Is Higher Education Necessary for Everyone?

Education is an important part of everyone’s life. Some people believe that getting higher education is crucial while others believe that one can easily do without it.

In my opinion, university education gives you a wider range of opportunities in your future life. It is common knowledge that students at universities do not study only professional subjects but also a variety of other basic ones which are compulsory for all kinds of specialists. Thus higher education broadens your outlook and horizons because you never know what may come in handy in the future. Moreover, higher education is more profound than technical (college) education and you can apply your knowledge more efficiently.

Читать далее Is Higher Education Necessary for Everyone?

My favourite sport (cycling). 7 класс

My favourite sport is cycling. I have a good mountain bike and ride it mostly in summer and sometimes in spring and autumn. I like cycling because it gives me freedom. I like to explore new places. I ride across the fields and in the forest. Cycling develops allmy muscles and lungs. I ride my bike nearly every day on holidays when the weather is fine. I hope to ride longer distances this year. I advise everyone to buy a bicycle and ride it as much as possible. You will never regret it!

Why do people do sports? (7 класс)

Sport is an important part of our life. Most people go in for sports to keep fit and to be more athletic and energetic. Sport helps us lose weight and look better. Some people do sports because it is in fashion and their friends are keen on it. Physical activity is an effective means to get rid of stres. When you are in a team,you can make friends for your whole life. I think it is interesting to take part in competitions and to win prizes. As for me, I go to the swimming pool and think it is healthy and amusing.

My Summer Holidays (письмо, 6 класс)

Dear Ann,

my summer holidays were long and interesting. I spent them not only in the city, but also in the country. Besides, I went to St Petersburg and Moscow with my parents. I visited the Hermitage and the Kremlin.

In summer I met my friends nearly every day and we did a lot of interesting things together. We played badminton, went swimming and played different games indoors and outdoors. I had time for my hobbies. I drew and painted, went to the dancing club and reaad books and magazines.

I took a lot of photos in summer and didn’t forget to revise what I know in all the school subjects.

Write me about your holidays!

Love,

My Ideal School (7 класс)

School is a place where you spend a lot of time. So a perfect school must have definite qualities. I believe that school should be compulsory, but the school uniform is not necessary. There must not be more than two tests a day.

I think that we have good teachers and i don’t want to have anyone else. I would add some subjects, such as astronomy and computer design. I would like to have a better equipped school with a laptop for each student.

The system of marks should have 10 grades (balls). The students should have more activities after school. I would like to go on excursions and outings with the teachers. So this is mmy idea of a perfect school.

A letter about a favourite music star (Laser, Carla Martinez)

Dear Ann!

How is it going?

Thanks a lot for your e-mail. It was great to hear that you would come to us in August. I would be glad to see you again.

You project ‘Music Stars’ sounds interesting and I would be happy to take part in it.

Here are my answers to your questionnaire:

I like Carla Martinez, because of her brilliant voice, I like the lyrics and videoclips of her songs, too. I have been her fan for a year and a half, since I first heard her song ‘Life is Love’. It is the best composition to dance to.

I haven’t been to any of her concerts yet, but hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to see Carla Martinez in real life next year.

I have to go now as I have a rehearsal at the musical school at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Take care and hope to hear from you soon.

All the best,

Bobby.

A Letter to Santa Claus

Dear Santa!

 

I know that a lot of children from all over the world write you letters. But I can’t imagine how you cope with all this work. It really must be a challenge!

I am writing to tell you how I’ve spent this year. It is not over yet, but it has been rich in events and new things.

I have tried to behave like a model boy. I have been industrious and hardworking. I have met a lot of new people and some of them are my good friends now.

I have made good progress at school. I have been trying to get better marks for quite a long time, though it takes a lot of efforts to fulfil all the tasks. The thing isthat I do not only go to comprehensive school, but at the same time I attend musical school, where I play the drums, the guitar and the xylophone.

I have tried to help my parents, to be polite and kind to everyone. I haven’t told lies this year.

Dear Santa, I don’t think it would be reasonable to ask you for a bicycle or skis or what not. I would like to ask you for health for all my family and friends. Wealth is not the most important thing, but we all would be happy if you sent us some additional income. I would like my Father work less, so that he could spend more time with me.

But still…

If I don’t sound impudent, you might probably put a tablet (tab) under the Christmas tree on the Eve of New Year. (I don’t necessarily need an iPad, a «Samsung» would be OK)

Next Year I am going to be the same as this year and even better. I do promise and solemnly declare it.

Standards of Beauty (стандарты красоты, внешность)

They say there are 7 billion people on the Earth. And we are all different: short or tall, fat or thin, white or coloured. No matter how we look we should take people as they are. Unfortunately, people are often treated by their appearance, according to some generally accepted standards. This fact in my opinion, makes people look the same and they often lose their individuality. If a woman has dark hair, why why should she dye it blonde? Why does she make it wavy if it’s straight from nature? It’s interesting that the standards of beauty are different all over the world.

A reporter from Germany asked 40 deisgners all over the world to retouch her photo according to their ideals of beauty.

The difference was obvious — some countries like pale skin, others prefer dark complexion. They changed the shape of eyebrows and eyes greatly. The haircuts were different, too. And what is you ideal of beauty?

 

смотрите ссылку на материал в дополнение: 

http://www.adme.ru/tvorchestvo-fotografy/idealy-krasoty-711060/

Letter (how we celebrate New Year)

Dear Ben,

I’m really glad to get a letter from you. You know, that on January, 1st we are going to celebrate New Year. I would like to wish you joy, luck and happiness in the new year, though you don’t celebrate this holiday widely in the UK. And of course today, on the 25thy of December I wish you Mery Christmas!

New Year is our family holiday. We gather at our place with all our relatives and friends. It is my favourite day at the same time. You know I’m fond of giving presents. It gives me some inner nice and warm feeling, when you do somebody good. I like to see the happy eyes of my family and friends. The best present I have ever received was last year when I got my ‘peT-friend’ — my huge cat, a maine coon.

Here I attach some photos of this wonderful animal to the letter.

Waiting for you reply,

Sincerely yours,

_____

A letter (about reading as a hobby)

Dear Ben!

Thanks for your e-mail, I got it yesterday evening and read it with with great interest.

I’m sure to read the books you wrote me about. You know I’m keen on reading and I would like to tell you something about me in this regard.

I always try to find time for reading. You know, I don’t like to read in public transport because I can’t concentrate properly. And reading requires concentration. My favourite genre is detective stories. The book about Sherlock Holmes by Conan-Doyle was the first one I read 5 years ago. At that time I read it in Russian and now I’m reading it in English. I have read a lot of stories since then, but Sherlock Holmes is my favourite character.

Reading makes us think and develops our imagination geratly. You get a wider view of the world, you start to understand different people, you learn a lot of interesting facts about the culture of other countries. I mean that I like to read not only detective stories, but also historical books and classical literature as well.

Before I read a book, I read the biography of the author — it helps me understand his ideas better.

Do you do the same, by the way? Have you read any books by Russian authors? What exactly?

Finally I would like to share a weblink with you. You’ll find a lot of interesting e-books there:______ . Give me your weblinks, too.

 

Sincerely yours,

_____

How should stealing at school be punished (8 класс)

There are a lot of ways to break the law. A theft is one of them. Stealing at school may really be a problem for both pupils and teachers. So the question of punishment arises. One of the possible ways-out here is permanent exclusion.

Firstly it’s stupid to simply turna back on thieves at school. Today they steal a pen, tomorrow they will steal a mobile phone and in the end they will find themselves in prison. However, there may be mistakes here: you can occasionally take the neighbour’s pen. But don’t forget to give it back and you’ll laugh at your absent-mindedness together. Though, pens may be different — a «Bic» which costs 10 roubles or a gilded «Parker» which costs thousands of roubles. So, any case needs thorough investigation. And if it turns out that someone does it on purpose or repeatedly, he or she must be excluded permanently without any further questions.

Is it really a solution? The same student will be transferred to another school. Guess what he will do there?

In my opinion, the best way is to prevent any criminal activity in class rather than deal with the consequences. It’s the task of parents and teachers.

But we should remember that some children have inventive minds and are apt to lay blame on their innocent classmates.

Finally, I don’t think any other ways of punishment would be effective enough against theft. I am fully for exclusion if the case is really serious and if it is not a mistake.

My school week (6 класс)

My school day usually begins at 1:50 p.m. and I have 5 to 7 lessons a day. The most difficult day for me is Thursday, because I have 2 lessons of Russian, History and I have to do a lot of homework. My timetable includes different subjects: Maths, Russian, Literature, Biology, IT, Social Studies, PE, History, Geography, Technology, English, Music and Art. I like English and PE because of good teachers.

We have lunch at the school canteen after the third lesson. I like the food there, especially on Wednesday.

I go home in the evening right after school. I attend the swimming pool two times a week.

Sunday Meal (6 класс)

Sunday is a day-off and I don’t have to hurry at breakfast. That’s why Mom cooks something tasty for example, a pizza or an omelette with bacon, and something sweet for dessert.

Sunday dinner is a family meal. We can discuss everything we want, tell each other interesting news and spend timetogether. Sunday dinner consists of 3 courses. I like mushroom soup or chicken soup for the first course, fish and chips or meat dumplings for the second course and tea or coffee with pastry for dessert. Sometimes we go to a cafe on Sundays.

And of course, I really like Russian borshch, which my Mom cooks for us, but I don’t know its recipe.

Road Mysteries, a mystical short story.

It was the last week of December just before New Year. Mr Hobbs and his family were driving to their countryhouse to visit Granny. The day was snowy and snowflakes were falling and dancing in the air.

It was getting dark and Mr Hobbs had to press on the brake when he saw a dark outline of a big truck. The truck was moving too slowly and Mr Hobbs decided to overtake it. Everyone in the car (Mr Hobb’s wife and their two children) saw the plate number clearly. There was ‘FI 013’ on it. The truck was muddy and on its side there was a huge logo — a black dog in a red circle.

They left th truck behind… The father was changing the music tracks on the car stereo. He distracted himself for a second from the road. Looking back at the road he saw the same dark outline again.

Getting closer he realized that the black dog was looking at him again with its small evil eyes. ‘Look, Daddy!’ — cried Philip, the younger son. Its number plate is ‘FI 013!’

Caliph Stork — пересказ книги по домашнему чтению, 6 класс

‘Caliph Stork’ is a story about magic and human relations. The story started with a salesman who offered the Caliph some magic powder. The next day Caliph and his guard Vizier tried it and turned into storks, as the powder could transform people into any creatures. But the salesman was a man with evil intentions. He warned them that they shouldn’t laugh, otherwise they would forget the magic word that could turn them into humans again. At first they were happy to be storks, they could fly but then they couldn’t get rid of magic. And they were likely to remain storks for the rest of their lives.

One day they were flying over a ruined castle and heard a cry. They found a weeping owl inside. The owl was a princess and if somebody married her, she would become a lady again. Caliph believed her and made an offer. She showed them the way to a secret room, where the magician and his companions often met each other. They heard the magical word that could help them and turned into people.

Soon they took revenge upon the magician, his son and the companions. The magician was locke in a dungeon and his soon became a stork.

My future profession (an architect). 6-7 класс

I haven’t decided yet what I want to be, because I’m too young. But it often seems to me that my ideal job is to be an architect.We can see a lot of different buildings in any city. And when I look at beautiful buildings, I dream of creating them myself. Architects have a good salary but they have to solve a lot of technical problems. I would like to have a separate office, where I could work.

I understand that it’s a great responsibility to be an architect because the building should be safe and reliable. That’s why I need to be careful, smart and serious.

My dream is to drive one day in the future by a building tht I have created myself and feel, that  my work is important and people really need it.

A letter to a friend abroad (Learning English)

Dear Emily,

I was very happy to get your letter on Monday. I looked at your summer photos, they are really great. In your letter you asked me a question about the way I learn English here in Russia.

I have learnt English for 7 years. I don’t remember why I chose English. Probably it was chosen because it’s the most popular language in the world and in Russia in particular.

I like English, it’s one of my favourite subjects at school. We practise reading, speaking, writing, and listening at our lessons.

Sometimes I have problems memorizing new words because I don’t have enough time on weekdays.

The English grammar seems to be a bit complicated, especially its system of tense forms.

I am fond of reading English books and stories, they are very helpful, I get a lot of new vocabulary units and structures from them.

Sometimes I watch films. It’s still difficult to understand fluent speech because of the difference in accents.

Could you please recommend any educational websites for English learners? I would be grateful to you. Tell me about your experience in learning foreign languages.

Sincerely yours,

Nick.

New Year (6-7 класс)

New Year is the most popular holiday in Russia. My family is not an exception.

New Year is a family holiday. It gives us an opportunity to meet each other, to discuss the news and to share impressions and other things. As for me, I think that the best thing about New Year is present exchange. A present is not necessarily expensive, but it has an important meaning. I like to choose presents more than to get them.

I always try to help about the house and with the cooking. It is very important to create right atmosphere at home.

On the 1st of January we meet the relatives and friends. Besides I have holidays and can do what I want. Christmas follows New Year and we celebrate them as one holiday.

How to encourage a child to make better progress at school

I think it is a problem for any parents to make their child work hard at school; some pupils don’t want to study at all in primary school and vice versa. In my opinion, there isn’t any universal medium, but getting a child interested in his learning. It’s no use punishing him, praises can be effective only for some short time, promises of future rewards make your child idle anyway. Getting the pupil interested means to explain to him, that everyone has his own type of occupation: grown-ups go to work, and pupils learn. It’s very important to bring it home to the kid, that he studies only for himself and for his future. The teachers don’t want to hurt him, and even bad marks are good in the end. The teacher seems to be an enemy to small children, and some get this attitude towards teacher in habit even in secondary school. If you see that your child isn’t capable to work the whole day through, you can suggest his learning several subjects as essential ones, but he must receive only excellent marks, as they are inextricably connected with his future career. But he mustn’t stop learning other subjects of course.

 

The example of someone in the family is very important still. You can say: ”Look at your granddad, he’s an architect just because he studied at school perfectly”. The kid will be ashamed, and it’ll help him to realize that it’s very important to do well at school. The sooner he can work hard, the better.

What I have to say about the book “Three men in a boat (to say nothing of the dog)” by Jerome Klapka Jerome [outline]

The peculiarity of the book by Jerome is in its truthfulness. The author tells it to the reader in the preface to the first edition. The book itself has a special kind of composition: all chapters of it are practically separate stories, telling us about those events that have ever happened to the four main characters. They are George, Harris, the narrator himself and their dog Montmorency. But at the same time the book has main line, which unites all the chapters – the friends are travelling along the Thames.

This book can be surely treated as a humorous one, but it often shows us the naked truth, and makes the reader think about the things he has never thought about at all.

A man who’s fond of making fuss and fidgeting will be pleased to read an extract about Uncle Podger. Fortunately, the author describes the process of hanging a portrait on the wall in full detail.

A man who’s keen on boasting should read that episode, when the narrator is in the pub, where a huge trout stands in a glass-box on the shelf. And every new fisherman who comes into the pub tells him his own story of catching that incredible fish. But actually, when the narrator suddenly bumps into the box, the thing is broken into thousands of pieces – the fish is made of plaster!

So this way the author mildly draws our attention to the drawbacks of people’s character. The humour of the book is very lively, and not at all offensive.

Читать далее What I have to say about the book “Three men in a boat (to say nothing of the dog)” by Jerome Klapka Jerome [outline]

A character sketch of Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Atticus Finch is one of the main characters of the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Atticus is a lawyer in the provincial town of Maycomb in Alabama. This time he takes up a complicated case of a Negro and stands up for his interests in court.

Atticus himself is a white man, he is over 50 years old, he is a widower with two children, Jem and Jean Louise.

Atticus is characterized both directly (‘he wasn’t a thunderer’) and indirectly, mainly through his speech in court (in the given extract) and in the book itself. Thus, the indirect characterization prevails.

Atticus takes the side of defence in court, he is the only solicitor in the vicinity who defends black people, it makes us understand that he is not a racially-minded scoundrel, like those of Ku-Klux-Klan, and he realizes perfectly, that the truth and the value of human life doesn’t depend on the colour of skin.

Atticus possesses all the necessary qualities of a lawyer – he is unprejudiced, he is objective, careful and thorough man. The very idea of social unequality and racial bigotry makes him indignant, he doesn’t fear to oppose the Ku-Klux-Klan jury, he declares a war, the war between justice and blind “white” illiteracy.

Harper Lee presents him as a strong-willed, decisive and a purposeful person.

He gives a persuasive succession of justificative evidence, but nevertheless the ‘Negro-prejudiced’ jury wins, having committed a perjury, breaking the basic principles of the Constitution.

If all the men in the world, or at least the majority were the same as Atticus Finch, our world would be the world of freedom, equality and universal welfare.

A Character Sketch of Rudolph Steiner (The Green Door by O’Henry)

Rudolph Steiner is the main character of the story “The Green Door” by O’Henry.

Rudolph Steiner belongs to the middle class of American society of the beginning of the 20th century. He is a piano salesman, a commonplace citizen on the one hand, but on the other hand he is (as the author characterizes him) “a true adventurer; few were the evenings on which he didn’t go forth from his hall bedchamber in search of the unexpected”. No matter where he goes, he tries to find an adventure in every thing possible. His adventurous spirit has already led him “into strange paths” several times, but he still retains it.

This time, having received a card with the inscription “Green Door” from a dispenser in the street, he undertakes another evening journey.

Rudolph Steiner is a commonplace American and not an American at the same time. He lives here but he is quite different from the capitalist majority. O’Henry characterizes Rudolph indirectly through his speech: ”This is ridiculous to go without eating<…>I’m coming back tomorrow to see how you are getting along – you can’t get rid of me so easily”.

This difference was (in those days) and is vitally important nowadays, Rudolph is deeply humane, despite the unspoken law of the society (as consequences of the so-called “social darvinism” – the fittest survive); he treats poor people the same way as all others and the financial state of a person he deals with is of no difference for him.

We can draw this conclusion from his conduct towards the girl: he understands not only her helplessness, but spends his (probably all his) money to support her , to take her out of trouble, showing his philanthropic nature.

Rudolph is awarded: the girl turns out not to be of the kind he thought before. He says: “All the same, I believe it was the hand of Fate that doped out the way for me to find her”.

Rudolph Steiner is a character to draw people people’s attention to an acute problem of the society, to the disparaging treatment of the poor.

The general outline of the story makes some critics think that it’s just for entertainment, like many others available on sale”, but it’s a one to make us think thanks to the character of Rudolph Steiner, a favourable exception among the majority.

«The Green Door» by O. Henry and its composition

The story under discussion is called The Green Door. It is one of the works by OHenry, the famous American writer of the end of the 19th century.

The problem it’s devoted to is, that very often real life interferes with our intentions, and here with the intentions of the main character Rudolph Steiner, who is an adventure-seeker.

The composition of the story has a climatic structure.

In the exposition the author tunes up the reader to make him perceive the story, and does it in and adventurous way.

One day Rudolph leaves the house in search of the unexpected as usual, walking along a street in New York he receives a card from a dispenser. Here the conflict begins, as all people receive dentist’s cards and he receives cards with a mysterious inscription “The Green Door” two times running.

We distinguish several stages of gradation.

Rudolph enters a house in the street, which might keep some secret in store for him, as he thinks.

The tension gradually grows, he walks up the stairs and sees a green door in front of him. This is the green door!

The next stage of gradation comes. He knocks at the door and sees a girl, a fragile and exausted one. It makes him draw a conclusion, that it was she who had written the cards in order to find a man to support her.

Rudolph’s kind nature gets the better of him and he rushes downstairs to bring some food to give the girl.

He brings it and lets the girl have it. The girl tells him the story how she had come to do so badly.

Rudolph leaves the flat. And looking around he takes notice of the colour of the doors in the house. Here comes the climax of the story – they are all green. It makes him understand that it was a mere coincidence, and that he was not right, when he suspected her of distributingthe cards.

Then comes the anticlimax – Rudolph says that all the same he believes that the hand of Fate doped out this way for him.

The message of the story can be interpreted as following, that sometimes we should rely on Fate and then everyone will find his green door.

A trying experience of a holiday-maker during a river trip

I set out on a fine sunny day in early June. I rented(hired) a boat at Foadster and soon, as it seemed in the beginning, all the problems of mine were happily left behind. I should never have thought that taking a river trip could be such an undertaking.
The distance I expected to cover was not at all long –about 70 miles or so. I didn’t want to be in a hurry: I had a splendid opportunity to enjoy the beauty of English nature, to breathe in fresh air after my work in a stuffy office and to have a good time in general.
I rowed steadily for several hours, absorbed by this activity, and its seeming simplicity raised my spirits for some reason. But at the same time I had some doubt, vaguely fidgeting inside my mind. Yes! How could I possibly be so absent- minded while packing the things? I forgot to take that portable gas burner! (You know, I hate all those dreadful things, like smoking firewood making smoky your kettles and other cooking utensils. Isn’t it more practical just to take a portable burner when you go for an outing?). That was wonderful that I had a few boxes of matches with me to be on the safe side, but that occurrence made me be a bit out of spirits.
By 5 o’clock in the afternoon it began to drizzle, thick fog was hanging in the air, and to make things still worse at 6 o’clock it was raining cats and dogs. In some five minutes I got wet through, even my damp-proof overcoat couldn’t save me.
It got darker and I decided to run the boat into a quiet nook and to fix a tent. In an hour everything seemed to be all right. It was just the time to cook supper. I deserved a slap-up supper after all the misfortunes.
But after the rain my matches were damp. I found that out when took it out of the pocket. “I might have known that”, — I thought. The only thing I could eat was canned meat. That evening it tasted like nothing else on earth. Other products, except vegetables, were unappetizing-looking mess, and the best thing I could do with them was to throw them out.
I wasn’t hungry any more, and that was quite nice. The rest of the evening I spent shaking water out of my things. At ten I went to bed, if a bed it could be called. It was 15 above zero and I had to get into a sleeping-bag.
All through the night something kept digging into my spine. Though I tried to get out of reach of it several times, I didn’t sleep a wink that night, so the next morning I looked as fresh as never before.
At 8 in the morning I got into the boat again. I firmly decided not to get into such mess again and that I would sleep under the tent inside the boat.
Later on I found a crack in the handle of an oar, practically there was no patience left (my patience was nearly out). The trip looked like never-take-such-a-one-again. And it was only the first day of my holidays…

What I have to say about the book “Three men in a boat (to say nothing of the dog)” by Jerom Klapka Jerom [outline]

The peculiarity of the book by Jerom is in its truthfulness. The author tells it to the reader in the preface to the first edition. The book itself has a special kind of composition: all chapters of it are practically separate stories, telling us about those events that have ever happened to the four main characters. They are George, Harris, the narrator himself and their dog Montmorency. But at the same time the book has main line, which unites all the chapters – the friends are travelling along the Thames.
This book can be surely treated as a humorous one, but it often shows us the naked truth, and makes the reader think about the things he has never thought about at all.
A man who’s fond of making fuss and fidgeting will be pleased to read an extract about Uncle Podger. Fortunately, the author describes the process of hanging a portrait on the wall in full detail.
A man who’s keen on boasting should read that episode, when the narrator is in the pub, where a huge trout stands in a glass-box on the shelf. And every new fisherman who comes into the pub tells him his own story of catching that incredible fish. But actually, when the narrator suddenly bumps into the box, the thing is broken into thousands of pieces – the fish is made of plaster!
So this way the author mildly draws our attention to the drawbacks of people’s character. The humour of the book is very lively, and not at all offensive.

STYLISTIC DEVICES:
(Personification). I did get to sleep for a few hours, and then some part of the boat which seemed to have grown up in the night — for it certainly was not there when we started, and it had disappeared by the morning — kept digging into my spine.
(Syntactical parallelism).
Then a sweet young lady entered, leading a meek-looking little fox-terrier, and left him, chained up there, between the bull-dog and the poodle. He sat and looked about him for a minute. Then he cast up his eyes to the ceiling, and seemed, judging from his expression, to be thinking of his mother. Then he yawned. Then he looked round at the other dogs, all silent, grave, and dignified.
He looked at the bull-dog, sleeping dreamlessly on his right. He looked at the poodle, erect and haughty, on his left. Then, without a word of warning, without the shadow of a provocation, he bit that poodle’s near fore-leg, and a yelp of agony rang through the quiet shades of that lobby.
This book is related to the genre “fiction”, so it is full of epithets. [Collocations-real epithets].
Disreputable dogs
Gigantic arrangements
And George laughed — one of those irritating, senseless, chuckle-headed, crack-jawed laughs of his. They do make me so wild.
Meek-looking little fox-terrier
Silent, grave, dignified dogs
(Word choice). I still went on pulling, however, and still no lock came in sight, and the river grew more and more gloomy and mysterious under the gathering shadows of night, and things seemed to be getting weird and uncanny. I thought of hobgoblins and banshees, and will-o’-the-wisps, and those wicked girls who sit up all night on rocks, and lure people into whirl-pools and things; and I wished I had been a better man, and knew more hymns.

Ten Little Niggers by A. Christie

The book I read is “Ten Little Niggers” by Agatha Christie. She is known all over the world as a real master of a detective story. Her whimsical plots attract many readers and make them come back to her works again and again.
And the plot of the book in short. A group of people comes to Nigger Island, which is known as a propriety of some American millionaire. They all think that they were invited to the island by their common acquaintance – mysterious Mr. Onim. There are ten of the guests: Vera Claythorne, a young lady going to work as secretary, Philip Lombard, Dr. Armstrong, miss Brent, an aged lady, Anthony Marston, general Macarthur, Mr. Blore and judge Wargrave.
They all were charged with indictments of various crimes: murders and so on.
They began to remonstrate, when a gramophone announced it, but they all knew their mysteries were exposed.
The funniest thing was that in each room there hung a board with a childish rhyme about ten little niggers, and terrible things happened to them all, so that in the end they were all dead.
The sea around the island was stormy and nobody came to visit them, but they had a lot of food in store. And just the next day they arrived, the servant was poisoned by potassium cyanide, then some time passed and a young sportsman died. They all die in the course of the story, according to the rhyme, that was placed in the house by some morbid imagination. Who was that insane man. Judge Wargrave that had worked for justice turned out to kill all nine people, and then killed himself, imitating the murder.
The message of the story is as follows: even a man who works in a legislative system can be a criminal, but the deep sense here is that a man wants to take the forbidden fruit, and maybe all the processes over criminals the judge presided over, had badly influenced his mind, so that he decided to become a criminal himself, maybe he was jealous of them. On the other hand he got used to move people as puppets, and he wished to have something new and decided to kill them, moreover they had sins he accused them of.
Anyway, this book is worth reading just for entertainment, the language of the author is very bright and lively, the plot of the story is really fascinating.

Dorian Grey by O. Wilde

The book by Oscar Wilde can be considered a separate philosophic system: it gives rise to a great number of speculations, and people’s opinion of the book itself is very contradictory: some agree with Wilde’s philosophy, and some condemn the book. And the main character of Dorian Grey makes this book as peculiar as it is.
Through the whole course of the story our attitude towards Dorian varies greatly: first we feel sympathy for him, then we feel disgust because of his crimes, and at the very end we feel pity. The influence of Lord Henry, and his extraordinary principles contradicting to common sense led Dorian to the brink of the abyss, and his further degradation was a matter of time. His personality wasn’t able to resist temptations, and his thirst for new sensations and new experience turned out to be fatal in the end.
The idea of a portrait that reflects the innermost world of the original man isn’t new; practically it was expressed in “Shagreen Leather” by Balsak.
Nobody could ever be able to believe that Dorian Grey could combine malice and beauty. And his portrait was not an ordinary picture any more: it became the face of Dorian’s conscience and it became a material expression of his soul that was sold to …
The fatal combination of circumstances led Dorian astray: he met lord Henry. And his cunning philosophy that was a terrible combination of hedonism and selfish individualism deprived Dorian of any individuality: he became a slave of lord Henry. Following his views he was afraid of lack of individuality, but completely lost it in the end just because of Henry’s influence.
Having committed a crime once, as Sybil Vane’s death was only his fault, and he knew that, he killed Basil Hallward, who was the only man trying to prevent Dorian from moral devastation, then he became a reason for Alan Campbell’s suicide. But Dorian didn’t think his deeds anything terrible: they were just new experience and sensations.
Such a mode of life turned Dorian from a good-natured man into a vicious and awful person. By the way, it’s very strange, that nobody could do him any harm, and it’s not at all accidental that James Vane was shot. Life had something in store for Dorian. And his end was predefined.

Would a modern person get adjusted to the way of daily life, people used to have in the 19th century?

We live in the 21st century, the century of constant changes, the century of haste and speed. The German word «Zeitnot», or time trouble, can be used to describe every day of our present life.
We live in the century of intellectual overwork, and all the processes on the whole are ten or even more times more intensive than those of the 19th century.
That calm and in a way slow mode of life is irrevocably lost for us nowadays. The accelerating pace of changes, that took place over the whole twentieth century, and is still in progress, has completely altered human nature.
But let’s assume, that a modern man has just been transferred into those days. So, in case he’s deprived of the memory of his previous life, everything will be all right. But if he’s not deprived of it, that mode of life is sure to cause a lot of trouble, beginning with the absence of modern conveniences, modern transport, technical appliances, electricity, as we completely depend on them, to say nothing of absence of information. What we need today is information, coming fast.
What is our life today? Since early childhood it’s adaptation to all the changes, taking place in the world. Since early childhood it’s the process of intense absorption of knowledge, and the volume of it is really inconceivable. It’s the process of recurrence of phylogenesis, or historical development of a human being, in ontogenesis, or individual development of a person.
So, these are real challenges that temper the character of a human being.
Was it a good thing to live in those days? It’s rather difficult to answer this question, but from the objective point of view, without taking into consideration all these conveniences and all things like that, it had mostly positive traits. Daily routine, mixed with not very frequent events, keeping regular hours seems to us nowadays a boring thing.
Besides, there are two different words, ‘get accustomed’ and ‘get adjusted’. Getting adjusted means getting used to something, and reconciliation with circumstances in some way; while getting accustomed means taking something up, so that it doesn’t contradict to your nature.
So, in my opinion, it’s not possible for a man to get accustomed to the way of life of the 19th century, but it’s possible only to get adjusted to it.
To finish with, it’s good to say, that there’s really no distinct, final answer to this question. We can find a lot of examples, when people, having a good position in the society, leave their previous success behind, go to some remote nook of the country, placing themselves in the conditions of the 19th century. Is it an inexplicable irradiation of human mind, or is it insanity, caused by the life in the 21st century? Maybe, such people subconsciously look for a resort, being eager to escape of modern life?