Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
Gulliver’s Travels

Jonathan Swift was born of English parents in Dublin, Ireland in 1667. He became a clergyman of the Church of England and later served as Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. His works, mostly satirical, fill 20 volumes; but the story of Gulliver remains the most popular and best-beloved of them all.

Gulliver’s travels is a story for all ages, though most of us meet it first when we are very young. For, in a sense, it is a fairy tale for children - the story of the great man in a world of tiny people, and then the tiny man in a world of great ones. But the more understanding we can bring to Gulliver’s adventure, the more we can get out of them. Children love the bright fantasy; as we grow up, we can see more of the satire on human customs that Swift poured into it.

Gulliver’s Travels is a book which turns an inquiring eye on the habits and opinions of men by turning things topsy-turvy. In the land of Lilliput, Lemuel Gulliver is a giant - the biggest man ever seen; in the Kingdom of Brobdingnag he was a pygmy. And in the country of Houyhnms his situation was even stranger; he travels to a land where kind, sensible horses are the «humans», and men are brute beasts. Among these intelligent horse-like beings he was the only «man» with a notion that he was more than a stupid beast.

The story Gulliver tells of his adventures among all these creatures is a lively yarn that has been a favourite with readers for almost 250 years. Yet as we laugh at the odd habits he tells about, we must sometimes feel a little rueful - for we find we are laughing at ourselves, and our own ways of behaving. Somehow Swift manages to give us a new look at ourselves through alien but astonishingly clear-sighted eyes. That is what is called «satire».

But satire alone is not enough to make a book beloved by the generations; we read the book for the marvel of the story, to find out what will happen next.

Topical Vocabulary

Gulliver’s travels
«Путешествия Гулливера»
- to be born of English parents
родиться в английской семье
a clergyman
священник
to serve as Dean of a cathedral
служить деканом собора
satirical
сатирический
to fill ... volumes
составлять ... томов
the most popular and best-beloved of them all
самый популярный и любимый из всех
- a story for all ages
книга для всех возрастов
a fairy tale
сказка
Gulliver’s adventure
«Приключения Гулливера»
bright fantasy
яркая фантастика
satire on human’s customs
сатира на человеческие обычаи
- to turn an inquiring eye on smth.
исследовать что-либо
habits and opinions of men
привычки и взгляды человека
to turn things topsy-turvy
ставить все с ног на голову
a giant
гигант
a pygmy
пигмей, лилипут
an intelligent horse-like being
умное существо, похожее на лошадь
a notion
понятие, понимание
a stupid beast
тупое животное
a lively yarn
живой, яркий рассказ
to be a favourite with readers
быть любимым читателями
odd habits
странные привычки
to feel a little rueful
чувствовать некоторое беспокойство
to laugh at oneself
смеяться над собой
a way of behaving
тип поведения
a new look at ourselves
свежий взгляд на самих себя
through alien but clear-sighted eyes
(смотреть) со стороны, но видеть все ясно
- beloved by the generations
любимый многими поколениями
to read smth. for the marvel of the story
читать что-либо ради сюжета

Answer the questions:

  1. What was Swift’s profession?
  2. What works is he famous for?
  3. Why can «Gulliver’s travels» be called a story of all ages?
  4. What does Swift aim at when he is turning things topsy-turvy?
  5. How can you define satire?
  6. What makes the book beloved by generations?

Translate into English:

  1. «Путешествия Гулливера» - наиболее популярная из всех сатирических произведений Свифта книга.
  2. «Путешествия Гулливера» - книга для всех возрастов; для детей это - сказка; для взрослых - сатирическое произведение.
  3. Детям нравится фантазия, которой полна книга; взрослые видят в ней сатиру на человеческие нравы и идеи.
  4. В книге Гулливер это гигант в стране лилипутов, то пигмей в стране гигантов, то единственное человеческое существо среди людей, похожих на животных, и лошадей, похожих на людей.
  5. История Гулливера пользуется популярностью у читателей около 250 лет.
  6. Мы смеемся над героями книги, но нам не по себе, так как мы смеемся и над своим поведением.
  7. Сатира и занимательность сюжета сделали книгу любимой для многих поколений читателей.

Посмотреть ответы

1. «Gulliver’s travels» is the most popular and best beloved of all satirical works by Swift.
2. «Gulliver’s Travels» is a book for all ages: this is a fairy tale for children and a satirical book for grown-ups.
3. Children love the fantasy the book is full of; grown-ups see in it the satire on human customs and opinions.
4. In the book Gulliver is a giant in a land of pygmies, or a pygmy in a land of giants, or the only human in every sense among humans looking like beasts, and horses looking like humans.
5. Gulliver’s story has been a favourite with readers for almost 250 years.
6. We laugh at the characters of the book, and we feel a little rueful, as we are laughing at our own ways of behaving.
7. Satire and the marvel of the story have made the book beloved by the generations.

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