The sad young man 高英第二册

高英第二册第十课 课文+翻译

No aspect of life in the Twenties has been more commented upon and sensationally romanticized than the so-called Revolt of the Younger Generation. The slightest mention of the decade brings nostalgic recollections to the middle-aged and curious questionings by the young: memories of the deliciously illicit thrill of the first visit to a speakeasy, of the brave denunciation of Puritan morality, and of the fashionable experimentations in amour in the parked sedan on a country road; questions about the naughty, jazzy parties, the flask-toting "sheik," and the moral and stylistic vagaries of the "flapper" and the "drug-store cowboy." "Were young people really so wild?" present-day students ask their parents and teachers. "Was there really a Younger Generation problem?" The answers to such inquiries must of necessity be "yes" and "no"--"Yes" because the business of growing up is always accompanied by a Younger Generation Problem; "no" because what seemed so wild, irresponsible, and immoral in social behavior at the time can now be seen in perspective as being something considerably less sensational than the degenerauon of our jazzmad youth.

2 Actually, the revolt of the young people was a logical outcome of conditions in the age: First of all, it must be remembered that the rebellion was not confined to the Unit- ed States, but affected the entire Western world as a result of the aftermath of the first serious war in a century. Second, in the United States it was reluctantly realized by some- subconsciously if not openly -- that our country was no longer isolated in either politics or tradition and that we had reached an international stature that would forever prevent us from retreating behind the artificial walls of a provincial morality or the geographical protection of our two bordering oceans.

3 The rejection of Victorian gentility was, in any case, inevitable. The booming of American industry, with its gigantic, roaring factories, its corporate impersonality, and its largescale aggressiveness, no longer left any room for the code of polite behavior and well-bred morality fashioned in a quieter and less competitive age. War or no war, as the generations passed, it became increasingly difficult for our young people to accept standards of behavior that bore no relationship to the bustling business medium in which they were expected to battle for success. The war acted merely as a catalytic agent in this breakdown of the Victorian social structure, and by precipitating our young people into a pattern of mass murder it released their inhibited violent energies which, after the shooting was over, were turned in both Europe and America to the destruction of an obsolescent nineteenth-century society.

4 Thus in a changing world youth was faced with the challenge of bringing our mores up to date. But at the same time it was tempted, in America at least, to escape its responsibilities and retreat behind an air of naughty alcoholic sophistication and a pose of Bohemian immorality. The faddishness , the wild spending of money on transitory pleasures and momentary novelties , the hectic air of gaiety, the experimentation in sensation -- sex, drugs, alcohol, perversions -- were all part of the pattern of escape, an escape made possible by a general prosperity and a post-war fatigue with politics, economic restrictions, and international responsibilities. Prohibition afforded the young the additional opportunity of making their pleasures

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