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当前位置:查字典高考网>高考总复习>高考英语复习方法>英文小说连载《朗读者The Reader》Part 2 Chapter 11

英文小说连载《朗读者The Reader》Part 2 Chapter 11

来自:查字典高考网 2019-01-07

O NCE HANNA admitted having written the report, the other defendants had an easy game to play. When Hanna had not been acting alone, they claimed, she had pressured, threatened, and forced the others. She had seized command. She did the talking and the writing. She had made the decisions.

The villagers who testified could neither confirm nor deny this. They had seen that the burning church was guarded by several women who did not unlock it, and they had not dared to unlock it themselves. They had met the women the next morning as they were leaving the village, and recognized them as the defendants. But which of the defendants had been the spokeswoman at the early-morning encounter, or if anyone had played the role of spokeswoman, they could not recall.

But you cannot rule out that it was this defendantthe lawyer for one of the other defendants pointed at Hannawho took the decisions?

They couldnt, how could they even have wanted to, and faced with the other defendants, visibly older, more worn out, more cowardly and bitter, they had no such impulse. In comparison with the other defendants, Hanna was the dominant one. Besides, the existence of a leader exonerated the villagers; having failed to achieve rescue in the face of a fiercely led opposing force looked better than having failed to do anything when confronted by a group of confused women.

Hanna kept struggling. She admitted what was true and disputed what was not. Her arguments became more desperate and more vehement. She didnt raise her voice, but her very intensity alienated the court.

Eventually she gave up. She spoke only when asked a direct question; her answers were short, minimal, sometimes beside the point. As if to make clear that she had given up, she now remained seated when speaking. The presiding judge, who had told her several times at the beginning of the trial that she did not need to stand and could remain seated if she preferred, was put off by this as well. Towards the end of the trial, I sometimes had the sense that the court had had enough, that they wanted to get the whole thing over with, that they were no longer paying attention but were somewhere else, or rather hereback in the present after long weeks in the past.

I had had enough too. But I couldnt put it behind me. For me, the proceedings were not ending, but just beginning. I had been a spectator, and then suddenly a participant, a player, and member of the jury. I had neither sought nor chosen this new role, but it was mine whether I wanted it or not, whether I did anything or just remained completely passive.

Did anythingthere was only one thing to do. I could go to the judge and tell him that Hanna was illiterate. That she was not the main protagonist and guilty party the way the others made her out to be. That her behavior at the trial was not proof of singular incorrigibility, lack of remorse, or arrogance, but was born of her incapacity to familiarize herself with the indictment and the manuscript and also probably of her consequent lack of any sense of strategy or tactics. That her defense had been significantly compromised. That she was guilty, but not as guilty as it appeared.

Maybe I would not be able to convince the judge. But I would give him enough to have to think about and investigate further. In the end, it would be proved that I was right, and Hanna would be punished, but less severely. She would have to go to prison, but would be released soonerwasnt that what she had been fighting for?

Yes, that was what she had been fighting for, but she was not willing to earn victory at the price of exposure as an illiterate. Nor would she want me to barter her self-image for a few years in prison. She could have made that kind of trade herself, and did not, which meant she didnt want it. Her sense of self was worth more than the years in prison to her.

But was it really worth all that? What did she gain from this false self-image which ensnared her and crippled her and paralyzed her? With the energy she put into maintaining the lie, she could have learned to read and write long ago.

I tried to talk about the problem with friends. Imagine someone is racing intentionally towards his own destruction and you can save himdo you go ahead and save him? Imagine theres an operation, and the patient is a drug user and the drugs are incompatible with the anesthetic, but the patient is ashamed of being an addict and does not want to tell the anesthesiologistdo you talk to the anesthesiologist? Imagine a trial and a defendant who will be convicted if he doesnt admit to being left-handeddo you tell the judge whats going on? Imagine hes gay, and could not have committed the crime because hes gay, but is ashamed of being gay. It isnt a question of whether the defendant should be ashamed of being left-handed or gayjust imagine that he is.
















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