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3687.American Society and Culture through short stories.

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Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Society and Culture
through short stories
Учебно-методическое пособие
N.Yu. Khlyzova
American Studies Department
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
УДК 811.111
ББК 81.432.1-923
К 42
Печатается по решению редакционно-издательского совета Иркутского
государственного лингвистического университета
Рецензенты: Хилалова Н.Г., канд. филол. наук, доцент
иностранных языков и лингводидактики ФГБОУ ВПО «ВСГАО»;
Дюндик Ю.Б., канд. филол. наук, доцент кафедры американистики ФГБОУ
К 42 American Society and Culture through short stories. [Текст]:
учебно-методическое пособие / авт.-сост. Н.Ю. Хлызова. – Иркутск:
ИГЛУ, 2014. − 68 с.
Учебно-методическое пособие, составленное на материале рассказов
американских писателей, содержит описание системы ценностей, социальных
реалий, менталитета американского общества; раскрывает условия реальной
жизни представителей разных социальных слоев и эпох; знакомит с культурой
и литературой страны изучаемого языка, расширяет кругозор. К каждому
рассказу разработаны упражнения нескольких типов, направленные на развитие
умений поискового чтения, ознакомительного и чтения с полным пониманием
аналитической компетенций; критического мышления.
Пособие предназначено для студентов 2-го курса направления подготовки:
«Зарубежное регионоведение», «Лингвистика», а также тех, кто имеет базовый
уровень английского языка и интересуется американистикой.
УДК 811.111
ББК 81.432.1-923
© авт.-сост. Хлызова Н.Ю., 2014
© Иркутский государственный
лингвистический университет,
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
«GOODBYE, MY BROTHER» ............................................................................. 4
by John Cheever
«THE LEES OF HAPPINESS» ............................................................................. 10
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
«THE SEASIDE HOUSES» ................................................................................... 16
by John Cheever
«TRIALS OF A HOUSEKEEPER» ...................................................................... 22
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
«A CALL LOAN» ................................................................................................... 28
by O. Henry
«MY FIRST CAR» .................................................................................................. 35
by Andrew S. Guthrie
«A DOLLAR ON THE CONSCIENCE»...................................................................................... 40
by T.S. Arthur
«THE PURPLE DRESS» .................................................................................................................... 45
by O. Henry
«A FLUTTER IN EGGS» ................................................................................................................... 53
by Jack London
«I’M GOING TO ASIA» ........................................................................................ 61
by John Cheever
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by John Cheever
I. Read the story.
II. Match the words with their definitions:
a) Cruel, harsh and unfair government in which a person
or small group of people have power over everyone
10. freshman
b) Anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will
c) A strong feeling of fear, worry or sadness that is caused
by something unpleasant and unexpected.
d) A student who is in his or her first year at university or
e) An enclosed area of water in a port for the loading,
unloading and repair of ships.
f) Almost unbelievable, astounding, legendary.
g) A destructive wave of highly compressed air spreading
outward from an explosion.
h) Salty water, especially salty water that is used for
preserving food.
i) Very great extent or quantity, immense.
j) Not having any serious purpose or value.
III. Give the synonyms of the words:
Sibling, fabulous, asperity, dissolute, sordid, cousinage, bellicose, kid,
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IV. Give the derivatives where possible:
Illustrate the usage and meaning of the following word combinations:
a) to have least in common;
b) to past the age;
c) to keep smth going;
d) to settle her family;
e) to put our best foot forward;
f) a distinguished family.
Speak about the characters of the story:
 Describe the narrator of the story.
 Describe Lawrence.
 Describe their Mother.
 Describe Chaddy.
 Describe Diana.
 Describe the family.
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VII. Make a summary of the story.
VIII. Discuss the following questions:
Why does Father, and then everyone, call Lawrence Tifty?
What is the conflict of the story? Is it possible to solve it? Offer the ways.
Who is guilty of the situation in the family?
Is Lawrence right to say goodbye to everybody and everything he does not like?
What word repeats in the story? What does the author try to show?
What language does the author use?
What would you do if you were Lawrence’s brother? What can you do with a
man like that?
Is the end of the story predictable?
Will Lawrence come back?
11. Which character do you like more? Why?
12. Are you impressed with the story?
IX. Say if the statements are true or false. Provide evidence:
1. Mother lives in Philadelphia, and Diana, since her divorce, has been living in
Switzerland, but she comes back to the States in the summer to spend a month at
Laud’s Head.
2. Chaddy, who has done better than the rest of us, lives in New York, with Odette
and their children.
3. Our youngest brother, Lawrence, who is a lawyer, got a job with a Cleveland firm
after the war, and none of us saw him for three years.
4. We used to have a cottage there, and in the twenties our father bought the big
5. Mother lives in Philadelphia.
6. There was the costume dance at the flower club.
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7. I picked up a root and, coming at his back—although I have never hit a man from
the back before—I swung the root, heavy with sea water, behind me, and the
momentum sped my arm and I gave Chaddy a blow on the head.
8. The character of the narrator is portrayed as gloomy and judgemental.
9. In 1938, Lawrence went to Washington to work as a government lawyer, saying
goodbye to private enterprise, but after eight months in Washington he concluded
that the Roosevelt administration was sentimental and he said goodbye to it.
10. Their mother is an alcoholic. If she does not discipline herself, she’ll be in a
hospital in a year or two.
Replace Russian words by their English equivalents:
When we are at Laud’s Head, we play a lot of (нарды). At eight o’clock, after we
have drunk our coffee, we usually (начинать игру). In a way, it is one of our
(приятное времяпровождение). The lamps in the room are still (не включены),
Anna can be seen in the dark garden, and in the sky above her head there are
continents of (тень) and fire. Mother turns on the light and rattles the (игральная
кость) as a signal. We usually play three games apiece, each with the others. We play
(на деньги), and you can win or lose a hundred dollars on a game, but the (ставки)
are usually much lower. I think that Lawrence used to play, I cannot remember, but
he does not play anymore. He does not (играть в азартные игры). This is not
because he is poor or because he has any principles about gambling but because he
thinks the game is foolish and (пустая трата времени). He was ready enough,
however, to waste his time watching the rest of us play. Night after night, when the
game began, he pulled a chair up beside the (игральная доска), and watched the
checkers and the dice. His expression was (презрительный), and yet he watched
carefully. I wondered why he watched us night after night, and, through watching his
face, I think that I may have found out.
Lawrence does not gamble, so he cannot understand the (волнение) of winning
and losing money. He has forgotten how to play the game, I think, so that its complex
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odds cannot interest him. His (наблюдения) were bound to include the facts that
backgammon is an (бесполезный) game and a game of chance, and that the board,
marked with points, was a symbol of our (бесполезность).
Insert prepositions or adverbs.
We are a family that has always been very close ___ spirit. Our father was
drowned ___ a sailing accident when we were young, and our mother has always
stressed the fact that our familial relationships have a kind ___ permanence that we
will never meet ___ again. I don’t think ___ the family much, but when I remember
its members and the coast where they lived and the sea salt that I think is ___ our
blood, I am happy to recall that I am a Pommeroy – that I have the nose, the coloring,
and the promise ___ longevity—and that while we are not a distinguished family, we
enjoy the illusion, when we are together, that the Pommeroys are unique. I don’t say
any ___ this because I’m interested ___ family history or because this sense of
uniqueness is deep or important ___ me but ____ advance the point that we are loyal
___ one another ___ spite ___ our differences, and that any rupture __ this loyalty is
a source ___ confusion and pain.
XII. Perform the dialog. Express the feelings of the characters:
- “Isn’t the beach fabulous, Tifty?” Mother asked. “Isn’t it fabulous to be back? Will
you have a Martini?”
- “I don’t care,” Lawrence said. “Whiskey, gin – I don’t care what I drink. Give me a
little rum.”
- “We don’t have any rum,” Mother said. It was the first note of asperity.
She sensed the asperity and worked to repair it.
- “Would you like some Irish, Tifty dear?” she said.
- “Isn’t Irish what you’ve always liked? There is some Irish on the sideboard. Why
don’t you get yourself some Irish?”
- “I don't care” Lawrence said.
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XIII. Comment on the last passage of the story.
Try to predict the behavior of the characters in several years.
You work as a reporter. You are going to interview one of these
people: the narrator of the story, Chaddy, Diana, Lawrence, their
Mother, Odette, Helen, Ruth. Write 5 questions for the interview.
Compare two brothers: the narrator and Lawrence. Write your
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by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Read the story.
Comment on the meaning of the following word combinations. Find
them in the story. Make up your own sentences using them:
- wished life to be carefully skirted;
- in a head-on rush;
- live in one;
- bungalow people;
- Indian summer.
Match the words with their definitions:
1. marriage
A person on the holiday taken by a newly married couple.
2. honeymooner
b) The charging of real (or personal) property by a debtor to a
3. jealousy
creditor as security for a debt (esp. one incurred by the
4. mortgage
purchase of the property), on the condition that it shall be
5. spouse
returned on payment of the debt within a certain period.
6. divorce
7. rompers
8. devotion
The legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other
competent body.
d) The feeling of anger or bitterness that someone has when
they think that another person is trying to take a lover or
friend, or a possession, away from them.
A young child's one-piece outer garment.
The formal union of a man and a woman, typically
recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.
g) A husband or wife, considered in relation to their partner.
h) Love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or
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Match the words with opposite meaning:
Give the derivatives where possible:
Insert prepositions or adverbs if necessary:
1. Both their eyes filled ___ tears and they whispered love there ___ the broad night
as the serene streets ___ Marlowe sped ____.
2. There was no attempt to pass it ___easily.
3. Jeffrey was to take a week ___ all work was simply to loll, and sleep, and go on
long walks until this nervousness left him.
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4. Five days later, in the first cool ___ late afternoon, Jeffrey picked ___ an oak
chair and sent it crashing ___ his own front window.
5. A week later Harry appeared ___ Marlowe, arrived unexpectedly ___ five
o'clock, and coming ___ the walk sank ___ a porch chair ___ a state ___
6. All ____ once he collapsed ___ his chair and covered his face ___ his hands.
7. He wanted to throw her ___ and kick ___ her to tell ___ her she was a cheat and a
leech that she was dirty.
8. He reached ___ the wall for another biscuit and ___ an effort pulled it ___, nail
and all.
9. It was the girl's day ___ and Kitty had lain ___ her room eating chocolate drops.
10. There was no love ___ the woman except, strangely enough, ___ life, ___ the
people ___ the world, ___ the tramp ___ whom she gave food she could ill afford
to the butcher who sold her a cheap cut ___steak ___ the meaty board.
Speak about the characters of the story:
Describe Jeffrey Curtain.
Describe Roxanne Milbank.
Describe Harry Cromwell.
Describe Kitty Cromwell.
Make a summary of the story.
IX. Discuss the following questions:
1. Are Jeffrey and Roxanne a happy match? Harry and Kitty?
2. What do biscuits mean in the story? Are they symbolic?
3. Is Roxanne a one-man woman?
4. Will Roxanne and Harry end up together? Will they be apart?
5. Which character do you like more? Why?
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6. What stylistic devices does the author use?
7. What is the author's position towards the things described?
8. What is your attitude towards the story?
9. What proverbs can you give to describe the story?
Correct the mistakes if necessary:
A young actor (Jeffrey) marries a young writer (Roxanne). They are a happy
couple. A friend (Harry) comes to visit them in a hotel. Roxanne tries to make
pancakes. They are beautiful, but inedible. They decide to nail the pancakes to the
wall. Harry has a stroke. He never recovers. His wife takes care of him. Harry
continues to visit them. His wife leaves him and their son. Harry eats the biscuits off
the wall. After eight years Jeffry dies. Roxanne and Harry continue their long love
Replace Russian words by their English equivalents. Ask 8-10 special
questions to cover the contents.
After five minutes a little boy (идти, неуверенно держась на ножках) into the
parlor--a dirty little boy (одетый) in dirty pink rompers. His face was (чумазый).
Roxanne wanted to (взять к себе на колени) and (вытирать нос); other parts in the
of his head needed attention, his tiny shoes were kicked out at the (пальцы). (нет
слов)! "What a darling (малыш)!" exclaimed Roxanne, smiling (лучезарно). "Come
here to me." Mrs. Cromwell looked coldly at her son. "He will (пачкаться). Look at
that face!" She held her head on one side and regarded it critically. "Look at his
(ползунки)," (нахмуриться) Mrs. Cromwell.
Retell the story in the name of Roxanne Milbank.
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XIII. Title the main parts of the story:
1. It was a marriage of love. He was sufficiently spoiled to be charming; she was
ingenuous enough to be irresistible. Like two floating logs they met in a head-on
rush, caught, and sped along together. Yet had Jeffrey Curtain kept at scrivening
for twoscore years he could not have put a quirk into one of his stories weirder
than the quirk that came into his own life. Had Roxanne Milbank played three
dozen parts and filled five thousand houses she could never have had a role with
more happiness and more despair than were in the fate prepared for Roxanne
2. They moved out in April. In July Jeffrey's closest friend, Harry Cromwell same to
spend a week--they met him at the end of the long lawn and hurried him proudly
to the house. "I'm making biscuits," chattered Roxanne gravely. "Can you wife
make biscuits? The cook is showing me how. I think every woman should know
how to make biscuits. "Taste one. I couldn't bear to touch them before you'd seen
them all and I can't bear to take them back until I find what they taste like.
Absolutely bum!" Roxanne roared. He rushed to the kitchen and returned with a
hammer and a handful of nails.
3. Five days later, in the first cool of late afternoon, Jeffrey picked up an oak chair
and sent it crashing through his own front window. Then he lay down on the
couch like a child, weeping piteously and begging to die. A blood clot the size of
a marble had broken his brain. He could not move; he was stone blind, dumb and
totally unconscious. All day he lay in his bed, except for a shift to his wheel-chair
every morning while she straightened the room. His paralysis was creeping
slowly toward his heart. At first, for the first year, Roxanne had received the
faintest answering pressure sometimes when she held his hand--then it had gone,
ceased one evening and never come back, and through two nights Roxanne lay
wide-eyed, staring into the dark and wondering what had gone, what fraction of
his soul had taken flight, what last grain of comprehension those shattered broken
nerves still carried to the brain.
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4. With her husband's death had come a great physical restlessness. She missed
having to care for him in the morning, she missed her rush to town, and the brief
and therefore accentuated neighborly meetings in the butcher's and grocer's; she
missed the cooking for two, the preparation of delicate liquid food for him. One
day, consumed with energy, she went out and spaded up the whole garden, a
thing that had not been done for years.
5. They lingered for a moment just below the stoop, watching a moon that seemed
full of snow float out of the distance where the lake lay. Summer was gone and
now Indian summer. The grass was cold and there was no mist and no dew. After
he left she would go in and light the gas and close the shatters, and he would go
down the path and on to the village. To these two life had come quickly and gone,
leaving not bitterness, but pity; not disillusion, but only pain. There was already
enough moonlight when they shook hands for each to see the gathered kindness
in the other's eyes.
XIV. Make an illustration to the story. Describe or draw it.
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by John Cheever
Read the story.
Explain the meaning of the following words and word combinations:
To rent a house, to investigate the houses, to loom up, the midst of someone else’s
life, catboat, cradle, curved staircase, bay window, a haunted cottage, diminishing
income, drain.
III. Cross out the word that doesn’t belong in the same group:
dull, twilight, drab, dim;
stingy, mean, parsimonious, inescapable;
lamp, bulb, bra, chandelier;
bartender, caller, mechanic, guide;
attic, lighthouse, basement, pantry.
IV. Replace Russian words and word combinations by their English
equivalents. Ask special questions to cover the contents.
That night in the (гостиная), reading one of his books, I noticed that the
(диванные подушки) seemed unyielding. Reaching under them, I found three copies
of a magazine dealing with sunbathing. They were illustrated with many
(фотография) of men and women wearing nothing but their shoes. I put the
magazines into the (камин) and lighted them with a (спичка), but the paper was
(лощеный) and they burned slowly. Why should I be made so (зол), I wondered;
why should I seem so (поглощен) in this image of a lonely and drunken man? In the
(наверху в коридоре), there was a bad (запах), left perhaps by an unhouse broken
cat or a stopped (водосток), but it seemed to me like the distillate, the essence, of a
bitter (ссора). I slept (плохо).
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Think of the idea of the story. What is the author's message to the
Put the parts of the story in a proper order:
1. You could see at a glance that he was one of the legion of wage-earning ghosts
who haunt midtown Manhattan, dreaming of a new job in Madrid, Dublin, or
Cleveland. His hair was slicked down. His face had the striking ruddiness of a
baseball park or race-track burn, although you could see by the way his hands
shook that the flush was alcoholic. The bartender knew him, and they chatted for
a while, but then the bartender went over to the cash register to add up his slips
and Mr. Greenwood was left alone. He felt this. You could see it in his face. He
felt that he had been left alone. It was late, all the express trains would have
pulled out, and the rest of them were drifting in—the ghosts, I mean. God knows
where they come from or where they go, this host of prosperous and well-dressed
hangers-on who, in spite of the atmosphere of a fraternity they generate, would
not think of speaking to one another.
2. We had our first caller on Wednesday. This was Mrs. Whiteside, the Southern
lady from whom we got the key. She rang our bell at five and presented us with a
box of strawberries. Her daughter, Mary-Lee, a girl of about twelve, was with her.
Mrs. Whiteside was formidably decorous, but Mary-Lee had gone in heavily for
make-up. Her eyebrows were plucked, her eyelids were painted, and the rest of
her face was highly colored. I suppose she didn’t have anything else to do. I
asked Mrs. Whiteside in enthusiastically, because I wanted to cross-question her
about the Greenwoods. “Isn’t it a beautiful staircase?” she asked when she
stepped into the hall. “They had it built for their daughter’s wedding. Dolores was
only four at the time, but they liked to imagine that she would stand by the
window in her white dress and throw her flowers down to her attendants.” I
bowed Mrs. Whiteside into the living room and gave her a glass of sherry. “We’re
pleased to have you here, Mr. Ogden,” she said. “It’s so nice to have children
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running on the beach again. But it’s only fair to say that we all miss the
Greenwoods. They were charming people, and they’ve never rented before.
3. Each year, we rent a house at the edge of the sea and drive there in the first of the
summer — with the dog and cat, the children, and the cook — arriving at a
strange place a little before dark. The journey to the sea has its ceremonious
excitements, it has gone on for so many years now, and there is the sense that we
are, as in our dreams we have always known ourselves to be, migrants and
wanderers — travelers, at least, with a traveler’s acuteness of feeling. I never
investigate the houses that we rent, and so the wooden castle with a tower, the
pile, the Staffordshire cottage covered with roses, and the Southern mansion all
loom up in the last of the sea light with the enormous appeal of the unknown.
You get the sea-rusted keys from the house next door. You unfasten the lock and
step into a dark or a light hallway, about to begin a vacation — a month that
promises to have no worries of any kind. But as strong as or stronger than this
pleasant sense of beginnings is the sense of having stepped into the midst of
someone else’s life. All my dealings are with agents, and I have never known the
people from whom we have rented, but their ability to leave behind them a sense
of physical and emotional presences is amazing.
4. This is being written in another seaside house with another wife. I sit in a chair of
no discernible period or inspiration. Its cushions have a musty smell. The ashtray
was filched from the Excelsior in Rome. My whiskey glass once held jelly. The
table I’m writing on has a bum leg. The lamp is dim. Magda, my wife, is dyeing
her hair. She dyes it orange, and this has to be done once a week. It is foggy, we
are near a channel marked with buoys, and I can hear as many bells as I would
hear in any pious village on a Sunday morning. There are high bells, low bells,
and bells that seem to ring from under the sea. When Magda asks me to get her
glasses, I step quietly onto the porch. The lights from the cottage, shining into the
fog, give an illusion of substance, and it seems as if I might stumble on a beam of
light. The shore is curved, and I can see the lights of other haunted cottages where
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people are building up an accrual of happiness or misery that will be left for the
August tenants or the people who come next year. Are we truly this close to one
another? Must we impose our burdens on strangers? And is our sense of the
universality of suffering so inescapable? “My glasses, my glasses!” Magda
shouts. “How many times do I have to ask you to bring them for me?” I get her
glasses, and when she is finished with her hair we go to bed. In the middle of the
night, the porch door flies open, but my first, my gentle wife is not there to ask,
“Why have they come back? What have they lost?”
VII. Make a summary of the story.
VIII. Find the words that constantly repeat in the story. How do they help to
create the atmosphere?
Speak about the characters:
Describe the narrator of the story.
Describe Mr. Greenwood.
Say if the statements are true or false. Provide evidence:
1. Every summer the narrator, his wife and their children rent a house at the
seashore through an agency.
2. The narrator feels on the way in which each house he has rented retains the
personalities of its owners in bits of furniture, toys and personal items.
3. One summer they stayed at Broadmere, the house of a family named Whiteside.
4. Their neighbor told them that the family quarreled a lot, that their son had had to
get married, disappointing his parents.
5. The rent house was gloomy and depressed the narrator, so he returned to New
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6. In his office he saw a man enter who, from a picture he had seen at the house, he
recognized as Mr. Greenwood.
7. The narrator returned to the seashore, quarreled with his wife, walked out and
never saw her again.
8. This story is being written in another rent seaside house with another wife, who is
much more horrid than the first one.
Discuss the following questions:
1. Why does the narrator dislike the rent house at Broadmere?
2. Why does the image of the house owner trouble him?
3. What makes the narrator break his marriage?
4. What is your opinion of the narrator’s behavior?
5. Why is the story narrated by an unseen guide?
6. Can the things influence our life?
7. What stylistic devices does the author use?
Comment on the statements from the story:
1. All my dealings are with agents.
2. Our affairs are certainly not written in air and water, but they do seem to be
chronicled in scuffed baseboards, odors, and tastes in furniture and paintings, and
the climates we step into in these rented places are as marked as the changes of
weather on the beach.
3. Someone was enormously happy here, and we rent their happiness as we rent
their beach and their catboat.
4. Someone had written there, in a small hand, “My father is a rat. I repeat. My
father is a rat.”
5. He is in synthetic yarns.
6. She seemed to me monolithic, to possess some of the community’s biting teeth.
7. I had a hangover and felt painfully depraved, guilty, and unclean.
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8. I must have raised my voice, because I could hear Mrs. Whiteside calling MaryLee indoors and shutting a window.
9. But my first, my gentle wife is not there to ask, “Why have they come back?
What have they lost?”
XIII. Write a letter from the future to the narrator of the story warning him
about his actions and their consequences.
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by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Read the story.
Match the words with their definitions:
a) a
traditionally made of wooden staves with metal
hoops around them;
indentation in the center, on which a cup is placed;
b) plates, dishes, cups, and other similar items, esp.
ones made of earthenware or china;
c) a cylindrical container bulging out in the middle,
d) a maid who cleans bedrooms and bathrooms, esp. in
a hotel;
e) wave or flourish (something, esp. a weapon) as a
threat or in anger or excitement;
f) a large container, typically earthenware, glass, or
plastic, with a handle and a lip, used for holding and
pouring liquids;
g) polite, refined, or respectable, often in an affected or
ostentatious way;
h) a real or imagined wrong or other cause for
complaint or protest, esp. unfair treatment;
i) a drinking glass with straight sides and no handle or
j) a warm bed covering made of padding enclosed
between layers of fabric and kept in place by lines of
stitching, typically applied in a decorative design.
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Match the verbs with the nouns:
to put up in their places
to accomplish
to administer
to spit
to make
to set on
to sweep
to break
to wash
to burn
to scour
to tear
to attend
to fix
to sew
Write down all domestic chores mentioned in the story.
Give the derivatives where possible:
Read the following sentences and try to choose the best answer. Prove
your idea.
1. This story shows (that):
a) a detailed experience of a woman as a housekeeper;
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b) the best wife is a housewife;
c) housekeeping should be done by professionals;
d) domestic chores are exhausting.
2. What does it mean: “But now came up the great point of all. During our
confusion we had cooked and eaten our meals in a very miscellaneous and
pastoral manner”?
a) They were impolite.
b) They were extraordinary.
c) They were lazy.
d) They were new tenants.
3. Based on the tone of the story, which of the following words best describes the
narrator’s attitude toward housekeeping?
a) sentimental
b) comfortable
c) exhausted
d) destructive
Speak about the characters:
Describe the narrator of the story.
Describe her husband.
Describe the maid.
Describe her cook.
VIII. “Who said that?” Answer the questions:
1. "I am not going to another place. I expect to keep house myself." Whom did these
words refer to?
2. Who said: "My dear that she is an experienced cook, and so your troubles are
3. "Never saw a tin oven!" who said these words?
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4. Whom this reply belongs to: "I never see one of them things before."?
5. He gave to my view the picture of a great, staring Dutch girl, in a green bonnet
with red ribbons, with mouth wide open, and hands and feet that would have
made a Greek sculptor open his mouth too. Who was that woman?
Make a summary of the story.
Find an extract that does not belong to «Trials of a housekeeper» by
Harriet Beecher Stowe:
1. As usual, carpets were sewed and stretched, laid down, and taken up to be sewed
over; things were formed, and reformed, transformed, and conformed, till at last a
settled order began to appear. But now came up the great point of all. During our
confusion we had cooked and eaten our meals in a very miscellaneous and
pastoral manner, eating now from the top of a barrel and now from a fireboard
laid on two chairs, and drinking, some from teacups, and some from saucers, and
some from tumblers, and some from a pitcher big enough to be drowned in, and
sleeping, some on sofas, and some on straggling beds and mattresses thrown
down here and there wherever there was room.
2. As these were strangers from the city, who had come to make their first call, this
introduction was far from proving an eligible one--the look of thunderstruck
astonishment with which I greeted their first appearance, as I stood brandishing
the spit, and the terrified snuffling and staring of poor Mrs. Tibbins, who again
had recourse to her old pocket handkerchief, almost entirely vanquished their
gravity, and it was evident that they were on the point of a broad laugh; so,
recovering my self-possession, I apologized, and led the way to the parlor.
3. Not only is the amount in excess of the maximum sum the bank can loan any
individual legally, but it is absolutely without endorsement or security. Thus you
have doubly violated the national banking laws, and have laid yourself open to
criminal prosecution by the Government. A report of the matter to the
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Comptroller of the Currency--which I am bound to make--would, I am sure, result
in the matter being turned over to the Department of Justice for action.
4. At length the old woman vanished from the stage, and was succeeded by a
knowing, active, capable damsel, with a temper like a steel-trap, who remained
with me just one week, and then went off in a fit of spite. To her succeeded a
rosy, good-natured, merry lass, who broke the crockery, burned the dinner, tore
the clothes in ironing, and knocked down every thing that stood in her way about
the house, without at all discomposing herself about the matter. One night she
took the stopper from a barrel of molasses, and came singing off up stairs, while
the molasses ran soberly out into the cellar bottom all night, till by morning it was
in a state of universal emancipation. Having done this, and also despatched an
entire set of tea things by letting the waiter fall, she one day made her
5. We had one old woman, who staid a week, and went away with the misery in her
tooth; one young woman, who ran away and got married; one cook, who came at
night and went off before light in the morning; one very clever girl, who staid a
month, and then went away because her mother was sick; another, who staid six
weeks, and was taken with the fever herself; and during all this time, who can
speak the damage and destruction wrought in the domestic paraphernalia by
passing through these multiplied hands?
XI. Comment on the statement:
"What a fuss these women do make of this simple matter of managing a family! I
can't see for my life as there is anything so extraordinary to be done in this matter of
housekeeping: only three meals a day to be got and cleared off--and it really seems to
take up the whole of their mind from morning till night. I could keep house without
so much of a flurry, I know."
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XII. Discuss the following questions:
Why do the family need a help?
What is the problem with the helpers?
What is the genre of the story?
“What shall we do?” - asks the narrator. What can you advise to her?
What is in your opinion the moral of the story?
XIII. Write a brief critical assessment of the passage.
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by O. Henry
Read the story.
Match the words with their definitions:
a) To break or fail to comply with a rule or formal
have been met; an excess of production or supply over
b) A two-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle used in ancient
warfare and racing.
c) An amount of something left over when requirements
d) A signature on the back of a bill of exchange or cheque,
making it payable to the person who signed it.
e) An ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of
f) Money or property which is used as a guarantee that
someone will repay a loan.
g) An asset or assets to which a lender can have recourse
if the borrower defaults on the loan repayments.
h) The face, esp. when considered as expressing a
person's character or mood.
The quality of using money and other resources
carefully and not wastefully.
Money, cash.
Give synonyms of the following words:
Stampede, laird, to spend, increasing, to invest, to bank, costly, to loan, excess,
endorsement, worth, to accommodate.
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IV. Fill in the blanks with a suitable word from the vocabulary. Translate
the sentences into Russian:
Examiner; borrower; worth; cash; collateral; raise; income; profit.
1. They live beyond their _______.
2. Ann put up her house as _______for the loan.
3. Financial _______ ensure compliance with laws governing financial sheets,
evaluate the risk level of loans, and assess bank management.
4. In a loan, the _________ initially receives or borrows an amount of money, called
the principal, from the lender.
5. Those who have _______, come here to spend.
6. He would keep on working, as he had lately had a ______.
7. My personal ________ has jumped from $25bn a year ago to $64bn.
8. Many companies will _______from the fall in interest rates.
Put down:
a) the verbs that can be used with the word “money”;
b) the adjectives that describe the word “money”.
Look through the text once again, and:
1. Explain the idea of the sentences:
a) The cattleman was caught in a stampede of dollars.
b) The son-of-a-gun slipped in on us.
c) It is a man I've laid on the same blanket with in cow-camps and ranger-camps
for ten years.
d) Before this spy jumps onto you.
e) He was doomed to become a leading citizen.
Find in the text more idioms. Make your own sentences using them.
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VII. Give the derivatives where possible:
VIII. Speak about the characters of the story:
Describe Bill Longley.
Describe Tom Merwin.
Describe Mr. J. Edgar Todd.
IX. Make a summary of the story.
X. Answer the following questions:
1. What is the issue showed in this story?
2. What bad bit of paper is there in the First National Bank of Chaparosa?
3. What is a Call Loan?
4. What do you call a person who takes a loan?
5. Who are you sorry for?
6. What language does the author use?
7. What is the irony of the story?
8. What would there for you to spend money for?
9. What prevents some people from taking loans?
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XI. Say if the statements are true or false. Provide evidence:
1. Long Bill was a graduate of the camp and trail. Luck and thrift, a cool head, and a
telescopic eye for mavericks had raised him from cowboy to be a cowman.
2. One day a dyspeptic man, wearing double-magnifying glasses, inserted an
official-looking card between the bars of the cashier's window of Cooper & Craig
3. The bank examiner was shocked. It was, perhaps, his duty he stepped out to the
telegraph office and wired the situation to the Comptroller.
4. Longley broke into a run, and Merwin kept with him, hearing only a rather
pleasing whistle somewhere in the night rendering the lugubrious air of "The
Cowboy's Lament."
5. Merwin's brother sold the cattle for $29,000.
XII. Find ten factual mistakes and correct them:
Bill Merwin threw down his whip and went to one of the many banks in town, a
private one, run by Cooper & Craig.
"Cooper," he said, to the partner by that name, "I've got to have $25,000 to-day or
to-morrow. I've got a house, a market and lot there that's worth about $60,000 and
that's all the actual collateral. But I've got a gold deal on that's sure to bring me in
more than that much profit within a few days."
Cooper began to cough.
"Now, for God's sake don't say no," said Merwin. "I owe that much money on a
payday loan. It's been called, and the man that called it is a man I've laid on the same
blanket with in cow-camps and ranger-camps for twenty years. He can call anything
I've got. He can call my soul |and it'll come. He's got to have the money. He's in a
devil of a Well, he needs the money, and I've got to get it for him. You know my
word's good, Cooper."
"No doubt of it," assented Cooper, urbanely, "but I've a partner, you know. I'm not
free in making loans. And even if you had the best security in your hands, Merwin,
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we couldn't accommodate you in less than a month. We're just making a shipment of
$15,000 to Myer Brothers in Rockdell, to buy cattle with. It goes down on the
narrow-gauge to-night. That leaves our cash quite short at present. Sorry we can't
arrange it for you."
XIII. Title the parts of the story:
1. In those days the cattlemen were the anointed. They were the grandees of the
grass, kings of the kine, lords of the lea, barons of beef and bone. They might
have ridden in golden chariots had their tastes so inclined. The cattleman was
caught in a stampede of dollars. It seemed to him that he had more money than
was decent. But when he had bought a watch with precious stones set in the case
so large that they hurt his ribs, and a California saddle with silver nails and
Angora skin suaderos, and ordered everybody up to the bar for whisky – what
else was there for him to spend money for?
Not so circumscribed in expedient for the reduction of surplus wealth were those
lairds of the lariat who had womenfolk to their name. In the breast of the ribsprung sex the genius of purse lightening may slumber through years of
inopportunity, but never, my brothers, does it become extinct.
So, out of the chaparral came Long Bill Longley from the Bar Circle Branch on
the Frio--a wife-driven man--to taste the urban joys of success. Something like
half a million dollars he had, with an income steadily increasing.
Long Bill was a graduate of the camp and trail. Luck and thrift, a cool head, and a
telescopic eye for mavericks had raised him from cowboy to be a cowman. Then
came the boom in cattle, and Fortune, stepping gingerly among the cactus thorns,
came and emptied her cornucopia at the doorstep of the ranch.
2. "You see," said Longley, easily explaining the thing away, "Tom heard of 2000
head of two-year-olds down near Rocky Ford on the Rio Grande that could be
had for $8 a head. I reckon 'twas one of old Leandro Garcia's outfits that he had
smuggled over, and he wanted to make a quick turn on 'em. Those cattle are
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worth $15 on the hoof in Kansas City. Tom knew it and I knew it. He had $6,000,
and I let him have the $10,000 to make the deal with. His brother Ed took 'em on
to market three weeks ago. He ought to be back 'most any day now with the
money. When he comes Tom'll pay that note."
The bank examiner was shocked. It was, perhaps, his duty to step out to the
telegraph office and wire the situation to the Comptroller. But he did not. He
talked pointedly and effectively to Longley for three minutes. He succeeded in
making the banker understand that he stood upon the border of a catastrophe. And
then he offered a tiny loophole of escape.
"I am going to Hilldale's to-night," he told Longley, "to examine a bank there. I
will pass through Chaparosa on my way back. At twelve o'clock to-morrow I
shall call at this bank. If this loan has been cleared out of the way by that time it
will not be mentioned in my report. If not – I will have to do my duty."
3. At nine o'clock that night Tom Merwin stepped cautiously out of the small frame
house in which he lived. It was near the edge of the little town, and few citizens
were in the neighbourhood at that hour. Merwin wore two six-shooters in a belt,
and a slouch hat. He moved swiftly down a lonely street, and then followed the
sandy road that ran parallel to the narrow-gauge track until he reached the watertank, two miles below the town. There Tom Merwin stopped, tied a black silk
handkerchief about the lower part of his face, and pulled his hat down low.
In ten minutes the night train for Rockdell pulled up at the tank, having come
from Chaparosa.
With a gun in each hand Merwin raised himself from behind a clump of chaparral
and started for the engine. But before he had taken three steps, two long, strong
arms clasped him from behind, and he was lifted from his feet and thrown, face
downward upon the grass. There was a heavy knee pressing against his back, and
an iron hand grasping each of his wrists. He was held thus, like a child, until the
engine had taken water, and until the train had moved, with accelerating speed,
out of sight. Then he was released, and rose to his feet to face Bill Longley.
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"The case never needed to be fixed up this way, Tom," said Longley. "I saw
Cooper this evening, and he told me what you and him talked about. Then I went
down to your house to-night and saw you come out with your guns on, and I
followed you. Let's go back, Tom." They walked away together, side by side.
4. "I never thought I'd lay in a bush to stick up a train," remarked Merwin; "but a
call loan's different. A call's a call with me. We've got twelve hours yet, Bill,
before this spy jumps onto you. We've got to raise them spondulicks somehow.
Maybe we can--Great Sam Houston! do you hear that?"
Merwin broke into a run, and Longley kept with him, hearing only a rather
pleasing whistle somewhere in the night rendering the lugubrious air of "The
Cowboy's Lament."
"It's the only tune he knows," shouted Merwin, as he ran. "I'll bet--"
They were at the door of Merwin's house. He kicked it open and fell over an old
valise lying in the middle of the floor. A sunburned, firm-jawed youth, stained by
travel, lay upon the bed puffing at a brown cigarette.
"What's the word, Ed?" gasped Merwin.
"So, so," drawled that capable youngster. "Just got in on the 9:30. Sold the bunch
for fifteen, straight. Now, buddy, you want to quit kickin' a valise around that's
got $29,000 in greenbacks in its in'ards."
XIV. Make an illustration to the story. Describe or draw it.
XV. Discuss the following points:
1. A modern citizen cannot live without loans and mortgage.
2. Why do people get loans? Where do they get them?
3. Is a loan a boon or a bane?
XVI. Imagine that you are going to take a loan. Write 5 questions to get the
information about loans to Bill Longley, 5 questions to Tom Merwin.
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by Andrew S. Guthrie
Read the story.
Complete the sentences using the words from the story:
1. A _____ is a device for reducing the amount of noise emitted by the exhaust of an
internal combustion engine.
2. A _____ is a thing used for transporting people or goods on land, such as a car,
truck, or cart.
3. A _____ is an instrument on a vehicle's dashboard indicating its speed.
4. A _____ is a place where scrap is collected before being discarded, reused, or
5. A _____ is the part where the fuel ignites.
6. A _____ _____ is a type of unpaved road surfaced with gravel that has been
brought to the site from a quarry or streambed.
7. A _____ _____ is a wheel that a driver rotates in order to steer a vehicle.
8. A _____ _____ is an area where cars or other vehicles may be left temporarily.
9. A ___ is a vehicle consisting of two wheels held in a frame one behind the other,
propelled by pedals and steered with handlebars attached to the front wheel.
10. A ___ is a person who owns a car.
Give antonyms of the following words:
To drench –
Junkyard –
To bounce down –
Inclinations –
Rusty –
Former –
Ambition –
To pull over –
Vulnerability –
Exposed –
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Insert prepositions or adverbs if necessary:
1. The deadly but entertaining vehicle plowed ___ the Native American
thoroughfare: The Mohawk Highway, the tribe that was tagged ___ an epithet for
their skill ___ cracking skulls.
2. One evening ___ an intersection, a couple of teenagers pulled ___ next to the
Omega and begged me to “peel ___” when the light changed. There was
something ___ that car.
3. Tommy Schraft only came ____a Hustler and an old pipe. He looked ___the pipe,
wondering if it was worth scraping the dusty resin ___ of the bowl, and then he
put it ___in the exact position and exact location that he had found it in.
4. The two Guatemalans and I pushed the car ___ of the dirt lot and ___ the edge ___ the
road. The towing company told ___ us that their insurance prohibited us ___working
on their premises, but they allowed us ____ work on the dirt edge of the road.
5. Hundreds of miles out the engine would make undiagnosable ticks and pings
making me turn the car ___ in the direction of home. The engine was exhausting
itself in its struggle to contain power. Metal pieces would pop ___ and bounce
___ the road.
V. Give the derivatives where possible:
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VI. Answer the following questions:
1. At what age did the narrator get the car?
2. How old was the car?
3. What did the main character do in case of car breaking down somewhere far from
4. What is Demolition Derby?
5. What means does the author use to narrate the story?
6. Why does the author think it is not really a story?
7. What is the attitude of the narrator to his car?
8. What does a car mean for an American?
VII. Summarize the story.
VIII. Correct the mistake:
1. At last, my car broke down and we could go on driving.
2. Topping off the gas tank can result in your paying for gasoline that is fed back
into the station's tanks because your gas tank is empty.
If you want to buy a good car, go to a junkyard.
4. He put all the suitcases into the hood and they went.
5. The windshield or windscreen of an aircraft, car, bus, motorbike or tram is the
side window.
Say if the statements are true or false. Provide evidence:
1. The narrator always planned his day, looked on a map and drove up that road.
2. He wrote the first paragraph he could be proud of, that could stand on its own. It
was something about how bad television really was, always shouting about what
was on next every minute for two days, and then just being a rescheduled repeat
of something that had been on a year ago.
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3. One of the best moments of the narrator’s life, something so simple that he’ll
never forget, is buying his car.
4. That night he didn’t sleep on the ground in a tent, but in a cheap hostel.
5. That night his Mom did not work and cooked his favorite baked potatoes with
tuna, fish cakes and sticky slow-roast belly of pork.
6. The romantic iconography of America, forever attached to the road, has always
seemingly encouraged the inebriated initiate. They must be in utter control of the
elements, yet on the edge of extinction.
X. Look through the text once again and explain the author’s ideas:
1. As soon as I got the car, I hit the road.
2. The driver could pull over at the nearest bar, or pull up a dirt road to do some
stargazing, or push the accelerator into the floor and push you out the door.
3. The engine struggles to contain power.
4. The machine was begging to be euthanized.
5. Think of the car as an old person who would prefer to die at home. But getting
lost was part of driving.
Put the parts from the story in a proper order:
1. I never planned the day, but looked on a map and drove up that road. I would find
a trailhead at the end of a gravel road, and get out and walk. Later I would read
that the random path I had chosen had been a Native American highway. Tommy
Schraft only came across a Hustler and an old pipe. He looked at the pipe,
wondering if it was worth scraping the dusty resin out of the bowl, and then he
put it back in the exact position and exact location that he had found it in. Up in
the crawl space, the wannabe writer realized he could write about what he saw
through the chink in the ceiling. He heard a car swerve, and probably go off the
road. I always worried that the old car would break down somewhere far from
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home, so I joined an auto club and by paying an extra fifty dollars a month my
towing range was extended by two hundred miles.
2. My first car, which was given to me at the age of forty, was a 1978 Chevy
Omega. But that’s not the point of this story. This isn’t a real story. One of the
important details is that the car came with a cassette player. The only thing more
appropriate would have been an 8-Track player. As soon as I got the car, I hit the
road. I had never hit the road like that before, even though I was an American. I
rode a bicycle. I never left my city. I occasionally rented a car.
3. All kinds of rumors went around about what happened. That was only part of the story.
He eventually got the car back on the road, though it would never run well without the
kind of fanaticism that he lacked. As long as the thing ran, got me somewhere and back,
I could care less about its upholstery. Think of the car as an old person who would
prefer to die at home. But getting lost was part of driving. While researching on the
school’s computers about American cars made in the late 1970s, he downloaded some
porn onto the school’s hard drive. The two images seemed compatible.
4. He showed the notebook to his English teacher, a job-seeker from the city, an
artist who wedged himself somewhere between career and ambition, a young
adult settling for a direction rather than a destination. The English teacher felt like
he had swallowed a refreshing drop of water in a dry town and began to rattle off
his version of the post-modern literary canon. He told him that he needed to find
his subject matter. To find something that he knew well, that was important to
him. He was later fired for breaking into the school.
XII. Discuss the following, giving your arguments for or against.
1. What age is the best to start driving?
2. Is it safe to have a car of 20 years old on the road?
3. Who is the best driver: a man or a woman?
XIII. Writing. Develop the idea: My fist car is/will be...
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by T.S. Arthur
Read the story.
Explanation game. Take any word, do not tell it, but give the
definition. The other students listen and guess the described word:
Customer, store, note, conscience, storekeeper, purse, coin, bundle, counter, bargain.
Complete the sentences using the words from the table in appropriate
contribution box
1. Modern customers are _______ for everything.
2. The _____ arrived and David stuck down a hundred before I could protest.
3. Tom Govern sat down at the table and prepared to ______ the money.
4. “I think you've made a mistake in the_____, Mr. Levering.”
5. Payment of services of a payment agent will be made at the ______ of the
Company’s funds.
6. “I hoarded it to ______ my freedom,” said Gurth.
7. In the end of this deal Robert has nothing to ______ or lose.
8. Mr. Brown was respected in the society for his active _______, though his stern
and gloomy character overawed everybody.
9. He should get rid of the troublesome dollar by dropping it into the _____.
10. These ___, taken all together, averaged from five to seven dollars a day—not less
and sometimes more — most amazing pay.
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IV. Give the derivatives where possible:
V. Answer the questions:
1. Why does the author start the story with the dialog? What effect is it created?
2. What is the meaning of the word “vain” in the story?
3. What did the author mean by: “Mr. Levering had a wife and three pleasant
children. They were the sunlight of his home.”?
4. What does the phrase “the book of his life” mean in the story?
5. What happened when the customer misunderstood the price of the material?
6. How did Mr. Levering react about his true character?
7. Why did the author use only the last name of the main character?
8. How well is the author succeeded in portraying the feeling of remorse?
9. Which of the characters do you find more sympathetic?
VI. Say if the sentences are true or false:
1. Mr. Levering sold the customer the goods for the wrong price.
2. The customer refused to buy Mr. Levering’s goods.
3. The customer bought everything in his store.
Mr. Levering loved his wife and children.
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5. The unearned dollar affected his relationship with his family.
6. Mr. Levering worked during the daytime.
7. Mr. Levering was afraid that his reputation would be ruined.
8. Mr. Levering felt guilty about cheating his customer.
9. Mr. Levering does not want to talk to his customer.
10. Mr. Levering does not intend to own up to his mistake.
11. Mr. Levering was very superstitious about money.
12. The unearned dollar made him feel bad about himself.
VII. Act out the dialog. Analyze the situation:
"Oh pa!" exclaimed another child, speaking from a sudden thought, "you don't
know what a time we had at school to-day."
"Ah! what was the cause?"
"Oh! you'll hardly believe it. But Eddy Jones stole a dollar from Maggy Enfield!"
"Stole a dollar!" ejaculated Mr. Levering. His voice was husky, and he felt a cold
thrill passing along every nerve.
"Yes, pa! he stole a dollar! Oh, wasn't it dreadful?"
"Perhaps he was wrongly accused," suggested Mrs. Levering.
"Emma Wilson saw him do it, and they found the dollar in his pocket. Oh! he
looked so pale, and it made me almost sick to hear him cry as if his heart would
"What did they do with him?" asked Mrs. Levering.
"They sent for his mother, and she took him home. Wasn't it dreadful?"
"It must have been dreadful for his poor mother," Mr. Levering ventured to
"But more dreadful for him," said Mrs. Levering. "Will he ever forget his crime
and disgrace? Will the pressure of that dollar on his conscience ever be removed? He
may never do so wicked an act again; but the memory of this wrong deed cannot be
wholly effaced from his mind."
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VIII. Retell the story in the name of Mr. Levering.
IX. Look through the text once again, and comment on the author’s
weight of that dollar;
unlucky dollar;
abstract the dollar;
disposition of the money;
he cast the money into the treasury.
X. Put the extracts into the right order:
1. "I'm very foolish," said he, mentally, as he walked homeward, after closing his
store for the evening. "Very foolish to worry myself about a trifle like this. The
goods were cheap enough at fifty-five, and she is quite as well contented with her
bargain as if she had paid only fifty."
2. "Twenty yards at fifty-five cents! Just eleven dollars." The customer opened her
purse as she thus spoke, and counted out the sum in glittering gold dollars. "That
is right, I believe," and she pushed the money towards Mr. Levering, who, with a
kind of automatic movement of his hand, drew forward the coin and swept it into
his till.
3. In the community, Mr. Levering had the reputation of being a conscientious,
high-minded man. He knew that he was thus estimated, and self-complacently
appropriated the good opinion as clearly his due.
4. "What is the matter with you this evening, dear? Are you not well?" inquired Mrs.
Levering, breaking in upon the thoughtful mood of her husband, as he sat in
unwonted silence.
5. Earnest seeker after this world's goods, take warning by Mr. Levering, and
beware how, in a moment of weak yielding, you get a dollar on your conscience.
One of two evils must follow. It will give you pain and trouble, or make callous
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the spot where it rests. And the latter of these evils is that which is most to be
6. "That weight shall be off my conscience," said Mr. Levering to himself, as he
began counting out the change due his customer; and, purposely, he gave her one
dollar more than was justly hers in that transaction. The lady glanced her eyes
over the money, and seemed slightly bewildered. Then, much to the storekeeper's
relief, opened her purse and dropped it therein.
XI. Discuss the following, giving your arguments for or against.
1. Customers are supposed to tip 10% of the cost.
2. Money doesn't get dirty.
XII. Answer the question in writing:
Why did not the author give the customer a name? Include one example from the
text to support your answer.
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by O. Henry
Read the story.
Give the Russian variant of the title.
Complete the sentences using the words from the story:
1. ______is a popular trend in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior.
2. ______is a close-fitting waist-length garment, without sleeves or collar and
buttoning down the front.
3. ______is a person whose occupation is making fitted clothes such as suits, pants,
and jackets to fit individual customers.
4. ______is a strip of gathered or pleated material sewn by one side onto a garment
or larger piece of material as a decorative edging or ornament.
5. ______is threads of silk, cotton or other material woven into a decorative band
for edging or trimming garments.
6. ______is a long, narrow strip of fabric, used for tying something or for
7. ______is the end part of a sleeve, where the material of the sleeve is turned back
or a separate band is sewn on.
8. ______is a large retail store selling a wide variety of goods.
9. ______is a shoe worn over a normal shoe, typically either of waterproof material
to protect the normal shoe in wet weather or of fabric to protect a floor surface.
10. ______is to mend (knitted material or a hole in this) by weaving yarn across the
hole with a needle.
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Give the derivatives where possible:
Cross out the word that doesn’t belong in the same group:
collar, sleeve, vest, cuff;
robe, band, coat, skirt;
basque, lace, ribbon, braid;
puff, velvet, silk, cheviot;
tailor, dresser, clerk, seamstress;
trimmed, draped, plaited, wrapped.
VI. Read the text again, study the meanings of the following words and
word combinations and define their contextual meaning. Give your
own sentences to illustrate it:
to get a fit;
look awful swell;
store folks;
to shop in carriages;
sly boots;
an educated wink.
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VII. Put a proper preposition or an adverb if necessary:
1. It is a color justly ___repute ___ the sons and daughters ___man.
2. "Oh, are you," said Grace, putting ___ some 71/2 gloves ___ the 63/4 box.
3. The dinner was given ___ the store ___one of the long tables ___the middle ___
the room.
4. ___ next year old Bachman was going to take him ___ ___ a partner.
5. Maida hurried ___ home, keen and bright ___ the thoughts ___ the blessed
6. She was going home first to get the $4 wrapped ___ a piece ___tissue paper ___
the bottom drawer ___her dresser.
7. Grace come ___ to her room crying ___ eyes as red as any dress.
8. I thought she'd wait ___next week ___the rent.
9. “Why don't you put ___anything and come ___, it's just the store folks, you
know, and they won't mind."
10. The rain ran ___ and dripped ___ her fingers.
VIII. “Who said that?” Answer the questions:
1. “He is made goot; and if you look bretty in him all right”. Who said these words?
2. Whom this reply belongs to: "I heard him say yesterday he thought some of the
dark shades of red were stunning."?
3. “You look simply magnificent in your new dress. I was greatly disappointed not
to see you at our dinner.” Whom did these words refer to?
4. Who said: "I prefer purple, and them that don't like it can just take the other side
of the street."?
5. All women love it, when it is the fashion. What is it?
6. The girl with the big brown eyes and cinnamon-colored hair in the Bee-Hive
Store. Who is it?
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IX. Speak about the characters of the story:
Describe Maida.
Describe Grace.
Describe Mr. Ramsay.
X. Answer the following questions:
1. Why does Maida want to have a purple dress?
2. Why does not she want to have a ready-made one?
3. Why is Grace crying?
4. What are Maida and Grace?
5. Is it worth starving eight month to get a dress?
6. What is a purple dress in the story?
7. What would you do if you were Maida?
8. Which character do you like more? Why?
9. Can you sacrifice your interest in order to help your friend?
10. What stylistic devices does the author use?
XI. Make a summary of the story.
XII. Choose the right answer:
1. What is the price of the purple dress?
a) $8
b) $18
c) $28
d) $80
2. How much has Maida saved after eight months of economy?
a) $8
b) $18
c) $28
d) $80
3. How much has Grace owed to her landlady?
a) $4
b) $14
c) $48
d) $40
4. At what time is the dinner to be?
a) 12 o’clock b) 3 o’clock
c) 5 o’clock
d) 7 o’clock
5. How long does Maida have to starve to bring her dress and holiday together?
a) 8
b) 18
c) 28
d) 80
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XIII. Find 10 factual mistakes and correct them:
Grace had no umbrella nor overshoes. She had her red dress and she walked
abroad. Let the elements do their worst. A starved stomach must have one crumb
during a year. The hail ran down and dripped from her fingers. Some one turned a
corner and blocked her way. She looked up into Old Bachman’s eyes, sparkling with
admiration and interest. "Why, Miss Maida," said he, "you look simply magnificent
in your new coat. I was greatly disappointed not to see you at our Christmas dinner.
And of all the customers I ever knew, you show the greatest sense and intelligence.
There is nothing more healthful and invigorating than braving the girls as you are
doing. May I walk with you?" And Maida fainted away.
XIV. Title the parts of the story:
1. We are to consider the shade known as purple. It is a color justly in repute among
the sons and daughters of man. Emperors claim it for their especial dye. Good
fellows everywhere seek to bring their noses to the genial hue that follows the
commingling of the red and blue. We say of princes that they are born to the
purple; and no doubt they are, for the colic tinges their faces with the royal tint
equally with the snub-nosed countenance of a woodchopper's brat. All women
love it--when it is the fashion. And now purple is being worn. You notice it on the
streets. Of course other colors are quite stylish as well – in fact, I saw a lovely
thing the other day in olive green albatross, with a triple-lapped flounce skirt
trimmed with insert squares of silk, and a draped fichu of lace opening over a
shirred vest and double puff sleeves with a lace band holding two gathered frills-but you see lots of purple too. Oh, yes, you do; just take a walk down Twentythird street any afternoon. Therefore Maida – the girl with the big brown eyes and
cinnamon-colored hair in the Bee-Hive Store said to Grace, the girl with the
rhinestone brooch and peppermint-pepsin flavor to her speech, "I'm going to have
a purple dress, a tailor-made purple dress for Thanksgiving."
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2. Maida had saved $18 after eight months of economy; and this had bought the
goods for the purple dress and paid Schlegel $4 on the making of it. On the day
before Thanksgiving she would have just enough to pay the remaining $4. And
then for a holiday in a new dress – can earth offer anything more enchanting? Old
Bachman, the proprietor of the Bee-Hive Store, always gave a Thanksgiving
dinner to his employees. On every one of the subsequent 364 days, excusing
Sundays, he would remind them of the joys of the past banquet and the hopes of
the coming ones, thus inciting them to increased enthusiasm in work. The dinner
was given in the store on one of the long tables in the middle of the room. They
tacked wrapping paper over the front windows; and the turkeys and other good
things were brought in the back way from the restaurant on the corner. You will
perceive that the Bee-Hive was not a fashionable department store, with
escalators and pompadours. It was almost small enough to be called an
emporium; and you could actually go in there and get waited on and walk out
3. The night before Thanksgiving came. Maida hurried home, keen and bright with
the thoughts of the blessed morrow. Her thoughts were of purple, but they were
white themselves – the joyous enthusiasm of the young for the pleasures that
youth must have or wither. She knew purple would become her, and – for the
thousandth time she tried to assure herself that it was purple Mr. Ramsay said he
liked and not red. She was going home first to get the $4 wrapped in a piece of
tissue paper in the bottom drawer of her dresser, and then she was going to pay
Schlegel and take the dress home herself. Grace lived in the same house. She
occupied the hall room above Maida's. At home Maida found clamor and
confusion. The landlady's tongue clattering sourly in the halls like a churn dasher
dabbing in buttermilk. And then Grace come down to her room crying with eyes
as red as any dress.
"She says I've got to get out," said Grace.
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"The old beast. Because I owe her $4. She's put my trunk in the hall and locked
the door. I can't go anywhere else. I haven't got a cent of money."
"You had some yesterday," said Maida.
"I paid it on my dress," said Grace. "I thought she'd wait till next week for the
rent." Sniffle, sniffle, sob, sniffle. Out came, out it had to come, Maida's $4. "You
blessed darling," cried Grace, now a rainbow instead of sunset. "I'll pay the mean
old thing and then I'm going to try on my dress. I think it's heavenly. Come up
and look at it. I'll pay the money back, a dollar a week honest I will."
4. At five o'clock she went out upon the street wearing her purple dress. The rain
had increased, and it beat down upon her in a steady, wind-blown pour. People
were scurrying home and to cars with close-held umbrellas and tight buttoned
raincoats. Many of them turned their heads to marvel at this beautiful, serene,
happy-eyed girl in the purple dress walking through the storm as though she were
strolling in a garden under summer skies. I say you do not understand it, ladies of
the full purse and varied wardrobe. You do not know what it is to live with a
perpetual longing for pretty things--to starve eight months in order to bring a
purple dress and a holiday together. What difference if it rained, hailed, blew,
snowed, cycloned? Maida had no umbrella nor overshoes. She had her purple
dress and she walked abroad. Let the elements do their worst. A starved heart
must have one crumb during a year. The rain ran down and dripped from her
fingers. Some one turned a corner and blocked her way. She looked up into Mr.
Ramsay's eyes, sparkling with admiration and interest. "Why, Miss Maida," said
he, "you look simply magnificent in your new dress. I was greatly disappointed
not to see you at our dinner. And of all the girls I ever knew, you show the
greatest sense and intelligence. There is nothing more healthful and invigorating
than braving the weather as you are doing. May I walk with you?"
And Maida blushed and sneezed.
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XV. Comment on the sentences from the story:
1. People should never eat anything that was good for them.
2. And each one of them knew that if she should catch him she would knock those
cranky health notions of his sky high before the wedding cake indigestion was
3. Maida breathed a millionth part of the thanks in her heart.
4. Girls whose wardrobes are charged to the old man's account, you cannot begin to
comprehend, you could not understand why Maida did not feel the cold dash of
the Thanksgiving rain.
5. And then for a holiday in a new dress, can earth offer anything more enchanting?
XVI. Make an illustration to the story. Describe or draw it.
XVII. Predict the developing of the story.
XVIII. Write an annotation to the story.
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by Jack London
Read the story.
Give the Russian variant of the title.
Explain the meaning of the following word combinations. Find Russian
Dry-goods counter, limited supply, shrilled eggs, half-boiled egg, choo-choo cars,
high living, hen fruit, in stock, flat rate, bargain, bid.
Give the derivatives where possible:
Choose the right answer:
What is the meaning of corner as it is used in the story:
a) place
b) speculate
с) deadlock
d) turn round
2. What is the meaning of dust as it is used in the story:
a) money
b) sand
с) confusion
d) mud
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3. What did the author mean by, “I'll put up the dust for the corner.”?
a) I’ll wash your room.
b) I’ll pay you.
c) I’ll make you do it.
4. What did the author mean by, "At what station do I climb onto the choo-choo
cars, or at what water-tank do I get thrown off?"?
a) What is the number of the train?
b) What station shall I get on and then get off?
c) I’ll fail.
5. What did the author mean by, “Now, shut up, Shortly. I’ve got the floor.”?
a) I will speak.
b) I have promised.
c) I have a deal.
Fill in an appropriate word:
Afford, to corner, sourdough, apiece, to drive, dried, moccasins, retail, to buy, to
languish, purchasing, breakfast, pot, to hold, cream.
a. Ham and one egg, three dollars. Ham and two eggs, five dollars. That means two
dollars an egg, __1__. Only the swells and the Arrals and the Wild Waters can __2__ them. I have __3__ every morning at eleven o'clock at Slavovitch's. I
invariably eat two eggs. Suppose, somebody ___4___ eggs. You know Wild
Water. When he sees I __5__ for eggs, and I know his mind like a book, and I
know how to languish.
b. Smoke had been more liberal in __6__. He unblushingly pleaded guilty to having
given the old man in Klondike City five dollars __7__ for his seventy-two eggs.
Shorty had __8___most of the eggs, and he had __9__bargains. He had given
only two dollars an egg to the woman who made __10___, and he prided himself
that he had come off fairly well with Slavovitch, whose seven hundred and fifteen
eggs he had bought at a flat rate of two dollars and a half. On the other hand, he
grumbled because the little restaurant across the street had __11__him up for two
dollars and seventy-five cents for a paltry hundred and thirty-four egg.
c. That noon, up in their cabin, Shorty placed on the table a __12__ of beans, a pan
of __13___biscuits, a tin of butter and a tin of condensed __14__, a smoking
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platter of moose-meat and bacon, a plate of stewed __15__ peaches, and called:
"Grub's ready. Take a slant at Sally first."
VII. Match the antonym pairs:
hard-boiled egg
high living
soft-boiled egg
VIII. Give a list of egg dishes.
IX. Speak about the characters of the story:
- Describe Lucille Arral.
- Describe Mr. Wild Water.
- Describe Smoke.
- Describe Shorty.
X. Make a summary of the story.
XI. Answer the following questions:
1. Where is the story set?
2. Who initiates the speculation?
3. Why do they need this fraud?
4. What is the moral of the story?
5. Are you sorry for Smoke and Shorty?
6. Which character do you like more? Why?
7. What can you say about the language the author uses?
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XII. Say if the sentences are true or false:
1. Smoke and Shortly were going to laugh on Wild Water, subdue his turbulence
and share the glory of it, and wake up Dawson with a grand.
2. Dawson was short of eggs, so that is why the price of them was two dollars for
3. Wild Water 's a good actor--a gosh-blamed good actor the singing soubrette of the
tiny stock company that performed nightly at the Palace Opera House.
4. The contract did not mention the number of eggs to be delivered. Mr. Wild Water
agreed to pay eight dollars for every delivered egg.
5. Smoke and Shortly didn't know about those other eggs until afterward and had to
buy them in order to make our corner good for ten dollars for a egg.
6. Having reached three thousand two hundred eggs, Wild Water suddenly cracked
one on the edge of table and opened it deftly with his thumbs.
7. That three thousand eggs were delivered four years before.
8. Smoke and Shortly lost seventeen thousand dollars on the flutter.
XIII. Retell the story in the name of Lucille Arral.
XIV. Title the extracts from the story:
It was in the A. C. Company's big store at Dawson, on a morning of crisp frost,
that Lucille Arral beckoned Smoke Bellew over to the dry-goods counter. The
clerk had gone on an expedition into the storerooms, and, despite the huge, redhot stoves, Lucille had drawn on her mittens again. Smoke obeyed her call with
alacrity. The man did not exist in Dawson who would not have been flattered by
the notice of Lucille Arral, the singing soubrette of the tiny stock company that
performed nightly at the Palace Opera House. "Things are dead," she complained,
with pretty petulance, as soon as they had shaken hands. "There hasn't been a
stampede for a week. That masked ball Skiff Mitchell was going to give us has
been postponed. There's no dust in circulation. There's always standing-room now
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at the Opera House. And there hasn't been a mail from the Outside for two whole
weeks. In short, this burg has crawled into its cave and gone to sleep. We've got
to do something. It needs livening--and you and I can do it. We can give it
excitement if anybody can. I've broken with Wild Water, you know."
Slavovitch's restaurant has most of them. Ham and one egg, three dollars. Ham
and two eggs, five dollars. That means two dollars an egg, retail. And only the
swells and the Arrals and the Wild Waters can afford them."
"He likes eggs, too," she continued. "But that's not the point. I like them. I have
breakfast every morning at eleven o'clock at Slavovitch's. I invariably eat two
eggs." She paused impressively. "Suppose, just suppose, somebody corners eggs."
She waited, and Smoke regarded her with admiring eyes, while in his heart he
backed with approval Wild Water's choice of her.
"You're not following," she said.
"Go on," he replied. "I give up. What's the answer?"
"Stupid! You know Wild Water. When he sees I'm languishing for eggs, and I
know his mind like a book, and I know how to languish, what will he do?"
"You answer it. Go on."
"Why, he'll just start stampeding for the man that's got the corner in eggs. He'll
buy the corner, no matter what it costs. Picture: I come into Slavovitch's at eleven
o'clock. Wild Water will be at the next table. He'll make it his business to be
there. 'Two eggs, shirred,' I'll say to the waiter. 'Sorry, Miss Arral,' the waiter will
say;' they ain't no more eggs.' Then up speaks Wild Water, in that big bear voice
of his, 'Waiter, six eggs, soft boiled.' And the waiter says, 'Yes, sir,' and the eggs
are brought. Picture: Wild Water looks sideways at me, and I look like a
particularly indignant icicle and summon the waiter. 'Sorry, Miss Arral,' he says,
'but them eggs is Mr. Wild Water's. You see, Miss, he owns 'em.' Picture: Wild
Water, triumphant, doing his best to look unconscious while he eats his six eggs.
3. "Three dollars!" Shorty groaned. "An' I heard tell only yesterday that he's got all
of seven hundred in stock! Twenty-one hundred dollars for hen-fruit! Say,
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Smoke, I tell you what. You run right up and see the Doc. He'll tend to your case.
An' he'll only charge you an ounce for the first prescription. So-long, I gotta to be
pullin' my freight." He started off, but Smoke caught his partner by the shoulder,
arresting his progress and whirling him around. "Smoke, I'd sure do anything for
you," Shorty protested earnestly. "If you had a cold in the head an' was layin' with
both arms broke, I'd set by your bedside, day an' night, an' wipe your nose for
you. But I'll be everlastin'ly damned if I'll squander twenty-one hundred good iron
dollars on hen-fruit for you or any other two-legged man."
"They're not your dollars, but mine, Shorty. It's a deal I have on. What I'm after is
to corner every blessed egg in Dawson, in the Klondike, on the Yukon. You've
got to help me out. I haven't the time to tell you of the inwardness of the deal. I
will afterward, and let you go half on it if you want to. But the thing right now is
to get the eggs. Now you hustle up to Slavovitch's and buy all he's got."
"But what'll I tell 'm? He'll sure know I ain't goin' to eat 'em."
"Tell him nothing. Money talks. He sells them cooked for two dollars. Offer him
up to three for them uncooked. If he gets curious, tell him you're starting a
chicken ranch. What I want is the eggs. And then keep on; nose out every egg in
Dawson and buy it. Understand? Buy it!
4. Smoke brought the ax, and Wild Water, with the clever hand and eye of the
woodsman, split the egg cleanly in half. The appearance of the egg's interior was
anything but satisfactory. Smoke felt a premonitory chill. Shorty was more
valiant. He held one of the halves to his nose.
"Smells all right," he said.
"But it looks all wrong," Wild Water contended. "An' how can it smell when the
smell's frozen along with the rest of it? Wait a minute."
He put the two halves into a frying-pan and placed the latter on the front lid of the
hot stove. Then the three men, with distended, questing nostrils, waited in silence.
Slowly an unmistakable odor began to drift through the room. Wild Water
forbore to speak, and Shorty remained dumb despite conviction.
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"Throw it out," Smoke cried, gasping.
"What's the good?" asked Wild Water. "We've got to sample the rest."
"Not in this cabin." Smoke coughed and conquered a qualm. "Chop them open,
and we can test by looking at them. Throw it out, Shorty-- Throw it out! Phew!
And leave the door open!"
Box after box was opened; egg after egg, chosen at random, was chopped in two;
and every egg carried the same message of hopeless, irremediable decay.
"I won't ask you to eat 'em, Shorty," Wild Water jeered, "an' if you don't mind, I
can't get outa here too quick. My contract called for GOOD eggs. If you'll loan
me a sled an' team I'll haul them good ones away before they get contaminated."
Smoke helped in loading the sled. Shorty sat at the table, the cards laid before
him for solitaire.
"Say, how long you been holdin' that corner?" was Wild Water's parting gibe.
Smoke made no reply, and, with one glance at his absorbed partner, proceeded to
fling the soap boxes out into the snow.
5. Dear Smoke and Shorty: I write to ask, with compliments of the season, your
presence at a supper to-night at Slavovitch's joint. Miss Arral will be there and so
will Gautereaux. Him and me was pardners down at Circle five years ago. He is
all right and is going to be best man. About them eggs. They come into the
country four years back. They was bad when they come in. They was bad when
they left California. They always was bad. They stopped at Carluk one winter,
and one winter at Nutlik, and last winter at Forty Mile, where they was sold for
storage. And this winter I guess they stop at Dawson. Don't keep them in a hot
room. Lucille says to say you and her and me has sure made some excitement for
Dawson. And I say the drinks is on you, and that goes.
Respectfully your friend,
W. W.
"Well? What have you got to say?" Smoke queried. "We accept the invitation, of
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
"I got one thing to say," Shorty answered. "An' that is Wild Water won't never
suffer if he goes broke. He's a good actor--a gosh-blamed good actor. An' I got
another thing to say: my figgers is all wrong. Wild Water wins seventeen thousan'
all right, but he wins more 'n that. You an' me has made him a present of every
good egg in the Klondike--nine hundred an' sixty-four of 'em, two thrown in for
good measure. An' he was that ornery, mean cussed that he packed off the three
opened ones in the pail. An' I got a last thing to say. You an' me is legitimate
prospectors an' practical gold-miners. But when it comes to fi-nance we're sure
the fattest suckers that ever fell for the get-rich-quick bunco. After this it's you an'
me for the high rocks an' tall timber, an' if you ever mention eggs to me we
dissolve pardnership there an' then. Get me?"
XV. Make an advertising to sell the eggs.
XVI. Write a letter to Smoke and Shorty warning them about the fraud.
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by John Cheever
Read the story.
Give the synonyms of the following words:
To admire, fiancée, sissy, ingenuous, to giggle, to starve, to sprawl, to continue,
swell, to remodel, yarn, barn.
Write down the words and word expressions describing family budget
during the hard times.
Give the derivatives where possible:
V. Explain the idioms. Make up your own sentences using them:
to be in the first draft,
to take smth hard /easy,
to hold smb’s interest,
to be through with smth.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
VI. Speak about:
the title of the story,
language and general atmosphere of the text,
theme of this text,
indications that the author describes America,
the most interesting character seems to be.
VII. Answer the following questions:
1. Where is the story set?
2. How many people are there in the Towles? Is this a rich family?
3. Where were all of them that evening?
4. What are they talking about?
5. What can you say about Bill and Carole?
6. What is Freddy concerned on?
7. What disturbed old Mrs Towle during the whole evening?
8. What contribution did the Towles make to the English speaking Union and why?
9. Why was Freddy displeased when Mrs Towle suggested that both her sons should
10. What does Freddy mean saying: “We’ll all spend the rest of our lives in
VIII. Summarize the story.
Find in the text the indications of the food. Put them down.
Put the parts of the story to the right order:
a) They could still hear their voices when Carole and Bill left the water for the
boathouse. ‘‘When we get married,’’ Bill said, ‘‘I’ll build you a swimming pool
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
with hot water. I’ll build you a big glassed-in swimming pool in our house in
Westchester, our big house in Westchester.’’
b) She agreed and they got up and walked down toward the boathouse. They left the
hammock swinging and the rusty chains gave off a grating and regular noise.
‘‘They don’t have coffee,’’ Freddy said, ‘‘they don’t have butter. They don’t have
whisky, they don’t have homes. At one meal we eat more meat than anybody in
Europe sees in six months.’’
c) The Taylors remodeled their barn and when they were through with it, it was
much nicer than the house. We could make a fireplace out of the old stone wall
and knock some dormers into the roof. After we’ve gone Freddy and his wife can
have the house and Carole and Bill can have the barn.’’ She dropped her knitting
tiredly. ‘‘I’d like to go to Asia,’’ she said. ‘‘There isn’t any war in Asia, is there?
Or is there?’’
d) It was a Sunday evening and the Towle family sat on the terrace, admiring the
familiar scenery. There were Mr. and Mrs. Towle, Mr. Towle’s mother, Bill and
Freddy, their two sons, and Carole, Bill’s fiancee. Old Mrs. Towle sat a little
apart from the group. Freddy was sprawled on the floor, nursing a drink. Bill sat
on the hammock, holding Carole’s hand. They were listening to a news broadcast
from a portable radio. The announcer was sobbing with emotion. When the news
broadcast ended and a band began to play dance music Freddy turned off the
e) "Well, she wasn’t so crazy,” Freddy cried suddenly and angrily. ‘‘She wasn’t so
dumb. She knew something was wrong. The thing that kills me is the surprise you
people have coming. You just sit around here as if nothing had happend. Well,
something has happened. Our world has ended. It’s the end of our world. In every
way. It’s all over.”
f) “Aunt Annie used to feel like that,” Mrs. Towle said quetly. ‘‘After the World
War when there was all that trouble in Armenia we had her for Thanks-giving
dinner and for a minute there I thought she was going to throw the turkey at your
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
father. ‘‘Turkey.’ she said, ‘turkey! You people are eating turkey and the
Armenians are starving.’ Why, she used to. ’’
XI. Say if the statements are true or false. Provide evidence:
1. John Cheever tells the story of the Towle family. The story centers on the family
hearth as the war looms.
2. The story is set in America, in the area of Shady Hill.
3. Against the background, there is news being broadcast and we can see “the
announcer, sobbing with emotions”.
4. The only thing Mrs Towle wants is to see her daughters happily married and to
have a few grandchildren.
5. Through the whole story, the family watch the movie “I am going to Asia”.
XII. Correct the mistakes:
The story under analysis is a sample of the emotive poem. Mark Cheever tells this
story of the Asian family. The plot centers around the family hearth as the war looms.
The prevailing prose system used is dialog intermingled with description in order to
characterize every member of the family. The atmosphere of the story is relaxing.
The text is based on the effect of climax, but suspense and parallel constructions also
play very important role in the story. It is clear that the theme of this text is starving
and the way it effects people wherever they live. But in fact there are no concrete
words about war, the author masterfully shows people’s fear to voice this scary word.
As they say don’t take devil’s name in vain, not to bring disaster upon your home.
Here suspense is taking place. Throughout the story there are only indications of the
war, such as: “We’ll all spend the rest of our lives in uniform”, “Antwerp, Liège,
Amiens, Beauvais, They’re all ruins now.”, “They don’t have coffee, they don’t have
butter. They don’t have whisky, they don’t have homes. At one meal we eat more
meat than anybody in Europe sees in six months.”, Maybe I’ll have to go to Asia. I’ll
be in the first draft, I always imagine soldiers as and so on. We don’t know about
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
what exactly war they were talking, but the words: “After the World War when there
was all that trouble in Armenia” we can guess that it was The second World War. The
episode that old Mrs. Towle told about the intruder on the pier is also the implication
to the fact the something bad broke into their posh life. The place indication is also
implied on the reader through the words: “the Adirondacks* were more beautiful than
anything in Asia” , “big house in Westchester”, “Long Island”, we understand that it
is China. In the very beginning there is a description of the war that is where Climax
starts growing.
XIII. Write a brief critical/complimentary assessment of the story.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Cliché for retelling
I would like to tell you a story ... written by ... . The facts are as the followed…
The book is about ... who ... .
The story I would like to speak about is written by ... . We know that the author ...
The book is devoted to ...
I've read a very unusual (exciting, sad, thrilling, exaggerated, etc.) story by ... .
It touches upon (deals with) the problems/issues of ...
The narration begins with ...
The author draws the reader's attention to ...
The text shows/tells/teaches us …
It reflects …
It gives a real picture of the life.
He makes the reader believe ...
It serves to stress ...
It prepares the ground for ...
The emotional state of the character is revealed ...
The author's presentation of ...
The main idea of the story is …
It’s quite obvious that …
I think/believe/suppose/consider
It seems to me …
As far as I know/ understand from the text …
Frankly-speaking/honestly-speaking/generally- speaking
Judging by the text …
The point/problem/issue is that …
In other words; in short; in fact; otherwise; after all
No wonder (that)
Nothing of the kind.
By the way
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1. Cheever J. The Stories of John Cheever: short stories / J. Cheever. – Eighteenth
printing. – New York, 2000. – 354 p.
2. Fitzgerald F.S. The lees of happiness / F. Scott Fitzgerald. Juniper Grove, 2008. –
28 p.
3. Stowe H.B. The May Flower and Miscellaneous Writings / Harriet Beecher
Stowe. – Phillips, Sampson and company, 13 winter street – Boston, 1855.
4. Henry O. Collected Stories of O. Henry / O. Henry. – Random House Value
Publishing, 1993. – 844 p.
Guthrie A.S. My first car / Andrew S. Guthrie. – Weaponizer, 2011.
6. Arthur T.S. Home lights and shadows / T.S. Arthur. – New York, 1853.
London J. Smoke and Shorty / Jack London. – Mills & Boon. – London, 1920. –
248 p.
Useful links:
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Учебное издание
Society and Culture
through short stories
Хлызова Наталья Юрьевна
Учебно-методическое пособие
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short, stories, society, 3687, culture, american
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