master the key language points
and grammatical structures in the
understand the main idea,
structure of the text and the
author’s writing style
understand the significance of life
Topics for discussion
Can an invalid lead a happy life?
How would you show your
appreciation if somebody helps you
when you are in trouble?
What is your ideal life?
Main idea of Fourteen Steps
Hal Manwaring was a crippled man who needed a
crutch to get around. One dark rainy night, as he
was driving home, a tire blew on his car and forced
him off the road. Noticing a light on in a nearby
house, he thumped slowly along the shoulder to
see if someone there could help him. He was
feeling sorry for himself that a crippled man should
be so inconvenienced.
Hal said he was overcome with horror
as the situation played over and over in
his mind driving home. He had used his
crutch as an excuse and the old man
never gave a moments concern that he
when a little girl opened the door of the house. He
called out that he had a flat tire and couldn’t
change it because of his handicap. The little girl
went back in the house and soon emerged with an
old man who, with the little girl’s help, changed the
tire in the pouring rain. Hal offered to pay the old
man, but was refused. Nevertheless Hal held out a
$20 bill, but the old man didn’t make any move to
take it. The little girl came closer to the window
and whispered, “he can’t see. Grandpa is blind,”
An integrated analysis of Text 1
Basically, the story falls into four parts.
Part 1(Para.1-2): these two paragraphs
are about the author’s first which could be
further divided into two phases: the first
phase was a hard struggle to make a living,
the second phase was “a pleasant dream”,
because the author had everything that a
happy life can offer.
Part 2(Para.3-5): In these three
paragraphs, the author depicts his life
afflicted by the disease, especially the
difficulty in climbing the 14 steps.
describes how the author got a flat
tire in a stormy night and his
desperate need for help.
Part4(Para9-10): these two
paragraphs concluding paragraphs
are the author’s reflection on the
incident and his life philosophy, from
which he discovered the true value of
1. …a cat has nine lives (Paragraph 1): an
English proverb which indicates that cats are
very tough. They seem able to survive
accidents and hardships.
God knows how he’s still alive. He must have
nine lives like a cat.
2. …the enormity of the situation swept
all over me (Paragraph 6): …the
seriousness and helplessness of the situation
3. In the next few…I had never felt before.
(Paragraph 9): In the next few seemingly never-
ending seconds I was never so overwhelmed
by such shame and horror.
4. …all things whatever…so to them (Paragraph
10): originally taken from the Bible which is
interpreted as “do to other people whatever you
would like them to do to you.” The converse
part of the saying is: “do not do to other people
whatever you wouldn’t like them to do to you.”
Words and phrases
1. be inclined to: to be likely or tend to p1
Middle-class victims are more inclined to
contact the police.
I don’t feel inclined to talk to him.
be inclined to/forward be inclined for
2. care for: to look after
He is very good at caring for sick old people.
Caring for a nervous injured bird requires a
lot of patience.
1) to make unable to move or act
He is paralyzed by fear.
2) to impair the progress or functioning of
sth.; to make sth. inoperative or powerless
Business is totally paralyzed.
3. afflict: to cause severe suffering or pain
The old man was afflicted with blindness.
Pollution might be one of the major problems
currently afflicting Third World countries.
4. with the aid of: with the help of
The bacteria can only be seen with the aid of
a high-power microscope.
5. install: to set up
The cost of installing a computer system
can be justified in terms of greater
All gas stations have now installed pumps
for leaded petrol.
6. to a degree: partly
To a degree this course of action was
forced upon her.
7. utterly: completely
Without UN help it would have been
utterly impossible to arrange the
We utterly reject the philosophy of
compulsory wage control.
8. disillusioned: disappointed
Disillusioned by his team’s performance,
the manager resigned.
Impossibly high expectations of the new
regime have left many voters
9. hold on to: to keep one’s grip on; not to let go
Hold on to your ticket—you might need it on
the return journey.
10.lead up to: to come before and result in
The book describes the trial and the events
leading up to it in great detail.
11. steer: to control
She has steered the company away from
12. jerk: to pull suddenly and quickly
He jerked the string and the light came on.
13. swerve: to turn suddenly to one side
The driver swerved sharply to avoid hitting a
Next, the pitcher threw a curved ball, which
swerved away from me as I lunged forward to
14 .sweep: to move quickly and smoothly
A wave of panic swept over her.
A new dance craze swept the country.
15. bundle: to quickly push something or someone
He had been bundled into the back of a
Volkswagen by three masked men.
There had just been time to bundle his
bloodstained jacket and gloves into the washing
16. slacken: to become slower or less active
The train slackened speed as we approached
we slackened our pace as we reached the
17: jack up: to lift with a jack
Why don’t you jack it up and we’ll have a
look at the suspension?
18: frail: weak and poor in health
A frail old woman with a walking stick
came slowly down to the gate to meet us.
His frail arm could barely hold his arm.
19. penetrate: to enter or pass (into or through)
Light cannot penetrate a brick wall.
Our eyes could not penetrate the darkness.
20. overflow with: to be very full of
Kerry handed me a glass overflowing with
wine, trying not to let it spill on the carpet.
Mother Teresa was respected by the people
because she had a heart overflowing with
21. indifference: not caring about
Though thoroughly apprehensive, he put on a
show of indifference.
All our requests for government help have
been met with complete indifference.
As we know, according to the author he has
three lives, through each of which he has
different life experiences physically and mentally.
Now work in pairs and discuss how he differs in
each of the three phases according to the
information given in the table. Find as many
words as possible that illustrate the differences.
When you finish in ten minutes you are going to
report to the class by both writing your words on
the board and presenting orally.
Physical condition Attitude
Text-based Translation Exercises
1. English into Chinese:
1) I became afflicted with a slowly progressive
disease of the motor nerves, affecting first
my right arm and leg, then my other side.
2) I managed to keep my health and optimism, to
a degree, because of fourteen steps.
3) Those steps were a gauge of life. They were
2. Chinese into English
和力量的人(a man of…)。
4) 现在雨似乎在一点点减弱 。(slacken)。
1) You might think that here walked a man
of courage and strength.
2) As I became older, I became more
disillusioned and frustrated.
3) The though that a passing motorist might
stop was dismissed at once.
4) The rain seemed to be slackening a bit
Questions for consideration
What do you live for? Recall an
experience that you have overcome
Topics for discussion about Text 2:
What do you think made the author
stand up again?
Do you believe in power of belief?
Please illustrate your point with