Gregory Peck---An American Master
? Pre-reading questions ? Background information ? Structure analysis ? Comprehension questions ? Detailed study of Text I ? Grammatical items ? Exercises ? Comprehension questions ? Oral activities ? Writing practice
of Text II
? ? ?
Pre-reading questions Who is your favorite actor/actress? Why? What do you know about Gregory Peck?
BACKGROUND INFORMATION (1)
Date of birth 5 April 1916 La Jolla, California, USA Date of death 12 June 2003 Los Angeles, California, USA. (natural causes)
BACKGROUND INFORMATION (2)
Wonderful romanticcomedy that has both funny and heartwarming moments.
Gregory Peck Audrey Hepburn
BACKGROUND INFORMATION (3)
To Kill a Mockingbird 1962
'To Kill a Mockingbird' is one of the great classics from the sixties. Peck won Academy Award for Best Actor as Southern lawyer Atticus Finch in the 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird."
BACKGROUND INFORMATION (4)
Gregory Peck's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
STRUCTURE ANALYSIS OF THE TEXT (1)
a biography, the passage is chronologically structured from Gregory Peck’s early year to his last days. Though each paragraph tells of Peck’s experiences during a particular time in his life, some paragraphs introduce his status in American movie industry, his major accomplishments and his life philosophy.
first paragraph introduces Gregory Peck as a celebrity in Hollywood and the reasons why he was so popular. ? The fourth paragraph mentions the major achievements in his acting career.
STRUCTURE ANALYSIS OF THE TEXT (2)
STRUCTURE ANALYSIS OF THE TEXT (3)
sixth paragraph focuses on his best known film To Kill A Mockingbird. ? The seventh paragraph explains his life philosophy.
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (1)
is Gregory well-respected and adored by his audiences in his fifty years of acting? ? Because for more than fifty years Gregory Peck impresses his audiences with stories of strength and masculinity, and is viewed as a pillar of moral courage and a defender of traditional values.
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (2)
did Peck begin to gain fame in his acting career? ? It was not until 1944 that Peck showed his real talent in the two films Days of Glory and The Keys of the Kingdom, the latter of which brought him his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (3)
are the particular features in Peck’s characters that make the quintessential mid-century American man? ? The quintessential mid-century American man as represented by Peck and his characters was tough, caring and romantic.
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (4)
according to Peck himself, is his best film? Why? ? According to Peck himself, his best film is To Kill A Mockingbird, because it gives attention to the lives of children and the importance of family.
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (5)
does Peck learn from the
characters he portrayed? And what does he try to do in most of his films? ? He learns that life during wartime was profoundly complex and life can hardly be free from war and struggle. What he tries to do in most of his films is to investigate these complex struggles and create stories that shed light on human possibility and social reality.
Gregory Peck—An American Master
the celebrated pantheon of Hollywood royalty, few are as well-respected and universally adored as Gregory Peck. For more than fifty years, he has been a major presence in the theater, on television, and most importantly, on the big screen. For many, Peck is a symbol of the American man at his best — a pillar of moral courage and constant defender of traditional values. As General MacArthur, Melville's Captain Ahab, and Atticus Finch, he has presented audiences with compelling stories of strength and masculinity.
Gregory Peck was born on April 5, 1916 in La Jolla, California. By the time he was six, his parents had divorced. For a number of years he lived with his maternal grandmother, but at the age of ten was sent to St. John's Military Academy in Los Angeles. The four years he spent there was important in forming his sense of personal discipline. After the Academy, he returned to live with his father, a local pharmacist, and to attend public high school.
After graduating. Peck enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. Greatly influenced by his father's desires for him to be a doctor, Peck began as a premed student. By the time he was a senior, however, he found his real interests to be in writing and acting. Peck soon realized that he had a natural gift as both an expressive actor and a storyteller. After graduating in 1939, he changed his name from Eldred to Gregory and moved to New York. There, his abilities were almost immediately recognized. In 1942, Peck made his debut on Broadway with The Morning Star. Though many of his early plays were doomed to short runs, it seemed clear that Peck was destined for something bigger. In 1944 that " something bigger" arrived in the form of his first two Hollywood roles, as Vladimir in Days of Glory and Father Francis Chisholm in The Keys of the Kingdom.
While Days of Glory was coolly received, his role as the taciturn Scottish missionary in The Keys of the Kingdom was a resounding triumph and brought him his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor. This early success provided him with the rare opportunity of working with the best directors in Hollywood. Over the next three years he appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound (1945) , King Vidor's Duel in the Sun (1946), and Elia Kazan's Gentleman's Agreement (1947). Despite concerns over public acceptance of the last one, a meditation on American anti-Semitism, it surprised many by winning an Oscar for Best Picture and a nomination for Best Actor. This success seemed not only a validation of Peck's a
bilities as an artist but of his moral convictions as well.
Though an amiable and fun-loving man at home. Peck's stem presence made him one of the screen's great patriarchs. Tough and caring, he was the quintessential mid-century American man — the good-looking romantic lead across from Audrey Hepbum as well as the rugged World War II bomber commander. For many, the actor and the characters he portrayed were inseparable; the authority of his passionate yet firm demeanor was attractive to post-war Americans who longed for a more stable time.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Peck continued to challenge himself as an actor, appearing in thrillers, war films, westerns and in his best known film, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Based on the book by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird addresses problems of racism and moral justice in personal and powerful ways. As Atticus Finch, a lawyer in a small southern town, Peck created a character that remains a great example of an individual's struggle for humanity within deeply inhumane conditions. It seems clear, however, that the reason for Peck's constant assertion that To Kill a Mockingbird is his best (and favorite) film, was the film's attention to the lives of children and the importance of family.
While continuing to act on television and in Hollywood throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Peck has focused much of his energy on spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. For Peck, life as a father and as a public figure have been inseparable; he was simultaneously a major voice against the Vietnam war, while remaining a patriotic supporter of his son who was fighting there. If years of breathing life into characters such as Captain Keith Mallory and General MacArthur taught him anything, it was that life during wartime was profoundly complex; and rarely has there been a time free from war or struggle. In his more than fifty films, Peck has continually attempted to investigate these complex struggles, and in doing so has created a library of stories that shed light on human possibility and social reality
85, Peck turned his attention back to where he got his start, the stage. He traveled the country visiting small playhouses and colleges, speaking about his life and experiences as a father, a celebrity, and as an actor.
? Gregory Peck
passed away on June 12th, 2003, at the age of 87 .
? Para.1 ? This
paragraph is a general introduction of Gregory Peck both as a famous Hollywood star and as a symbol of the American man at his best. ? Q: Why is Peck viewed as a symbol of American man at his best? ? A: Because the characters he creates represent moral courage and traditional values.
"a pillar of moral courage" ---This indicates Peck's prominent position in supporting moral courage. ? 2) "with compelling stories of strength and masculinity" ---with exciting and interesting stories that convey the s
trength and male beauty of his characters .
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (1)
? ? ? ? ?
celebrated: famous, widely known and esteemed Miss Green was a celebrated society hostess and her parties are remembered to this day. In the party the celebrated writer and his wife were conspicuous by their absence. He is celebrated for his fine acting. pantheon (formal)a small group of people
who are the most famous, important and admired in their particular area of activity
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (2)
to love deeply and feel proud of ? She adores her grandchildren and is always buying them presents. ? All the girls in our school adore the handsome mathematics teacher who happens to be a bachelor. ? The boys adore their mothers. ? adorable: adj. very lovely, cute ? 胖嘟嘟的孩子摇摇摆摆走路的样子实在太可爱了。
way the chubby baby toddles is just adorable.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (3)
at one’s best: the greatest effort or highest achievement or standard that he/she is capable of At his best, Peter is one of the most exciting soccer players in the world to watch. Mary is at her best when she is playing the violin. The documentary was an example of investigative journalism at its best.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (4)
? ? ?
moral: concerning principles of right and wrong behavior and difference between good ad evil We follow the moral laws laid down by our religion. Everything that he writes has a high moral purpose. We differ about moral standards . A baby isn't born with a moral sense. Human beings are moral individuals.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (5)
compelling: being very exciting and interesting
His recent film is a compelling account of life under British colonial rule. I found the whole film very compelling. a compelling story If a reason, argument, etc. is compelling, it makes you believe it or accept it because it is so strong: compelling evidence It's a fairly compelling argument for going.
paragraph narrates Peck’s life before he graduated from high school. ? “maternal grandmother”: grandmother on one’s mother’s side ? maternal love / paternal love ? maternity / paternity n.
paragraph is mainly about Peck's decision to be an actor and his early experiences on the stage. ? Q1: What made Peck decide to be an actor? ? A1: Peck realized that his real interest was in writing and acting, and he had a natural gift as an actor and storyteller. ? Q2: Were Peck's early experiences of acting very successful? When was the turning point? ? A2: Peck's early experiences on the stage were not very successful. His turning point came with his starring in Days of Glory and The Keys of the Kingdom.
"premed student" : pre-medical student. ? 2) " something bigger" : something more influential. ? 3) "be doomed to do something/for something" is synonymous to "
be destined to do something/for something". ? 4) "... short runs" : A run of a play is the period of time during which performances are given. Here the sentence means those plays were not successful. ? e. g. After a month's run in Shanghai, the show transferred to Nanjing.
Debut:when someone performs or presents something to
the public for the first time She made her professional stage debut in Swan Lake. He started as an actor, making his debut as a director in 1990.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (6)
destined: intended, esp. by fate, for some special purpose They were destined never to meet again. Hollywood is the ultimate destination for those destined to become stars. She was convinced that her little boy was destined to become President. His work was destined never to succeed.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (7)
recognize: to accept or agree that something is true or real The firm recognized Tom's outstanding work by giving him an extra bonus. His thorough knowledge and competence were recognized. British medical qualifications are recognized in many countries through out the world.
paragraph is about the ascent of Peck's fame as a gifted actor during the 1940s. ? "... brought him his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor" : Peck gained five Oscar nominations for Best Actor; The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), Twelve O'clock High (1949) and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), the last of which won him an Oscar Award for Best Actor.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (8)
concern: worry, anxiety There is growing concern over the effect of computer games on children’s behavior. She desperately tried to hide her deep concern for the lost necklace. He shows little concern for his son’s education.
? ? ? ? ?
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (9)
meditation: the act of thinking deeply Meditation is an essential way of practicing Taoism. Very often I would be completely lost in meditation. Meditate v. 佛祖年轻时就花很多时间沉思生命的意义。
As a young man, Buddha spent a lot of time meditating upon the meaning of life.
He meditates on his past life. ? As a young man, he had spent a lot of time meditating upon the purpose of life.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (8)
Validation: the act of making legal, affirmation ? External validation of the teachers‘ assessments is recommended. 建议对教师的评估进行外部审核。
validation: n. the act of validating 确认 ? valid——validate——validation
paragraph explains why Peck is adored by his audience and that's because of the image he created on the screen — the typical mid-century American man, romantic and tough. ? "... the good-looking romantic lead across from Audrey Hepburn as well as the rugged World War II bomber commander" : Here the "lead" refers to the principal roles Peck played in t
he films Roman Holiday and Twelve O'clock High in which he co-starred with Audrey Hepburn. Here "across from" means "opposite".
n. the male leader of a family, clan,
or tribe 族长，男性家长 →matriarch ? In a prototypical soap opera, there is always a patriarch who seems the wisest and most responsible among all the members. ? patriarchy: 父权制社会，男权社会 ? She rails against patriarchy and hierarchy. ? patriarchal: adj. ? Many contemporary Chinese novels portray China in the 30s to be a patriarchal society.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (10)
portray: v. to represent or describe someone or something in a painting, film, book or other artistic work:
The painting portrays a beautiful young woman in a blue dress.
The writer portrays life in a small village at the turn of the century. He portrays James Bond as a man of action who can be both ruthless and compassionate. portray sb as sth The father in the film is portrayed as a fairly unpleasant character. His latest film is a fairly grim portrayal of war-time suffering.
? ? ? ?
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (11)
Demeanor / demeanour: behavior towards others;a way of looking and behaving:
There was nothing in his demeanor that suggested he was anxious. ? She has the demeanor of a woman who is contented with her life.
He was only in his early thirties, but already had the demeanor and failing constitution of an aging invalid.
This paragraph introduces Peck's best film To Kill a Mockingbird, which won him an Oscar Award for Best Actor. "... addresses problems of racism and moral justice in personal and powerful ways. " : In the film, Peck plays the role of a lawyer (Atticus Finch) in a small town in Alabama. Pinch decides on principle to defend a black man charged with raping a poor white woman. But racists and the bigoted townspeople would rather lynch the accused than try him, and they make life hellish for the lawyer and his children. While their father is in the throes of trial, his bright, inquisitive children learn a hard and unforgettable lesson in justice, morality and prejudice.
speak to; deal with 向…致辞；谈及， 涉及，关于…问题 ? The issue of funding has yet to be addressed.资金问题尚未得到解决。 ? 他的发言谈的是“新三座大山”：教育，医疗和住 房。 ? His speech addresses the three major social problems, education, heath care and housing. ? 在各种场合都会冒出领导来致辞。 ? There are government officials showing up on all occasions to address the audience.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (12)
inhumane: not showing ordinary human kindness, esp. when it should be shown ? cruel and not caring about the suffering of people or animals: ? Conditions for prisoners were described as inhumane. ? Many people believe factory farming is inhumane.
The method of slaughtering chickens is now regard
ed by many as inhumane.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (13)
assertion(+that): a statement that you strongly believe is true ? I certainly don't agree with his assertion that men are better drivers than women.
The director could provide no evidence to back up his assertions. ? Their policies on education are really just a set of ill-informed assertions.
paragraph gives an account of Peck's life philosophy in relation to his acting career on the screen. ? Q: What is G.Peck’s understanding of life in wartime and what did he do about it in his film? ? A: To Peck, life in the wartime was profoundly complex, and in fact life has never been free from struggle or war; in his films he attempted to investigate theses complex struggles in order to offer some insightful understanding.
"... years of breathing life into characters such as... " : It means "years of vivid creation of characters such as... " ? 2) "... shed light on human possibility and social reality. " : It means "... make it easier for people to see what achievements man is capable of and what our society really is".
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (14)
breathe life into: to give life to, to make something exciting or full of life ? (Fig.)bring new ideas and energy to: We need some new people to breathe life into this project.
Her enthusiasm breathed new life into the company, which was about to go into bankruptcy. ? It is writers who breathe life into a story with their letters.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (15)
shed light on: to make something clearer, to clarify ? cast/shed/throw light on sth Something or someone that casts/sheds/throws light on a situation provides an explanation for it or information which makes it easier to understand:
As an economist, he was able to shed some light on the problem.
discoveries may shed light on the origins of the universe. ? New light has been shed on the behavior of the animal. ? 你们关于房地产的政策是怎样的？请赐教。
you shed some light on your real estate policy?
two paragraphs serve as a conclusion of the text.
celebrity: sb. who is famous, esp. in the entertainment business
? 她发现自己小有名气。 ? She
found herself something of a celebrity. ? 他从一个小丑演员一夜成名。 ? He became a celebrity over night from a clown.
LANGUAGE POINTS OF TEXT I (16)
Pass away: to die The well-known minister passed away last week; it was a great shock to all of us.
She's terribly upset because her father passed away this morning.
Key to Exercises
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III. Answer the following questions. 1. Because for more than fifty years Gregory Peck impresses his audiences with stories of strength and masculinity, and is viewed as a pillar of moral courage and a defender of traditional values. 2. It was not until 1944 that Peck showed his real talent ("something bigger")
in the two films Days of Glory and The Keys of the Kingdom, the latter of which brought him his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor. 3. The quintessential mid-century American man as represented by Peck and his characters was tough, caring and romantic. 4. According to Peck himself, his best film is To Kill A Mockingbird, because it gives attention to the lives of children and the importance of family. 5. He learns that life during wartime was profoundly complex and life can hardly be free from war and struggle. What he tries to do in most of his films is to investigate these complex struggles and create stories that shed light on human possibility and social reality.
Explain in your own words the following sentences taken from the text. ? 1. In playing his roles such as General MacArthur and Captain Ahab, he powerfully impressed his audiences with the strength and male beauty of his characters. ? 2. If he learnt something from the characters he vividly portrayed such as Captain Keith Mallory and General MacArthur, it was that life during wartime was extremely complex.
Explain the underlined part in each sentence in your own words. ? 1. the American man with his highest achievements or most attractive qualities ? 2. made his first appearance ? 3. make... clearer ? 4. making ... more exciting, vivid, or lively ? 5. was intended (by fate) for
Fill in the blanks with the appropriate forms of the given words. ? 1. morality ? 2. recognition ? 3. invalidated ? 4. portrayal ? 5. investigation
Choose the word that can replace the underlined part in each sentence without changing its original meaning. ? 1. A 2. C 3. B 4. D 5. D
Fill in the blank in each sentence with a word or phrase taken from the box in its appropriate form. ? 1. humanity ? 2. lead ? 3. investigated ? 4. demeanor ? 5. inhumane
Write in each space one word that has the same suffix as underlined in each given word. ? 1. aristocracy ? 2. Patriarchy ? 3. geology ? 4. telegraphy ? 5. empathy ? 6. politics
GRAMMATICAL ITEMS (1)
the use of the italicized parts in the following sentences. ? After graduating in 1939, he changed his name from Eldred to Gregory and moved to New York.
home, Peck’s stern presence made him one
of the screen’s great patriarchs.
an amiable and fun-loving man at
GRAMMATICAL ITEMS (2)
While continuing to act on television and in Hollywood throughout the 1980s and 1990s,
Peck has focused much of his energy on spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. …he was simultaneously a major voice against the Vietnam war, while remaining a
patriotic supporter of his son who was fighting there.
Translation exercises ? 大多数运动员在刚成年时进入顶峰时期。 （at one’s best) ? Most sportsmen are at their best during their early manhood. ? 尽管法律
上我不是他母亲，但我觉得道义上 有责任帮助他。（moral） ? I am not legally his mother, but I feel I have a moral responsibility to help him.
? ? ? ?
那部电影是那样的扣人心弦，我的目光一刻 都不能离开屏幕。（compelling) The film was so compelling that I could scarcely take my eyes off the screen. 命中注定他们彼此再也不能再相见。 （destined） They were destined by fate never to see each other again.
起初劳伦斯的小说早拒绝，但后来渐渐被公 众认为天才之作。（recognize） Laurence’s novels were rejected at first, but they later came to be recognized a works of genius. 人们常常发现菲利普独自一人坐在炉火前静 静的思索着。（meditate） Philip was often found sitting alone in front of the fire meditating quietly.
? ? ?
现代研究已使这个问题大为明朗化了 （shed light on） Modern research has shed great light on this question. 新经理的到来给公司注入了新的生命，于是 公司很快兴旺起来了。（breath life into） The coming of the new manager breathed new life into the company, and soon it prospered.
in the blank in each sentence with a word or phrase taken from the box in its appropriate form.
inhumane validate investigate demeanor humanity celebrated portray shed light on compelling lead
Nazi were accused of committing humanity crimes against _____________. ? He got an unexpected chance to play the lead ____________ in the film when the original star fell ill all of a sudden. ? We can assure you that your complaint will investigated be fully _______________.
chairman's serious demeanor public______________ is in sharp contrast with that of his humorous deputy. ? The international organization is protesting inhumane against he ____________ treatment of these prisoners.
Dictation ? One hundred years ago, people became famous for what they had achieved. Their accomplishments are still evident in our own way. Today’s celebrities, however, often do not become known for any enduring achievement. They are most highly publicized by the media. ? To become such a celebrity, one needs luck, not accomplishment. The hero was distinguished by his accomplishment; the celebrity by his image. The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name. ? It was closely tied to the rise of new forms of media --first photography, and later moving pictures, radio and television. With the arrival of television, the faces of the stars became as familiar as those we saw across the breakfast table. We came to know more about the lives of the celebrities. Less than seventy years after the appearance of the first moving pictures, the shift from hero-worship to celebrity-worship was complete.
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS OF TEXT II (1)
Have you se
en any films starred by Ingrid Bergman? What is your idea of her acting? What do you think is most important for an actor or actress?
COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS OF TEXT II (2)
Based on the passage, what do you think is the most striking part of Ingrid Bergman’s personality? According to the passage, the most striking part of Ingrid Bergman’s personality was perhaps her “ferocious dedication to her work”. Call the students’ attention to the fourth paragraph which contains a number of convincing examples and the last 5 paragraphs which describe how she confronted each of her last days “ with heart breaking gallantry” when she was working on her last film.
Discuss with one of your classmates on the following topics. ? If you were asked to list people who are generally admired by society, some seem bigger than life, others are celebrated for their achievements and moral strength, whom would you probably name?
Allan once said, “a celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.” What do you think of it?
WRITING PRACTICE (1)
you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television, newspapers, magazines, and other media pay too much attention to the personal lives of famous people such as public figures and celebrities. Use specific reasons and details to explain your opinion.
SAMPLE WRITING PRACTICE (1)
almost every form of media, including television, newspapers and magazines, a great deal of attention is paid to the personal lives of celebrities. It seems that the public cannot get enough of this kind of news. However, I believe that the media have a responsibility to present a balanced view of the world, as well as respect the lives of public figures. Therefore, I believe that the media pay too much attention to the personal lives of famous people.
The Media and Famous People
SAMPLE WRITING PRACTICE (2)
people who are fascinated with the lives of public figures there are some forms of media devoted exclusively to this topic. They can satisfy their curiosity by buying fan magazines and watching TV shows devoted to entertainment news. The general media should present all types of information because people have different interests.
SAMPLE WRITING PRACTICE (3)
Furthermore, the practice of dwelling on the private lives of celebrities can lead people to pay more attention to these matters than they otherwise would. Perhaps most importantly, the media should respect the privacy of every individual, including public figures. They may have chosen to be in the public eye, but that does not give the public the right to know everything about them.
SAMPLE WRITING PRACTICE (4)
Moreover, many stories about celebrities are untrue; they are only gossip reported to increase sales of magazines and other media. They are unfair to the famous and mislead the public.
MPLE WRITING PRACTICE (5)
For all of these reasons, I believe that the media should pay more attention to matters other than the private lives of public figures. In this way, they can appeal to a wider audience and encourage people to develop other interests. In my opinion, the media currently pay too much attention to the private lives of public figures.