5-8. They have an air of freedom, and they have not a dreary commitment to mean ambitions or love of comfort.



dreary:枯燥无味的;单调的;令人生厌的(dull and making you feel sad or bored),

a dreary meeting 枯燥的会议

mean:卑鄙的(cruel and not kind),

a mean motive 卑鄙的动机

It is mean to spread gossip about others.

5-9. They are not anxious social climbers, and they have no devotion to material things.



devotion:专心,热心,专心(the loyalty that you show towards a person, job etc, especially by working hard),

sb.’s devotion of time and money to the project

Two devotions have filled her life.

5-10. All this seems to me to link them with life, and the origins of things.


【讲解】all this seems to me to link…中to me乃插入语。link…with…意为“把……同……联系起来”。them指年轻人。


origin:起源;来源;由来,起因(the place or situation in which something begins to exist),

the origin of the universe 宇宙的起源
a word of Latin origin 源自拉丁语的词语

5-11. It's as if they were, in some sense, cosmic beings in violent and lovely contrast with us suburban creatures.


【讲解】as if they were…suburban creatures是表语从句,were是虚拟语气结构。in violent and lovely contrast with作定语修饰cosmic beings。suburban creatures作us的同位语,注意这里作者用creatures(生物)指人,即“以种代类”,属提喻(synecdoche)修辞手法。


suburban:有郊区(人)特点的;<贬>平淡乏味的;古板的(boring and typical of people who live in the suburbs),

a suburban lifestyle 郊区生活方式

5-12. All that is in my mind when I meet a young person.


【讲解】all that is in my mind中all that指上文提到的事。a young person中的a表示类别,意即“年轻人”,不是指某个年轻人。

5-13. He may be conceited, ill-mannered, presumptuous or fatuous, but I do not turn for protection to dreary clichés about respect of elders—as if mere age were a reason for respect.


【讲解】he乃承a young person而选用。to turn to…for …为……求助于……。for protection作turn的目的状语,位置提前是为了使句子更加紧凑。dreary clichés about respect of elders作to的宾语。about respect of elders作clichés的定语。for elders作respect的定语。句中的破折号引出被强调的部分。


conceited:自负的,自高自大的,骄傲自满的(someone who is conceited thinks they are very clever, skillful, beautiful etc),名词形式为conceit。

presumptuous:专横的,自行其是的,傲慢的,冒昧的,放肆的(doing sth. that you have no right to do and that seems rude),

It would be presumptuous for anybody to offer such a view.

fatuous:愚笨的,昏庸的,蠢的(very silly or stupid),名词形式为fatuity,

fatuous talk 昏话
Television commercials seem more fatuous than ever.

5-14. I accept that we are equals, and I will argue with him, as an equal, if I think he is wrong.



equal:同等的人(someone who is as important, intelligent etc as you are, or who has the same rights and opportunities as you do),

Mix with your equals or betters. 与同你相仿或更好的人交往。