen the baby.


7 So I was baffled when the women at college made a racket accusing me and my sex of having cornered the world's pleasures. They demanded to be emancipated from the bonds of sexism. I think my bafflement has been felt by other boys (and by girls as well) who grew up in dirt-poor farm country by the docks in the shadows of factories  any place where the fates of men and women are symmetrically bleak and grim.


8 When the women I met at college thought about the joys and privileges of men they didn't see the sort of men I had known. These daughters of privileged Republican men wanted to inherit their fathers' power and lordship over the world. They longed for a say over their future. But so did I. The difference between me and these daughters was that they saw me because of my sex as destined from birth to become like their fathers and therefore as an enemy to their desires. But I knew better. I wasn't an enemy to their desires in fact or in feeling. I was an ally in their rebellion. If I had known then how to tell them so or how to be a mediator would they have believed me? Would they have known?

男人背负的重担


当我还是个小男孩时,我住在弗吉尼亚州一个偏远的地区,那时我所认识的男人们从清晨的第一声公鸡啼鸣一直劳作到日落。他们都是些不起眼的农民、牧羊人,勉强度日,或是焊接工、钢铁工或木匠;他们制作橱柜、挖掘沟渠、开采煤炭,或驾驶卡车,这使他们拥有肌肉结实的上臂。他们训练马匹、填塞炉膛、制造轮胎,站在装配线上将零件焊接到冰箱,或是给汽车发动机上润滑剂。到了傍晚或周末,他们也要同样辛苦地劳作,在自己的一小片土地上耕作,修理出了问题的汽车,修复坏掉的百叶窗和漏风的窗户。在仅剩的闲暇时间里,他们会在当地的啤酒作坊或赛马场附近的酒馆里用盛在廉价铜杯中的啤酒将自己灌得烂醉。


我所认识的那些男人的身躯遭受着种种看得见或看不见的扭曲和伤痛。搬运沉重的物品给他们很多人造成了脊柱病和可怕的伤痛。有些人断了肋骨,掉了手指。在传输带上不停地工作使他们有些人患了溃疡。他们的脚踝和膝盖由于经年累月站立在水泥地上疼痛不已。有些人由于焊接火光损伤视觉感官而遭受部分视觉缺失的折磨。有些时候,打量着他们,我会害怕长大。在我们周围的人中,父亲们看上去总是比母亲们要老。男人衰老得更早,长期遭受着因持续劳作带来的病痛。只有女人才活到年老。


还有士兵也是男人的工作。据我所知,他们几乎不工作,但当战争一打响,他们很多人都会出于爱国热情而战死在疆场或异域前哨的堡垒前。这就是士兵的作用——他们就像工具,如同扳钳、锤子或螺丝一样。


这些并非男人们唯一的归宿,我从曾经有过的几位男教师、从看书及看电视中认识到了这一点。但是,那些上电视的男人们——新闻评论员、律师、医生、课征税款的政治家及发号施令的老板们——在我看来就像古老绘画上的人像,遥远而不真实。我不能想象自己长大会变成这些精明世故的人中的一员,就像我无法想象自己能变成一个权力至高无上的国君一样。


一份奖学金使我得以上大学,这可是我社交圈子里极其难得的荣耀。不仅如此,它还让我能够穿行于为富人家的孩子打造的史上著名的大学殿堂里。就在这里,我生平头一次碰到女人告诉我说男人是有罪的,因为他们把地球上所有的欢乐和特权都据为己有。我被弄糊涂了,要求她们予以解释。什么特权?什么欢乐?我想到家乡大多数男人那种艰难严酷、伤痛累累的生活。人们所说的他们从妻子和女儿那里偷走的东西又能是些什么呢?难道是每周五天、每年十二个月,如此三四十年里挤缩在纺织厂狭小的空间里,或是在煤矿下挣扎着从岩石般坚硬的泥土中挖出最后一点煤的劳作的权力?战死疆场的权利?修缮屋顶上每条裂缝和围栏上每个断栏的权利?为一个遥远的城市某个富裕财团垒积钱钞的权利?在遭遇解雇或煤矿倒闭时感到既害怕又羞耻的权利?


在这样一个满是富人的陌生世界里,我在理解女人们深深的怨怒方面很是迟钝。这是因为,当我还是一个小男孩时,我就嫉妒过她们。在上大学之前,我所认识的唯一对艺术、音乐或文学有兴趣的人,唯一看上去能够享受一丝自在的一群人就是那些做母亲和女儿的人。而且,她们也不必去参加战争。与父亲们所遭受的狭隘的、封闭的日子相比,母亲们所承担的相对较轻的工作显得更加宽泛一些。她们剪用购物券,探访邻居,在学校或教堂跑跑腿。我仿佛是透过望远镜看到她们的生活,满是闪烁的星星和一缕缕光线,而漏掉了她们生活岁月的真实细节。毋庸置疑,如果我用更具理性的方式审视她们的生活,我就不会那么嫉妒她们了。可在那时,我实在看不出一幢房子能成为什么样的牢狱,因为房子在我看来比任何厂房都更亮堂、更体面。我也没有意识到女人是多么频繁地遭受男人的欺凌,因为这样的事情从未被提及过。即使在那时,我也能够看出一个母亲整日忙碌着应付年幼孩子们的需要是多么地辛苦。但是,作为男孩,如果我那时必须在照顾婴儿和照看机器之间作选择,我想我会选择照顾婴儿。


所以,当学校里的女性大吵大囔,谴责我和我所属的性别,说我们霸占着世间的欢乐时,我很困惑。她们要求从性别歧视的束缚中解放出来。我认为别的男孩(女孩也一样)也会有我这样的迷惑,只要他们成长于一贫如洗的农村,成长于码头边或工厂附近——成长于任何让男人和女人的命运同样苍白和严酷的地方。


当我在大学里遇到的那些女子们想到男人的享乐和特权时,她们并没有见过我以前认识的那些男人。这些特权阶层的、共和党男人的女儿们渴望继承她们父亲的权力和凌驾世界的贵族身份。她们渴望能对自己的未来拥有发言权。而我也渴望这样。我和这些女儿们之间的区别在于,她们看我时想到的是,我因为自己的性别而自出生起就注定可以成为像她们父亲那样的人,从而也是她们实现自己欲望的敌人。但我比她们更清楚,无论是事实上还是情感上,我都不是她们欲望的敌人。我是她们反抗行动的同盟者。如果那时我就知道如何把这些告诉她们,或如何在中间做一个调停人,她们会相信我吗?她们能够理解吗?