剑桥雅思15Test3Passage3阅读原文翻译 Why fairy tales are really scary tales

剑桥雅思15Test3Passage3阅读原文翻译 Why fairy tales are really scary tales 为什么童话是真正可怕的故事


点击查看这篇雅思阅读对应的答案解析 与其中出现的高频词汇

雅思阅读真题词汇 剑桥雅思15 Test 3 Passage 3 童话的吸引力

剑桥雅思15Test3Passage3阅读答案解析 Why fairy tales are really scary tales 为什么童话故事实际是恐怖故事

剑桥雅思15 Test3 Passage3阅读原文翻译


People of every culture tell each other fairy tales but the same story often takes a variety of forms in different parts of the world. In the story of Little Red Riding Hood that European children are familiar with, a young girl on the way to see her grandmother meets a wolf and tells him where she is going. The wolf runs on ahead and disposes of the grandmother, then gets into bed dressed in the grandmother’s clothes to wait for Little Red Riding Hood. You may think you know the story – but which version? In some versions, the wolf swallows up the grandmother, while in others it locks her in a cupboard. In some stories Red Riding Hood gets the better of the wolf on her own, while in others a hunter or a woodcutter hears her cries and comes to her rescue.



The universal appeal of these tales is frequently attributed to the idea that they contain cautionary messages: in the case of Little Red Riding Hood, to listen to your mother, and avoid talking to strangers. ‘It might be what we find interesting about this story is that it’s got this survival relevant information in it,’ says anthropologist Jamie Tehrani at Durham University in the UK. But his research suggests otherwise. ‘We have this huge gap in our knowledge about the history and prehistory of storytelling, despite the fact that we know this genre is an incredibly ancient one,’ he says. That hasn’t stopped anthropologists, folklorists and other academics devising theories to explain the importance of fairy tales in human society. Now Tehrani has found a way to test these ideas, borrowing a technique from evolutionary biologists.

这些童话故事普世的吸引力通常被归功于他们所包含的警戒信息:以《小红帽》为例,就是要听妈妈的话,不要跟陌生人说话。“我们之所以觉得这个故事有趣,可能是因为它在其中包含了与生存相关的信息”,英国杜伦大学人类学家Jamie Tehrani说。但他的研究却表明并非如此。“我们对故事讲述的历史以及史前史的认知存在着巨大的空白,尽管我们知道这一体裁十分古老”,他说。但这并没有阻止人类学家,民俗学家和其他学者构建理论来解释童话故事在人类社会中的重要性。如今,Tehrani借用进化生物学家的方法,发现了一种测试这些观点是否正确的方式。


To work out the evolutionary history, development and relationships among groups of organisms, biologists compare the characteristics of living species in a process called ‘phylogenetic analysis’. Tehrani has used the same approach to compare related versions of fairy tales to discover how they have evolved and which elements have survived longest.



Tehrani’s analysis focused on Little Red Riding Hood in its many forms, which include another Western fairy tale known as The Wolf and the Kids. Checking for variants of these two tales and similar stories from Africa, East Asia and other regions, he ended up with 58 stories recorded from oral traditions. Once his phylogenetic analysis had established that they were indeed related, he used the same methods to explore how they have developed and altered over time.



First he tested some assumptions about which aspects of the story alter least as it evolves, indicating their importance. Folklorists believe that what happens in a story is more central to the story than the characters in it – that visiting a relative, only to be met by a scary animal in disguise, is more fundamental than whether the visitor is a little girl or three siblings, or the animal is a tiger instead of a wolf.



However, Tehrani found no significant difference in the rate of evolution of incidents compared with that of characters. ‘Certain episodes are very stable because they are crucial to the story, but there are lots of other details that can evolve quite freely, ‘ he says. Neither did his analysis support the theory that the central section of a story is the most conserved part. He found no significant difference in the flexibility of events there compared with the beginning or the end.



But the really big surprise came when he looked at the cautionary elements of the story. ‘Studies on hunter-gatherer folk tales suggest that these narratives include really important information about the environment and the possible dangers that may be faced there – stuff that’s relevant to survival,’ he says. Yet in his analysis such elements were just as flexible as seemingly trivial details. What, then, is important enough to be reproduced from generation to generation?

但他在研究该故事的警示元素时,真正令人吃惊的事情发生了。“对狩猎采集者的民间故事的研究表明,这些叙事中包含着有关环境以及那里可能存在的危险的重要信息 – 与生存相关的事项”,他说。然而,在他的分析中,这些元素文章来自与那些看似无关紧要的细节同样灵活多变。那么,究竟是什么东西重要到在一代又一代人中不断再现呢?


The answer, it would appear, is fear – blood-thirsty and gruesome aspects of the story, such as the eating of the grandmother by the wolf turned out to be the best preserved of all. Why are these details retained by generations of storytellers, when other features are not? Tehrani has an idea: ‘In an oral context, a story won’t survive because of one great teller. It also needs to be interesting when it’s told by someone who’s not necessarily a great storyteller.’ Maybe being swallowed whole by a wolf, then cut out of its stomach alive is so gripping that it helps the story remain popular, no matter how badly it’s told.



Jack Zipes at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, is unconvinced by Tehrani’s views on fairy tales. ‘Even if they’re gruesome, they won’t stick unless they matter,’ he says. He believes the perennial theme of women as victims in stories like Little Red Riding Hood explains why they continue to feel relevant. But Tehrani points out that although this is often the case in Western versions, it is not always true elsewhere. In Chinese and Japanese versions, often known as The Tiger Grandmother, the villain is a woman, and in both Iran and Nigeria, the victim is a boy.

明尼阿波利斯明尼苏达大学的Jack Zipes不认同Tehrani有关童话的观点。“即使这些情节很可怕,除非它们确实重要,否则也不会保留下来”,他说。他认为,在诸如《小红帽》这样的故事中,女性作为受害者这一反复出现的主题解释了它们为什么让人觉得与自己休戚相关。但Tehrani指出,虽然在西方故事中确实经常如此,但在别的地方却并不总是这样。在中国和日本通常被称为《虎外婆》的版本中,反派角色是名女性。而在伊朗和尼日利亚的版本中,受害者是名男孩。


Mathias Clasen at Aarhus University in Denmark isn’t surprised by Tehrani’s findings. ‘Habits and morals change, but the things that scare us, and the fact that we seek out entertainment that’s designed to scare us – those are constant,’ he says. Clasen believes that scary stories teach us what it feels like to be afraid without having to experience real danger, and so build up resistance to negative emotions.

丹麦奥尔胡斯大学的Mathias Clasen并不吃惊于Tehrani的发现。“习惯与道德会发生改变,但让我们恐惧的事情,以及我们寻求设计出来让我们感到恐惧的娱乐这一事实是永恒的”,他说。Clasen认为,恐怖故事让我们可以体会害怕的感觉而无需经历真正的危险,从而加强我们对负面情绪的抵抗力。

剑桥雅思15Test3Passage1阅读原文翻译 Henry Moore  亨利·摩尔

剑桥雅思15Test3Passage2阅读原文翻译 The Desolenator: producing clean water 净水设备

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply