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六级写作经典范文及点评:The Almighty Dollar

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Echo

2015年06月11日

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  金钱要求你将自己的才智出售给他人的理智,而不是将你的缺点出售给他们的愚蠢。对待金钱要有正确的态度。也许金钱可以是你衡量自身能力的一种标准,却不是唯一的标准。

  The Almighty Dollar

  Political and technological developments are rapidly obliterating all cultural differences and it is possible that, in a not remote future, it will be impossible to distinguish human beings living on one area of the earth’s surface from those living on any other①, but our different pasts have not yet been completely erased and cultural differences are still perceptible. The most striking difference between an American and a European is the difference in their attitudes towards money. Every European knows, as a matter of historical fact, that, in Europe, wealth could only be acquired at the expense of other human beings②, either by conquering them or by exploiting their labor in factories. Further, even after the Industrial Revolution began, the number of persons who could rise from poverty to wealth was small: the vast majority took it for granted that they should not be much richer nor poorer than their fathers. In consequence, no European associates wealth with personal merit or poverty with personal failure.

  In the United States, wealth was also acquired by stealing, but the real exploited victim was not a human being but poor Mother Earth and her creatures who were ruthlessly plundered. It is true that the Indians were expropriated, but this was not, as it had always been in Europe, a matter of the conqueror seizing the wealth of the conquered, for the Indian had never realized the potential riches of his country. It is also true that, in the Southern states, men lived on the labor of slaves, but slave labor did not make them fortunes; what made slavery in the South all the more inexcusable was that, in addition to being morally wicked, it didn’t even pay off handsomely.

  Thanks to the natural resources of the country, every American, until quite recently, could reasonably look forward to making more money than his father, so that, if he made less, the fault must be his; he was either lazy or inefficient. What an American values, therefore, is not the possession of money as such, but his power to make it as a proof of his manhood; once he has proved himself by making it, it has served its function and can be lost or given away. In no society in history have rich men given away so large a part of their fortunes. A poor American feels guilty at being poor, but less guilty than an American rentier who has inherited wealth but is doing nothing to increase it; what can the latter do but take to drink and psychoanalysis?

  [432 words]

  行文点评

  作者威斯特·休·奥登(Wystan Hugh Auden)(1907—1973),英国诗人,文学评论家,20世纪30年代英国左翼青年作家领袖,40年代起思想向右转变,后期诗歌带有浓厚宗教色彩,1946年入美国国籍。

  本文比较了欧洲人的金钱观和美国人的金钱观。文章第一段就指明美国人和欧洲人之间有文化差异,而最明显的在于他们对待金钱的不同态度。紧接着作者先阐述了欧洲人对待金钱的态度。在第二段和第三段中,作者具体介绍了美国人的金钱观,从而得出结论:欧洲人靠剥削别人致富,美国人靠掠夺自然资源致富;欧洲人抓住金钱不放,美国人认为最重要的不是金钱本身而是赚钱的能力。本文又是一篇很好的comparison and contrast结构的范文。


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