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open-faced (a)

artless (a)

glow (v)

gasp out (v)

cram (v)

wind up (v)

fade away (v)

bleed (v)

measles (n)

resistance (n)

hooping-cough (n)

guilty (a)

bore (v)

writhe (v)

creep (v)

crawl (v)

violently (adv.)

sweep away (v)



to have charge of something or somebody

to strike somebody a box on the ear

to burst into (an agony of grief)

to stare someone in the face

to square (double) one's fists

to make one's appearance

to have a care of appearances

to get credit

to push onward

a position in society

to keep somebody up

to lay the thread


I. Explain and expand on the following:

1. The beautiful mother-vision had faded away after awhile.

2. The cook looked at the housemaid; the housemaid looked know­ingly at the footman — the awful kitchen inquisition which sits in judgment in every house, and knows everything — sat on Rebecca at the moment.

3. You see a woman in a great party in a splendid saloon, surround­ed by faithful admirers, distributing sparkling glances, dressed to perfection, curled, rouged, smiling and happy.

4. Discovery walks respectfully up to her, in the shape of a huge powdered man with large calves and a tray of ices — with Calumny (which is as fatal as truth) — behind him, in the shape of the hulking fellow carrying the wafer-biscuits.

5. Some people ought to have mutes for servants in Vanity Fair — mutes who could not write.

6. If you are guilty, tremble ... If you are not guilty, have a care of appearances; which are as ruinous as guilt.


II. Paraphrase the following sentences from the text:

1. He was a fine open-faced boy, with blue eyes and waving flaxen hair, sturdy in limb, but generous and soft in heart: fondly attaching himself to all who were good to him.

2. Molly ... crammed him with ghost stories at night, and with good things from the dinner.

3. He plagued and laughed at Briggs.

4. His mother ... struck him violently a couple of boxes on the ear.

5. He gasped out at various intervals these exclamations of rage and grief.


III. Find in the text the sentences of which the following ones are periphrases:

1. Lord Steyne could not stand the sight of the boy.

2. Of all the people who visited their house, this one roused the boy's most bitter hatred.

3. After that day of the boxes on the ear the mother's feelings for the boy grew more and more bitter.

4. Rawdon would meet his gaze without flinching.

5. The image of the beautiful mother had gradually disappeared.


IV. Use the following questions as a plan for the discussion and analysis of the text:


1. What types of narration does the text represent?

2. What is the general slant of the text?

3. How many parts does the extract fall in? What title can be given to each part?

4. Whose portraits are drawn by the author? Are these portraits direct, indirect, dynamic, psychological?

5. What does the reader learn about little Rawdon from the first paragraph?

6. What is the role of epithets in Rawdon`s portrayal? What is an epithet?

7. Does Rawdon’s portrayal make the reader sympathize with the boy?

8. Does it seem the reverse order the subjects of the boy’s attachment are listed? What effect does the reverse order produce?

9. Who is absent in the list of Rawdon`s attachments? Why?

10. Why do you think the mother is called «mother-vision»?

11. Can you prove that Becky had been always indifferent to her child?

12. In what sentences are her feelings towards the boy displayed?

13. What sentence tells about Rawdon`s attempt to listen to his mother’s singing?

14. What words can prove that on the one hand Rawdon is scared of his mother, but on the other hand he loves her?

15. What kind of relationship between the mother and son does the scene with the boxes reveal?

16. What can you say about Becky’s character?

17. What feature of Becky’s character is added by ironical «free and artless exhibition»? Do you think that she behaves in the same manner in the saloons of higher society?

18. How does the boy feel after the incident with the boxes? Where does he find his friends? What can you say about his position in the house?

19. What word is repeated in Rawdon`s speech? What is the repetition as a stylistic device? What does the repetition imply?

20. What can you say about Rawdon`s speech in terms of grammar?

21. What proves the fact that Rawdon speaks with an effort? Why is it difficult for him to speak?

22. What words and stylistic devices illustrate Rawdon`s hurt feelings? Is the author sorry for the boy?

23. What sentence is the illustration of parallelism? What is its effect?

24. What is it meant by «the kitchen inquisition»? Does the word combination sound ironical?

25. What words depict the mother’s and son’s feelings to each other after the incident with the boxes on the ear?

26. How is Lord Steyne`s attitude to the boy described? What epithets are used? What can you say about Lord Steyne? Does the author sympathize with him?

27. Was Rawdon afraid of Lord Steyne? Why do you think so? How does the boy treat the man?

28. Where’s the richness of the servants` world shown? Why is it done in detail?

29. Where and why does the author digress from the narration? What is digression?

30. What words and phrases can prove that the author addresses his readers?

31. What people do Discovery and Calumny stand for? Are they eager to know as much as possible about their masters and gossip and judge them? What is metonymy? What effect does the metonymy produce in the text?

32. Why are cockney forms «Jeames» and «Chawles» used?

33. Why would it better to have mutes for servants?

34. Why does the author use threatening words and intonation?

35. Why does the author compare the servant with a janissary?

36. Where does Thacheray`s irony lie?

37. Does the author feel sorry for Rebecca who is sentenced to be guilty? How does he express his pity for her?

38. What image does Thacheray create referring to a spider? What does he find in common in Rebecca and a spider?

39. How does the final description illustrate the gist of the novel, that “Everything is fuss in Vanity Fair”?

40. What can you say abut the symbolism of the title? How does the extract under analysis illustrate the meaning of the title?


V. Complete the table:


¹ Conclusions, ideas The language material to prove
The author sympathizes with Rawdon The use of epithets such us…
The author is ironical about Rawdon`s attachments A reverse…
The author shows Becky’s indifference to her son He says…
Rawdon was afraid of his mother but loved her In the episode…
Becky is cruel to Rawdon The incident…
The author is ironical about Becky’s hypocrisy The note about…
The author is sorry for Rawdon The set of words…Rawdon`s speech…
The author is highly ironical about the servants who are eager to gossip The use of such stylistic devices as…
The author portrays Rawdon as a brave, strong boy ready to fight his enemy ….
The author involves the reader in his narration
The author is sorry for Rebecca
Everything is fuss in Vanity Fair


VI. Complete the sentences:


1. The extract under analysis is…

2. The author portrays the boy with the help of…

3. The author makes the reader feel…

4. The humorous effect in the first paragraph is achieved by…

5. The choice of words helps to understand…

6. Rebecca is portrayed…

7. The boy’s hurt feelings are shown with the help of …

8. The culminating point of Part 1 is…

9. One of the most expressive stylistic devices used by the author is…

10. The sentence is rich in…

11. The novelist created a true portrait of…


* He – little Rawdon, Rebecca’s son

** Lord Southdown – brother of Lady Jane Crawley, Rawdon’s aunt

*** Briggs – an old spinster who lived with Rebecca as a companion

**** Lord Steyne – an old aristocrat, Rebecca’s admirer

* Gaunt House – Lord Steyne’s mansion

** Bon Dieu! (Fr.) – Áîæå ìîé!

*** Vehmgericht (German) – òàéíîå ñóäèëèùå

**** That kep him up – that kept him up

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 939

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