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Synonyms within the following pairs differ by style. Point out which of them are bookish, colloquial or neutral.
(Consult the context in which they are used in the text.)
picture house — cinema to get on in years — to age to endeavour — to try
to sing (perform) — to render desolate — sad to clap — to applaud
XVI. Go over the text again and try to discuss the following:
1. How does the author describe the music-hall? Point out the contrasting characteristics. What kind of atmosphere is created by the author in the fragment? By what devices is the effect achieved?
2. How does the author make the reader understand that Rosa is a kind-hearted girl, capable of understanding and compassion? Which method of characterization does the author use?
3. Comment on the selection of words in the fragment.
4. Comment on the syntax of the fragment and its stylistic value.
XVII. a) Translate the text into Russian:
It was time to go. Francis Woburn put on his enormous hat, started talking about himself again, and they walked down to the Coliseum. He was much taller than she had supposed him to be — though perhaps it was the absurd hat — and she felt a little dumpy thing, though a nice sensible little dumpy thing, as she trotted along by his side, pretending to listen, but busy all the time telling herself that here she was, Rose Salter, going to the Russian Ballet at the Coliseum, with a tall, superfine, very Londonish young man. It was all very strange indeed.
They climbed to one of the balconies of the gigantic theatre, which seemed to Rose the most splendid and exciting place she had ever seen. Dozens of players down below were tuning up. All round them, superfine persons, not unlike Francis Woburn, were studying their programmes. Then the lights died away, except those that illuminated the curtain so beautifully. The music began, and Francis Woburn stopped talking. Rose instantly forgot his very existence. The music was very strange, not like any she had heard before, and not at all comfortable and friendly and sweet. Rose did not know whether she liked it or not; she could not keep it at a distance to decide about it; she was simply carried away and half drowned by the colossal waves of sound; she was overwhelmed by its insistent beat and clang. The curtain was magically swept away, and the stage blazed at her. She was staring at a new country, a new world. It was as if the last great wave of music had taken her and flung her over the boundaries of this world. The little people in these new countries lived their lives only in movement. Sometimes they were dull. Sometimes they were silly. But at other times they were so beautiful in their energy and grace, so obviously the creatures of another and better world than this, a world all of music and colour, that Rose choked and ached at the sight of them.
People clapped. Francis Woburn clapped. But Rose did not clap. Just putting her hands together, making a silly noise, was not good enough for them. She gave them her heart.
(From "They Walk in the City" by J. B.Priestley)
b) Comment on the following aspects of the fragment:
1. How does the author describe the music? What does he mean by saying that the music was "not at all comfortable and friendly and sweet" ? How do you understand the words "She could not keep it at a distance to decide about it"? Does music ever affect you in the same way? What kind of music does? 2. Explain the words: "The stage blazed at her." "The little people in these new countries lived their lives only in movement." "...the creatures of another and better world than this, a world all of music and colour."
c) Comment on the literary merit and style of the fragment. Do you think that the author has managed to create a vivid and emotionally charged picture of a ballet performaAcet (Give reasons for whatever you say.) Which lines do you consider especially expressive? Why? What stylistic devices can you point out in the extract?
XVIII. Write an essay describing a person's first visit to a ballet (opera, drama) performance or to a symphony concert. Try to imitate the style and manner of the fragment above (you may borrow some phrases from it).
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