新视野大学英语2读写教程课文unit 5 Stop Spoiling Your Children
Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.
Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.
1) Who are the characters in this story and what is their relationship to each other?
2) What are the effects of smoking?
3) What does “victory” mean in this story?
Weeping for My Smoking Daughter
My daughter smokes. While she is doing her homework, her feet on the bench in front of her and her calculator clicking out answers to her geometry problems, I am looking at the half-empty package of Camels tossed carelessly close at hand. I pick them up, take them into the kitchen, where the light is better, and study them — they're filtered, for which I am grateful. My heart feels terrible. I want to weep. In fact, I do weep a little, standing there by the stove holding one of the instruments, so white, so precisely rolled, that could cause my daughter's death. When she smoked Marlboros and Players I hardened myself against feeling so bad; nobody I knew ever smoked these brands.
She doesn't know this, but it was Camels that my father, her grandfather, smoked. But before he smoked cigarettes made by manufacturers — when he was very young and very poor, with glowing eyes — he smoked Prince Albert tobacco in cigarettes he rolled himself. I remember the bright-red tobacco tin, with a picture of Queen Victoria's partner, Prince Albert, dressed in a black dress coat and carrying a cane.
By the late forties and early fifties no one rolled his own anymore (and few women smoked) in my hometown of Eatonton, Georgia. The tobacco industry, coupled with Hollywood movies in which both male and female heroes smoked like chimneys, completely won over people like my father, who were hopelessly hooked by cigarettes. He never looked as fashionable as Prince Albert, though; he continued to look like a poor, overweight, hard working colored man with too large a family, black, with a very white cigarette stuck in his mouth.
I do not remember when he started to cough. Perhaps it was unnoticeable at first, a little coughing in the morning as he lit his first cigarette upon getting out of bed. By the time I was sixteen, my daughter's age, his breath was a wheeze, embarrassing to hear; he could not climb stairs without resting every third or fourth step. It was not unusual for him to cough for an hour.
My father died from "the poor man's friend", pneumonia, one hard winter when his lung illnesses had left him low. I doubt he had much lung left at all, after coughing for so many years. He had so little breath that, during his last years, he was always leaning on something. I remembered once, at a family reunion, when my daughter was two, that my father picked her up for a minute — long enough for me to photograph them — but the effort was obvious. Near the very end of his life, and largely because he had no more lungs, he quit smoking. He gained a couple of pounds, but by then he was so slim that no one noticed.
When I travel to Third World countries I see many people like my father and daughter. There are large advertisement signs directed at them both: the tough, confident or fashionable older man, the beautiful, "worldly" young woman, both dragging away. In these poor countries, as in American inner cities and on reservations, money that should be spent for food goes instead to the tobacco companies; over time, people starve themselves of both food and air, effectively weakening and hooking their children, eventually killing themselves. I read in the newspaper and in my gardening magazine that the ends of cigarettes are so poisonous that if a baby swallows one, it is likely to die, and that the boiled water from a bunch of them makes an effective insecticide.
There is a deep hurt that I feel as a mother. Some days it is a feeling of uselessness. I remember how carefully I ate when I was pregnant, how patiently I taught my daughter how to cross a street safely. For what, I sometimes wonder; so that she can struggle to breathe through most of her life feeling half her strength, and then die of self-poisoning, as her grandfather did?
There is a quotation from a battered women's shelter that I especially like: "Peace on earth begins at home." I believe everything does. I think of a quotation for people trying to stop smoking: "Every home is a no smoking zone." Smoking is a form of self-battering that also batters those who must sit by, occasionally joke or complain, and helplessly watch. I realize now that as a child I sat by, through the years, and literally watched my father kill himself: surely one such victory in my family, for the prosperous leaders who own the tobacco companies, is enough.