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
to serve as Dean of a cathedral
служить деканом собора
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
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
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.