Практический курс английского языка 4 курс — страница 6

Практический курс английского языка 4 курс

12. Enact a role play «Trying a criminal case». Yon are the Jury and most decide whether to acquit the accused or sentence them to a term of imprison­ment (minimum 3 months/maximum life). Or could you think of a more appro­priate punishment?

Case 1. A driver while speeding hit a cyclist off her bike. She was badly injured and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. The driver didn’t stop so he’s charged with hit and run.

Case 2. The accused is a doctor who gave an overdose to an 87-year-old woman. She had a terminal illness, was in constant pain and had asked for the overdose. Her family are accusing the doctor of murder.

Case 3. A. and B. mug Mr X. take his money and leave him for dead. B. later returns alone and pushes the body in the riv­er. An autopsy reveals that the man was still just alive when pushed in the water and subsequently drowned.

13. Do some library research and write an essay on one of the given topics:

1. The stricter the punishment, the lesser the crime rate, or is it?

2. Law is developing: it has no impunity in the course of time.

3. What is the best way to combat juvenile delinquency? Historical survey.

Leslie Poles Hartley (1895-1972), the son of a solicitor was educated at Harrow and Balliol College, Oxford and for more than twenty years from 1932 was a fiction reviewer for such periodicals as the ^ Spectator, Sketch, Ob­server and Time and Tide. He published his first book, a collection of short stories entitled «Night Fears» in 1924. His novel «Eustace and Hilda» (1947) was recognized immediately as a major contribution to English fiction; «The Go-Between» (1953) and «The Hireling» (1957) were later made into internationally successful films. In 1967 he published «The Novelist’s Responsibili­ty», a collection of critical essays.

Henry James was a master he always revered; and, like James, he was frequently possessed bys ideas of guilt and solitude and evil. As. a contempo­rary reviewer remarked, «not only does he portray the exterior of social life with a novelist’s sharp eye for detail, but he also explores the underworld of fears and fantasies through which we wander in our ugliest dreams.»

LP.Hartley was a highly skilled narrator and all his tales are admirably told. «W.S.» comes from «The Complete Short Stories of L.P.Hartley» pub­lished posthumously in 1973.

The First postcard came from Forfar. «I thought you might like a picture of Forfar,» it said. «You have always been so interested in Scotland, and that is one reason why I am interested in you. I have enjoyed all your books, but do you really get to grips with people? I doubt it. Try to think of this as a handshake from your devoted admirer, W.S.»

Like other novelists, Walter Streeter was used to getting communications from strangers. Usually they were friendly but sometimes they were critical. In either case he always answered them, for he was conscientious. But answering them took up the time and energy he needed for his writing, so that he was rather relieved that W.S. had given no address. The photograph of Forfar was uninteresting and he tore it up. His anonymous correspondent’s criticism, however, lingered in his mind. Did he really fail to come to grips with his characters? Perhaps he did. He was aware that in most cases they were either projections of his own personality or, in different forms, the antithesis of it. The Me and the Not Me. Perhaps W.S. had spotted

this. Not for the first time Walter made a vow to be more objective.

About ten days later arrived another postcard, this time from Berwick-on-Tweed. «What do you think of Berwick-on-Tweed?» it said. «Like you, it’s on the Border. I hope this doesn’t sound rude. I don’t mean that you are a borderline case! You know how much I admire your stories. Some people call them otherworldly. I think you should plump for one world or the other. Another firm handshake from W.S.»

Walter Streeter pondered over this and began to wonder about the sender. Was his correspondent a man or a woman? It looked like a man’s handwriting — commercial, unselfconscious — and the criticism was like a man’s. On the other hand, it was like a woman to probe — to want to make him feel at the same time flattered and unsure of himself. He felt the faint stirrings of curiosity but soon dismissed them: he was not a man to experiment with acquaintances. Still it was odd to think of this unknown person speculating about him, sizing him up. Other-worldly, indeed!1 He re-read the last two chapters he had written. Perhaps they didn’t have their feet firm on the ground. Perhaps he was too ready to escape, as other novelists were nowadays, into an ambiguous world, a world where the conscious mind did not have things too much its own way. But did that matter? He threw the picture of Berwick-on-Tweed into his November fire and tried to write; but the words came haltingly, as though contending with an extra-strong barrier of self-criticism. And as the days passed he became uncomfortably aware of self-division, as though someone had taken hold of his personality and was pulling it apart. His work was no longer homogeneous, there were two strains in it, unreconciled and opposing, and it went much slower as he tried to resolve the discord. Never mind, he thought: perhaps I was getting into a groove. These difficulties may be growing pains, I may have tapped a new source of supply. If only I could correlate the two and make their conflict fruitful, as many artists have!

The third postcard showed a picture of York Minster. «I know you are interested in cathedrals,» it said. «I’m sure this isn’t a sign of megalomania in your case, but smaller churches are sometimes more rewarding. I’m seeing a good many churches on my way south. Are you busy writing or are you looking round for ideas? Another hearty handshake from your friend W. S.»

It was true that Walter Streeter was interested in cathedrals. Lincoln Cathedral 2 had been the subject of one of his youthful fantasies and he had written about it in a travel book. And it was also true that he admired mere size and was inclined to under-value parish churches. But how could W.S. have known that? And was it really a sign of megalomania? And who was W.S. anyhow?

For the first time it struck him that the initials were his own. No, not for the first time. He had noticed it before, but they were such commonplace initials; they were Gilbert’s 3 they were Maugham’s, they were Shakespeare’s — a common possession. Anyone might have them. Yet now it seemed to him an odd coincidence and the idea came into his mind — suppose I have been writing postcards to myself? People did such things, especially people with split personalities. Not that he was one, of course. And yet there were these unexplained developments — the cleavage in his writing, which had now extended from his thought to his style, making one paragraph languorous with semicolons and subordinate clauses, and another sharp and incisive with main verbs and full stops.

He looked at the handwriting again. It had seemed the perfection of ordinariness — anybody’s hand — so ordinary as perhaps to be disguised. Now he fancied he saw in it resemblances to his own. He was just going to pitch the postcard in the fire when suddenly he decided not to. I’ll show it to somebody, he thought.

His friend said, «My dear fellow, it’s all quite plain. The woman’s a lunatic. I’m sure it’s a woman. She has probably fallen in love with you and wants to make you interested in her. I should pay no attention whatsoever. People whose names are mentioned in the papers are always getting letters from lunatics. If they worry you, destroy them without reading them. That sort of person is often a little psychic, 4 and if she senses that she’s getting a rise out 1 of you she’ll go on.»

For a moment Walter Streeter felt reassured. A woman, a little mouse-like creature, who had somehow taken a fancy to him! What was there to feel uneasy about in that? It was really rather sweet and touching, and he began to think of her and wonder what she looked like. What did it matter if she was a little mad? Then his subconscious mind, searching for something to torment him with, and assuming the authority of logic,

said: Supposing those postcards are a lunatic’s, and you are writing them to yourself, doesn’t it follow that you must be a lunatic too?

He tried to put the thought away from him; he tried to destroy the postcard as he had the others. But something in him wanted to preserve it. It had become a piece of him, he felt. Yielding to an irresistible compulsion, which he dreaded, he found himself putting it behind the clock on the chimney-piece. He couldn’t see it but he knew that it was there.

He now had to admit to himself that the postcard business had become a leading factor in his life. It had created a new area of thoughts and feelings and they were most unhelpful. His being was strung up in expectation of the next postcard.

Yet when it came it took him, as the others had, completely by surprise. He could not bring himself to look at the picture. «I hope you are well and would like a postcard from Coventry,» he read. «Have you ever been sent to Coventry? 5 I have — in fact you sent me there. It isn’t a pleasant experience, I can tell you. I am getting nearer. Perhaps we shall come to grips after all. I advised you to come to grips with your characters, didn’t I? Have I given you any new ideas? If I have you ought to thank me, for they are what novelists want, I understand. I have been re-reading your novels, living in them, I might say. Another hard handshake. As always, W.S.»

A wave of panic surged up in Walter Streeter. How was it that he had never noticed, all this time, the most significant fact about the postcards — that each one came from a place geographically closer to him than the last? «I am coming nearer.» Had his mind, unconsciously self-protective, worn blinkers? If it had, he wished he could put them back. He took an atlas and idly traced out W.S.’s itinerary. An interval of eighty miles or so seemed to separate the stopping-places. Walter lived in a large West Country town about ninety miles from Coventry.

Should he show the postcards to an alienist? But what could an alienist tell him? He would not know, what Walter wanted to know, whether he had anything to fear from W.S.

Better go to the police. The police were used to dealing with poisonpens. If they laughed at him, so much the better. They did not laugh, however. They said they thought the postcards were a hoax and that W.S. would never show up in the flesh. Then they asked if there was anyone who had a grudge against him. «No

one that I know of,» Walter said. They, too, took the view that the writer was probably a woman. They told him not to worry but to let them know if further postcards came.

^ 1. Other-worldly, indeed! «Other-worldly» means more concerned with spiritual matters than with daily life. The exclamation «indeed» is used to express surprise, annoyance or lack of belief.

2. Lincoln Cathedral is in the ancient town of Lincoln, North Midlands. The magnificent Cathedral Church of St.Mary, rising to 271 ft, was built between the 11th and 14th centuries and its honey-coloured stone is said to change colour in varying light.

^ 3. Gilbert, William Schwenck: (1836-1911), an English dramatist and poet.

4. psychic: having the alleged power of seeing objects or actions beyond the range of natural vision.

5. to send smb to Coventry: to refuse to speak to someone as a sign of disapproval or punishment.

1. He was just going to pitch the postcard in the fire when suddenly he decided not to.

David was just about to order a plane ticket when suddenly he decided not to.

The little boy seemed ready to jump into the icy cold water but then he decided not to.

2. It isn’t a pleasant experience, I can tell you.

It isn’t easy to get tickets to the Bolshoi, I can tell you. That’s not the first time he has acted this way, I can tell you.

3. How was it that he had never noticed the most significant fact about the postcards.

How was it that he was home all day, but didn’t answer any of our phone calls?

How is it that we can put a man in space, but we can’t cure the common cold?

^ Phrases and Word Combinations

to get/come to grips with to have things (too much)

smb/smth (informal) one’s own way

to take up time and energy to get into a groove/rut

to linger in the mind (informal)

a borderline case to look round for ideas

to plump for smth (informal) an odd coincidence

to ponder over smth to feel reassured

to feel the faint stirrings of to send smb to Coventry

curiosity/hatred, etc. (informal)

to size smb up (informal) in the flesh

to have one’s feet (firm) on to have/bear a grudge

the ground against smb

1. comevi(esp. up to, down to) to reach, e. g. The water came (up) to my neck.

come about to happen, e, g. I’ll never understand how it came about that you were an hour late on such a short journey.

come along (on) to advance, to improve, e. g. Mother’s coming along nicely, thank you.

come by to obtain, e. g. Jobs were hard to come by with so many people out of work.

come down to lose position, respect or social rank, e. g. John came down in my opinion after his bad behaviour at the dance.

come in to become fashionable, e. g. When did the short skirt first come in?

come off 1) to cease being joined to smth, e. g. I tried to pick up the bucket, but the handle came off in my hand. 2) (in­formal) to succeed, e. g. It was a bold idea, but it is still came off.

come on(informal) to start, e. g. 1 can feel a cold coming on.

come out to become clear or known, e. g. The truth came out at the inquiry.

come to to regain consciousness, e. g. The girl faulted, but she came to when we threw drops of water on her face.

2. objectivea not influenced by personal feelings; fair, e. g. The writer tried to be as objective as possible in evaluating his latest work.

objectiven (C) something which you plan to do or achieve, e. g. His main/primary objective now is simply to stay in power.

objectn 1) a material thing, e. g. What is that dark object over there? 2) smth or smb that is the focus of feeling, thought, or action, as an object of pity, admiration, ridicule, delight, cu­riosity, fear, etc. e. g. She was the object of his love. 3) purpose; aim. e. g. The object of his visit was not clear.

objectvi to be against smth or someone, e. g I object to the whole thing on principle.

objectionn a statement or feeling of dislike, disapproval, or opposition, e. g. Have you any objection to his coming?

3. groundn 1) (C) a piece of land for a special use; a football ground; picnic grounds, a playground, e. g. The school grounds were planted with trees and flowers. 2) a reason,

e. g. He left on the grounds of ill-health.

to cover much/a lot of ground 1) to travel a certain distance; 2) to deal with many different subjects, e. g. I’ll try to cover all the ground in a short speech of half an hour.

to suit someone down to the ground(informal) to be just what one wants or likes, e. g. This house will suit us down to the ground.

groundlessa (of feelings, ideas) without base or good reason

well-groundeda based on fact

4. thingn 1) (C) any material object, e. g. What’s that thing you’ve got on your head? 2) (C) a piece of clothing, e. g. I’ve not got a thing’to wear. 3) (C) that which is not material, e. g. What a nasty thing to say to your sister! 4) (C) a subject, matter, e. g. There’s one more thing I wanted to say. 5) (C) a person or animal regarded as an object of pity, affection, or contempt, e. g. Your daughter’s such a sweet little thing. You stupid thing! 6) (C) happening, event, e. g. A funny thing hap­pened yesterday. 7) pl possessions, belongings, e. g. Have you packed your things for the journey? 8) pl the general state of affairs, e. g. Things are getting worse and worse.

(not) quite the thing(informal) what is considered socially correct. fashionable, e. g. It’s not quite the thing to wear an open-necked shirt to a formal evening dinner.

the thing is the most important point is, e. g. The thing is can we get there in time?

have a thing about(informal) — a peculiar attitude or feel­ing toward smth, e. g. She has a thing about cats.

5. opposev to be or act against, e. g. His father did not op­pose his plan to study medicine.

to be opposed to,e. g. He is opposed to sex education in schools.

oppositen a person or thing that is as different as possible, e. g. Black and white are opposites.

oppositea 1) totally different; 2) across from where you are, e. g. He sits opposite.

oppositionn 1) (U) action against, e. g. His opposition to the plan surprised his friends. 2) the political parties opposed to the government.

6. initialn, usu. pl first letters of a person’s name.

initiala coming at the beginning, as the initial advantage, attempt, stage, step, symptoms, etc. e. g. His initial response to the question was «no».

initiativen 1) (С) the first step in an undertaking (esp. in the phr. io take the initiative),

e. g. Jean took the initiative at the party by introducing herself to the people she didn’t know. 2) (U) the ability to do things before others; enterprise, e. g. Did you do this on your own initiative?

7. attentionn 1) (U) active focusing of the mind, (oft. in the phr. to pay attention to, to attract/to draw smb’s attention to), e. g. Do not let your attention wander. 2) (U) thoughtful consid­eration, care, e. g. A good mother gives equal attention to each of her children.

attendvt/i 1) to give one’s attention, e. g. Are you attend­ing to what is being said? 2) to be present at, e. g. The meeting was well attended. 3) to look after, e. g. I have a good doctor at­tending me.

attentive a 1) paying attention; 2) courteous, considerate; as an attentive host.

8. reassurevt to restore confidence or courage, e. g. The doctor-reassured the sick man (about his health).

reassurancen (C; U), e. g. She won’t believe it in spite of all our reassurance.

assure vt 1). to promise; try to persuade, e. g. He assured us of his ability to work. 2) to make certain, e. g. Before going to bed she assured herself that the door was locked.

assureda alsoself-assured, self-possessed, confident, as an assured manner.

assurancen — promise, statement made to give confidence

9. yieldvt 1) to give, produce, bear, e. g. That tree yields plenty of fruit 2) to give up control (of), e. g. We did not yield (up) our position to the enemy.

Syn. surrender, give up

yieldn that which is produced, e. g. The tree gave a high yield this year.

yieldinga 1) likely to agree with or give in to others, e. g. He has a yielding character and will soon change his mind. 2) tend­ing to give way esp. under pressure, as yielding materials.


1. Consult a dictionary and practise the pronunciation of the following words. Pay attention to the stresses:

conscientious, photograph, anonymous, antithesis, ambig­uous, homogeneous, megalomania, coincidence, cleavage, languorous, incisive, psychic, itinerary.

2. Read out the passage beginning with «For the first time. » up to TB show it to somebody, he thought» using proper tone groups and observing the rhythm. Convey proper attitudes and all the phonetic phenomena of connected speech.

^ 3. a) Practise this brief conversation:

Student A expresses either annoyance at Walter Streeter or criticizes him. He suggests irritability and sounds reprovingly critical. Remember what rate of utterance may be associated with negative emotions.

Student B defends Walter Streeter. Mind that expressing disagreement you might sound challenging, persuasively reas­suring, be reluctantly or defensively dissenting; for the pur-

pose make use of the intonation patterns «Fall-Rise» and «Rise-Fall».

Student C asks for reasons and expresses his own personal verdict. Be aware of the change in attitudes.

b) Now in pairs talk about the pros and cons of judging a person by his/her handwriting. Impart your own attitude. Use proper intonation patterns which the argument or discussion require.

^ 4. Substitute one of the speech patterns (p. 77) for the parts of the sen­tence in bold type.

M o d e 1 s: a) She wanted to put a coin into the slot but changed her mind as she had very little money.

She was just going to put a coin into the slot when she remembered that she had very little money and decided not to.

b) He could not understand why he had never no­ticed before that Bilson was left-handed.

How was it that he had never noticed that Bilson was left-handed?

c) It was paintul, believe me. It was painful, I can tell you.

^ 1. Ben was on the point of dialing his telephone number to have the matter out with his brother, but-then he thought better of it. 2. The tickets were sold out a month ago. Why on earth was the theatre half empty? 3. Daniel has a very good memory for names and dates. How did it happen that he forgot about my birthday? 4. The weather forecast was «cloudy with occa­sional showers». He was about to start off when suddenly he decided to stay at home. 5. Jane was just about to throw the old envelope into the waste-paper basket when suddenly she changed her mind. 6. So you are a professional singer. How could it have happened that you had never told me about this befort? 7. How can you account for the fact that we have lived in the same town for two years and have never met? 8. We had an awful time getting back, believe me. 9.1 assure you, I broke out in goosebumps all over. 10. You’ve got something on your hands there, lad, I’m sure about it.

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