Курс лекций для школьников старших классов и студентов Saint Petersburg corona print Uchitel & Uchenic

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Navy Pay Office — Казначейство военно-морского ведомства

Vocabulary

contemporary [кэп 'tempsran] о со­временный

contradiction [^knntrs'dikjgn] n проти­воречие

profound [pra'faund] о глубокий

Questions and Tasks


  1. When did the critical realism of the 19th century flourish?

  2. What task did the critical realists set themselves?

  3. What was the strong point of the critical realists?

  4. Who was the greatest English realist of the time?

  5. What did he describe?

  6. Name some other writers belonging to this literary trend.

  7. What did they portray in their novels?

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Charles Dickens was born» in Ports­mouth ['poitsmaG] on the 7th of Febru­ary, 1812. He was the second child and the eldest son of John and Elizabeth Dickens. John Dickens was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office1.

After a short period in London, John Dickens in 1817 was transferred to the dockyard at Chatham [ 'tfaetam], and here the family remained until 1822. These were the happiest years of Charles Dickens's childhood and youth. Here Dickens went to a small day-school. He also learnt much from his mother,

who was a well-educated'woman, and from the books she gave him to read.

It was here, years later, when he was at the height of his fame, that he returned to live, buying Gad's Hill place, the very house that he and his father had so often admired when out walking.

The little boy, eager, bright, sensitive, energetic but not really robust, found life opening out for him wonderfully during these years at Chatham.

His recollections of these years, seen in the golden haze of childhood, played a very important part in his work. If he had not had this happy time, brightening his childhood; the novels of Dickens would have been darker.

When Charles was about ten, the family left Chatham as John Dickens had been recalled to London.

John Dickens had left Chatham in debt, even after selling off some of his furniture, and nobody in London came to the rescue of John and Elizabeth Dickens and their six children. Everything that could be was given to the pawnshop, and young Charles was often sent on errands of this sort, for he was no longer going to school. He had done well at school in Chatham. But his parents had made no plans for him to continue his education in London.

A friend of the family helped Charles find work at a blacking warehouse. His parents instantly agreed. Charles had to paste labels on the jars of blacking. He received six shillings a week.

Only a few days after Charles started work at the blacking ware­house, his father was arrested and sent to the debtors' prison, the Marshalsea. John Dickens was a happy-go-lucky, irresponsible man, and he usually spent more than he earned. As a result of such living he was thrown into the debtors' prison. Later, Mrs Dickens and the younger children joined him. Little Charles did not live in the prison. He had to live in miserable lodgings and to feed him­self.

It came to an end when a relative of the family left Mr Dickens a legacy which was enough to pay his debts and leave the prison. When his father was set free, Charles was sent to a private school where he remained for three years. He was fifteen when his education ended, and he was sent again to earn his living this



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Vocabulary

blacking ['blaekirj] n вакса

curiosity Lkjusn'ositi] л любознатель­ность

dockyard ['dDkja:d] n верфь

eager [i:gs] о усердный

errand ['erand] n поручение

gap [gaep] n пробел

happy-go-lucky ['haepigai^Uki] а бес­печный

haze [heiz] n дымка

height [hait] n вершина

illimitable [riimitsbl] а безграничный

irresponsible [^ins'pnnsabl] а безот­ветственный

jar [фа:] п банка

label f'leibl] n наклейка

legacy ['legasi] n наследство lodging ['hxjjirj] n обыкн pi сдаваемая

комната paste [peist] v приклеивать pawnshop ['pomjbp] n ломбард phenomenal [fifrromml] а необыкновен­ный recollection [декэЧеЦГэп] п воспоми­нание rescue ['reskju:] n помощь restless [resths] а неугомонный robust [re'bASt] а здоровый shorthand ['/o:thaend] n стенография spare [spea] а свободный transfer [traens'f3:] v переводить warehouse ['weshaus] n склад



The Marshalsea debtors' prison

time as a clerk in a lawyer's office in London. All his spare time he spent in learning shorthand and visiting the British Museum Library filling up the gaps in his education by reading. Just before his seventeenth birthday Charles became a reporter. Soon he was recognized to be one of the best reporters in the whole country. He was invited to join several papers. When he was nineteen he was able to do some reporting in the House of Commons for newspapers.

Finally in 1834 he became the star reporter on the Morning Chronicle.

Young Dickens, with his restless energy and illimitable curiosity, went everywhere and noticed everything. His power of observation and memory were phenomenal.

He went all over the country getting news, writing up stories, meeting people and using his eyes. These early days of a reporter made very deep impressions on his mind and provided him with material for his books.

Questions and Tasks


  1. Where was Charles Dickens born?

  2. When was he born?

  3. What did his father, John Dickens, do?

  4. Where was John Dickens transferred in 1817?

  5. What were the happiest years of Charles Dickens's childhood?

  6. Describe the years Charles spent in Chatham.

  7. When did the family leave Chatham?

  8. Give a brief account of the financial position of the family.

  9. What happened to Mr Dickens?




  1. How did Charles live when his family was in prison?

  2. What helped the Dickens's family leave the Marshalsea?

  3. Where did Charles study?

  4. What did he do when his education ended?

  5. What did Charles become just before his seventeenth birthday?

  6. What kind of reporter was he soon recognized to be?

  7. What traits of character helped him become the star reporter on the Morning Chronicle
    1?

  8. Why were these early days as a reporter very important for Charles Dickens in his later life?


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Charles Dickens's Literary Work

The title of Sketches by Boz

Charles Dickens began his literary career in 1833. He wrote some sketches under the title Sketches by Boz. Boz was his pen-name. It was a nickname of his younger brother. The work was warmly received, but it was in 1836 that Charles Dickens rose to fame with the publication of The Pickwick Papers. A new firm of publishers, Chapman and Hall, asked Dickens to write some sort of humorous text, describing sporting misadventures, to support the drawings made by a popular comic artist called Seymour. Dickens agreed, but only on his own terms. These were that the drawings must illustrate the text, not the text the drawings.

The first instalment of Posthumous [ 'pnstjumas] Papers of the Pickwick Club (the full title of the book) came into being and brought the author world-wide fame.



The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club is a humorous description of funny adventures and misadventures of the members of the Pickwick Club which was founded by Mr Pickwick, a rich old gentleman, who had retired from business. The purpose of the club, according to its members, was "for the observations of character and manners". All the members, like Mr Pickwick, are rather well-to-do; they spend their time in travelling and in looking for mild adventures.

Long before the twentieth and last number of the paper with The Pickwick Papers came out, the country was Pickwick-mad. The name was given to all manner of things, from coats and hats to canes and cigars.

Dickens became famous all over the world, especially in America and in Russia.

Encouraged by his success Dickens set to work as a novelist. His next novel Oliver Twist (1838) deals with social problems. It is the story of a little boy born in a workhouse and left an orphan.

The kind and honest boy by nature rinds himself in the environment of thieves and lives through terrible hardships.

As Dickens believes in the inevitable triumph of good over evil, it is only natural, therefore, that Oliver Twist overcomes all difficulties. The novel ends happily which has become a characteristic feature of the greater part of Dickens's works.

The cottage where Dickens used to work

With Oliver Twist still in hand, Dickens began to work on his next novel Nicholas Nickleby ['nikabs niklbi] (1839).

The book deals with another burning question of the day — that of the education of the children in English private schools.

Nicholas Nickleby becomes a teacher of a typical English boarding-school for children of parents of modest means.

There is no question of real education at the "school". Its half-starved pupils are used by the master of the school and his wife for domestic work. Its master, Mr Squeers ['skwiaz], is veiy cruel to the children and his only aim in life is to have as much profit as possible out of his establishment.



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The beginning of the sixties saw the publication of Great Expectations (1860-1861) and Our Mutual Friend (1864- 1865).

Dickens died in 1870, leaving his last work The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished.

From 1858 to 1868 Dickens gave dramatic readings of his novels in England and America. He was a brilliant reader of his novels, but he overworked and died at the age of fifty-eight. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Charles Dickens was one of the greatest novelists that ever put pen to paper1.

His novels are now translated into most languages and are highly valued for their realism, their humour and their just criticism of English life.


Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son is one of Dickens's best works. Dickens enjoyed life, but he criticized the social system into which he had been bom. As he grew older the criticism of his age became bitterer. The main


1 that ever put pen to paper — который когда-либо брал в руки перо

The scenes of the children's life were so realistic and true to life that a school reform was carried out in England after the publication of the novel.

Dickens's next novel was The Old Curiosity Shop (1841). It is a story of the sufferings and hardships of an old man named Trent, and his granddaughter, Nell, who live in London.

Dickens's first historical novel Barnaby Rudge [ 'ba:rabi 'глф]

(1841) was published before his visit to America in the autumn of

1841. There were many good reasons for going to America. He
wanted to lecture on his works as he knew he would have a large
admiring public there. Besides, he wanted to meet some American
writers, especially Washington Irving ['wrjjirjtan '3:vm], with whom
he had exchanged enthusiastic letters.

After his return from America Dickens wrote American Notes

(1842) andMarfm Chuzzlewit ftJXzlwrt] (1843-1844) which created
a sensation in America. They were social satires of the American
way of life.

Between 1843 and 1848 Dickens published his Christmas Books [A Christmas Carol [ 'knsmas 'kaerol], The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth [ha:9]). In 1846 he visited Switzerland and Italy. There he began Dombey [ 'dombi] and Son (1848). In the fifties and sixties the most profound novels were written — David Copperfield ['dervid 'krjpsMd] (1850), Bleak House (1853), Hard Times (1854) and others.



David Copperfield is, to a great extent, an autobiographical novel. In the character of David Copperfield, Dickens shows many features of his own life. The hero of the novel is a young man who lives through hardships and injustice but in the end achieves well-being.

Bleak House is a bitter criticism of England's courts of justice. Hard Times is a novel depicting the conditions of the working class in England.

Little Dorrit (1855— 1857) is the story of a little girl whose parents are thrown into a debtor's prison.

With A Tale of Two Cities (1859) Dickens returned to the historical novel. It is devoted to the events of the French Revolution of 1789-1794.

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Vocabulary


admiring [ad'mainn] а восхищенный

boarding school ['bo:drrjsku:l] n пансион

cane [kem] n трость

environment [m'vaisranmsnt] n окру­жение

establishment [is'taeblijmsnt] n заведение

extent [iks'tent] n степень

feature ['й:ф] n черта

inevitable [I'nevitebl] а неизбежный

instalment [in 'stoilmsnt] n отдельный выпуск

means [mi:nz] n средства

mild [maild] о безобидный

misadventure [ 'missd 'ventjs] n зло­ключение

nickname ['nikneim] n прозвище

orphan ['orfan] n сирота

pen-name ['penneim] n литературный псевдоним

profit ['profit] n выгода

retire [n'tais] v оставлять должность

sketch ['sketfj n очерк

term [t3:m] n условия

well-being [ 'wel 'bi:in] n (материаль­ное) благополучие


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well-to-do ['welts'du:] а состоятельный

/

subject of his later novels is money and the things that go with money—power, position and so on. In Dombey and Son the symbol of money-power is Mr Dombey himself, to whose pride of position as a British merchant everything must be sacrificed — affection, wife, children and love. According to Dombey "The earth was made for Dombey and Son to trade in, and the sun and the moon were made to give them light. Rivers and seas were formed to float their ships; rainbows to give them promise of fair weather; winds blew for, or against, their enterprises; stars and planets circled in their orbits to preserve inviolate a system of which they were the centre".

Mr Dombey is a prosperous businessman, a starchy and purse-proud merchant. He is selfish to the core1, he bends down only before the power of gold. He looks upon the people surrounding him only from a business point of view. His coldness, his absolute lack of human feeling towards people is extraordinary.

The firm, which is his life, is called Dombey and Son. He has a daughter, Florence, whom he considers to be " a piece of base coin" because she is a girl. He does not love her, he does not notice her, although the little girl loves him dearly. When at last a son is born, it is he who becomes the centre of Dombey's life and interests. He is to become ffls heir, he is to continue to increase his riches.

But the dreams of Mr Dombey are not realized. Little Paul is a sickly child and he feels that he will not get better that he will die like his mother died when he was born. He cannot understand why the money, that his father considers to be so powerful, could not save his mother and cannot make him strong and completely well.

Little Paul dies and the hopes of Mr Dombey never come true. Mr Dombey marries again, but the marriage is a bargain. Dombey is sure that money can buy obedience, devotion, love, faithfulness. But money fails to bring what he expected.

His second wife, Edith, hates him and leaves him.

Florence runs away from his house, too. Misfortune falls on him in business as well. Mr Corker, his secretary, ruins Dombey and perishes himself. Dombey is left all alone. The atmosphere of cold reigns in the house.

The character of Dombey is a symbol of evil. Dickens shows how wrong and mistaken are all those who believe that money can buy everything: affection, happiness, love.

With great talent and power Dickens shows that money brings only evil, poisons the minds of people, makes them egoistic and cruel.

Opposed to Mr Dombey are his two children, Florence and Paul. Dickens made them loving and lovable creatures who hated money. Only Florence's love for Mr Dombey remains unchanged, and she and her husband take care of the lonely old man.

When Belinsky read Dombey and Son he called it a miracle that made all other works written by Dickens seem pale and weak. Dickens managed to show the ugliness of relations based on money in a work of art.

Up to now Dickens has remained one of the great realistic writers. In Russia his works became known a very short time after being published.

Vocabulary


obedience [s'bkdjgns] n послушание oppose [э'рэш] v противопоставлять perish fpenf] v исчезнуть preserve [prf Z3:v] v сохранять purse-proud ['p3:spraud] о гордящийся

своим богатством rainbow ['rembsu] п радуга sacrifice ['sasknfais] v жертвовать selfish ['selfij] а эгоистичный starchy ['stcttfi] о чопорный



affection [s'fekjsn] n привязанность bargain ['ba:gm] n сделка base [beis] а неполноценный bend [bend] v (bent) склоняться core [ко:] л суть

to the core до мозга костей enterprise ['entapraiz] n предприятие fail [fell] v не удаваться inviolate [m'vaialeit] а нетронутый lack [laek] n отсутствие




1 to the core — до мозга костей 160

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Questions and Tasks

  1. When did Charles Dickens begin his literary career?

  2. What was his first work?

  3. Give a brief summary of the contents of the Pickwick Papers.

  4. What Dickens's novels dealing with social problems can you name?

  5. What historical novel was written by Dickens before his visit to America?

  6. Why did Dickens want to visit America?

  7. What novels were written by Dickens after his return from America?

  8. What is his autobiographical novel?

  9. Name some other notable works by Dickens.




  1. Why is the novel Dombey and Son considered to be one of Dickens's greatest works?

  2. Give the main idea of Dombey and Son.
  3. What social problems did Charles Dickens write about?


William Thackeray (1811-1863)



William Makepeace Thackeray [ 'баекэп] was the second represen­tative of critical realism in English li­terature of the 19th century. Dickens and Thackeray were such near con­temporaries that their work was of­ten compared, but Thackeray's life was different from that of Charles Dickens.

William Makepeace Thackeray was born into a prosperous middle class family. His father was a well-to-do Eng- William Makepeace Thackeray lish official in Calcutta [kael 'k\ta], In­dia, where he was born. When his father died, the boy, aged six, was sent to England where he attended the famous Charterhouse [ 'tfaitahaus] School. In 1828 Thackeray entered Cambridge Uni­versity. While a student, he was clever at drawing cartoons and writing verses, chiefly parodies. He did not stay long at the Uni­versity. The stagnant atmosphere of the place suffocated him.

Besides, his wish was to become an artist, and therefore he left the University without graduating and went to Germany, Italy and France to study art.




Caricature of Thackeray drawn by himself

Intending to complete his edu­cation, Thackeray returned to Lon­don and began a law course in 1833. Meanwhile, the Indian bank in which the money Thackeray in­herited from his father was invest­ed went bankrupt, and Thackeray was left penniless. Thus, he was obliged to drop the studies to earn his living. For a long time he hesi­tated about whether to take up art or literature as a profession. At last he decided to try his hand as a jour­nalist. He wrote humorous articles,

essays, reviews and short stories which he sent to London maga­zines. He illustrated his works with amusing drawings.

The first book which attracted attention was The Book of Snobs (1847), which deals with the upper classes and their followers in the middle classes, whose vices the author criticizes with the sharp pen of satire.

The book draws a gallery of English snobs of different circles of English society. In Thackeray's view a snob is a person who bows down to and flatters his social superior and looks down with con­tempt on his social inferiors.

In his book the author declares war against snobbery, vanity and selfishness.

It was followed by Vanity Fair (A Novel without a Hero) — the peak of social realism, which brought great fame to the novelist, and remains his most-read work up to the present day.

It appeared first in twenty-four monthly instalments which Thackeray illustrated himself, and then in 1848, as a complete book.

The novels of the later period, The History ofPendennis [pen' dems] (1850) and The Newcomes (1855) are realistic, but they show the gradual reconciliation of the author with reality.



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oblige [ab'laKfe] v обязывать

to be obliged быть вынужденным official [a'fifal] n служащий peak [pi:k] n пик; вершина reconciliation [,rekansili'eijan] n при­мирение selfishness ['selfifnis] n эгоизм snobbery ['snoban] n снобизм stagnant ['stagnant] а застойный suffocate ['sAfakeit] удушить superior [sju:'piana] а высший по дол­жности vain [vein] а тщеславный vanity ['vaeniti] n тщеславие wicked ['wikid] а злой

In the other novels, Henry Esmond f ezmand] (1852), and The Virginians [va'qsmjanz] (1859) Thackeray turned to historical themes, showing a remarkable knowledge of history.

Thackeray's last novel, Denis Duval, remained unfinished, for Thackeray died in 1863.

Numerous other works written by Thackeray include essays, short stories, sketches, satirical poems. These were popular during the writer's life-time but, for the most part, forgotten by the next generation of readers.

Thackeray is at bottom a satirist. In his novels he gives a vivid description of the upper classes of society, their mode of life, manners and tastes. His knowledge of human nature is broad. His criticism is acute, his satire is sharp and bitter. Thackeray used to say that he wished to describe men and women as they really are.

Thackeray's books are often very sad. He tells us clearly that not only people are often wicked, vain and unjust, but that they can be only what they are due to existing conditions. As Thackeray had no hope of change, many of the pages he wrote are filled with sorrow for the world's ills.

The picture of the life of the ruling classes of England created by Thackeray remains a classic example of social satire to this very day.

Vocabulary

acute [g'kjuit] а острый bankrupt ['baerjkrept] n банкрот

to go bankrupt обанкротиться bottom ['botam] n основа

at bottom no натуре bow [bau] v кланяться contempt [kan'tempt] n презрение flatter ['flaeta] v льстить gradual ['grasdjual] а постепенный ill [il] n зло

inferior [m'fiaria] а низший (по поло­жению) inherit [m'hent] v наследовать invest [in'vest] v вкладывать деньги mode [maud] n образ действий

Questions and Tasks


  1. What family did Thackeray come from?

  2. Where was he educated?

  3. What was he clever at while a student?

  4. Why didn't he stay long at the University?

  5. Where did he go to study art?

  6. What did Thackeray begin to study when he returned to London?

  7. Why was he obliged to drop his studies?

  8. What did he begin to write?

  9. Say a few words about Thackeray's first novel The Book of Snobs.




  1. Who is a snob in Thackeray's view?

  2. What novel is Thackeray's masterpiece?

  3. Name his other notable works.

  4. What characterizes Thackeray as a satirist?

  5. Why are many of the pages he wrote filled with sorrow?

Vanity Fair (A Novel without a Hero)

The subtitle of the book shows the author's intention to describe not individuals, but the bourgeois-aristocratic society as a whole. The author pictu-res the world he describes in the novel as a "very vain, wicked, foolish place, full of all sorts of humbugs, and falseness­es and pretensions". Vanity Fair is a social novel which describes not only society as a whole, but the very laws which govern it. Using satire the author mercilessly exposes the vices of the aristocracy and the merchants, their self-conceit, narrow-mindedness, their worship of money, and moral degradation.

The interest of the novel centres on the characters, rather than on the plot. The author shows various people, their thoughts and actions in different situations. There is no definite hero in the book. In Thackeray's opinion there can be no hero in a society where the cult of money rules the world.

The novel tells of the fates of two girls with sharply contrasting characters — Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley. The daughter of a rich city merchant, Amelia Sedley, is a young girl representing "virtue without wit". She is sweet, honest and naive. Her friend Rebecca Sharp or Becky is clever, talented, charming, energetic



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Thackeray's home where Vanity Fair was

and pleasant to look at. She possesses a keen sense of humour, and a deep understanding of people's nature. The girls meet at school. Becky's father was a teacher of drawing there. After his death Becky has to earn her own living. She un­derstands that society is split into the rich and the poor. Into the world to which Amelia belongs, Becky Sharp, represent­ing "wit without virtue", forces her way after many struggles. Her only aim in life is to get to high socie­ty at all costs1. She de­cides to get to the top of it through marriage. Re­becca tries to entrap Ame­lia's brother Joseph f фэшгх], He is lazy and foolish, but rich. Her plans are ruined by George Osborn ['dz-Ьэп], Amelia's fiance. Becky believes neither in love nor friendship. She flirts with George Osborn, though he is the husband of her friend. She is ready to marry any man to gain wealth and title.

Becky begins to work at Sir Pitt Crawley's fkro:hz] asagoverness. She secretly marries Sir Pitt Crawley's son Rawdon fro:dn], who is to inherit his rich aunt's money. But old Miss Crawley cannot forgive her favourite nephew this foolish step and leaves her money to Rawdon's brother, Sir Pitt. No wonder Rebecca almost loses "her presence of mind" when she realizes how wrong her calculations

were. At that time Pitt Crawley himself proposes to her. The fact that Pitt is old and that she despises him does not count with her. Pitt is the owner of Queen's Crawley. He possesses money and title and these were the only things Becky's greedy nature wishes. "I would have had the town-house newly furnished and decorated. I


(would have had the handsomest carriage in London, and a box at the opera, ... All this might have been; and now — now all was doubt and mystery."

Flattery, hypocrisy, lies and other mean actions help Becky to join the upper classes of society, but no happiness is in store for her1. Her life has neither real feelings, nor honest aims in view.

Contrary to Becky, Amelia is honest, generous and kind to all the people she comes in touch with, and is admired by all."... she could not only sing like a lark... and embroider beautifully, and spell as well as a Dictionary itself, but she had such a kindly, smiling, tender, gentle, generous heart of her own as won the love of everybody who came near her...".

But for all that Amelia cannot be regarded as a heroine of the novel: she is not clever enough to understand the real qualities of the people who surround her. She is too unintelligent, naive and simple hearted to expose all the dirty machinations of the clever and sly Rebecca. She is absolutely "blind" to all the faults of her lightminded and selfish husband, and even after his death she is determined to remain faithful to him.

Suddenly Sedley goes bankrupt. Old Osborne disinherits his son because he has married Amelia, the daughter of his bank­rupt friend. Soon after their marriage George is sent to Belgium { to fight against Napoleon's army. He is killed on the field of Wa-; terloo ['wolalu:]. Now Amelia and her son George are very poor. They only receive occasional presents from little Georgy's god-| father, Colonel Dobbin. He loves Amelia and little Georgy and | after his friend's death proposes to Amelia. Only in the end Ame­lia learns that her husband wanted to leave her and flee with | Becky. Then she agrees to marry Dobbin. Though Dobbin, like

1 at all costs — любой ценой

166


1 but no happiness is in store for her — но ее не ждет счастье

167


Amelia, is an exception in Vanity Fair, he is too primitive and narrow-minded to be admired by the author.

Captain Rawdon Crawley returns a colonel. Rebecca is pre­sented to the court and recognized by upper society. Yet her ca­reer soon comes to an end. Her relations with Lord Steyne [sti:n] are disclosed, and her husband leaves her. Her son is adopted by Rawdon's brother. Rebecca becomes an adventuress.

Old Osborn dies leaving his money to his grandson. Dobbin is appointed as Georgy's guardian.

Vanity Fair is one of the greatest examples of critical realism of the 19th century. The action is carried forward by a series of plots and subplots; the setting is detailed and varied, the characters are real individuals.

Questions and Tasks



  1. Explain the meaning of the subtitle of Vanity Fair.

  2. What vices of bourgeois-aristocratic society are mercilessly exposed by Thackeray in the book?

  3. Name the main characters of the novel.

  4. Give the main facts of Amelia's and Rebecca's life.

  5. Why do we say that Rebecca Sharp embodies the spirit of Vanity Fair?

  6. Do you find any characters that are either all good or all bad?

  7. What traits of character do Amelia and Rebecca possess?

  8. Why do we consider Vanity Fairio be one of the greatest examples of the

19th century critical realism?

The Bronte Sisters



Vocabulary

adopt [s'dcpt] vусыновлять adventures [gd'ventjgns] n авантюристка appoint [a'pomt] v назначать calculation [,kaelkju'leij3n] n расчет charming ['tja:min] а очаровательный colonel [кз:п1] п полковник despise [dis'paiz] v презирать * disclose [dis'kbuz] v раскрывать disinherit ['dism'hant] v лишать на­следства embroider [im'broids] v вышивать , entrap [m'trasp] n обмануть exception [ik'sepjan] n исключение fiance [ft'a:nsei] n жених flattery ['flsetsn] n лесть flee [fli:] v (fled) убегать flirt [fl3:t] v флиртовать godfather ['gt>dfa:6a] n крестный guardian ['gadjsn] n опекун humbug ['ЬлтЬлд] п обман hypocrisy [hi'prjkrssi] n лицемерие keen [ki:n] а глубокий lark [la:k] n жаворонок lightminded ['lait'mamdid] а легко­мысленный

machination [^maeki'neifan] n козни

mean [mi:n] о низкий, подлый

mercilessly f rmisihsli] odv безжалос­тно

naive [na:'i:v] а наивный

narrow-mindedness fnaerau'mamdidnis] n ограниченность

nephew ['nevju:] n племянник

occasional [э'ке1зэп1] а случающийся время от времени

pretension [ргГten/an] n притворство

self-conceat [ 'selfksn 'si:t] n само­мнение

setting ['setirj] n окружающая обста­новка

sharply ['Ja:pli] adv резко

shy [fai] а застенчивый

sly [slai] а хитрый

split [split] v (split) делиться

subplot ['sAb'ptot] n побочная сюжет­ная линия

subtitle ['sAb,taitl] n подзаголовок

virtue ['v3:tju:] n добродетель

wit [wit] n ум

worship ['\V3:Jip] n поклонение





There were three Brontes — novelists: Charlotte (1816 — 1855), Emily (1818- 1848) and Anne (1820- 1849). Their fa­ther was an Irish protestant, a clergyman in Yorkshire. Their mother died when the girls were little. The children were entirely devoted to reading, writing, drawing, wandering over the open moors and play­ing a game of story telling about their imaginary heroes. The sisters received their edu­cation at a charity school and worked as governesses. Private teaching was the only profession open to educated women, and the Brontes needed to earn their living.

Their life was hard, and they tried to create a new world of their imagination. The sisters turned to literature though they knew of the difficulties a woman writer had to face when it came to publication. Their first volume of verse was published under a masculine pseudonym. Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (1846).




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Nowadays Charlotte and Emily rank among the greatest re­alists of the 19th century. Anne is less known, though her Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall cannot be ignored, either.

Vocabulary

charity-school [ 'tfcentisku:l] n приют pseudonym ['sjuidsnim] n псевдоним

(для бедных детей) rank [rsrjk] v относиться к числу; п ряд

masculine ['maskjulm] о мужской


Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte's first attempt at prose writing, the novel The Professor (1847) was rejected by publishers. But the young author was not discouraged and began her next novel Jane Eyre [' ёзет' еэ] (1847) which brought her fame and placed her in the rank of the foremost English realistic writers.

She was personally acquainted with Dickens and Thackeray, and the latter greatly influenced her literary method.

In 1849 Charlotte Bronte published Shirley [ '/3:li]. The novel dealt with the life of workers at the time of the Luddites' movement.

The author's sympathies are with the working people. The last novel by Charlotte Bronte, Vilette [vf let], which came out in 1853, is a realistic description of her experiences at a boarding-school in Brussels.

In her novels Charlotte Bronte combined scenes from her own life with the far richer and more romantic experiences which she imagined. She aimed to make her novels a realistic picture of society but she also added to her realism elements of roman­ticism. The main subject of her books is the soul of a woman, a governess or a teacher. Her heroines are generous, intelligent, modest and gentle. Charlotte Bronte attacks the greed and lack of culture of the bourgeoisie and sympathises with the workers and peasants. She is convinced that society can be reformed by means of education.

Vocabulary

convince [kgn'vms] v убеждать foremost ['fsmsust] а передовой

discourage [dis клшсЦ vобескураживать soul [saul] n душа

Jane Eyre

On the first pages of the book the reader meets Jane Eyre as a small girl at her aunt's house. She loses both of her parents shortly after birth. Her aunt, Mrs Reed, a woman of despotic character is rude and unjust to the poor orphan. Mrs Reed's children also find pleasure in teasing and mocking Jane.

One day, unable to bear the torture any longer, Jane tells straight to her aunt's face all she thinks of her. She is an orphan, a plain and penniless girl, but she possesses her own feelings of right and wrong. Mrs Reed is furious and gets rid of her hated niece by sending her to the Lowood Institution, a charity school for poor girls.

Jane meets with terrible living conditions in Lowood. She stays there for eight long years, six spent in studies, and the remaining two as a teacher.

The other part of the book is one of the most romantic love stories in English literature. When Jane grows up she becomes the governess of Mr Rochester's foster daughter. Mr Rochester is a rich squire. He is a strong, noble, proud, manly and tragic figure. He is much older than Jane. His life has been miserable. He has been wandering here and there seeking rest and dulling his intellect. Heart-weary and soul-withered Mr Rochester meets Jane. He finds in her many of the good and bright qualities which he has sought for twenty years. He proposes to Jane. She is in love with her master and agrees to become his wife. The young woman does not know the truth: for years Mr Rochester has kept a luna­tic wife in his house in charge of a servant. Nobody suspects her existence. On the eve of Jane's marriage the lunatic enters Jane's room and tears her bridal veil in half. In the church she learns Mr Rochester is married. Shocked by the news, she thinks she must leave Thornfield, though she still loves Mr Rochester.



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Half-starved, worn-out and soaked to the skin Jane comes across a parson who helps her to get the job of a teacher in a village-school. Soon she discovers the parson to be her cousin and that she is the heiress of a large sum of money that her uncle on her father's side has left her.

Meanwhile, a great misfortune happens to Mr Rochester: he loses his sight during the fire in the house, caused by his mad wife who meets a tragic death by jumping off the roof in spite of his attempt to save her.

Hearing that Mr Rochester is quite broken down, Jane Eyre comes to him and becomes his right hand and the apple of his eye. They marry and their life is very happy.

Jane Eyre depicts a poor girl's rebellion against cruelty, injus­tice, the division of people into the rich and poor, the inhuman educational system in English charity schools. Another problem raised in the novel is the position of women in society.

The novel examines many sides of the circumstances of women, and Jane's words at the end, "Reader, I married him" show a new move towards freedom and equality. Jane controls her own life and, through all her difficulties and problems, becomes more in­dependent.

Charlotte Bronte presents things in a realistic and satirical way. In Mr Rochester's house Jane meets the county gentry — uncultured, ambitious, cold and vulgar. They are contrasted with Jane, a poor orphan. She is honest, intelligent, brave and strong-willed.

There are a lot of emotional and thrilling episodes in the novel. Charlotte Bronte also has fine knowledge of the English language and she uses it skilfully.

Vocabulary


ambitious [sem'bijgs] a честолюбивый apple of the eye n зеница ока bear [Ьеэ] v (bore; borne) переносить bridal ['braidl] а свадебный charge [tfa:c^] n забота

to be in charge of иметь (кого-л.) на попечении division [di'vi3n] n деление dull [d41] v притуплять foster ['fbstg] а приемный


sight [sait] n зрение

soak [sauk] v промачивать (о дожде) to be soaked to the skin промок­нуть насквозь (до нитки)

sought [so:t] past и р. р. от seek

soul-withered fssulwKfod] а изнуренный

suspect [sss'pekt] v подозревать

tear [tea] v (tore; torn) рвать

tease [ti:z] v дразнить

torture ['to:tfs] n муки

veil [veil] n фата

worn-out ['wo:n'airt] а усталый, изну­ренный



gentry ftfeentn] n мелкопоместное дво­рянство heart-weary ['halwisn] а усталый heiress f'eans] n наследница lunatic ['limstik] а сумасшедший manly ['maenli] а мужественный mock [rrrak] v насмехаться parson fpa:sn] n приходский священник plain [plem] а простой rebellion [n'beljsn] n бунт rid [rid] v (rid; ridden) избавлять

to get rid of избавиться seek [si:k] v (sought) искать


Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte wrote only one novel Wuthering Heights fwAdann 'halts] — her prose-poem. This book is regarded as one of the most remarkable novels in English literature.

It is a novel of passion, an early psychological novel. The cen­tral characters, Cathy and Heathcliff live out their passion in the windy, rough countryside of Yorkshire, and the landscape is as wild as their relationship. The novel is very original in the way it is written, moving backward and forward in time, and in and out of the minds of the characters. Again it presents a new view of women and their emotions.

The book is strange. On the one hand the plot is full of mys­tery. On the other hand the novel is very concrete: the time of the action, the landscape, geography and climate are realistic. The author of the book makes no difference between the supernatu­ral and natural. Both work together to serve her artistic purpose. The mystery and the supernatural are used as romantic elements in her original study of violent characters.

Emily Bronte's characters and actions may seem unbelievable but they convince us. They are unique, and their violent emo­tions are connected with the Yorkshire moors where the action takes place. The moors are varying to suit the changing moods of the story, and they are beautifully described in all seasons.



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Emily Bronte very skilfully shows the reader her heroes' psy­chology and moral conflicts, their desires, passions, temperaments and human weaknesses.

Vocabulary

concrete [kDn'kiit] a конкретный unique [ju'ni:k] a необыкновенный

psychology [saf кю1эф] п психология vary [vean] v меняться


suit [sju:t] v соответствовать violent ['vaiatant] а неистовый

supernatural [,sju:p9'na£tjrel] о сверхъ­естественный



Anne Bronte

The youngest Bronte sister, Anne, wrote The Tenant ofWildfell Hall (1848) also with an unusual central female character and involving complex relationships and problems.

All three Bronte sisters faced these kinds of problems into the novel with unusual courage and directness, and together they changed the way the novel could present women characters: after the Brontes, female characters were more realistic, less idealized and their struggles became the subject of a great many novels later in the nineteenth century.

Vocabulary

directness [daf rektnis] n прямота female ['fiimeil] а женский . involve [in'volv] v затрачивать

Questions and Tasks



  1. Name the three Bronte's — novelists.

  2. What do you know about their childhood?

  3. Where did they receive their education?

  4. What profession was open to educated women at that time?

  5. Why did the Brontes turn to literature?

  6. What was their first volume of verse?



  1. Who ranks among the greatest realists of the 19th century?


  2. What was Charlotte Bronte's first attempt at prose writing?

  3. What novel brought her fame?




  1. What were her last two novels about?

  2. Name the main subject of Charlotte Bronte's books.

  3. What traits of characters do her heroines possess?

  4. Give a brief summary of the contents of Jane Eyre.

  5. What themes does Charlotte Bronte touch upon in Jane Eyre?

  6. What can you say about the only novel of Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights'?

  7. Comment on the plot and the characters of the novel Wuthering Heights.

  8. What novel was written by Anne Bronte?

  9. What is the Bronte sisters' contribution to the development of the English novel?

George Eliot (1819-1881)




George Eliot

George Eliot ['dp:d3'elj3t] is the pen-name of Mary Ann Evans ['evanz], who began writing fiction when she was already middle-aged. Until then she had worked as a journalist. Mary's fa­ther was a land agent. She was born some twenty miles from Stratford-on-Avon, but spent her childhood on a farm in the Midlands. The girl studied at two private schools for young ladies. After her mother's death she left school at the age of seventeen. Since that time, to almost thirty she kept house for her widowed father. Along with her work in the house, she found time to study languages, biology and other sciences. Mary read a great deal and became interested in social and philosophical prob­lems. She became one of the most learned women of her time. After she had moved to London she translated some philosophi­cal works from German into English and acted as assistant editor of the Westminster Review.


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George Eliot best works are: Adam Bede [bi:d] (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860) and Silas fsailas] Marner (1861). These books are a wonderful study of English provincial life. They deal with rural society — the farmers, the small landlords and the clergy of Warwickshire. Eliot's works are also rich in descriptions of the English countryside, drawn with exactness and a deep love of nature. The persons she writes of are for the most part the com­mon people of the country and village, whom she knew from her earliest years.

George Eliot very skilfully reveals to the reader her heroes' psychology and moral conflicts. Their desires, passion, tempera­ment and human weaknesses are always struggling with their moral duty. That is why in her novels George Eliot deals mostly with the problems of religion and morality. Eliot shows an emo­tional sympathy and tenderness towards her heroes, praising their human dignity, unselfishness, honesty and frankness, and at the same time pitilessly unmasking the hypocrisy and wickedness of those who make them suffer.

The works of the later period — Romola fromab] (1863), Felix Holt [ 'fi:liks 'hault], the Radical (1866), Middlemarch (1872) and Daniel Deronda [da'rrmda] (1876) — are much weaker. They contain less observation and fhspiration.

But George Eliot must be judged by the books in which she gave her talent, the books that brought her fame and made her one of the most distinguished English novelists of the period.

George Eliot's work belongs to the later period of the 19th century novel. She has sometimes been described as the first modern English novelist. Her great merit is a deep psychological analysis of the characters she portrays, and a keen observation of their inner world.




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Английская и американская литература: Курс лекций для школьников старших классов и студентов / Тексты, примеч. Н. Л. Утевской. — СПб.: Учитель и ученик КОРОНА принт, 2002. — 384 с.

ISBN 5-7931-0176-4

Книга представляет собой лекции по программе, утвержденной для школ с углубленным изучением английского языка. Лекции включают краткий и емкий обзор различных литературных направлений, стилей, школ, а также жизнеописание и анализ творчества писателей и поэтов за последние де­сять веков. Пособие окажет неоценимую помощь учащимся и преподавате­лям школ и вузов, а также всем изучающим английский язык.

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