Biologically, there is only one quality which distinguishes us from animals: the ability to laugh. In a universe which appears to be utterly devoid of humor, we enjoy this supreme luxury. And it is a luxury, for unlike any other bodily process, laughter does not seem to serve a biologically useful purpose. In a divide world, laughter is a unifying force. Human beings oppose each other on a great many issues. Nations may disagree about systems of government and human relations may be plagued by ideological factions and political camps, but we all share the ability to laugh. And laughter, in turn, depends on that most complex and subtle of all human qualities: a sense of humor Certain comic stereotypes have a universal appeal. This can best be seen from the world-wide popularity of Charlie Chaplin's early films. The little man at odds with society never fails to amuse no matter which country we come from. As that great commentator on human affairs, Dr. Samuel Johnson, once remarked, ' Men have been wise in very different modes; but they have always laughed in the same way.'
A sense of humor may take various forms and laughter may be anything from a refined tingle to an earth quaking roar, but the effect is always the same. Humor helps us to maintain a correct sense of values. It is the one quality which political fanatics appear to lack. If we can see the funny side, we never make the mistake of taking ourselves too seriously. We are always reminded that tragedy is not really far removed from comedy, so we never get a lop–sided view of things.
This is one of the chief functions of satire and irony. Human pain and suffering are so grim; we hover so often on the brink of war; political realities are usually enough to plunge us into total despair. In such circumstances, cartoons and satirical accounts of somber political events redress the balance. They take the wind out of pompous and arrogant politicians who have lost their sense of proportion. They enable us to see that many of our most profound actions are merely comic or absurd. We laugh when a great satirist like Swift writes about war in Gulliver's Travels. The Lilliputians and their neighbors attack each other because they can't agree which end to break an egg. We laugh because we meant to laugh; but we are meant to weep too. It is too powerful a weapon to be allowed to flourish.
The sense of humor must be singled out as man's most important quality because it is associated with laughter. And laughter, in turn, is associated with happiness. Courage, determination, initiative – these are qualities we share with other forms of life. But the sense of humor is uniquely human. If happiness is one of the great goals of life, then it is the sense of humor that provides the key.
1. The most important of all human qualities is
[A] a sense of humor.
[B] A sense of satire.
[C] A sense of laughter.
[D] A sense of history.
2. The author mentions about Charlie Chaplin's early films because
[A] they can amuse people.
[B] Human beings are different from animals.
[C] They show that certain comic stereotypes have a universal appeal.
[D] They show that people have the same ability to laugh.
3. One of the chief functions of irony and satire is
[A] to show absurdity of actions.
[B] to redress balance.
[C] to take the wind out of politicians.
[D] to show too much grimness in the world.
4. What do we learn from the sentence 'it is too powerful a weapon to be allowed to flourish in totalitarian regimes? '
[A] It can reveal the truth of political events with satire.
[B] It can arouse people to riot.
[C] It shows tragedy and comedy are related.
[D] It can make people laugh.
5. Who is Swift?
[A] A novelist.
[B] A poet.
[C] A dramatist.
[D] A essayist.
1. A 幽默感。文章一开始就提出人类有别于动物是人有笑的功能，世界纷争繁杂、人际关系因意识观点差异而对峙，国家制度不一，但人们都能笑。笑基于人类最复杂而又微妙的品质――幽默感。反过来说没有幽默感的人恐怕难以笑。第二段正式指出：幽默感表现形式多种多样，而笑可由微笑到狂笑种种，但其效果相同，幽默感有助于我们保持正确的价值观。这是政治狂热者所缺乏的特征。如果我们能看见滑稽可笑的一面，我们就不会犯过于看重自己的错误。我们总会记得悲剧离喜剧不愿，因此，我们不会有偏重某一测的观点。第四段画龙点睛的指出幽默是人类最重要的特征，因为它和笑声结合在一起。而笑又是和幸福联系在一起。勇气、决心、创造力特征，我们和其他生命形式共享，而幽默感是人类所独有的。如果幸福是我们生活的伟大目标，那幽默感就是开启幸福的钥匙。B.讽刺感。这是第三段讲的内容，讽刺的功能，但不是人类最重要的特征。C.笑感。D.历史观点。
2. C 作者提卓别林的电影的目的是证明某些喜剧模式对全世界都有吸引力。A.它可以取悦任何人。B.人类和动物不同。D.证明人有同样笑的功能。
3. B 使各种事情重新相等和均衡。第三段着重讲了这一点。人类在痛苦中挣扎，常处于战争的边缘。政治实现令人绝望，在这种处境中，对某些政治事物的讽刺挖苦和漫画可以使各种心理重新平衡，可使失去均衡感的政客地下高傲头颅;可使我看见许多深邃的事情荒谬可笑。A.表现行为的荒唐。C.使政治家气馁。D.表现世界上太多的令人沮丧之事。
4. A 它可以以讽刺的手法解释政治时间的真相。B.这可促使人民暴动。C.它表示了悲剧和喜剧相联系。D.它能使人哭。
5. A 小说家。B.诗人。C.戏剧家。D.散文家。
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