of Chernyshevsky Saratov State University
O. N. Kaverina
of the Literary Text Semantic Structure
A Manual in Text Interpretation
for English Language Students
Саратовского государственного университета
им. Н. Г. Чернышевского
О. Н. Каверина
для студентов факультетов иностранных языков
Кандидат филологических наук, доцент 4-го авиационного факультета
Краснодарского высшего военного авиационного училища летчиков
Л. В. Сорокина;
Доктор филологических наук, профессор Балашовского филиала
Саратовского государственного университета
им. Н. Г. Чернышевского
В. С. Вахрушев;
Кандидат филологических наук, доцент Балашовского филиала
Саратовского государственного университета
им. Н. Г. Чернышевского
Л. В. Татару.
Рекомендовано к изданию Научно-методическим советом
Балашовского филиала Саратовского государственного университета
им. Н. Г. Чернышевского.
Каверина, О. Н.
К12 Лексический анализ семантической структуры художественного текста : учебно-метод. пособие для студ. фак-тов иностранных языков / О. Н. Каверина. — Балашов : Николаев, — 2007. — 84 с.
Данное пособие предназначается студентам четвертого и пятого курсов факультетов иностранных языков в качестве основных материалов по спецкурсу «Лексический анализ семантической структуры текста». Основная цель учебно-методического пособия — помочь студентам развить навыки интерпретации художественного текста. Оно включает тексты рассказов английских и американских писателей XX века и вопросы для их самостоятельного анализа и обсуждения в аудитории, разработанные автором. Пять текстов рассказов
и эссе снабжены образцами авторского лексико-синтаксического анализа.
© Каверина О. Н., 2007
О г л а в л е н и е
1. Jack Finney. Contents of the Dead Man’s pockets.................................................. 7
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion............................................ 19
Лексический анализ художественного текста (на примере
анализа рассказа Джека Фини «Содержимое карманов мертвого человека») 19
2. John Galsworthy. The Japanese Quince................................................................ 23
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion............................................ 26
Своеобразие семантики ритма в рассказе Джона Голсуорси «Японская айва» 26
3. John Updike. The Orphaned Swimming Pool....................................................... 32
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion............................................ 35
Ритм семантической структуры текста (анализ рассказа Джона Апдайка «Осиротевший бассейн») 36
4. Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms.............................................................. 39
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion............................................ 41
Ритмические особенности создания подтекста в романе Эрнеста Хэмингуэя «Прощай, оружие!» 41
5. William F. Buckley, Jr. Up from Misery............................................................... 46
Joseph Epstein. The Virtues of Ambition........................................................... 48
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion............................................ 52
Особенности синтаксического ритма эссе.................................................... 52
1. Ernest Hemingway. Old Man at the Bridge........................................................... 57
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion................................................ 58
2. William Saroyan. Going Home............................................................................. 59
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion................................................ 64
3. James Thurber. The Catbird Seat........................................................................... 64
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion............................................ 71
4. Michael Foster. Later............................................................................................. 71
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion............................................ 73
5. William Carlos Williams. The Use of Force.......................................................... 74
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion............................................ 76
6. Ray Bradbury. The Pedestrian............................................................................... 77
Список художественных произведений, предлагаемых для анализа..... 82
Cписок рекомендуемой литературы......................................................... 82
Данное пособие предназначается студентам 4 и 5 курсов факультетов иностранных языков в качестве учебных материалов по спецкурсу «Лексический анализ семантической структуры текста», который включен
в блок ДПП в соответствии с ГОС ВПО-2005. Автор надеется, что пособие поможет студентам развить навыки интерпретации текста, т. е. за словами и их значениями увидеть то, что хотел сказать писатель в своем рассказе или романе.
Каждое художественное произведение уникально по своей семантике (значениям употребляющихся в нем слов), грамматическим особенностям, синтаксическим конструкциям. Все это одновременно характеризует стиль писателя, его идеосинкразию в выражении своих мыслей и формирует так называемое послание писателя к читателю. Совершенно естественно, что главную роль в этом процессе играет семантика употребляемых
в художественном тексте слов: это, в первую очередь, ключевые слова — самые повторяющиеся значения текста, образующие топикальные цепочки слов и формирующие темы и подтемы текста, повторение определенных сем реализуется синонимами, антонимами, гипонимами и семантическими дериватами; это и лексические выразительные средства, акцентирующие те или иные значения, — метафоры, сравнения, эпитеты и другие стилистические фигуры. Синтаксические конструкции — синтаксические синонимы и синтаксические противопоставления, эмфатические конструкции — также способствуют формированию основных идей текста.
Далеко не всегда основная идея художественного произведения лежит на поверхности. Распространенной техникой, используемой писателями, является создание символов и подтекста. Одна из целей данного пособия — рассмотрение методики создания символов в художественном тексте на основе многократного повторения определенных слов и создания ассоциативных топикальных цепочек слов. Студентам также предстоит познакомиться с «методом айсберга» — психолингвистическим методом создания подтекста.
Пособие включает тексты рассказов английских и американских писателей XX века и вопросы для их самостоятельного анализа и обсуждения в аудитории, разработанные автором пособия. Предполагается, что студенты прочитав рассказ дома, по имеющимся вопросам сначала анализируют его самостоятельно, далее в аудитории с помощью преподавателя. За пятью текстами следуют статьи автора пособия, представляющие собой лексико-синтаксический анализ рассказов и эссе. Автор пособия советует студентам читать статьи после устной интерпретации рассказа
в аудитории, так как они развивают идеи, упомянутые в вопросах для анализа и, таким образом, проработанные на занятии, а также предлагают анализ дополнительных лексико-семантических, стилистических и синтаксических нюансов текста.
Рассказ Рэя Брэдбери, завершающий пособие, не снабжен вопросами, т. к. рекомендуется для зачетного самостоятельного анализа семантической структуры художественного текста.
Contents of the Dead Man’s pockets
At the little living-room desk Tom Benecke rolled two sheets of flimsy and a heavier top sheet, carbon paper sandwiched between them, into his portable. Inter-office Memo,
the top sheet was headed, and he typed tomorrow’s date just below this; then he glanced at a creased yellow sheet, covered with his own handwriting, beside the typewriter. «Hot in here», he muttered to himself. Then, from the short hallway at his back, he heard the muffled clang of wire coat hangers in the bedroom closet, and at tins reminder of what his wife was doing he thought: Hot, no — guilty conscience.
He got up, shoving his hands into the back pockets of his gray wash links, stepped to the living-room window beside the desk and stood breathing on the glass, watching the expanding circlet of mist, staring down through the autumn night at Lexington Avenue, eleven stories tic-low. He was a tall, lean, dark-haired young man in a pullover sweater, who looked as though he had played not football, probably, but basketball in college. Now he placed the heels of his hands against the top edge of the lower window frame and shoved upward. But as usual the window didn’t budge and he had to lower his hands and then shoot them hard upward to jolt the window open a few inches. He dusted his hands, muttering.
But still he didn’t begin his work. He crossed the room to the hallway entrance and, leaning against the doorjamb, hands shoved into his back pockets again, he called’; «Clare?» When his wife answered, he said, «Sure you don’t mind going alone?»
«No», Her voice was muffled, and he knew her head and shoulders were in the bedroom closet. Then the tap of her high heels sounded on the wood floor and she appeared at the end of the little hallway, wearing a slip, limit hands raised to one ear, clipping on an earring. She smiled at him — a slender very pretty girl with light brown, almost blonde, hair — her prettiness emphasized by the pleasant nature that showed in her face. «It’s just that I hale you to miss this movie; you wanted to see it too».
«Yeah, I know». He ran his fingers through his hair. «Got to get this done though».
She nodded, accepting this. Then glancing at his desk across the living room, she said, «You work too much, though, Tom — and too hard».
He smiled. «You won’t mind though, will you, when the money comes rolling in and I’m known as the Boy Wizard of Wholesale Groceries?»
«I guess not». She smiled and turned back toward the bedroom.
At his desk again, Tom lighted a cigarette; then a few moments later as Clare appeared, dressed and ready to leave, he set it on the rim of the ash tray. «Just after seven», she said. «I can make the beginning of the first feature».
He walked to the front-door closet to help her on with her coat. He kissed her then and, for an instant, holding her close, smelling the perfume she had used, he was tempted to go with her; it was not actually true that he had to work tonight, though he very much wanted to. This was his own project, unannounced as yet in his office, and it could be postponed. But then they won’t see it till Monday, he thought once again, and if I give it to the boss tomorrow he might read it over the weekend... . «Have a good time», he said aloud. He gave his wife a little swat and opened the door for her, feeling the air from the building hallway, smelling faintly of floor wax, stream past his face.
He watched her walk down the hall, flicked a hand in response as she waved, and then he started to close the door, but it resisted for a moment. As the door opening narrowed, the current of warm air from the hallway, channeled through this smaller opening now, suddenly rushed past him with accelerated force. Behind him he heard the slap of the window curtains against the wall and the sound of paper fluttering from his desk, and he had to push to close the door.
Turning, he saw a sheet of white paper drifting to the floor in a series of arcs, and another sheet, yellow, moving toward the window, caught in the dying current flowing through the narrow opening. As he watched, the paper struck the bottom edge of the window and hung there for an instant, plastered against the glass and wood. Then as the moving air stilled completely, the curtains swinging back from the wall to hang free again, he saw the yellow sheet drop to the window ledge and slide over out of sight.
He ran across the room, grasped the bottom edge of the window and tugged, staring through the glass. He saw the yellow sheet, dimly now in the darkness outside, lying on the ornamental ledge a yard below the window. Even as he watched, it was moving, scraping slowly along the ledge, pushed by the breeze that pressed steadily against the building wall. He heaved on the window with all his strength and it shot open with a bang, the window weight rattling in the casing. But the paper was past his reach and, leaning out into the night, he watched it scud steadily along the ledge to the south, half plastered against the building wall. Above the muffled sound of the street traffic far below, he could hear the dry scrape of its movement, like a leaf on the pavement.
The living room of the next apartment to the south projected a yard or more farther out toward the street than this one; because of this the Beneckes paid seven and a half dollars less rent than their neighbors. And now the yellow sheet, sliding along the stone ledge, nearly invisible in the night, was stopped by the projecting blank wall of the next apartment. It lay motionless, then, in the corner formed by the two walls — a good five yards away. pressed firmly against the ornate corner ornament of the ledge, by the breeze that moved past Tom Benecke’s face.
He knelt at the window and stared at the yellow paper for a full minute or more, waiting for it to move, to slide off the ledge and fall, hoping he could follow its course to the street, and then hurry down in the elevator and retrieve it. But it didn’t move, and then he saw that the paper was caught firmly between a projection of the convoluted corner ornament and the ledge. He thought about the poker from the fireplace, then the broom, then the mop — discarding each thought as it occurred to him. There was nothing in the apartment long enough to reach that paper.
It was hard for him to understand that he actually had to abandon it — it was ridiculous — and he began to curse. Of all the papers on his desk, why did it have to be this one in particular! On four long Saturday afternoons he hail stood in supermarkets counting the people who passed certain displays, and the results were scribbled on that yellow sheet. From stacks of nude publications, gone over page by page in snatched half hours at work mid during evenings at home, he had copied facts, quotations, and figures onto that sheet. And he had carried it with him to the Public Library on Fifth Avenue, where he’d spent a dozen lunch hours and early evenings adding more. All were needed to support and lend authority to his idea for a new grocery-store display method; without them his idea was a mere opinion. And there they all lay in his own improvised shorthand — countless hours of work — out there on the ledge.
For many seconds he believed he was going to abandon the yellow sheet, that there was nothing else to do. The work could be duplicated. But it would take two months, and the time to present this idea was now,
for use in the spring displays. He struck his fist on the window ledge. Then he shrugged. Even though his plan were adopted, he told himself, it wouldn’t bring him a raise in pay — not immediately, anyway, or as a direct result. It won’t bring me a promotion either, he argued — not of itself.
But just the same, and he couldn’t escape the thought, this and other independent projects, some already done and others planned for the future, would gradually mark him out from the score of other young men in his company. They were the way to change from a name on the payroll to a name in the minds of the company officials. They were the beginning of the long, long climb to where he was determined to be, at the very top. And he knew he was going out there in the darkness, after the yellow sheet fifteen feet beyond his reach.
By a kind of instinct, he instantly began making his intention acceptable to himself by laughing at it. The mental picture of himself sidling along the ledge outside was absurd — it was actually comical — and he smiled. He imagined himself describing it; it would make a good story at the office and, it occurred to him, would add a special interest and importance to his memorandum, which would do it no harm at all.
To simply go out and get his paper was an easy task In-could be hack here with it in less than two minutes — and he knew he wasn’t deceiving himself. The ledge, he saw, measuring it with his eye, was about as wide as the length of his shoe, and perfectly flat. And every fifth row of brick in the face of the building, he remembered — l eaning out, he verified this — was indented half an inch, enough for the tips of his fingers, enough to maintain balance easily. It occurred to him that if this ledge and wall were only a yard above ground — as he knelt at the window staring out, this thought was the final confirmation of his intention — he could move along the ledge indefinitely.
On a sudden impulse, he got to his feet, walked to the front closet and took out an old tweed jacket; it would be cold outside. He put it on and buttoned it as he crossed the room rapidly toward the open window. In the back of his mind he knew he’d better hurry and get this over with before he thought too much, and at the window he didn’t allow himself to hesitate.
He swung a leg over the sill, then felt for and found the ledge a yard below the window with his foot. Gripping the bottom of the window frame very tightly and carefully, he slowly ducked his head under it, feeling on his face the sudden change from the warm air of the room to the chill outside. With infinite care he brought out his other leg, his mind concentrating on what he was doing. Then he slowly stood erect. Most of the putty, dried out and brittle, had dropped off the bottom edging of the window frame, he found, and the flat wooden edging provided a good gripping surface, a half inch or more deep, for the tips of his fingers.
Now, balanced easily and firmly, he stood on the ledge outside in the slight, chill breeze, eleven stories above the street, staring into his own lighted apartment, odd and different-seeming now.
First his right hand, then his left, he carefully shifted his finger-tip grip from the putty less window ledging to an indented row of bricks directly to his right. It was hard to take the first shuffling sideways step then — to make himself move — and the fear stirred in his stomach, but he did it, again by not allowing himself time to think. And now — with his chest, stomach, and the left side of his face pressed against the rough cold brick — his lighted apartment was suddenly gone, and it was much darker out here than he had thought.
Without pause he continued — right foot, left foot, right foot, left — his shoe soles shuffling and scraping along the rough stone, never lifting from it, fingers sliding along the exposed edging of brick. He moved on the balls of his feet, heels lifted slightly; the ledge was not quite as wide as he’d expected. But leaning slightly inward toward the face of the building and pressed against it, he could feel his balance firm and secure, and moving along the ledge was quite as easy as he had thought it would be. He could hear the buttons of his jacket scraping steadily along the rough bricks and feel them catch momentarily, tugging a little, at each mortared crack. He simply did not permit himself to look down, though the compulsion to do so never left him; nor did. he allow himself actually to think. Mechanically — right foot, left foot, over and again — he shuffled along crabwise, watching the projecting wall loom steadily closer…
Then he reached it and, at the comer — he’d decided how he was going to pick up the paper — he lifted his right foot and placed it carefully on the ledge that ran along the projecting wall at a right angle to the ledge on which his other foot rested. And now, facing the building, he stood in the corner formed by the two walls, one foot on the ledging of each, a hand on the shoulder-high indentation of each wall. His forehead was pressed directly into the corner against the cold bricks, and now he carefully lowered first one hand, then the other, perhaps a foot farther down, to the next indentation in the rows of bricks.
Very slowly, sliding his forehead down the trough of the brick corner and bending his knees, he lowered his body toward the paper lying between his outstretched feet. Again he lowered his fingerholds another foot and bent his knees still more, thigh muscles taut, his forehead sliding and bumping down the brick V. Half squatting now, he dropped his left hand to the next indentation and then slowly reached with his right hand toward the paper between his feet.
He couldn’t quite touch it, and his knees now were pressed against the wall; he could bend them no farther. But by ducking his head another inch lower, the top of his head now pressed against the bricks, he lowered his right shoulder and his fingers had the paper by a corner, pulling it loose. At the same instant he saw, between his legs and far below, Lexington Avenue stretched out for miles ahead.
He saw, in that instant, the Loew’s theater sign, blocks ahead past Fiftieth Street; the miles of traffic signals, all green now; the lights of cars and street lamps; countless neon signs; and the moving black dots of people. And a violent instantaneous explosion of absolute terror roared through him. For a motionless instant he saw himself externally — bent practically double, balanced on this narrow ledge, nearly half his body projecting out above the street far below — and he began to tremble violently, panic flaring through his mind and muscles, and he felt the blood rush from the surface of his skin.
In the fractional moment before horror paralyzed him, as he stared between his legs at the terrible length of street far beneath him, a fragment of his mind raised his body in a spasmodic jerk to an upright position again, but so violently that his head scraped hard against the wall, bouncing off it, and his body swayed outward to the knife edge of balance, and he very nearly plunged backward and fell. Then he was leaning far into the corner again, squeezing and pushing into it, not only his face but his chest and stomach, his back arching; and his finger tips clung with all the pressure of his pulling arms to the shoulder-high half-inch indentation in the bricks.
He was more than trembling now; his whole body was racked with a violent shuddering beyond control, his eyes squeezed so tightly shut it was painful, though he was past awareness of that. His teeth were exposed in a frozen grimace, the strength draining like water from his knees and calves. It was extremely likely, he knew, that he would faint, slump down along the wall, his face scraping, and then drop backward, a limp weight, out into nothing. And to save his life he concentrated on holding on to consciousness, drawing deliberate deep breaths of cold air into his lungs, fighting to keep his senses aware.
Then he knew that he would not faint, but he could not stop shaking or open his eyes. He stood where he was, breathing deeply, trying to hold back the terror of the glimpse he had had of what lay below him; and he knew he had made a mistake in not making himself stare down at the street, getting used to it and accepting it, when he had first stepped out into the ledge.
It was impossible to walk back. He simply could not do it. He couldn’t bring himself to make the slightest movement. The strength was gone from his legs; his shivering hands — numb, cold and desperately rigid — had lost all deftness; his easy ability to move and balance was gone. Within a step or two, if he tried to move, he knew that he would stumble and fall.
Seconds passed, with the chill faint wind pressing the side of his face, and he could hear the toned-down volume of the street traffic far beneath him. Again and again it slowed and then stopped, almost to silence; then presently, even this high, he would hear the click of the traffic signals and the subdued roar of the cars starting up again. During a lull in the street sounds, he called out. Then he was shouting «Help!»
so loudly it rasped his throat. But he felt the steady pressure of the wind, moving between his face and the blank wall, snatch up his cries as he uttered them, and he knew they must sound directionless and distant. And he remembered how habitually, here in New York, he himself heard and ignored shouts in the night. If anyone heard him, there was no sign of it, and presently Tom Benecke knew he had to try moving; there was nothing else he could do.
Eyes squeezed shut, he watched scenes in his mind like scraps of motion-picture film — he could not stop them. He saw himself stumbling suddenly sideways as he crept along the ledge and saw his upper body arc outward, arms flailing. He saw a dangling shoestring caught between the ledge and the sole of his other shoe, saw a foot start to move, to be stopped with a jerk, and felt his balance leaving him. He saw himself falling with a terrible speed as his body revolved in the air, knees clutched tight to his chest, eyes squeezed shut, moaning softly.
Out of utter necessity, knowing that any of these thoughts might be reality in the very next seconds, he was slowly able to shut his mind against every thought but what he now began to do. With fear-soaked slowness, he slid his left foot an inch or two toward his own impossibly distant window. Then he slid the fingers of his shivering left hand a corresponding distance. For a moment he could not bring himself to lift his right foot from one ledge to the other; then he did it, and became aware of the harsh exhalation of air from his throat and» realized that he was panting. As his right hand, then, began to slide along the brick edging, he was astonished to feel the yellow paper pressed to the bricks underneath his stiff fingers, and he uttered a terrible, abrupt bark that might have been a laugh or a moan. He opened his mouth and took the paper in his teeth, pulling it out from under his fingers, then his left hand, then the other foot, then the other hand — he was able to move, almost imperceptibly, trembling steadily, very nearly without thought. But he could feel the terrible strength of the pent-up horror on just the other side of the flimsy barrier he had erected in his mind; and he knew that if it broke through he would lose this thin artificial control of his body.
During one slow step he tried keeping his eyes closed; it made him feel safer, shutting him off a little from the fearful reality of where he was. Then a sudden rush of giddiness swept over him and he had to open his eyes wide, staring sideways at the cold rough brick and angled lines of mortar, his cheek tight against the building. He kept his eyes open then, knowing that if he once let them flick outward, to stare for an instant at the lighted windows across the street, he would be past help.
He didn’t know how many dozens of tiny sidling steps he had taken, his chest, belly and face pressed to the wall; but he knew the slender hold he was keeping on his mind and body was going to break. He had a sudden mental picture of his apartment on just the other side of the wall — warm, cheerful, incredibly spacious. And he saw himself striding through it, lying down on the floor on his back, arms spread wide, reveling in its unbelievable security. The impossible remoteness of this utter safety, the contrast between it and where he now stood, was more than he could bear. And the barrier broke then, and the fear of the awful height he stood on coursed through his nerves and muscles.
A fraction of his mind knew he was going to fall, and he began taking rapid blind steps with no feeling of what he was doing, sidling with a clumsy desperate swiftness, fingers scrabbling along the brick, almost hopelessly resigned to the sudden backward pull, and swift motion outward and down. Then his moving left hand slid onto not brick but sheer emptiness, an impossible gap in the face of the wall, and he stumbled.
His right foot smashed into his left anklebone; he staggered sideways, began falling, and the claw of his hand cracked against glass and wood, slid down it, and his finger tips were pressed hard on the putty less edging of his window. His right hand smacked gropingly beside it as he fell to his knees; and, under the full weight and direct downward pull of his sagging body, the open window dropped shudderingly in its frame till it closed and his wrists struck the sill and were jarred off.
For a single moment he knelt, knee bones against stone on the very edge of the ledge, body swaying and touching nowhere else, fighting for balance. Then he lost it, his shoulders plunging backward, and he flung his arms forward, his hands smashing against the window casing on either side; and — his body moving backward — his fingers clutched the narrow wood stripping of the upper pane.
For an instant he hung suspended between balance and falling, his finger tips pressed onto the quarter-inch wood strips. Then, with utmost delicacy, with a focused concentration of all his senses, he increased even further the strain on his finger tips hooked to these slim edgings of wood. Elbows slowly bending, he began to draw the full weight of his upper body forward, knowing that the instant his fingers slipped off these quarter-inch strips he’d plunge backward and be falling. Elbows imperceptibly bending, body snaking with the strain the sweat starting from his forehead in great sudden drops, he pulled, his entire being and thought concentrated in his finger tips. Then suddenly, the strain slackened and ended, his chest touching the window sill, and he was kneeling on the ledge, his forehead pressed to the glass of the closed window.
Dropping his palms to the sill, he stared into his living room — at the red-brown davenport across the room, and a magazine he had left there; at the pictures on the walls and the gray rug; the entrance to the hallway; and at his papers, typewriter and desk, not two feet from his nose. A movement from his desk caught his eye and he saw that it was a thin curl of blue! smoke; his cigarette, the ash long, was still burning in the ash tray wherel he’d left it — this was past all belief — ony a few minutes before.
His head moved, and in faint reflection from the glass before him he saw the yellow paper clenched in his front teeth. Lifting a hand from the sill he took it from his mouth; the moistened corner parted from the paper, and he spat it out.
For a moment, in the light from the living room, he stared wonderingly at the yellow sheet in his hand and then crushed it into the side pocket of his jacket.
He couldn’t open the window. It had been pulled not completely closed, but its lower edge was below the level of the outside sill; there was no room to get his fingers underneath it. Between the upper sash and the lower was a gap not wide enough — reaching up, he tried — to get his fingers into; he couldn’t push it open. The upper window panel, he knew from long experience, was impossible to move, frozen tight with dried paint.
Very carefully observing his balance, the finger tips of his left hand again hooked to the narrow stripping of the window casing, he drew back his right hand, palm facing the glass, and then struck the glass with the heel of his hand.
His arm rebounded from the pane, his body tottering. He knew he didn’t dare strike a harder blow.
But in the security and relief of his new position, he simply smiled; with only a sheet of glass between him and the room just before him, it was not possible that there wasn’t a way past it. Eyes narrowing, he thought for a few moments about what to do. Then his eyes widened, for nothing occurred to him. But still he felt calm: the trembling, he realized, had stopped. At the back of his mind there still lay the thought that once he was again in his home, he could give release to his feelings. He actually would
lie on the floor, rolling, clenching tufts of the rug in his hands. He would literally run across the room, free to move as he liked, jumping on the floor, testing and reveling in its absolute security, letting the relief flood through him, draining the fear from his mind and body. His yearning for this was astonishingly intense, and somehow he understood that he had better keep this feeling at bay.
He took a half dollar from his pocket and struck it against the pane, but without any hope that the glass would break and with very little disappointment when it did not. After a few minutes of thought he drew his leg onto the ledge and picked loose his knot of his shoelace He slipped off the shoe and, holding it across the instep, drew hack his arm us far as he dared and struck the leather heel against the glass. The pane rattled, but he knew he’d been a long way from breaking it. His foot was cold, and he slipped the shoe back on. He shouted again, experimentally, and then once more, but there was no answer.
The realization suddenly struck him that he might have to wait here till «Clare came home, and for a moment the thought was funny. He could see « Clare opening the front door, withdrawing her key from the lock, closing the door behind her and then glancing up to see him crouched on the other side of the window. He could see her rush across the room, face astounded and frightened, and hear himself shouting instructions: «Never mind how I got here! Just open the wind — She couldn’t open it, he remembered, she’d never been able to; she’d always had to call him. She’d have to get the building superintendent or a neighbor, and he pictured himself smiling, and answering their questions as he climbed in. «I just wanted to get a breath of fresh air, so —»
He couldn’t possibly wait here till Clare came home. It was the second feature she’d wanted to see, and she’d left in time to see the first. She’d be another three hours or — He glanced at his watch; Clare had been gone eight minutes. It wasn’t possible but only eight minutes ago he had kissed his wife good-by. She wasn’t even at the theater yet!
It would be four hours before she could possibly be home, and he tried to picture himself kneeling out here, finger tips hooked to these narrow strippings, while first one movie, preceded by a slow listing of credits, began, developed, reached its climax and then finally ended. There’d be a newsreel next, maybe, and then an animated cartoon, and then interminable scenes from coming pictures. And then, once more, the beginning of a lull length picture — while all the time he hung out here in the night.
He might possibly get to his feet, but he was afraid to try. Already his legs were cramped, his thigh muscles tired; his knees hurt, his feet felt numb, and his hands were stiff. He couldn’t possibly stay out here for four hours, or anywhere near it. Long before that his legs and arms would give out; he would be forced to try changing his position often — stiffly, clumsily, his coordination and strength gone — and he would fall. Quite realistically, he knew that he would fall; no one could stay out here on this ledge for four hours.
A dozen windows in the apartment building across the street were lighted. Looking over his shoulder, he could see the top of a man’s head In-hind the newspaper he was reading; in another window he saw the blue-gray flicker of a television screen. No more than twenty-odd yards I mm his back were scores of people, and if just one of them would walk idly to his window and glance out... For some moments he stared over his shoulder at the lighted rectangles, waiting. But no one appeared. The man leading his paper turned a page and then continued his reading. A figure passed another of the windows and was immediately gone.
In the inside pocket of his jacket he found a little sheaf of papers, and lie pulled one out and looked at it in the light from the living room. It was an old letter, an advertisement of some sort; his name and address, in purple ink, were on a label pasted to the envelope. Gripping one end of the envelope in his teeth, he twisted it into a tight curl. From his shirt pocket he brought out a book of matches. He didn’t dare let go the casing with both hands but, with the twist of paper in his teeth, he opened the matchbook with his free hand; then he bent one of the matches in two without tearing it from the folder, its red-tipped end now touching the striking surface. With his thumb, he rubbed the red tip across the striking area.
He did it again, then again, and still again, pressing harder each time, and the match suddenly flared, burning his thumb. But he kept it alight, cupping the matchbook in his hand and shielding it with his body. He held the flame to the paper in his mouth till it caught. Then he snuffed out the match flame with his thumb and forefinger, careless of the burn, and replaced the book in his pocket. Taking the paper twist in his hand, he held it flame down, watching the flame crawl up the paper, till it flared bright. Then he held it behind him over the street, moving it from side to side, watching it over his shoulder, the flame flickering and guttering in the wind.
There were three letters in his pocket and he lighted each of them holding each till the flame touched his hand and then dropping it to the street below.
At one point, watching over his shoulder while the last of the letters burned, he saw the man across the street put down his paper and stand — even seeming to glance toward Tom’s window. But when he moved, it was only to walk across the room and disappear from sight.
There were a dozen coins in Tom Benecke’s pocket and he dropped them, three or four at a time. But if they struck anyone, or if anyone noticed their falling, no one connected them with their source.
His arms had begun to tremble from the steady strain of clinging to this narrow perch, and he did not know what to do now and was terribly frightened. Clinging to the window stripping with one hand, he again searched his pockets. But now — he had left his wallet on his dresser when he’d changed clothes — there was nothing left but the yellow sheet. It occurred to him irrelevantly that this death on the sidewalk below would be an eternal mystery; the window closed — why, how, and from where could he have fallen? No one would be able to identify his body for a time, either — the thought was somehow unbearable and increased his fear. All they’d find in his pockets would be the yellow sheet. Contents of the dead man’s pockets, he thought, one sheet of paper bearing penciled notations — incomprehensible.
He understood fully that he might actually be going to die; his arms, maintaining his balance on the ledge, were trembling steadily now. And it occurred to him then with all the force of a revelation that, if he fell, all he was ever going to have out of life he would then, abruptly, have had. Nothing, then, could ever be changed; and nothing more — no least experience or pleasure — could ever be added to his life. He wished, then, that he had not allowed his wife to go off by herself tonight — and on similar nights. He thought of all the evenings he had spent away from her, working; and he regretted them. He thought wonderingly of his fierce ambition and of the direction his life had taken; he thought of the hours he’d spent by himself, filling the yellow sheet that had brought him out here. Contents of the dead man’s pockets,
he thought with sudden fierce anger, a wasted life.
He was simply not going to cling here till he slipped and fell; he told himself that now. There was one last thing he could try; he had been aware of it for some moments, refusing to think about it, but now he faced it. Kneeling here on the ledge, the finger tips of one hand pressed to the narrow strip of wood, he could, he knew, draw his other hand back a yard perhaps, fist clenched tight, doing it very slowly till he sensed the outer limit of balance, then, as hard as he was able from the distance, he could drive his fist forward against the glass. If it broke, his fist smashing through, he was safe; he might cut himself badly, and probably would, but with his arm inside the room, he would be secure. But if the glass did not break, the rebound, flinging his arm back, would topple him off the ledge. He was certain of that.
He tested his plan. The fingers of his left hand clawlike on the little stripping, he drew back his other fist until his body began teetering backward. But he had no leverage now — he could feel mat there would be no force to his swing — and he moved his fist slowly forward till he rocked forward on his knees again and could sense that his swing would carry its greatest force. Glancing down, however, measuring the distance from his fist to the glass, he saw it was less than two feet.
It occurred to him that he could raise his arm over his head, to bring it down against the glass. But, experimenting in slow motion, he knew it would be an awkward girl-like blow without the force of a driving punch, and not nearly-enough to break the glass.
Facing the window, he had to drive a blow from the shoulder, he knew now, at distance of less than two feet; and he did not know whether it would break through the heavy glass. It might; he could picture it happening, he could feel it in the nerves of his arm. And it might not; he could feel that too — feel his fist striking this glass and being instantaneously flung back by the unbreaking pane, feel the fingers of his other hand breaking loose, nails scraping along the casing as he fell.
He waited, arm drawn back, fist balled, but in no hurry to strike; this pause, he knew, might be an extension of his life. And to live even a few seconds longer, he felt, even out here on this ledge in the night, was infinitely better than to die a moment earlier than he had to. His arm grew «tired», and he brought it down.
Then he knew that it was time to make the attempt. He could not kneel here hesitating indefinitely till he lost all courage to act, waiting till he slipped off the ledge. Again he drew back his arm, knowing this time that he would not bring it down till he struck. His elbow protruding over Lexington Avenue tar below, the lingers of his other hand pressed down bloodlessly tight against the narrow stripping, he waited, feeling the sick tenseness and terrible excitement building. It grew and swelled toward the moment of action, his nerves tautening. He thought of Clare — just a wordless, yearning thought — and then drew his arm back just a bit more, fist so tight his fingers pained him, and knowing he was going to do it. Then with full power, with every last scrap of strength he could bring to bear, he shot his arm forward toward the glass and he said, «Clare!»
He heard the sound, felt the blow, felt himself falling forward, and his hand closed on the living-room curtains, the shards and fragments of glass showering onto the floor. And then, kneeling there on the ledge, an arm thrust into the room up to the shoulder, he began picking away the protruding slivers and great wedges of glass from the window frame, tossing them in onto the rug. And, as he grasped the edges of the empty window frame and climbed into his home, he was grinning in triumph.
He did not lie down on the floor or run through the apartment, as he had promised himself; even in the first few moments it seemed to him natural and normal that he should be where he was. He simply turned to his desk, pulled the crumpled yellow sheet from his pocket and laid it down where it had been, smoothing it out; then he absently laid a pencil across it to weight it down. He shook his head wonderingly, and turned to walk toward the closet.
There he got out his topcoat and hat and, without waiting to put them on, opened the front door and stepped out, to go find his wife. He turned to pull the door closed and the warm air from the hall rushed through the narrow opening again. As he saw the yellow paper, the pencil flying, scooped off the desk and, unimpeded by the glassless window, sail out into the night and out of his life, Tom Benecke burst into laughter and then closed the door behind him.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. Think about the most frequent word in the text of the story. What words and ideas is it associated with? What is the main topic of the story?
2. The idea of climbing to the top makes Tom choose first between his wife and his work, second between staying in the warm room and going out into the cold night for the yellow sheet. Investigate the semantics of the antonymous pairs warm — chill, warm — cold for the evaluative connotations. What does the contrast of the antonyms imply concerning the main topic?
3. One of the subtopics of the story is the topic of fear. What synonyms does the author use to develop the topic? In what order are they used? How are they different? How is the growth of fear shown?
4. How do the verbs denoting the process of trembling add to the topic of fear?
5. What hyponyms are used in the text of the story? What is their semantic function?
6. What is the contrast in the last part of the story? What topical words is it expressed with?
7. What way do topics of the story follow each other? What is the author’s message to the reader?
Лексический анализ художественного текста
(на примере анализа рассказа Джека Фини
«Содержимое карманов мертвого человека»)
Темой данной статьи является стилистический анализ художественного текста. Поскольку термин «стилистика» многозначен, мы позволим себе уточнение — мы попытаемся провести анализ в русле лингвистической стилистики, еще более конкретно — лексический анализ рассказа американского писателя Дж. Фини.
Основными положениями методики лексического анализа текста являются следующие:
1) текст рассматривается как целостная структура, в которой все взаимосвязано и взаимообусловлено;
2) наиболее существенными для смысла целого текста являются повторяющиеся в нем значения, формирующие «темы» или «подтемы» текста (термин заимствован у И. В. Арнольд);
3) «темы» текста обнаруживаются набором повторяющихся в нем сем — наименьших единиц плана содержания. Семантические повторы, т. е. одинаковые денотативные или коннотативные семы в значениях слов текста обнаруживаются в лексических связях слов в тексте. Как известно, основными типами связей лексических единиц являются синонимия, антонимия, гипонимия, семантическая производность. Для нас важны всякие отношения, демонстрирующие какую-либо общность между значениями слов.
Сюжет рассказа выглядит следующим образом. Молодой американец Том Бенек провожает свою жену в кино вечером, а сам остается дома, в квартире на одиннадцатом этаже, чтобы закончить свой проект, который должен выделить его из множества других работников фирмы и послужить первым шагом в продвижении к «самой вершине» его карьеры. Когда он закрывает за женой дверь, желтый листок с записями выносит сквозняком на улицу, он застревает в углу здания недалеко от окна Бенека. Он решает вылезти из окна и, двигаясь по выступу на стене здания, достать листок. Когда листок уже у него в руке, он смотрит вниз, и его охватывают жуткий страх и дрожь. Том, сконцентрировав волю, добирается до окна, оно захлопывается, он едва не падает. Том испытывает все методы, чтобы привлечь внимание людей в домах и на улице, но все напрасно. Он представляет, как он падает, лежит на земле и внезапно ощущает всю бессмысленность своей прошедшей жизни, сожалеет о вечерах, которые он провел не с женой. Единственный выход — разбить стекло кулаком, что он и делает. Оказавшись в квартире, он кладет злополучный листок на стол, и его вновь выносит сквозняком в ночь, но Том, уходящий разыскивать жену, только смеется.
Статистически самым «тематическим» словом рассказа является слово sheet и его синоним paper — «листок (бумаги)». В тексте оно употребляется более 25 раз (а creased yellow sheet, the sheet, the yellow sheet, the paper), а если считать и употребление местоимения it, его заменяющего,
и того больше. Напрашивается вывод о том, что главной темой рассказа является тема карьеры, продвижения по службе, долгого подъема на «вершину» в жизни, иными словами, осуществления «американской мечты». Ведь на «желтом листке» находятся расчеты Тома, его инновации, результаты «долгих часов работы» (countless hours of work), которые должны принести ему авторитет и деньги («the money comes rolling in and I’m known as the Boy Wizard of Wholesale Groceries»).
Герой на протяжении всего рассказа делает все, чтобы достичь своей цели. Как говорит автор, Тому нравились направление его жизни, идеал, который он нарисовал себе в начале жизни, как и многим американцам. Ради этого идеала он жертвует теплом отношений с женой, и, если бы не случай, перевернувший его жизнь, можно было бы предположить дальнейшее отчуждение Тома от Клэр.
От чего же он должен отказаться, чтобы стремиться к своей цели? Сначала — не пойти с женой в кино на фильм, который тоже хотел посмотреть. Затем — оставить теплую квартиру и в холоде ночи доставать желтый листок. Этот контраст также акцентируется на протяжении всего рассказа, как и контраст просторной комнаты и узкого выступа на стене, по которому идет Том. Теплый воздух квартиры (warm air of the room) противопоставляется прохладе и холоду улицы (cold air, the chill outside, the chill faint wind, the chill breeze). Таким образом, тема контраста подчеркивается антонимией слов warm — chill, cold. Как показывает дефиниционный анализ прилагательного warm, в его значении присутствуют положительные коннотативные семы, в то время как в семантической структуре существительных и прилагательных chill и cold мы обнаруживаем отрицательные оценочные семы. Вылезая из окна, Том выбирает не лучшее для себя.
Степень риска, который приходится испытывать Тому на узком выступе стены, акцентируется автором путем противопоставления значений прилагательных nаrrow — spacious, при описании состояния Тома, стоящего у закрытого окна, через которое он видит просторную, теплую комнату, мечтая пробежаться по ней или полежать на полу на ковре с распростертыми руками: «Не had a sudden mental picture of his apartment on just the other side of the wall — warm, cheerful, incredibly spacious». Просторность комнаты, дважды подчеркнутая автором, связывается в сознании героя с безопасностью для жизни, которая есть за стеной и которой нет на выступе: «Тhе impossible remoteness on this utter safety, the contrast between it and where he stood now, was more than he could bear. And... the fear of the awful hight he stood on coursed through his nerves and muscles. He would literally run across the room, free to move as he liked, lumping on the floor, testing and reveling in this absolute security»... Итак, тема «безопасности» усиливается автором путем неоднократного употребления в тексте синонимов safety и security.
Поначалу идея достать желтый листок казалась Тому легкой задачей. Когда он ступил на выступ, ему легко давалось держать равновесие,
и автор рисует ощущения Тома при помощи слов: balanced easily and firmly, he stood on the edge...; he could feel his balance firm and secure. Когда же он случайно взглянул вниз и почувствовал весь ужас своего положения, его равновесие мгновенно стало равновесием «на кончике ножа» (his body swayed outward to the knife edge of balance). Здесь мы видим
не простое противопоставление, а метафорическую антонимию.
Уже при первом шаге от окна Том чувствует страх (the fear stirred in his stomach). Далее тема страха, связанная с погоней за желтым листком, развивается через употребление синонимов fear — terror — panic — horror. Существительные даны в том порядке, в котором они употребляются в тексте рассказа:
a violent instantaneous explosion of absolute terror roared through him;
panic flaring through his mind and muscles;
horror paralized him.
Рассмотрим словарные определения данных существительных:
fear — feeling caused by the nearness or possibility of danger or evil;
terror —great fear;
panic — uncontrolled, quickly spreading, fear;
horror — feeling of extreme fear.
Мы видим, что синонимы, обозначающие «страх», употреблены автором в таком пoрядке, чтобы показать быстрое нарастание чувства страха у героя рассказа. В значениях синонимов прослеживается сема интенсивности:
fear — terror = great fear — horror = extreme fear.
Тема «страха», выраженная синонимическим рядом во главе с самым частотным в тексте синонимом-доминантой fear, подкрепляется синонимами-глаголами, означающими состояние дрожания: he started to tremble violently; he was more than trembling how; his body was rocked with violent shudder beyond control; he could not stop shaking; his shivering hands trembling steadily of the pent-up horror.
Усилия Тома, направленные на достижение цели, подчеркиваются автором, упоминающим все части тела Тома, работающие на успех опасного предприятия. Гипонимия, универсальное семантическое отношение, буквально пронизывает весь рассказ. Представить гипероним body и блоки в гиперо-гипонимической структуре помогает схема, состоящая из слов, обозначающих «тело» и его части, использованных в рассказе:
hands (trunk) head legs
palms shoulders face thighs
arms chest forehead knees
wrists stomach nose calves
fingers belly cheeks feet
back balls heels
Итак, если в начале рассказа Том борется за свою блестящую карьеру, то конце его — за свою жизнь, жизнь, которая еще только началась
и могла (he understood fully that he might actually be going to die) бесславно закончиться — ведь в его карманах можно было бы найти только листок бумаги с неразборчивыми записями. В последней части рассказа основным контрастом является противопоставление жизни и смерти, который выражается словами to die, to slip and fall, to topple him off the ledge, с одной стороны, и life, a wasted life, an extention of his life, to live, с другой стороны.
Том собирает все оставшиеся силы, чтобы разбить окно (he waited feeling the sick tenseness and terrible excitement building). He случайно его, может быть, последняя мысль — о Клэр. Именно с ее именем на устах он разбивает окно. Она для него теперь — воплощение жизни. Теперь, думая о желтом листке, о карьере, обо всей своей прошлой жизни, Том не испытывает ничего, кроме злости (Не thought wonderingly of his fierce ambition...; he thought with sudden fierce anger, a wasted life).
В заключительном абзаце Том радуется тому, что злополучный листок уплывает в ночь, уносимый сквозняком, — уплывает из его жизни (...he saw the yellow paper-sail out into the night and out of his life...).
Итак, лексический анализ тематических слов рассказа помогает декодировать послание автора читателю. В ходе рассказа она начинает переплетаться с темой «неприятного — опасного для жизни», наконец она выливается в контраст между «жизнью и смертью», в борьбе «жизнь» побеждает, но «жизнь» уже совершенно другая, человечная, полная тепла, а не потраченная впустую в угоду амбициям. Тема «амбиций, карьеры» как основа жизни главного героя исчезает в конце рассказа.
The Japanese Quince
As Mr. Nilson, well known in the City, opened the window of his dressing-room on Campden Hill, he experienced a peculiar sweetish sensation in the back of his throat, and a feeling of emptiness just under his fifth rib. Hooking the window back, he noticed that a little tree in the Square Gardens had come out in blossom, and that the thermometer stood at sixty. «Perfect morning», he thought; «spring at last!»
Resuming some meditations on the price of Tintos, he took up an ivory-backed hand-glass and scrutinised his face. His firm, well-coloured cheeks, with their neat brown moustaches, and his round, well-opened, clear grey eyes, wore a reassuring appearance of good health. Putting on his black frock-coat, he went downstairs.
In the dining-room his morning paper was laid out on the sideboard. Mr Nilson had scarcely taken it in his hand when he again became aware of that queer feeling. Somewhat concerned, he went to the French Windows and descended the scrolled iron steps into the fresh air. A cuckoo clock struck eight.
«Half an hour to breakfast», he thought; «I’ll take a turn in the Gardens».
He had them to himself, and proceeded to pace the circular path with his morning paper clasped behind him. He had scarcely made two revolutions, however, when it was borne in on his mind that, instead of going away in the fresh air, the feeling had increased. He drew several deep breaths, having heard deep breathing recommended by his wife’s doctor; but they augmented rather than diminished the sensation — as of some sweetish liquor in course within him, together with a faint aching just above his heart. Running over what he had eaten the night before, he could remember no unusual dish, and it occurred to him that it might possibly be some smell affecting him. But he could detect nothing except a faint sweet lemony scent, rather agreeable than otherwise, which evidently emanated from the bushes budding in the sunshine. He was on the point of resuming his promenade, when a blackbird close by burst into a song, and looking up, Mr. Nilson saw at a distance of perhaps five yards a little tree, in the heart of whose branches the bird was perched. He stood staring curiously at this tree, recognising it for that he had noticed from his window. It was covered with young blossoms, pink and white, and little bright green leaves both round and spiky; and on all this blossom and these leaves the sunlight glistened. Mr. Nilson smiled; the little tree was so alive and pretty! And instead of passing on, he stayed there smiling at the tree.
«Morning like this!» he thought; «and here I am the only person in the Square who has the — to come out and — !» But he had no sooner conceived this thought than he saw quite near him a man with his hands behind him, who was also staring up and smiling at the little tree. Rather taken aback, Mr. Nilson ceased to smile, and looked furtively at the stranger. It was his next-door neighbour, Mr. Tandram, well known in the City, who had occupied the adjoining house for some five years. Mr. Nilson perceived at once the awkwardness of his position, for, being married, they had not yet had occasion to speak to one another. Doubtful as to his proper conduct, he decided at last to murmur: «Fine morning!» and he was passing on, when Mr. Tandram answered: «Beautiful, for the time of the year!» Detecting a slight nervousness in his neighbour’s voice, Mr Nilson was emboldened to regard him openly. He was of about Mr. Nilson’s own height, with firm well-coloured cheeks, neat brown moustaches, and round, well-opened clear grey eyes; and he was wearing a black frock-coat. Mr. Nilson noticed that he had his morning paper clasped behind him as he looked up at the little tree. And visited somehow by the feeling that he had been caught out, he said abruptly:
«Er — can you give me the name of that tree?»
Mr. Tandram answered:
«I was about to ask you that», and stepped towards it. Mr. Nilson also approached the tree.
«Sure to have its name on, I should think», he said.
Mr. Tandram was the first to see the little label, close to where the blackbird had been sitting. He read it out.
«Ah!» said Mr. Nilson, «thought so. Early flowerers».
«Very», assented Mr. Tandram, and added: «Quite a feelin’ in the air today!»
Mr. Nilson nodded.
«It was a blackbird singin», he said.
«Blackbirds», answered Mr. Tandram. «I prefer them to thrushes myself; more body in the note». And he looked at Mr. Nilson in an almost friendly way.
«Quite», murmured Mr. Wilson. «These exotics, they don’t bear fruit Pretty blossom!» and he again glanced up at the blossom, thinking: «Nice fellow, this, I rather like him».
Mr. Tandram also gazed up at the blossom. And the little tree, as if appreciating their attention, quivered and glowed. From a distance the blackbird gave a loud, clear call. Mr. Nilson dropped his eyes. It struck him suddenly that Mr. Tandram looked a little foolish; and, as if he had seen himself, he said: «I must be going in. Good morning!»
A shade passed over Mr. Tandram’s face, as if he, too, had suddenly noticed something about Mr. Nilson.
«Good morning», he replied, and clasping their journals to their backs they separated.
Mr. Nilson retraced his steps towards his garden window, walking slowly so as to avoid arriving at the same time as his neighbour. Having seen Mr. Tandram mount his scrolled iron steps, he ascended his own in turn. On the top step he paused.
With the slanting spring sunlight darting and quivering into it, the Japanese quince seemed more living than a tree. The blackbird had returned to it, and was chanting out his heart.
Mr. Nilson sighed; again he felt that queer sensation, that choky feeling in his throat
The sound of a cough or sigh attracted his attention. There, in the shadow of his French window, stood Mr. Tandram, also iooking forth across the Gardens at the little quince tree.
Unaccountably upset Mr. Nilson turned abruptly into the house, and opened his morning paper.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. Do you feel the attitude of the author towards his character Mr. Nilson? How is it expressed in the first paragraphs of the story?
2. What are the topical words of the story? What are their meanings? What is the pattern, the semantic rythm they are used in? What does the author imply by such a feeling-sensation pattern in use?
3. What’s the purpose of the identic descriptions of the neighbours? Isn’t it the author’s irony?
4. The descriptions of «the men of property» and the quince tree are different semantically and stylistically. In what way?
5. What does the little quince tree symbolize in the story? What is the attitude of Golsworthy to men of property? What’s the main idea of the story in your interpretation?
Своеобразие семантики ритма
в рассказе Джона Голсуорси «Японская айва»
Джон Голсуорси, английский писатель конца XIX — начала XX веков, является представителем целой плеяды писателей, имена которых — Бернард Шоу, Герберт Уэллс, Джозеф Конрад, Арнольд Беннет — ассоциируются с критическим реализмом в английской литературе.
Самый известный его роман, или серия романов, «Сага о Форсайтах» посвящен людям, типичной чертой которых является сильно выраженное чувство собственности. Первый роман «Саги» так и называется — «Собственник». На протяжении всей «Саги» олицетворяет это самое чувство собственности один из главных героев — Сомс Форсайт. Как пишет сам Джон Голсуорси в предисловии к «Саге», все, что есть в человеческой природе от Сомса, неизменно и тревожно восстает против угрозы распада, нависшей над владениями собственничества (2). Форсайты представляют класс богатых английских буржуа, живущих в роскоши. В понимании Голсуорси, главной темой «Саги» является не изображение Англии периода конца XIX — начала XX веков, на который приходится появление и расцвет класса собственников, не ее преображение из «застывшего» и «прочного» в нечто «расплывчатое и безысходное», а изображение того хаоса, который вносит в жизнь человека Красота.
Красота, врывающаяся в мир собственников, также является главной темой рассказа Голсуорси «Японская айва». Этот рассказ представляет собой блестяще выписанную зарисовку с кратчайшим сюжетом, которая могла бы вписаться в «Сагу» практически в любом месте, на любой странице этой эпопеи в описании дня любого Форсайта как типичного представителя клана собственников.
Джон Голсуорси сам принадлежал к собственническому классу и знал его изнутри, поэтому ему так удается совершенное описание малейших событий из жизни его представителей. И «Сага о Форсайтах», и рассказ «Японская айва» демонстрируют критическую дистанцированность писателя от своей среды.
Главный герой рассказа, мистер Нильсон, в первой же строчке характеризуется автором как преуспевающий буржуа (well known in the City). Хорошо отлаженный ритм его жизни совершенно неожиданно нарушается одним весенним утром. Нильсон испытывает странное ощущение
в горле и груди. Он осматривает себя в зеркале, пытаясь выявить признаки нездоровья. В описании лица Нильсона сквозит ирония. У него твердые, здорового цвета щеки, аккуратные усы, серые глаза — firm well-coloured cheeks, well-opened, clear grey eyes — эффект иронии достигается повторным употреблением наречия well в составе причастий, описывающих щеки и глаза, что очень трудно передать при переводе.
В парке, на свежем воздухе Нильсон продолжает искать, но не может найти физиологические причины странному ощущению, которое тем временем усиливается. Внезапно он видит расцветшее деревце и понимает, что именно его сладкий лимонный аромат стал причиной непонятного чувства. Вид цветущего дерева с поющей птицей в глубине ветвей наполняет Нильсона радостью, он счастлив от мысли, что он единственный человек, видящий нечто прекрасное. Но внезапно он замечает своего соседа, мистера Тандрема, любующегося «его» айвой. Происходит формальный разговор, и два джентльмена расходятся по домам. Нильсон очень расстроен.
Скупость сюжета не мешает автору мастерски раскрыть чувственно-эмоциональную природу героя. Это ему удается благодаря тонко организованной семантической структуре текста.
Ключевыми словами текста являются feeling и sensation, постоянно повторяющиеся на протяжении всего рассказа. Данные существительные — синонимы, часто имеющие тавтологические трактовки значений в толковых словарях. Например, New Expanded Webster’s Dictionary определяет их значения следующим образом:
Feeling — the sense of touch; sensation
Sensation — impression made through the senses; feeling
, power of feeling.
Словарные дефиниции, данные в American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, кажутся более подробными, но также трактующими значение одного слова через значение другого:
Feeling — 1) a. The sensation
involving perception by touch;
b. A sensation
perceived by touch;
c. Any physical sensation
3) An awareness, impression.
Sensation — 1) Perception associated with stimulation of a sense organ or with specific bodily conditions;
2) The faculty to feel
Как видим, четкую разницу значений установить не удается, хотя
в значении существительного sensation более четко прослеживается сема физического восприятия, выражаемая в дефинициях словами — senses, perception by touch, a sense organ, bodily conditions. В значении feeling помимо семы физического восприятия мы видим эмотивную сему, акцентирующую психическое восприятие.
Подобное сочетание подтверждает словарное определение в Oxford Student’s Dictionary of Current English:
Feeling — 1) Physical or mental awareness;
Трактовка значения глагола to feel в Cambridge International Dictionary of English демонстрирует наличие этих двух сем — физического и психического восприятия:
Feel, v — to experience (something physical or emotional).
Значение существительного sensation в этом словаре ограничивается только семой физического восприятия:
Sensation — the ability to feel something physically, especially by touching…
Схематично структуры значений данных существительных можно изобразить следующим образом:
Feeling — physical or emotional perception;
Sensation — physical perception.
Теперь посмотрим, как употребляются данные существительные
в тексте рассказа. Схема и частотность их употребления оказываются весьма оригинальными. Девять употреблений существительных располагаются в тексте следующим образом: S-FFF-S-FF-S-F. Наблюдается ритмичная тенденция к сокращению употребления существительного feeling к концу рассказа при том, что оно употребляется в два раза чаще, чем sensation.
Сочетаемость существительных feeling и sensation в тексте рассказа демонстрирует как сходство, так и различие их значений. Так, оба существительных образуют атрибутивные сочетания с прилагательным queer, а также предикативные и комплетивные сочетания с глаголами, обозначающими процессы увеличения и уменьшения:
That queer feeling — that queer sensation;
Deep breaths augmented, not diminished the sensation — the feeling had increased.
С другой стороны, сочетаемость данных существительных свидетельствует о различии семантических структур их значений: для значения feeling более показателен эмотивный аспект значения, для sensation — физический. Существительное sensation сочетается с прилагательными, обозначающими физическое восприятие — peculiar sweetish sensation, в адвербиальных конструкциях мы наблюдаем физиологическое описание части тела, где испытывается ощущение — in the back of his throat, само ощущение сравнивается с болью — a faint aching above his heart.
Сема психического восприятия реализуется в атрибутивных сочетаниях типа a feeling of emptiness и в адвербиальном сочетании quite a feeling in the air, показывающем настроение героя рассказа Нильсона. Данное употребление наиболее ярко контрастирует с акцентуацией семы физического восприятия в значениях feeling и sensation, демонстрируя психическое, эмоциональное восприятие героя.
В первой половине текста рассказа сосредоточена большая часть употреблений существительных feeling и sensation, что свидетельствует
о росте эмоционального напряжения в душе героя до момента встречи
с мистером Тандремом. К концу рассказа возвышенное настроение Нильсона падает — существительные feeling и sensation употребляются по одному разу в одном предложении. В последнем предложении окончательно расстроенный после прогулки в парке Нильсон принимается за свою утреннюю газету.
Итак, в рассказе ритмичность употребления существительных feeling и sensation позволяет читателю испытывать тончайшие чувственно-эмоциональные переживания главного героя.
Что же так подействовало на радостное настроение Нильсона в момент его любования цветущим деревом? Нильсон улыбается, глядя на сверкающие на солнце ярко-зеленые листочки и слушая пение черного дрозда, и думает, что он — единственный человек, который видит такую красоту. Но внезапно оказывается не один, еще кто-то, очень похожий на него, такой же собственник, как и он, любуется деревцем! В этот момент и портится настроение Нильсона, происходит это совершенно инстинктивно, хотя джентльмены пытаются соблюсти нормы приличия и поддержать разговор.
Симметрия рассказа определяется сходством в характеристиках
и описании внешности Нильсона и Тандрема. В начале рассказа мы знакомимся с Нильсоном, вторая половина рассказа начинается с аналогичного описания Тандрема. Он тоже известное лицо в Лондонском Сити. По внешности Тандрем — совершенный двойник Нильсона: He was about Mr. Nilson’s own height, with firm well-coloured cheeks, neat brown moustaches, and round, well-opened clear grey eyes, and he was wearing a black frock coat. …he had his morning paper clasped behind him… В этом почти полном лексическом параллелизме ясно ощущается авторская ирония — забавно, что эти собственники похожи как две капли воды, духовно и физически.
Оба испытывают неловкость при встрече, так как являются соседями уже в течение пяти лет, но ни разу не разговаривали друг с другом — Mr. Nilson perceived at once the awkwardness of his position… detecting a slight nervousness in his neighbour’s voice. Их очаровали айва в цвету и пение дрозда, но оба они внезапно застигнуты врасплох. Параллелизм их переживаний Голсуорси отражает в следующих предложениях: It struck him suddenly that Mr. Tandrem looked a little foolish; A shade passed over Mr. Tandram’s face, as if he, too, had suddenly noticed something about Mr. Nilson. После прощания они тоже ведут себя одинаково, хотя стараются избежать копирования друг друга: Mr. Nilson retraced his steps towards his garden window, walking slowly so as to avoid arriving at the same time as his neighbour. Они оба поднимаются по ступеням своих домов: …Mr. Tandram mount his scrolled iron steps… Mr. Nilson ascended his own in turn. Они оба останавливаются на последней ступени, чтобы в последний раз взглянуть на деревце, искрящееся на солнце.
В ритмичном параллелизме конструкций, применяющихся в описании поведения героев рассказ,а также слышна ирония автора, обращающего внимание читателя на то, что вся жизнь собственников подчинена определенным правилам, которые они никогда не нарушают, их поведение до смешного предсказуемо. Собственники представляют собой именно класс, они идентичны в своем восприятии жизни и ее ценностей. Это — деловые, эмоционально сухие люди, даже когда им невольно приходится открывать красоту, символом которой в рассказе является цветущее дерево, они сразу хотят обладать ею. Если кто-то посягает на их чувство собственности, у них сразу портится настроение. И невдомек им, что красоту можно только воспевать, как это делает дрозд, а не обладать ею. Тех редких мгновений, когда душа полна сильных чувств, собственники стесняются.
В рассказе наблюдаем еще один ритмический аспект — это постоянный контраст между описаниями монотонной ежедневной жизни собственника и описанием красоты. Он выражается по-разному. Во-первых, посредством употребления прилагательных, обозначающих цвет. В описании внешности Нильсона сквозят неприятные холодные цветовые тона: clear grey
frock coat. В описании деревца автор использует прилагательные, обозначающие светлые и яркие цвета: young pink
blossoms, little bright
leaves. Во-вторых, посредством слов различных функциональных стилей, используемых в описании походки и вообще образа жизни Нильсона и в описании цветущей айвы. Действия Нильсона постоянно характеризуются глаголами формального стиля: he descended / ascended the scrolled iron steps, proceeded to pace the circular path, resumed his promenade, etc. Деревце и птица, поющая в его ветвях, описываются словами разговорного стиля, наибольшую экспрессивность придает описанию употребление идиом:
The little tree was so alive
…a blackbird …burst into song
…the blackbird …was chanting out his heart
Контрастное употребление существительного heart также бросается
в глаза читателю: Mr. Nilson saw… a little tree, in the heart of whose branches the bird was perched. Поэтическая метафора в описании дерева
и сухая физиология в описании ощущения Нильсона: the sensation — as if some sweet liquor in course within him, together with a faint aching just above his heart.
В одном из последних абзацев деревце сравнивается с живым существом — the Japanese quince seemed more living than a tree. Эта персонификация, цель употребления которой довольно прозрачна, контрастирует
с черствостью, автоматизмом и монотонностью поведения Нильсона
В заключение необходимо отметить, что творческий метод автора рассказа отличается большим разнообразием в использовании семантических средств. Ритмичность употребления ключевых слов, сознательное повторение описательных конструкций, ритм, создающийся контрастным употреблением лексики определенных функциональных пластов языка, создают незабываемый колорит произведения Голсуорси.
1. Текст рассказа Джона Голсуорси «The Japanese Quince» цитируется по изданию: Perrine L. Story and Structure. Harcout, Brace & World, Inc. New York — Chicago — Burlingame, 1959.
2. Голсуорси Дж. Сага о Форсайтах. Предисловие автора. М. : Известия, 1994, С. 5—8.
3. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Dell Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 1970.
4. Cambridge International Dictionary of English. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995.
5. Hornby A.S. Oxford Student’s Dictionary of Current English. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1993.
6. New Expanded Webster’s Dictionary. P.S.I. & Associates, Inc., Miami, 1988.
The Orphaned Swimming Pool
Marriages, like chemical unions, release upon dissolution packets of the energy locked up in their bonding. There is the piano no one wants, the cocker spaniel no one can take care of. Shelves of books suddenly stand revealed as burdensomely dated and unlikely to be reread; indeed, it is difficult to remember who read them in the first place. And what of those old skis in the attic? Or the doll house waiting to be repaired in the basement? The piano goes out of tune, the dog goes mad. The summer that the Turners got their divorce, their swimming pool had neither a master nor a mistress, though the sun beat down day after day, and a state of drought was declared in Connecticut.
It was a young pool, only two years old, of the fragile type fashioned by laying a plastic liner within a carefully carved hole in the ground. The Turners’ side yard looked infernal while it was being done; one bulldozer sank into the mud and had to be pulled free by another. But by midsummer the new grass was sprouting, the encircling flagstones were in place, the blue plastic tinted the water a heavenly blue, and it had to be admitted that the Turners had scored again. They were always a little in advance of their friends. He was a tall, hairy-backed man with long arms, and a nose flattened by football, and a sullen look of too much blood; she was a fine-boned blonde with dry blue eyes and lips usually held parted and crinkled as if about to ask a worrisome, or whimsical, question. They never seemed happier, nor their marriage healthier, than those two summers. They grew brown and supple and smooth with swimming. Ted would begin his day with a swim, before dressing to catch the train, and Linda would hold court all day amid crowds of wet matrons and children, and Ted would return from work to find a poolside cocktail party in progress, and the couple would end their day at midnight, when their friends had finally left, by swimming nude, before bed. What ecstasy! In darkness the water felt mild as milk and buoyant as helium, and the swimmers became giants, gliding from side to side in a single languorous stroke.
The next May, the pool was filled as usual, and the usual after-school gangs of mothers and children gathered, but Linda, unlike her, stayed indoors. She could be heard within the house, moving from room to room, but she no longer emerged, as in the other summers, with a cheerful tray of ice and brace of bottles, and Triscuits and lemonade for the children. Their friends felt less comfortable about appearing, towels in hand, at the Turners’ on weekends. Though Linda had lost some weight and looked elegant, and Ted was cumbersomely jovial, they gave off the faint, sleepless, awkward-making aroma of a couple in trouble. Then, the day after school was out, Linda fled with the children to her parents in Ohio. Ted stayed nights in the city, and the pool was deserted. Though the pump that ran the water through the filter continued to mutter in the lilacs, the cerulean pool grew cloudy. The bodies of dead horseflies and wasps dotted the still surface. A speckled plastic ball drifted into a corner beside the diving board and stayed there. The grass between the flagstones grew lank. On the glass-topped poolside table, a spray can of Off! had lost its pressure and a gin-and-tonic glass held a sere mint leaf. The pool looked desolate and haunted, like a stagnant jungle spring; it looked poisonous and ashamed. The postman, stuffing overdue notices and pornography solicitations into the mailbox, averted his eyes from the side yard politely.
Some June weekends, Ted sneaked out from the city. Families driving to church glimpsed him dolefully sprinkling chemical substances into the pool. He looked pale and thin. He instructed Roscoe Chace, his neighbor on the left, how to switch on the pump and change the filter, and how much chlorine and Algitrol should be added weekly. He explained he would not be able to make it out every weekend — as if the distance that for years he had traveled twice each day, gliding in and out of New York, had become an impossibly steep climb back into the past. Linda, he confided vaguely, had left her parents in Akron and was visiting her sister in Minneapolis. As the shock of the Turners’ joint disappearance wore off, their pool seemed less haunted and forbidding. The Mur-taugh children — the Murtaughs, a rowdy, numerous family, were the Turners’ right-hand neighbors — began to use it, without supervision. So Linda’s old friends, with their children, began to show up, «to keep the Murtaughs from drowning each other». For if anything were to happen to a Murtaugh, the poor Turners (the adjective had become automatic) would be sued for everything, right when they could least afford it. It became, then, a kind of duty, a test of loyalty, to use the pool.
July was the hottest in twenty-seven years. People brought their own lawn furniture over in station wagons and set it up. Teenage offspring and Swiss au-pair
girls were established as lifeguards. A nylon rope with flotation corks, meant to divide the wading end from the diving end of the pool, was found coiled in the garage and reinstalled. Agnes Kleefield contributed an old refrigerator, which was wired to an outlet above Ted’s basement workbench and used to store ice, quinine water, and soft drinks. An honor system shoebox containing change appeared beside it; a little lost-and-found — an array of forgotten sunglasses, flippers, jtowels, lotions, paperbacks, shirts, even underwear — materialized on the Turners’ side steps. When people, that July, said, «Meet you at the pool», they did not mean the public pool past the shopping center, or the country-club pool beside the first tee. They meant the Turners’. Restrictions on admission — were difficult to enforce tactfully. A visiting Methodist bishop, two Taiwanese economists, an entire girls’ Softball team from Darien, an eminent Canadian poet, the archery champion of Hartford, the six members of a black rock group called the Good Intentions, an ex-mistress of Aly Khan, the lavender-haired mother-in-law of a Nixon adviser not quite of Cabinet rank, an infant of six weeks, a man who was killed the next day on the Merritt Parkway, a Filipino who could stay on the pool bottom for eighty seconds, two Texans who kept cigars in their mouths and hats on their heads, three telephone linemen, four expatriate Czechs, a student Maoist from Wesleyan, and the postman all swam, as guests, in the Turners’ pool, though not all at once. After the daytime crowd ebbed, and the shoebox was put back in the refrigerator, and the last au-pair
girl took the last goosefleshed, wrinkled child shivering home to supper, there was a tide of evening activity, trysts (Mrs. Kleefield and the Nicholson boy, most notoriously) and what some called, overdramatically, orgies. True, late splashes and excited guffaws did often keep Mrs. Chace awake, and the Murtaugh children spent hours at their attic window with binoculars. And there was the evidence of the lost underwear.
One Saturday early in August, the morning arrivals found an unknown car with New York plates parked in the garage. But ears of all sorts were so common — the parking tangle frequently extended into the road — that nothing much was thought of it, even when someone noticed that the bedroom windows upstairs were open. And nothing came of it, except that around suppertime, in the lull before the evening crowds began to arrive in force, Ted and an unknown woman, of the same physical type as Linda but brunette, swiftly exited from the kitchen door, got into the car, and drove back to New York. The few lingering babysitters and beaux thus unwittingly glimpsed the root of the divorce. The two lovers had been trapped inside the house all day; Ted was fearful of the legal consequences of their being seen by anyone who might write and tell Linda. The settlement was at a ticklish stage; nothing less than terror of Linda’s lawyers would have led Ted to suppress his indignation at seeing, from behind the window screen, his private pool turned public carnival. For long thereafter, though in the end he did not marry the woman, he remembered that day when they lived together like fugitives in a cave, feeding on love and ice water, tiptoeing barefoot to the depleted cupboards, which they, arriving late last night, had hoped to stock in the morning, not foreseeing the onslaught of interlopers that would pin them in. Her hair, he remembered, had tickled his shoulders as she crouched behind him at the window, and through the angry pounding of his own blood he had felt her slim body breathless with the attempt not to giggle. August drew in, with cloudy days. Children grew bored with swimming. Roscoe Chace went on vacation; to Italy; the pump broke down, and no one repaired it. Dead dragonflies accumulated on the surface of the pool. Small deluded toads hopped in and swam around hopelessly. Linda at last returned. From Minneapolis she had gone on to Idaho for six weeks, to be divorced. She and the children had burnt faces from riding and hiking; her lips looked drier and more quizzical than ever, still seeking to frame that troubling question. She stood at the window, in the house that already seemed to lack its furniture, at the same side window where the lovers had crouched, and gazed at the deserted pool. The grass around it was green from splashing, save where a long-lying towel had smothered a rectangle and left it brown. Aluminum furniture she didn’t recognize lay strewn and broken. She counted a dozen bottles beneath the glass-topped table. The nylon divider had parted, and its two halves floated independently. The blue plastic beneath the colorless water tried to make a cheerful, otherworldy statement, but Linda saw that the pool in truth had no bottom, it held bottomless loss, it was one huge blue tear. Thank God no one had drowned in it. Except her. She saw that she could never live here again. In September the place was sold to a family with toddling infants, who for safety’s sake have not only drained the pool but have sealed it over with iron pipes and a heavy mesh, and put warning signs around, as around a chained dog.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. What idea does the author express in the first paragraph of the story? What lexical means does the author use to express it vividly?
2. What are the main characters of the story? Can you say that the swimming pool is also a sort of character, sometimes even more prominent than the Turners?
3. What are the stages the Turners go through in the story? What happens to the pool? Does the pool symbolize the Turners’ history? In what way?
4. The pool is the topical word inthe story. What is it associated with in various paragraphs? What epithets, similes and metaphors does the author use to describe it?
5. How does the tone of the story change as the events develop? What words show this? (Investigate the connotational components of meaning in their semantic structures.)
6. What is the meaning of the suspended metaphor at the end of the story? What words symbolize the death of the Turners’ family?
7. What’s the climax of the story? How can you determine it semantically?
8. Interprete the title of the story. What’s the message of the writer to the reader?
8. Interprete the h1 of the story. What’s the message of the writer to the reader?
Ритм семантической структуры текста
(анализ рассказа Джона Апдайка
Главной темой рассказа Джона Апдайка «Осиротевший бассейн» (The Orphaned Swimming Pool) является развод. Автор прослеживает все фазы постепенного распада счастливой семьи, перерождения ее в двух одиноких, отчаявшихся людей. Апдайк описывает не только прямые признаки разрушения семейных отношений, но и косвенные — через историю бассейна во дворе семьи Тернеров, который становится лакмусовой бумажкой их семейной жизни.
Своеобразие рассказа в том, что бассейн является его «главным героем». Именно состояние бассейна иллюстрирует отношения между Линдой и Тедом. Слово «бассейн» (the pool, the swimming pool) является определяющим для понимания авторской идеи, недаром оно выносится
в заголовок рассказа. Повтор этого слова определяет ритм семантической и тематической структуры рассказа (мы понимаем ритм как регулярное повторение определенного семантического элемента на протяжении рассказа).
Текст этого рассказа отличается четкой архитектоникой, поддерживающей его «внутреннюю композицию»: он состоит из семи частей-абзацев. Первый абзац — это размышления автора о разводе. Когда семьи распадаются, все вещи, считавшиеся нужными в семье, становятся заброшенными. Никому они больше не нужны: ни кукольный дом в подвале, ни старые лыжи на чердаке, ни книги на полках. И бассейн Тернеров остался без присмотра хозяев, осиротел в одно засушливое лето в Коннектикуте.
Во втором абзаце описывается постройка бассейна. Тернеры завели бассейн как ребенка, и этим снова «обставили» своих друзей в негласном соревновании. Они никогда не казались более счастливыми, а их семья — более крепкой, чем в те два лета, когда был бассейн. Автор персонифицирует бассейн, характеризуя этот объект необычными эпитетами: It was a young
, of a fragile
type. Прилагательные young, fragile часто употребляются при описании людей, fragile — особенно женщин. Хотя слово «бассейн» употребляется во втором абзаце всего один раз, его тема дополняется использованием слов water, wet, swim, swimming:
the water felt mild as milk and buoyant as helium;
to begin a day with a swim;
to court all day amid crowds of wet matrons and children;
to swim nude at night;
to grow brown... by swimming.
Семья Тернеров постоянно пользуется бассейном: Тед купается утром до отъезда на работу, Линда весь день принимает своих подруг с детьми, вечером — импровизированные вечеринки. Бассейн — источник и показатель их семейного счастья, его вода описывается словами: cerulean pool, a heavenly blue water; небесно-голубой цвет — как будто символ счастья, даже поднос с угощеньем для детей, который систематически выносит из дома Линда, описывается прилагательным cheerful, олицетворяя атмосферу в семье и доме. Итак, во втором абзаце тема бассейна ассоциируется с темой семейного счастья.
Следующий абзац на тематическом уровне поддерживается изменением семантики. В тексте появляются слова, коннотирующие опасность. На следующее лето у бассейна снова собираются мамаши с детьми, но Линда уже не так приветлива с гостями, они чувствуют себя неудобно и вскоре перестают появляться у Тернеров — они испускают аромат пары, у которой не все в порядке. Линда с детьми уезжает, Тед остается ночевать
в Нью-Йорке. Бассейн покинут всеми. Слово «бассейн» употребляется
в абзаце уже пять раз, и настойчивость этого лексического повтора привлекает к себе внимание, подчеркивая важность происходящего. «Мрачнеет» и ассоциативный ряд, сопровождающий этот образ. Какими же словами обыгрывается тема бассейна в этом абзаце?
with the children to her parents in Ohio (to flee — run away as if from danger
horseflies, the still
surface, ... cerulean pool grew cloudy;
a spray Off! had lost its pressure
gin-and-tonic glass held a sere
mint leaf (sere — poetical for «dry»).
В коннотации значения каждого слова пульсирует опасность, конец, покой, смерть. Небесно-голубая вода мутнеет. Бассейн вновь описывается персонифицирующими эпитетами desolate, haunted, poisonous, ashamed. Он заброшен, ядовит, его стыдятся. Он сравнивается автором со зловонным источником в джунглях. Семантическая структура абзаца несет идею конца, смерти. От него бегут как от смерти, его боятся как смерти. Знакомые и друзья Тернеров испытывают шок, видя, как разрушается семья, сторонятся их.
Следующий абзац рисует новый этап в жизни бассейна. Тед пытается оживить его, поддержать его деятельность. Действия Теда описываются следующими словосочетаниями: to sprinkle chemical substances into the pool, to switch on the pump, to change the filter, to add chlorine and Algitrol weekly. Абзац изобилует химическими и техническими терминами, они как бы показывают всю искусственность стараний Теда — семьи больше нет, у бассейна больше нет хозяев. Тед поручает уход за бассейном соседям слева. Шок от отъезда Тернеров постепенно проходит, и бассейном начинают пользоваться все, кто лоялен к Тернерам.
Мысль об обездоленности бассейна еще более усиливается в следующем абзаце. Осиротевший бассейн посещают все от подростков и заокеанских нянь с детьми до заезжего епископа Методистской церкви, филиппинца, техасцев и студента-маоиста. Там устраиваются любовные свидания и ночные оргии. Таким образом, бассейн ассоциируется в сознании людей с местом разгула страстей, чем-то порочным. Подспудная мысль автора — развод порочен.
Дополнительный временной ритм рассказа создает методичное упоминание автором месяцев лета, когда случился развод. В мае появляются первые признаки разлада в семье, и бассейн пустеет. В июне Тед еще пытается ухаживать за ним, в июле, самом жарком за последние двадцать семь лет, как утверждает автор, бассейн превращается в место публичных встреч. Апогей наступает в августе, когда Тед тайно привозит в свой дом причину развода — свою любовницу, и они проводят в доме весь день как пленники, тихие и голодные. Тед наблюдает, как «его личный бассейн превратился в публичный карнавал». Он негодует, но ничего сделать не может.
Август приносит облачные дни, детям надоело купаться, сосед уезжает в отпуск в Италию, бассейн окончательно умирает. Всюду царит разрушение: the pump broke down
dragonflies accumulated on the surface of the pool, the deserted
pool, aluminium furniture lay strewn
. Семантика глаголов в описании бассейна показывает разрушение, прилагательных и причастий — одиночество и смерть. Вот то, что случилось
с семьей Линды, это она видит, когда возвращается в свой бывший дом. Голубой пластик на дне бассейна еще пытается создать бодрящее впечатление, но дна Линда не видит. Бассейн бездонен, как бездонно ее горе. Бассейн заключает в себе огромную потерю, он — огромная голубая слеза (...it held bottomless loss, it was one huge blue tear...). Эта развернутая метафора, включающая в себя гиперболу (слеза, укрупненная до бассейна) и литоту (сравнение большого бассейна с крошечной слезой), являет собой наивысшую точку напряжения в рассказе, кульминацию в развитии действия. Бассейн приобретает символическое значение, становясь знаком смерти семейных отношений Тернеров.
В сентябре дом продают семье с маленькими детьми. Бассейн осушают, покрывают тяжелыми сетями, окружают предостерегающими от опасности табличками, как предупреждают о цепной собаке. Тема бассейна связана с темой страха. Как видим, в последней части рассказа бассейн ассоциируется с разрушением, одиночеством и смертью, с огромным несчастьем, опасностью, которая подстерегает каждого.
Как видим, рассказ Апдайка определяется особым ритмом изложения. Основная тема рассказа — развод — раскрывается, во-первых, через значимость хронологического ритма (май — август): автор систематично, по месяцам, отслеживает развитие событий; во-вторых, основная тема постоянно сочетается со своим олицетворением — образом бассейна;
в-третьих, косвенно, образ бассейна становится символом, включающим в себя самые различные значения, он варьируется, ассоциируясь с различными подтемами (счастья, беды, разгула, смерти, осознания потери, страха), характеризующими фазы развода и отношение автора и героев рассказа к нему; в четвертых, на семантическом уровне, метричная монотонность повтора ключевого слова сочетается с вариативностью лексики, передающей постепенное изменение в отношениях героев.
A Farewell to Arms
In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels. Troops went by the house and down the road and the dust they raised powdered the leaves of the trees. The trunks of the trees too were dusty and the leaves fell early that year and we saw the troops marching along the road and the dust rising and leaves, stirred by the breeze, falling and the soldiers marching and afterward the road bare and white except for the leaves.
The plain was rich with crops; there were many orchards of fruit trees and beyond the plain the mountains were brown and bare. There was fighting in the mountains and at night we could see the flashes from the artillery. In the dark it was like summer lightning, but the nights were cool and there was not the feeling of a storm coming.
Sometimes in the dark we heard the troops marching under the window and guns going past pulled by motor-tractors. There was much traffic at night and many mules on the roads with boxes of ammunition on each side of their pack-saddles and gray motor-trucks that carried men, and other trucks with loads covered with canvas that moved slower in the traffic. There were big guns too that passed in the day drawn by tractors, the long barrels of the guns covered with green branches and green leafy branches and vines laid over the tractors. To the north we could look across a valley and see a forest of chestnut trees and behind it another mountain on this side of the river. There was fighting for that mountain too, but it was not successful, and in the fall when the rains came the leaves all fell from the chestnut trees and the branches were bare and the trunks black with rain. The vineyards were thin and bare-branched too and all the country wet and brown and dead with the autumn. There were mists over the river and clouds on the mountain and the trucks splashed mud on the road and the troops were muddy and wet in their capes; their rifles were wet and under their capes the two leather cartridge-boxes on the front of the belts, gray leather boxes heavy with the packs of clips of thin, long 6.5 mm. cartridges, bulged forward under the capes so that the men, passing on the road, marched as though they were six months gone with child.
There were small gray motor cars that passed going very fast; usually there was an officer on the seat with the driver and more officers in the back seat. They splashed more mud than the camions even and if one of the officers in the back was very small and sitting between two generals, he himself so small that you could not see his face but only the top of his cap and his narrow back, and if the car went especially fast it was probably the King. He lived in Udine and came out in this way nearly every day to see how things were going, and things went very badly.
At the start of the winter came the permanent rain and with the rain came the cholera. But it was checked and in the end only seven thousand died of it in the army.
Chapter XIX (an extract)
«Listen to it rain».
«It’s raining hard».
«And you’ll always love me, won’t you?»
«And the rain won’t make any difference?»
«That’s good. Because I’m afraid of the rain».
«Why?» I was sleepy. Outside the rain was falling steadily.
«I don’t know, darling. I’ve always been afraid of the rain».
«I like it».
«I like to walk in it. But it’s very hard on loving».
«I’ll love you always».
«I’ll love you in
the rain and in the snow and in the hail and—what else is there?»
«I don’t know. I guess I’m sleepy».
«Go to sleep, darling, and I’ll love you no matter how it is».
«You’re not really afraid of the rain are you?»
«Not when I’m with you».
«Why are you afraid of it?»
«I don’t know».
«Don’t make me».
«All right. I’m afraid of the rain because sometimes I see me dead in it».
«And sometimes I see you dead in it».
«That’s more likely».
«No, it’s not, darling. Because I can keep you safe. I know I can. But nobody can help themselves».
«Please stop it. I don’t want you to get Scotch and crazy to-night. We won’t be together much longer».
«No, but I am Scotch and crazy. But I’ll stop it. It’s all nonsense».
«Yes it’s all nonsense».
«It’s all nonsense. It’s only nonsense. I’m not afraid of the rain. I’m not afraid of the rain. Oh, oh, god, I wish I wasn’t». She was crying. I comforted her and she stopped crying.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. What are the characteristic features of Hemingway’s prose?
2. What’s the main literary method Hemingway uses in his novels and stories?
3. What is the word «rain» associated with in «A Farewell to Arms»?
4. What are the connotations of «bare» and «black» in the sentence developing the topic of «rain»?
5. How is the rain topic expressed at the end of Chapter I?
6. What is the topical chain like in Chapter I?
7. What is the technique used by Hemingway in Chapter I to create the direct association of rain with death?
8. Why is rain a symbol of death and unhappiness in the novel by E.Hemingway?
Ритмические особенности создания подтекста в романе
Эрнеста Хэмингуэя «Прощай, оружие!»
Роман Эрнеста Хэмингуэя «Прощай, оружие!» — трагический, прежде всего потому, что главным событием, изображаемым в нем, является война. Американец Фредерик Генри стал участником первой мировой войны добровольно, как он сам объясняет — по глупости. Бессмысленность,
с которой гибнут люди — простые итальянцы, и опасность расстрела во время разгрома итальянской армии, бесславие войны заставляют его дезертировать из армии, сказать оружию «Прощай!». Но война не заканчивается на этой славной ноте — осуждением ее главным героем, она оставляет неизгладимые отметины как на его теле, так и в его душе.
Именно на войне Генри знакомится с медсестрой-англичанкой Кэтрин Баркли. На фоне военных действий, ранения Генри, его лечения в госпитале развивается их любовь. Фредерик и Кэтрин вместе бегут от войны
в Швейцарию, там они живут несколько месяцев счастливой семейной парой, но личное счастье невозможно на фоне кровавой войны — Кэтрин умирает при родах, оставляя Генри одиноким, шокированным жестокостью смерти.
Внимательный, глубоко чувствующий читатель может предвидеть
с первых же страниц трагический конец романа, несмотря на кажущееся оптимистическим его заглавие. Дело в том, что Хэмингуэй — писатель, огромную роль в творчестве которого играет подтекст. Чувства и настроения, испытываемые героями, не передаются у него прямыми либо пространными, полными нюансов описаниями. Их писатель заставляет читателя испытывать самому. И добивается он этого путем создания определенного мотива, существующего между строк, под водой, если сравнивать мотив и текст с айсбергом на поверхности воды. Видна только верхушка айсберга, основная его масса скрыта под водой. Но, читая Хэмингуэя, не замечаешь поверхностной скупости его стиля, простых незамысловатых предложений, бесконечных повторений. Просто чувствуешь то же самое, что и его герои. А прочитав какой-нибудь отрывок из романа «Прощай, оружие!», целый день не можешь избавиться от ощущения грядущего несчастья, печали, трагического ощущения жизни. Можно сказать, что проза Хэмингуэя действует на наше подсознание.
Главным средством в романе, создающим такое ощущение у читателя, является лейтмотив дождя. Хэмингуэй связывает дождь с несчастьем, горем, смертью. И это происходит на первой же странице романа, когда он описывает военные действия в Италии на фоне осеннего дождя: …in the fall when the rains came
the leaves all fell from the chestnut trees and the branches were bare
and the trunks black
with rain (с. 31)
. Прилагательные bare и black, упомянутые при описании дождливого осеннего пейзажа, сразу создают чувство опустошенности и предвкушения несчастья.
В следующее предложение, продолжающее тему дождя, вводится еще один эпитет dead, и тема смерти и дождя появляется в сознании: …and all the country wet
with the autumn (32). Конец первой главы закрепляет данную тему в последнем предложении: At the start of the winter came the permanent rain
and with rain
came the cholera
. But it was checked and in the end only seven thousand died
of it in the army (32). Как видим, уже в первой главе выстраивается топикальная цепочка: rain, wet, black, brown, bare, dead, to die. Итак, дождь ассоциируется косвенно
с темным, черным цветом и прямо со смертью. Первые страницы романа, таким образом, прогнозируют печальный исход. В следующий раз тема дождя возникает только в девятнадцатой главе (всего в романе сорок одна глава). События романа — военные действия, знакомство Генри с Кэтрин, его разговоры с итальянскими офицерами, ранение, операция в госпитале — проходят без дождя, и ассоциации первой главы, возможно, стираются. Но вот он появляется, когда Кэтрин и Фредерик вполне счастливы вместе: …and in a little while it started to drizzle and we came in. Outside the mist turned to rain and in a little while it was raining hard and we heard it drumming on the roof (123). Медленно, медленно начинается сильный дождь,
и вот он уже настойчиво барабанит по крыше. Затем между героями следует диалог, в котором существительное rain, глагольная конструкция It is raining hard и ее варианты употребляются 19 раз на одной странице. Из них восемь раз употребляется конструкция I am afraid of the rain. Грамматическая схема диалога работает на то, чтобы привести читателя к кульминации — создать у него неотвратимое ощущение связи дождя со смертью. Предложения в диалоге следуют в такой последовательности: два утвердительных, констатирующих факт, два вопросительных, одно утвердительное с объяснением, два отрицательных (Кэтрин пытается убедить себя в том, что она не боится дождя), заключительное — сослагательное, выражающее нереальность, невозможность желаемого.
1. Because I am afraid of the rain.
2. I’ve always been afraid of the rain.
3. You’re not really afraid of the rain, are you?
4. Why are you afraid of it?
5. I’m afraid of the rain because sometimes I see me dead in it.
6. I’m not afraid of the rain.
7. I’m not afraid of the rain.
8. Oh, oh, God, I wish I wasn’t (afraid of the rain).
Завершается диалог размышлением Фредерика: She was crying. I comforted her and she stopped crying. But
outside it kept on raining (127). Фредерик бессилен, он не может ничего изменить, не может защитить Кэтрин от «дождя». Зловещие предчувствия к читателю возвращаются.
Во второй половине романа мотив дождя присутствует почти на каждой странице, он предвещает либо сопровождает болезнь (Генри заболевает желтухой в отпуске после ранения), расставание с Кэтрин, события на фронте тоже происходят под неустанный осенний дождь. Разрушенная Италия превращается в грязное месиво из-за войны и дождя:
all that day. The wind drove down the rain
and everywhere there was standing water and mud. The plaster of the broken houses was gray and wet
. Late in the afternoon the rain
stopped and from out number two post I saw the bare wet
autumn country with clouds over the tops of the hills…
…and in the morning with the rain
coming in sheets there was a bombardment…
They fought in the dark in the rain
They (the wounded) were wet
to the skin and all were scared.
… it was
Дождь пронизывает все: солдаты атакуют вражеские линии под дождем, испуганные раненые — под дождем, бомбардировка — под дождем. Дождь начинается вновь и вновь. Постоянным рефреном звучит предложное сочетание in the rain и предложения типа It was starting to rain, It was still raining, It was raining outside. Показательно в этом отношении начало двадцать восьмой главы, первый абзац которой характеризуется периодичным употреблением адвербиальной конструкции in the rain. «Дождь» становится отдельным героем романа, образ дождя как предвестник несчастья вездесущ: в абзаце через каждые семь-восемь строк ощущается его присутствие:
As we moved out through the town it was empty in the rain
We moved slowly but steadily in the rain
I could see the stalled column between the trees in the rain
It was still raining… (177).
Среди разнообразных предложных конструкций, используемых автором, in the rain занимает главенствующее место, но есть много и других предлогов, конструкции с которыми подтверждают мысль о том, что от дождя-несчастья никуда не скрыться.
On some carts the women sat huddled from the rain
It would be a black night with the rain
It is a low level country and under the rain
it is even flatter (204).
…his shoulders up against the rain
Действительно, для Фредерика наступают черные дни. Ему едва удалось избежать расстрела при отступлении армии, когда в каждом отступавшем видели предателя:
We stood in the rain
and were taken out one at a time to be questioned and shot (202).
Помимо адвербиальных сочетаний (модель prep + rain), воплощающих идею вездесущности дождя и, соответственно, несчастья и смерти, в романе имеется множество случаев предикатной сочетаемости существительного rain (модель rain + verb). Примечательно, что данную модель наполняют глаголы, обозначающие начало, конец и сам процесс действия — start, come, fall, slack, stop.
The rain had stopped
and only came
occasionally in gusts (236).
The rain stopped
and the wind drove the clouds so that the moon shone through… (237).
…and a fine rain was falling
The rain was not falling
so heavily now (181).
Употребление существительного rain с глаголами способствуют персонификации дождя. Он, как живой, может начинаться и заканчиваться, может длиться вечно, он могуч в своей независимости от чужой воли.
Еще один распространенный тип синтаксической конструкции, употребляемый в романе, — предложения с безличным it (модель it + verb)
и вводным there — there was.
The sky was clouded over again and it was raining
a little (189).
a fine November rain
for three days (266).
Они уступают по частоте употребления двум предыдущим моделям, но тоже способствуют укреплению идеи неотвратимости событий у читателя, или слабости человека, его зависимости от природных явлений
и глобальных событий, каковым является война.
Итак, наиболее неотвратимо тема дождя звучит на страницах, описывающих возвращение Фредерика на войну и его бегство с фронта. Фредерик встречается с Кэтрин, но в Италии им обоим грозит беда, они бегут ненастной осенней ночью в нейтральную Швейцарию. Там они чувствуют себя в безопасности, живут несколько месяцев спокойной счастливой жизнью, только читая о войне в газетах, но не переставая ощущать, что им осталось недолго быть вместе, тем более, что дождь возвращается на страницы романа и предвещает недоброе: In the night it started
. It rained on
all morning and turned the snow to slush and made the mountain-side dismal (265). When there was a good day we had a splendid time and we never had a bad time. We knew the baby was very close now and it gave us both a feeling
as though something were hurrying us and we could not lose any time together (269). И вот это страшное случается на фоне дождя — во время родов Кэтрин умирает. Происходит то, чего она так боялась, против чего Генри был бессилен, и именно тогда, когда идет дождь.
I could see nothing but the dark and the rain
falling across the light from the window. So that was it. The baby was dead
I walked through the rain
up to the hospital (284).
After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain
На последних страницах романа дождь упоминается автором как бы вскользь — всего три раза, да это и не нужно, ведь предчувствие у читателя уже создано путем многократного, ритмичного повторения одних
и тех же ассоциаций, и слово rain давно стало метафорой беды и смерти.
Проведенный в данной статье анализ ритмичного употребления лексико-грамматических средств, используемых Эрнестом Хэмингуэем
в романе «Прощай, оружие!», показывает индивидуальную технику автора, его творческий метод при создании определенной темы в художественном произведении, будь то короткий рассказ или большой роман.
William F. Buckley, Jr
Up from Misery
A friend of long standing who has never asked me to devote this space to advertising any enthusiasm of his has now, diffidently, made the exception. He does not want to do anything less than what he can do, through his own efforts and those of his friends, to pass along the word that, within walking distance of the great majority of Americans, there is help waiting which can lead them out of the darkness, as indisputably as an eye surgeon, restoring sight, can lead someone into the sunlight.
Kenneth (we’ll call him) is a cocky feller, something of a sport, tough-talking, an ace in his individualistic profession, who remembers getting drunk at college in the late ‘20’s on the night he won an important boxing match, but at no other time during his college career. Emerging from college into the professional world, he revved up slowly, hitting in his late 30’s his cruising speed: two or three martinis per day. These he was dearly attached to, but not apparently dominated by: He would not, gladly, go a day without his martinis, but neither, after the third, did he require a fourth.
Then in the spring of 1972 his gentle, devoted (teetotaling) wife had a mastectomy, the prognosis optimistic; but with a shade of uncertainty. So, to beef up his morale, he increased the dosage just a little. When, later that year, the doctor called to tell him the worst, he walked straightaway to the nearest bar. After she died, he began buying a fifth each of bourbon and gin on Saturdays, a week’s supply to eke out the several martinis he had been drinking at and after lunch. Fascinated, he watched himself casually making minor alterations: «Make that quarts» was the modest beginning. Then the resupplying would come on Friday; then Thursday. In due course it was a quart a day.
In the morning he would begin; one, then up to five snorts before leaving for the office — later and later in the morning. Before reaching the door he would rinse out his mouth. But always — this fascinated him, as gradually he comprehended the totality of his servitude — he would, on turning the door handle, go back: for just one more.
At night he would prepare himself dinner, then lie down for a little nap, wake hours later, go to the kitchen to eat dinner — only to find he had already eaten it. Once he returned to a restaurant three hours after having eaten his dinner: he forgot he had been there. Blackouts, he called the experiences.
On the crucial day it was nothing special. He walked home from the office, full of gin, and vomited in the street (this often happened), struggling to do this with aplomb in the posh backdrop of the East 60’s. On reaching his apartment he lurched gratefully for the bottle, sipped from the glass... and was clapped by the hand of Providence as unmistakably as any piece of breast was ever struck by a lance.
He heard his own voice say, as if directed by an outside force, «What the hell am I doing to myself?» He poured his martini into the sink, emptied the gin bottle, then emptied the bourbon bottle, then went to the telephone and, never in his life having given a second’s conscious thought to the organization, fumbled through the directory and dialed the number for Alcoholics Anonymous.
One must suppose that whoever answered that telephone call was as surprised as a fireman excitedly advised that a house was ablaze. Kenneth would like to... inquire — but perhaps A A was too busy tonight, perhaps next week sometime?... What? Come today? How about tomorrow? Do you have a meeting every week? You have 800 meetings in New York a week
?.. Scores every night?... Okay. Tomorrow.
Tomorrow would be the first of 250 meetings in ninety days with Alcoholics Anonymous. AA advises at least ninety meetings in the first ninety days. Kenneth had assumed he would be mixing with hoi polloi. Always objective, he advises now that «on a scale of 1—10» — incorporating intelligence, education, success, articulateness — «I would rank around six or seven». He made friends. And he made instant progress during those first weeks, quickly losing the compulsion for the morning drinks. But for the late afternoon martinis he thirsted, and he hungered, and he lusted. He dove into a despair mitigated only by his thrice-daily contacts with AA. His banked-up grief for his wife raged now, and every moment, every long afternoon and evening without her, and without alcohol, were endless bouts with the haunting question: What is the point in living at all?
And then, suddenly, as suddenly as on the day he poured the booze into the sink. Twenty-seven weeks later, he had been inveigled into going to a party. Intending to stay one dutiful hour, he stayed five. On returning, he was exhilarated. He had developed anew the capacity to talk with people, other than in the prescribed ritualisms of his profession, or in the boozy idiom of the tippler. He was so excited, so pleased, so elated, he could not sleep until early morning for pleasure at re-experiencing life.
That was two months ago, and every day he rejoiced at his liberation, and prays that others who suffer will find the hand of Alcoholics Anonymous. And — one might presumptuously add — the hand of the Prime Mover, Who was there in that little kitchen on the day the impulse came to him; and Who, surely, is the wellspring of the faith of Alcoholics Anonymous, as of so many other spirits united to help their fellow man.
The Virtues of Ambition
Ambition is one of those Rorschach words: define it and you instantly reveal a great deal about yourself. Even that most neutral of works, Webster’s
, in its Seventh New Collegiate Edition, gives itself away, defining ambition first and foremost as «an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power». Ardent immediately assumes a heat incommensurate with good sense and stability, and rank, fame, and power have come under fairly heavy attack for at least a century. One can, after all, be ambitious for the public good, for the alleviation of suffering, for the enlightenment of mankind, though there are some who say that these are precisely the ambitious people most to be distrusted.
Surely ambition is behind dreams of glory, of wealth, of love, of distinction, of accomplishment, of pleasure, of goodness. What life does with our dreams and expectations cannot, of course, be predicted. Some dreams, begun in selflessness, end in rancor; other dreams, begun in selfishness, end in large-heartedness. The unpredictability of the outcome of dreams is no reason to cease dreaming.
To be sure, ambition, the sheer thing unalloyed by some larger purpose than merely clambering up, is never a pretty prospect to ponder. As drunks have done to alcohol, the single-minded have done to ambition — given it a bad name. Like a taste for alcohol, too, ambition does not always allow for easy satiation. Some people cannot handle it; it has brought grief to others, and not merely the ambitious alone. Still, none of this seems sufficient cause for driving ambition under the counter.
What is the worst that can be said — that has been said — about ambition? Here is a (surely) partial list:
To begin with, it, ambition, is often antisocial, and indeed is now out-moded, belonging to an age when individualism was more valued and useful than it is today. The person strongly imbued with ambition ignores the collectivity; socially detached, he is on his own and out for his own. Individuality and ambition are firmly linked. The ambitious individual, far from identifying himself and his fortunes with the group, wishes to rise above it. The ambitious man or woman sees the world as a battle; rivalrousness is his or her principal emotion: the world has limited prizes to offer, and he or she is determined to get his or hers. Ambition is, moreover, Jesuitical; it can argue those possessed by it into believing that what they want for themselves is good for everyone — that the satisfaction of their own desires is best for the commonweal. The truly ambitious believe that it is a dog-eat-dog world, and they are distinguished by wanting to be the dogs that do the eating.
From here it is but a short hop to believe that those who have achieved the common goals of ambition — money, fame, power — have achieved them through corruption of a greater or lesser degree, mostly a greater. Thus all politicians in high places, thought to be ambitious, are understood to be, ipso facto, without moral scruples. How could they have such scruples — a weighty burden in a high climb — and still have risen as they have?
If ambition is to be well regarded, the rewards of ambition — wealth, distinction, control over one’s destiny — must be deemed worthy of the sacrifices made on ambition’s behalf. If the tradition of ambition is to have vitality, it must be widely shared; and it especially must be esteemed by people who are themselves admired, the educated not least among them. The educated not least because, nowadays more than ever before, it is they who have usurped the platforms of public discussion and wield the power of the spoken and written word in newspapers, in magazines, on television. In an odd way, it is the educated who have claimed to have given up on ambition as an ideal. What is odd is that they have perhaps most benefited from ambition — if not always their own then that of their parents and grandparents. There is a heavy note of hypocrisy in this; a case of closing the barn door after the horses have escaped — with me educated themselves astride them.
Certainly people do not seem less interested in success and its accoutrements now than formerly. Summer homes, European travel, BMWs — the locations, place names and name brands may change, but such items do not seem less in demand today than a decade or
two years ago. What has happened is that people cannot own up to their
dreams, as easily and openly as once they could, lest they be thought pushing, acquisitive, vulgar. Instead we are treated to fine pjaarisaicalspectacles, which now more than ever seem in ample supply: the revolutionary lawyer quartered in the $250,000 Manhattan condominium; the critic of American materialism with a Southampton summer home; the publisher of radical books who takes his meals in three-star restaurants; the journalist advocating participatory democracy in all phases of life, whose own children are enrolled in private schools. For such people and many more perhaps not so egregious, the proper formulation is, «Succeed at all costs but refrain from appearing
The attacks on ambition are many and come from various angles; its public defenders are few and unimpressive, where they are not extremely unattractive. As a result, the support for ambition as a healthy impulse, a quality to be admired and inculcated in die young, is probably lower than it has ever been in the United States. This does not mean that ambition is at an end, that people no longer feel its stirrings and promptings, but only that, no longer openly honored, it is less often openly professed. Consequences follow from this, of course, some of which are that ambition is driven underground, or made sly, or perverse. It can also be forced into vulgarity, as witness the blatant pratings of its contemporary promoters. Such, then, is the way things stand: on die left angry critics, on the right obtuse supporters, and in the middle, as usual, the majority of earnest people trying to get on in life.
Many people are naturally distrustful of ambition, feeling that it represents something intractable in human nature. Thus John Dean entitled his book about his involvement in the Watergate affair during the Nixon administration Blind Ambition
Many people are naturally distrustful of ambition, feeling that it represents something intractable in human nature. Thus John Dean enh1d his book about his involvement in the Watergate affair during the Nixon administration Blind Ambition
, as if ambition were to blame for his ignoble actions, and not the constellation of qualities that make up his rather shabby character. Ambition, it must once again be underscored, is morally a two-sided street. Place next to John Dean Andrew Carnegie, who, among other philanthropic acts, bought the library of Lord Acton, at a time when Acton was in financial distress, and assigned its custodianship to Acton, who never was told who his benefactor was. Need much more be said on the subject than that, important though ambition is, there are some things that one must not sacrifice to it?
But going at things the other way, sacrificing ambition so as to guard against its potential excesses, is to go at things wrongly. To discourage ambition is to discourage dreams of grandeur and greatness. All men and women are born, live, suffer, and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about.
It may seem an exaggeration to say that ambition is the linchpin of society, holding many of its disparate elements together, but it is not an exaggeration by much. Remove ambition and the essential elements of society seem to fly apart. Ambition, as opposed to mere fantasizing about desires, implies work and discipline to achieve goals, personal and social, of a kind society cannot survive without. Ambition is intimately connected with family, for men and women not only work partly for their families; husbands and wives are often ambitious for each other, but harbor some of their most ardent ambitions for their children. Yet to have a family nowadays — with birth control readily available, and inflation a good economic argument against having children — is nearly an expression of ambition in itself. Finally, though ambition was once the domain chiefly of monarchs and aristocrats, it has, in more recent times, increasingly become the domain of the middle classes. Ambition and futurity—a sense of building for tomorrow — are inextricable. Working, saving, planning — these, the daily aspects of ambition — have always been the distinguishing marks of a rising middle class. The attack against ambition is not incidentally an attack on the middle class and what it stands for. Like it or not, the middle class has done much of society’s work in America; and it, the middle class, has from the beginning run on ambition.
It is not difficult to imagine a world shorn of ambition. It would probably be a kinder world: without demands, without abrasions, without disappointments. People would have time for reflection. Such work as they did would not be for themselves but for the collectivity. Competition would never enter in. Conflict would be eliminated, tension become a thing of the past. The stress of creation would be at an end. Art would no longer be troubling, but purely celebratory in its functions. The family would become superfluous as a social unit, with all its former power for bringing about neurosis drained away. Longevity would be increased, for fewer people would die of heart attack or stroke caused by tumultuous endeavor. Anxiety would be extinct. Time would stretch on and on, with ambition long departed from the human heart.
Ah, how unrelievedly boring life would be!
There is a strong view that holds that success is a myth, and ambition therefore a sham. Does this mean that success does not really exist? That achievement is at bottom empty? That the efforts of men and women are of no significance alongside the force of movements and events? Now not all success, obviously, is worth esteeming, nor all ambition worth cultivating. Which are and which are not is something one soon enough learns on one’s own. But even the most cynical secretly admit that success exists; that achievement counts for a great deal; and that the true myth is that the actions of men and women are useless. To believe otherwise is to take on a point of view that is likely to be deranging. It is, in its implications, to remove all motive for competence, interest in attainment, and regard for posterity.
We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing . We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time or conditions of our death. But within all this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we shall live: courageously or in cowardice, honorably or dishonorably, with purpose or in drift. We decide what is important and what is trivial in life. We decide that what makes us significant is either what we do or what we refuse to do. But no matter how indifferent the universe may be to our choices and decisions, these choices and decisions are ours to make. We decide. We choose. And as we decide and choose, so are our lives formed. In the end, forming our own destiny is what ambition is about.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. What is the most characteristic sentence pattern for essays (simple or composite in structure, affirmative or interrogative in communicative purpose, short or lengthy sentences)? Why?
2. Explain the meaning of the contrast of a simple sentence to a group of lengthy composite sentences. Find examples of such patterns and interptrete them in both essays.
3. Find examples of syntactic repetition (parallel constructions) in essays. Expand on their semantic role in expressing the main idea.
4. Find examples of intensification synonyms (groups of synonyms with the connotation of intensity in their structure) and comment on their semantic function.
5. Find as many as possible emphatic constructions, characterise their types and specify their semantic role in the expression of the author’s idea.
6. In what way is the essayist’s idiosyncrasy expressed?
Особенности синтаксического ритма эссе
Жанр эссе с трудом поддается определению. Рассуждение на определенную тему — вот, пожалуй, и все, что выражает сущность любого эссе. Но насколько разным может быть это рассуждение — и воспоминания из далекого детства, и попытка классификации какого-либо явления, и просто эмоциональный рассказ о случае из жизни, может быть, с оттенком назидательности. Сегодня этот жанр является довольно популярным, вы можете найти эссе на самые разнообразные темы в любом англоязычном журнале.
Известный американский эссеист Эдвард Хоугленд, рассуждая об истории и отличиях эссе от журнальной и газетной статьи, короткого рассказа, автобиографии, характеризует эссе как разговор человека с человеком, «разговор ума с умом» (mind speaking to mind), в котором особенно ярко проявляется индивидуальность, оригинальность, идиосинкразия (греч. idios (своеобразный) + synkrasis (смешение)) автора (3).
Нашей задачей является попытка выявления лексико-грамматических особенностей литературного жанра эссе. Кажется, что основное его своеобразие заключается в синтаксических особенностях, особом синтаксическом ритме, который, с одной стороны, индивидуален для авторского рассуждения, и, с другой стороны, является характерным для большинства эссе. «Разговор человека с человеком» всегда характеризуется манерой общения. Как же общаются с читателями эссеисты?
Исследование особенностей синтаксиса современного эссе показало, что его тексты изобилуют чертами, специфическими для публичной речи — различными видами эмфатических конструкций, вопросительными предложениями (риторическими вопросами), параллельными конструкциями, многочисленными повторениями. Экспрессивность языка эссе достигается также употреблением сравнительных конструкций, метафор, эпитетов. Использование всех указанных лексико-синтаксических средств направлено на повышение выразительности стиля эссе, на привлечение читательского внимания к точке зрения автора на ту или иную тему.
Так, эссе У. Ф. Томпсона «Why Don’t the Scientists Admit They’re Human?» (4) читается на одном дыхании благодаря множеству вопросов, на которые сам автор весьма выразительно отвечает, и риторических вопросов, на которые ответ не требуется. Не будет преувеличением сказать, что почти каждый абзац эссе содержит вопрос, являющийся его семантическим центром, т.е. выражающий ключевую идею абзаца. Само эссе начинается с вопроса: «Did you ever read a scientific paper that begins, «For no good reason at all I had a hunch that…» or «I was just fooling around one day when…?» No, sir! Далее вопросы следуют один за другим, помогая разворачивать перед читателем образ рассуждения писателя:
…how are we to divine that in a vast majority of moments when he is not writing the scientist is a genial, sensible, rather humble man? (3-й абзац, всего в эссе 21 абзац).
Is it any wonder that in the popular literature the scientist often appears as a hybrid superman-spoiled child? (4)
Dare the local schoolteacher depart from the stereotype imposed by tradition? (6)
Did Fleming report anything that happened according to plan? (7)
What was the mold and how did it kill? (8)
What kept them (planets) in place? Why didn’t they fall out of the sky? (11)
How many men would have considered the possibility of an apple falling up into the tree? (12)
Еще одним приемом автора является применение усилительных конструкций с употреблением вспомогательных глаголов, позволяющих ярче подчеркнуть ту или иную идею. Часто такое усиление комбинируется с изменением обычного места обстоятельства частотности действия — оно выдвигается на первое место в предложении:
a trace of anything haphazard, anything human, appear in published reports of research experiments.
This paragraph is far from a literary masterpiece, but it does
illustrate a straightforwardness which is infrequently present in scientific writing.
Эссе Томпсона об ученых практически все написано сложными предложениями. На их фоне контрастное употребление серии простых предложений или одного простого предложения служит еще одним синтаксическим фактором выделения авторской мысли. Посмотрим, как это происходит в двенадцатом абзаце эссе:
How many men would have considerded the possibility of an apple falling up
into the tree? Newton did because he was not trying to predict anything. He was
. His mind was ready for the unpredictable. Unpredictability is part of the essential nature of research
. If you don’t have unpredictable things, you don’t have research. Scientists tend to forget this when writing their cut and dry reports for the technical journals, but history is filled with examples of it.
Употребление параллельных конструкций — еще один вид усиления авторской мысли, они как бы выполняют функцию синонимов, обрисовывая разные грани описываемого явления. У Томпсона параллельно употребляются как придаточные, так и простые предложения:
No, I mean the man who doesn’t conform, who doesn’t always think the way most of us are thinking
, who doesn’t always act the way most of us are acting
This imaginary person does not quite belong to the same species as other human beings; he lives in a different world
; he thinks in a different way
Если у Томпсона синтаксические параллелизмы встречаются лишь изредка, то у Джудит Вьорст в эссе «Friends, Good Friends — and Such Good Friends» они являются ключевыми, могут занимать целые абзацы. Они — главный привлекающий внимание элемент, с одной стороны, а с другой — основное детализирующее, описательное средство (5).
We all have a friend who knew us when
… our family lived in that three-room flat in Brooklyn, when
our dad was out of work for seven months, when
our brother Allie got in that fight where they hah to call the police, when
our sister married the endodontist from Yonkers and when
, the morning after we lost our virginity, she was the first, the only, we told.
В эссе, занимающем около трех страниц, насчитывается девять параллельных конструкций, большая часть которых растягивается на целый абзац. Некоторые параллелизмы содержат в себе градацию — постепенное увеличение описываемого качества. Как раз такой прием интенсификации содержит в себе один из заключительных абзацев эссе:
We might tell a medium
, for example, that yesterday we had a fight with our husband. And we might tell a pretty good
that this fight made us so mad that we slept on the couch. And we might tell a very good
that the reason we got so mad in that fight that we slept on the couch had something to do with that girl who works in his office.
Еще одной отличительной чертой эссе Джудит Вьорст является повтор первого абзаца в конце эссе. В повторной интерпретации исчезают некоторые детали и комментарии автора, но от этого сама идея эссе вырисовывается четче, чем она была обозначена в начале, как это и должно быть в заключительном абзаце:
The best of friends, I still believe, totally love and support and trust each other, and bare to each other the secrets of their souls, and run — no questions asked — to help each other, and tell harsh truths to each other when they must be told.
Для эссе Вильяма Бакли-младшего «Up from Misery» так же, как и для эссе других авторов, характерна инверсия, но ее тип несколько отличается от уже упомянутых (1). В манере Бакли — выносить в начало предложения обстоятельство времени или цели либо вообще дополнение, тем самым выделяя различные детали повествования.
— this fascinated him, as gradually he comprehended the totality of his servitude — he would, on turning the door handle, go back: for just one more.
, he called the experiences.
Обратим внимание на то, как Бакли умело сочетает в одном предложении инверсию и параллельные конструкции с синонимичными глаголами, расположенными в порядке возрастания их воздействия на читателя — каждый из глаголов семантически более сильный, чем предыдущий:
But for the late afternoon martinis
, and he hungered
, and he
Еще более удачным примером интенсифицирующего параллелизма является предложение с параллельными предикативами, описывающее радость главного героя эссе, сумевшего освободиться от алкогольной зависимости:
He was so excited
, so pleased
, so elated
, he could not sleep until early morning for pleasure of re-experiencing life.
Итак, здесь перечислены основные формы эмфатических средств, характерных для стиля эссе. Интересно, что произведение каждого писателя отличается своими особенностями, своими «любимыми» эмфатическими конструкциями и элементами, но в целом для всех эссе характерен определенный набор эмфатических «штучек», делающих их такими живыми, убедительными, завораживающими при чтении. Поистине потрясающим по силе воздействия выглядит заключительный абзац эссе Джозефа Эпстейна «TheVirtues of Ambition», сочетающий в себе чередование хлестких по силе своих выводов простых предложений и долгих, рассудительных, детализирующих сложных предложений, несколько верениц параллельных конструкций, сеть антонимических противопоставлений, несколько разновидностей инверсии (2):
We do not choose
to be born. We do not choose
our parents. We do not
our historical epoch, the country of our birth or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not
, most of us, choose
to die; nor do we choose
the time or conditions of our death. But within all this realm of choicelessness, we do
how we shall live: courageously
or in cowardice
, with purpose
or in drift
. We decide
what is important
and what is trivial
in life. We decide
that what makes us significant is either what we do or what we refuse to do. But no matter how indifferent
the universe may be
to our choices and decisions, these choices and decisions are ours to make. We decide
. We choose
. And as we decide and choose, so are our lives formed
. In the end, forming our own destiny is what ambition is about.
1. Buckley, William E. Up to Misery / W. E. Buckley // Mind Speaks to Mind. Selected American Essay for Advanced Students of English as a Foreign language / United States Information Agency. — Washington : D. C., 1994. — P. 7—8.
2. Epstein, Joseph. The Virtues of Ambition / J. Epstein. Ibid. — P. 16—19.
3. Hoagland, Edward. On Essays / E. Hoagland. Ibid. — P. 26—27.
4. Thompson, W. Furness. Why Don’t Scientists Admit They’re Human? / W. F. Thompson. Ibid. — P. 35—37.
5. Viorst, Judith. Friends, Good Friends and Such Good Friends / J. Viorst. Ibid. — P. 73—76.
Old Man at the Bridge
An old man with steel-rimmed spectacles and very dusty clothes sat by the side of the road. There was a pontoon bridge across the river and carts, trucks, and men, women and children were crossing it. The mule-drawn carts staggered up the steep bank from the bridge with soldiers helping push against the spokes of the wheels. The trucks ground up and away heading out of it all and the peasants plodded along in the ankle-deep dust. But the old man sat there without moving. He was too tired to go any farther.
It was my business to cross the bridge, explore the bridgehead beyond and find out to what point the enemy had advanced. I did this and returned over the bridge. There were not so many carts now and very few people on foot, but the old man was still there.
«Where do you come from?», I asked him.
«From San Carlos», he said, and smiled.
That was his native town and so it gave him pleasure to mention it and he smiled.
«I was taking care of animals», he explained.
«Oh», I said, not quite understanding.
«Yes», he said, «I stayed, you see, taking care of animals. I was the last one to leave the town of San Carlos».
He did not look like a shepherd nor a herdsman and I looked at his black dusty clothes and his gray dusty face and his steel-rimmed spectacles and said, «What animals were they?»
«Various animals», he said, and shook his head. «I had to leave them».
I was watching the bridge and the African looking country of the Ebro Delta and wondering how long now it would be before we would see the enemy, and listening all the while for the first noises that would signal that ever-mysterious event called contact, and the old man still sat there.
«What animals were they?», I asked.
«There were three animals altogether», he explained. «There were two goats and a cat and then there were four pairs of pigeons».
«And you had to leave them?», I asked.
«Yes. Because of the artillery, captain told me to go because of the artillery».
«And you have no family?», I asked watching the far end of the bridge where a few last carts were hurrying down the slope of the bank.
«No», he said, «only the animals I stated. The cat, of course, will be all right. A cat can look out for itself, but I cannot think what will become of the others».
«What politics have you?», I asked.
«I am without politics», he said. «I am seventy-six years old. I have come twelve kilometers now and I think now I can go no further».
«This is not a good place to stop», said. « If you can make it, there trucks up the road where it forks Tortosa».
«I will wait a while», he said, «and then I will go. Where do the trucks go?»
«Towards Barcelona», I told him.
«I know no one in that direction», he said, «but thank you very much. Thank you again very much».
He looked at me very blankly and tiredly, then said, having to share worry with someone, «The cat will be all right, I am sure. There is no need to be unquiet about the cat. But others. Now what do you think about the others?»
«Why, they’ll probably come through it all right».
«You think so?»
«Why not?» I said, watching the bank where now there were no carts.
«But what will they do under artillery when I was told to leave because of the artillery?»
Did you leave the dove cage unlocked?» I asked.
«Then they’ll fly».
«Yes, certainly they’ll fly. But the others. It’s better not to think about the others», he said.
«If vou are rested I would go», I urged. « Get up and try to walk now». «Thank you», he said and got to his feet, swayed from side to side and then sat down backwards in the dust.
«I was taking care of animals», he said dully, but no longer to me. «I was only taking care of animals». There was nothing to do about him. It was Easter Sunday and the Fascists were advancing toward the Ebro. It was a gray overcast day with a low ceiling so their planes were not up. That and the fact that cats know how took after themselves was all the good luck that old man would ever have.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. What is a symbol? What can be a symbol in a fictional text?
2. What are the characters of the story? What are two attitudes to war expressed in the story?
3. What does the image of the old man symbolize in the story? Prove your idea.
4. What other symbolic words can you find in the text of the story?
5. What stylistic devices does the author use to create symbols in the story?
This valley, he thought, all this country between the mountains is mine, home to me, the place I dream about, and everything is the same, not a thing is changed, water sprinklers still splash in circles over lawns of Bermuda grass, good old home town, simplicity, reality.
Walking along Alvin Street he felt glad to be home again. Everything was fine, common and good, the smell of earth, cooking suppers, smoke, the rich summer air of the valley full of plant growth, grapes growing, peaches ripening, and the oleander bush swooning with sweetness, the same as ever. He breathed deeply, drawing the smell of home deep into his lungs, smiling inwardly. It was hot. He hadn’t felt his senses reacting to the earth so cleanly and clearly for years; now it was a pleasure even to breathe. The cleanliness of the air sharpened the moment so that, walking, he felt the magnificence of being, glory of possessing substance, of having form and motion and intellect, the piety of merely being alive on the earth.
Water, he thought, hearing the soft splash of a lawn sprinkler; to taste the water of home, the full cool water of the valley, to have that simple thirst and that solid water with which to quench it, fulfillment, the clarity of life. He saw an old man holding a hose over some geranium plants, and his thirst sent him to the man.
«Good evening», he said quietly; «may I have a drink?»
The old man turned slowly, his shadow large against the house, to look into the young man’s face, amazed and pleased. «You bet», he said; «here», and he placed the hose into the young man’s hands. «Mighty fine water», said the old man, «this water of the San Joaquin1
valley; best yet, I guess. That water up in Frisco2
makes me sick; ain’t got no taste. And down in Los Angeles, why, the water tastes like castor oil; I can’t understand how so many people go on living there year after year».
While the old man talked, he listened to the water falling from the hose to the earth, leaping thickly, cleanly, sinking swiftly into the earth. «You said it», he said to the old man; «you said it; our water is the finest water on earth».
He curved his head over the spouting water and began to drink. The sweet rich taste of the water amazed him, and as he drank, he thought, God, this is splendid. He could feel the cool water splashing into his being, refreshing and cooling him. Losing his breath, he lifted his head, saying to the old man, «We’re mighty lucky, us folk in the valley».
He bent his head over the water again and began again to swallow the splashing liquid, laughing to himself with delight. It seemed as if he couldn’t get enough of it into his system; the more he drank, the finer the water tasted to him and the more he wanted to drink. The old man was amazed. «You drunk about two quarts», he said. Still swallowing the water, he could hear the old man talking, and he lifted his head again, replying, «I guess so. It sure tastes fine». He wiped his mouth with a handkerchief, still holding the hose, still wanting to drink more. The whole valley was in that water, all the clarity, all the genuineness, all the goodness and simplicity and reality.
«Man alive», said the old man. «You sure was thirsty. How long since you had a drink, anyway?»
«Two years», he replied. «I mean two years since I had a drink of this water. I been away, traveling around. I just got back. I was born here, over on G Street in Russian town; you know, across the Southern Pacific3
tracks; been away two years and I just got back. Mighty fine too, let me tell you, to be back. I like this place. I’m going to get a job and settle down».
He hung his head over the water again and took several more swallows; then he handed the hose to the old man.
«You sure was thirsty», said the old man. «I ain’t never seen anybody anywhere drink so much water at one time. It sure looked good seeing you swallow all that water».
He went on walking down Alvin Street, humming to himself, the old man staring at him.
Nice to be back, the young man thought; greatest mistake I ever made, coming back this way.
Everything he had ever done had been a mistake, and this was one of the good mistakes. He had come south from San Francisco without even thinking of going home; he had thought of going as far south as Merced,4
stopping there awhile, and then going back, but once he had got into the country, it had been too much. It had been great fun standing on the highway in his city clothes, hitchhiking.
One little city after another, and here he was walking through the streets of his home town, at seven in the evening. It was great, very amusing; and the water, splendid.
He wasn’t far from town, the city itself, and he could see one or two of the taller buildings, the Pacific Gas & Electric Building, all lit up with colored lights, and another, a taller one, that he hadn’t seen before. That’s a new one, he thought; they put up that one while I was away; things must be booming.
He turned down Fulton Street and began walking into town. It looked great from where he was, far away and nice and small, very genuine, a real quiet little town, the kind of place to live in, settle down in, marry in, have a home, kids, a job, and all the rest of it. It was all he wanted. The air of the valley and the water and the reality of the whole place, the cleanliness of life in the valley, the simplicity of the people.
In the city everything was the same; the names of the stores, the people walking in the streets, and the slow passing of automobiles; boys in cars walking to pick up girls; same as ever, not a thing changed. He saw faces he had known as a boy, people he did not know by name, and then he saw Pony Rocca, his old pal, walking up the street toward him, and he saw that Tony recognized him. He stopped walking, waiting for Tony to come into his presence. It was like a meeting in a dream, strange, almost incredible. He had dreamed of the two of them playing hooky from school to go swimming, to go out to the county fair, to sneak into a moving-picture theater; and now here he was again, a big fellow with a lazy, easy-going walk, and a genial Italian grin. It was good, and he was glad he had made the mistake and come back.
He stopped walking, waiting for Tony to come into his presence, smiling at him, unable to speak. The two boys shook hands and then began to strike one another with affection, laughing loudly, swearing at one another. «Where the hell have you been?», Tony said; and he punched his friend in the stomach, laughing loudly.
«Old Tony», he said, «good old punch drunk Tony. God, it’s good to sec you. I thought maybe you’d be dead by this time. What the hell have you been doing?». He dodged another punch and struck his friend in the chest. He swore in Italian at Tony, using words Tony had taught him years ago, and Tony swore back at him in Russian.
«I’ve got to go out to the house», he said at last. «The folks don’t know I’m here. I’ve got to go out and see them. I’m dying to see my brother Paul».
He went on down the street, smiling about Tony. They would be having a lot of good times together again; they might even go swimming again the way they did as kids. It was great to be back.
Walking by stores, he thought of buying his mother a small gift. A little gilt would please the old lady. But he had little money, and all the decent things were expensive. I’ll get her something later, he thought.
He turned west on Tulare Street, crossing the Southern Pacific tracks, reached G Street, then turned south. In a few minutes he would be home again, at the door of the little old house; the same as ever; the old woman, the old man, his three sisters, and his kid brother, all of them in the house, living simple lives.
* * *
He saw the house from a distance of about a block, and his heart began to lump. He felt suddenly ill and afraid, something he had forgotten about the place, about that life which he had always hated, something ugly and mean. But he walked on, moving slower as he came closer to the house. The fence had fallen and no one had fixed it. The house suddenly appeared to be very ugly, and he wondered why in the hell the old man didn’t move to « better house in a better neighborhood. Seeing the house again, feeling all its old reality, all his hatred for it returned, and he began to feel again the longing to be away from it, where he could not see it. He began to feel, as he had felt as a boy, the deep inarticulate hatred he had for the whole city, Its falseness, its meanness, the stupidity of its people, the emptiness of their minds, and it seemed to him that he would never be able to return to such a place. The water; yes, it was good, it was splendid; but there were other things.
He walked slowly before the house, looking at it as if he might be a stranger, feeling alien and unrelated to it, yet feeling that it was home, the place he dreamed about, the place that tormented him wherever he went. He was afraid someone might come out of the house and see him, because he knew that if he was seen, he might find himself running away. Still, he wanted to see them, all of them, have them before his eyes, feel the full presence of their bodies, even smell them, that old strong Russian smell. But it was too much. He began to feel hatred for everything in the city, and he walked on, going to the corner. There he stood beneath the street lamp, bewildered and disgusted, wanting to see his brother Paul, to talk to the boy, find out what was going on in his mind, how he was taking it, being in such a place, living such a life. He knew how it had been with him when he had been his brother’s age, and he hoped he might be able to give his brother a little advice, how to keep from feeling the monotony and the ugliness by reading.
He forgot that he hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and that he had been dreaming for months of eating another of his mother’s meals, sitting at the old table in the kitchen, seeing her, large and red-faced and serious and angry toward him, loving him, but he had lost his appetite. He thought he might wait at the corner; perhaps his brother would leave the house to take a walk and he would see the boy and talk to him. Paul, he would say, and he would talk to the boy in Russian.
The stillness of the valley began to oppress him, losing its piety, becoming merely a form of the valley’s monotony.
Still, he couldn’t go away from the house. From the corner he could see it, and he knew that he wanted to go in and be among his people, a part of their lives; he knew this was what he had wanted to do for months, to knock at the door, embrace his mother and his sisters, walk across the floors of the house, sit in the old chairs, sleep in his bed, talk with his old man, eat at the table.
And now something he had forgotten while he had been away, something real but ugly in that life, had come up swiftly, changing everything, changing the appearance and meaning of the house, the city, the whole valley, making it all ugly and unreal, making him wish to go away and never return. He could never come back. He could never enter the house again and go on with his life where he had left off.
Suddenly he was in the alley, climbing over the fence, walking through the yard. His mother had planted tomatoes, and peppers, and the smell of the growing plants was thick and acrid and very melancholy to him. There was a light in the kitchen, and he moved quietly toward it, hoping to see some of them without being seen. He walked close to the house, to the kitchen window, and looking in saw his youngest sister, Martha, washing dishes. He saw the old table, the old stove, and Martha, with her back turned to him; and all these things seemed so sad and so pathetic that tears came to his eyes, and he began to need a cigarette. He struck a match quietly on the bottom of his shoe and inhaled the smoke, looking at his little sister in the old house, a part of the monotony. Everything seemed very still, very clear, terribly sad; but he hoped his mother would enter the kitchen; he wanted to have another look at her. He wanted to see if his being away had changed her much. How would she look? Would she have that angry look? He felt angry with himself for not being a good son, for not trying to make his mother happy, but he knew it was impossible.
He saw his brother Paul enter the kitchen for a drink of water, and for a moment he wanted to cry out the boy’s name, everything that was good in him, all his love, rushing to the face and form of the boy; but he restrained himself, inhaling deeply, tightening his lips. In the kitchen, the boy seemed lost, bewildered, imprisoned. Looking at his brother, he began to cry softly.
He no longer wished to see his mother. He would become so angry that he would do something crazy. He walked quietly through the yard, hoisted himself over the fence, and jumped to the alley. He began to walk away, his grief mounting in him. When he was far enough away not to be heard, he began to sob, loving them passionately and hating the ugliness and monotony of their lives. He felt himself hurrying away from home, from his people, crying bitterly in the darkness of the clear night, weeping because there was nothing he could do, not one confounded thing.
1. San Joaquin
— river in central California.
— San Francisco.
3. Southern Pacific
— a railroad line.
— city in central California.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. How does W. Saroyan divide the text of his story graphically? Do you feel that the two parts of the story are different emotionally? What sort of words dominate in the story?
2. What nouns and adjectives prevail in each part of the story? What paradigmatic relation do they express? Give examples of synonymic groups of words used in the story. In what component of meaning are they different?
3. Do you consider emotional words in the first part of the story to have their antonyms in the second part? Confirm the idea investigating the semantic structures of the words under analysis.
4. What is described and contrasted with the help of synonyms and antonyms? Find examples of the way the city, the people, the young man’s family are descriptively treated in each section. How does the author use the young man’s attitude toward these elements of the story to establish a mood in each section?
5. What’s the function of the synonyms used in the last paragraph of the story?
6. Interprete the author’s message.
The Catbird Seat
Mr. Martin bought the pack of Camels on Monday night in the most crowded cigar store on Broadway. It was theatre time and seven or eight men were buying cigarettes. The clerk didn’t even glance at Mr. Martin, who put the pack in his overcoat pocket and went out. If any of the staff at F & S had seen him buy the cigarettes, they would have been astonished, for it was generally known that Mr. Martin did not smoke, and never had. No one saw him.
It was just a week to the day since Mr. Martin had decided to rub out Mrs. Ulgine Barrows. The term «rub out» pleased him because it suggested nothing more than the correction of an error — in this case an error of Mr. Fitweiler. Mr. Martin had spent each night of the past week working out his plan and examining it. As he walked home now he went over it again. For the hundredth time he resented the element of imprecision, the margin of guesswork that entered into the business. The project as he had worked it out was casual and bold, the risks were considerable. Something might go wrong anywhere along the line. And therein lay the cunning of his scheme. No one would ever see in it the cautious, painstaking hand of Erwin Martin, head of the filing department at F & S, of whom Mr. Fitweiler had once said, «Man is fallible but Martin isn’t». No one would see his hand, that is, unless it were caught in the act.
Sitting in his apartment, drinking a glass of milk, Mr. Martin reviewed his ease against Mrs. Ulgine Barrows, as he had every night for seven nights. He began at the beginning. Her quacking voice and braying laugh had first profaned the halls of F & S on March 7, 1941 (Mr. Martin had a head for dates). Old Roberts, the personnel chief, had introduced her as the newly appointed special adviser to the president of the firm, Mr. Fitweiler. The woman had appalled Mr. Martin instantly, but he hadn’t shown it. He had given her his dry hand, a look of studious concentration, and a faint smile. «Well», she had said, looking at the paper on his desk, «are you lifting the oxcart out of the ditch?» As Mr. Martin recalled that moment, over his milk, he squirmed slightly. He must keep his mind on her crimes as a special adviser, not on her peccadillos as a personality. This he found difficult to do, in spite of entering an objection and sustaining it. The faults of the woman as a woman kept chattering on in his mind like an unruly witness. She had, for almost two years now, baited him. In the halls, in the elevator, even in his own office, into which she romped now and then like a circus horse, she was constantly shouting these silly questions at him. «Are you lifting the oxcart out of the ditch? Are you tearing up the pea patch? Are you hollering down the rain barrel? Are you scraping around the bottom of the pickle barrel? Are you sitting in the catbird seat?»
It was Joey Hart, one of Mr. Martin’s two assistants, who had explained what the gibberish meant. «She must be a Dodger fan», he had said. «Red Barber announces the Dodger games over the radio and he uses those expressions — picked ‘em up down South». Joey had gone on to explain one or two. «Tearing up the pea patch» meant going on a rampage; «sitting in the catbird seat» meant sitting pretty, like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him. Mr. Martin dismissed all this with an effort. It had been annoying, it had driven him near to distraction, but he was too solid a man to be moved to murder by anything so childish. It was fortunate, he reflected as he passed on to the important charges against Mrs. Barrows, that he had stood up under it so well. He had maintained always an outward appearance of polite tolerance, «Why, I even believe you like the woman», Miss Paird, his other assistant, had once said to him. He had simply smiled.
A gravel rapped in Mr. Martin’s mind and the case proper was resumed. Mrs. Ulgine Barrows stood charged with willful, blatant, and persistent attempts to destroy the efficiency and system of F & S. It was competent, material, and relevant to review her advent and rise to power. Mr. Martin had got the story from Miss Paird, who seemed always able to find things out. According to her, Mrs. Barrows had met Mr. Fitweiler at a party, where she had rescued him from the embraces of a powerfully built drunken man who had mistaken the president of F & S for a famous retired Middle Western football coach. She had led him to a sofa and somehow worked upon him a monstrous magic. The aging gentleman had jumped to the conclusion there and then that this was a woman of singular attainments, equipped to bring out the best in him and in the firm. A week later he had introduced her into F & S as his special adviser. On that day confusion got it’s foot in the door. After Miss Tyson, Mr. Brundage, and Mr. Bartlett had been fired and Mr. Munson had taken his hat and stalked out, mailing in his resignation later, old Roberts had been emboldened to speak to Mr. Fitweiler. He mentioned that Mr. Munson’s department had been «a little disrupted» and hadn’t they perhaps better resume the old system there? Mr. Fitweiler had said certainly not. He had the greatest faith in Mrs. Barrows’ ideas. «They require a little seasoning, a little seasoning, is all», he had added. Mr. Roberts had given it up. Mr. Martin reviewed in detail all the changes wrought by Mrs. Barrows. She had begun chipping at the cornices of the firm’s edifice and now she was swinging at the foundation stones with a pickaxe.
Mr. Martin came now, in his summing up, to the afternoon of Monday, November 2, 1942 — just one week ago. On that day, at 3 р. м., Mrs. Barrows had bounced into his office. «Boo!» she had yelled. «Are you scraping around the bottom of the pickle barrel?» Mr. Martin had looked at her from under green eyeshade saying nothing. She had begun to wander about the office, taking it in with her great, popping eyes. «Do you really need all
these filing cabinets?» she had demanded suddenly. Mr. Martin’s heart had jumped. «Each of these files», he had said, keeping his voice even, «play an indispensable part in the system of F & S». She had brayed at him, «Well, don’t tear up the pea patch!» and gone to the door. From there she had bawled, «But you sure have got a lot of fine scrap in here!» Mr. Martin could no longer doubt that the finger was on his beloved department. Her pickaxe was on the upswing, poised for the first blow. It had not come yet; he had received no blue memo from the enchanted Mr. Fitweiler bearing nonsensical instructions deriving from the obscene woman. But there was no doubt in Mr. Martin’s mind that one would be forthcoming. He must act quickly. Already a precious week had gone by. Mr. Martin stood up in his living room, still holding his milk glass. «Gentlemen of the jury», he said to himself, «I demand the death penalty for this horrible person».
The next day Mr. Martin followed his routine, as usual. He polished his glasses more often and once sharpened an already sharp pencil, but not even Miss Paird noticed. Only once did he catch sight of his victim; she swept past him in the hall with a patronizing «Hi!». At five-thirty he walked home, as usual, and had a glass of milk, as usual. He had never drunk anything stronger in his life — unless you could count ginger ale. The late Sam Schlosser, the S of F & S, had praised Mr. Martin at a staff meeting several years before for his temperate habits. «Our most efficient worker neither drinks nor smokes», he had said. «The results speak for themselves». Mr. Fitweiler had sat by, nodding approval.
Mr. Martin was still thinking about that red-letter day as he walked over to Schrafft’s on Fifth Avenue near Forty-sixth Street. He got there, as he always did, at eight o’clock. He finished his dinner and the financial page of the Sun
at a quarter to nine, as he always did. It was his custom after dinner to take a walk. This time he walked down Fifth Avenue at a casual pace. His gloved hands felt moist and warm, his forehead cold. He transferred the Camels from his overcoat to a jacket pocket. He wondered, as he did so, if they did not represent an unnecessary strain. Mrs. Barrows smoked only Luckies.
It was his idea to puff a few puffs on a Camel (after the rubbing-out), stub it out in the ashtray holding her lipstick-stained Luckies, and thus drag a small red herring across the trail. Perhaps it was not a good idea. It would take time. He might even choke, too loudly.
Mr. Martin had never seen the house on West Twelfth Street where Mrs. Barrows lived, but he had a clear enough picture of it. Fortunately, she had bragged to everybody about her ducky first-floor apartment in the perfectly darling three-story red-brick. There would be no doorman or other attendants; just the tenants of the second and third floors. As he walked along, Mr. Martin realized that he would get there before nine-thirty. He had considered walking north on Fifth Avenue from Schrafft’s to a point from which it would take him until ten o’clock to reach the house. At that hour people were less likely to be coming in or going out. But the procedure would have made an awkward loop in the straight thread of his casualties, and he had abandoned it. It was impossible to figure when people would be entering or leaving the house, anyway. There was a great risk at any hour. If he ran into anybody, he would simply have to place the rubbing-out of Ulgine Barrows in the inactive file forever. The same thing would hold true if there were someone in her apartment. In that case he would just say that he had been passing by, recognized her charming house and thought to drop in.
It was eighteen minutes after nine when Mr. Martin turned into Twelfth Street. A man passed him, and a man and a woman talking. There was no one within fifty paces when he came to the house, halfway down the block. He was up the steps and in the small vestibule in no time, pressing the bell under the card that said «Mrs. Ulgine Barrows» When the clicking in the lock started, he jumped forward against the door. He got inside fast, closing the door behind him. A bulb in a lantern hung from the hall ceiling on a chain seemed to give a monstrously bright light. There was nobody on the stair, which went up ahead of him along the left wall. A door opened down the hall in the wall on the right. He went toward it swiftly, on tiptoe. «Well, for God’s sake, look who’s here!» bawled Mrs. Barrows, and her braying laugh rang out like the report of a shotgun. He rushed past her like a football tackle, bumping her. «Hey, quit shoving!», she said, closing the door behind them. They were in her living room, which seemed to Mr. Martin to be lighted by a hundred lamps. «What’s after you?», she said. «You’re as jumpy as a goat». He found he was unable to speak. His heart was wheezing in his throat. «I — yes», he finally brought out. She was jabbering and laughing as she started to help him off with his coat. «No, no», he said. «I’ll put it here». He took it off and put it on a chair near the door. «Your hat and gloves, too», she said. «You’re in a lady’s house». He put his hat on top of the coat. Mrs. Barrows seemed larger than he had thought. He kept his gloves on. «I was passing by», he said. «I recognized—is there anyone here?’’ She laughed louder than ever. «No», she said, «we’re all alone. You’re as white as a sheet, you funny man. Whatever has
come over you? I’ 11 mix you a toddy.’’ She started toward a door across the room. «Scotch-and-soda be all right? But say, you don’t drink, do you?» She turned and gave him her amused look. Mr. Martin pulled himself together. «Scotch-and-soda will be all right», he heard himself say. He could hear her laughing in the kitchen.
Mr. Martin looked quickly around the living room for the weapon. He had counted on finding one there. There were andirons and a poker and something in a corner that looked like an Indian club. None of them would do. It couldn’t be that way. He began to pace around. He came to a desk. On it lay a metal paper knife with an ornate handle. Would it be sharp enough? He reached for it and knocked over a small brass jar. Stamps spilled out of it and it fell to the floor with a clatter. «Hey», Mrs. Barrows yelled from the kitchen, «are you tearing up the pea patch?» Mr. Martin gave a strange laugh Pick up the knife, he tried its point against his left wrist. It was blunt. lt wouldn’t do.
When Mrs. Barrows reappeared, carrying two highballs, Mr. Martin, standing there with his gloves on, became acutely conscious of the fantasy lie had wrought. Cigarettes in his pocket, a drink prepared for him—it was all too grossly improbable. It was more than that; it was impossible. Somewhere in the back of his mind a vague idea stirred, sprouted. «For heaven’s sake, take off those gloves», said Mrs. Barrows. «I always wear t hem in the house,’’ said Mr. Martin. The idea began to bloom, strange and wonderful. She put the glasses on a coffee table in front of a sofa and sat on the sofa. «Come over here, you odd little man», she said. Mr. Martin went over and sat beside her. It was difficult getting a cigarette out of the pack of Camels, but he managed it. She held a match for him, laughing. «Well,’’ she said, handing him his drink, «this is perfectly marvelous. You with a drink and a cigarette».
Mr. Martin puffed, not too awkwardly, and took a gulp of the highball. I drink and smoke all the time», he said. He clinked his glass against hers. «Here’s nuts to that old windbag, Fitweiler», he said, and gulped; again. The stuff tasted awful, but he made no grimace. «Really, Mr. Martin», she said, her voice and posture changing, «you are insulting our employer». Mrs. Barrows was now all special adviser to the president. «I am preparing a bomb», said Mr. Martin, «which will blow the old goat higher than hell». He had only had a little of the drink, which was not strong. It couldn’t be that. «Do you take dope or something?» Mrs. Harrows asked coldly. «Heroin», said Mr. Martin. «I’llbe coked to the gills when I bump that old buzzard off». «Mr. Martin!» she shouted, setting to her feet. «That will be all of that. You must go at once». Mr. Martin took another swallow of his drink. He tapped his cigarette out in the ashtray and put the pack of Camels on the coffee table. Then he got up. She stood glaring at him. He walked over and put on his hat and coat. «Not a word about this», he said, and laid an index finger against his lips. All Mrs. Barrows could bring out was «Really!» Mr. Martin put his hand on the doorknob. «I’m sitting in the catbird seat», he said. He stuck his tongue out at her and left. Nobody saw him go.
Mr. Martin got to his apartment, walking, well before eleven. No one saw him go in. He had two glasses of milk after brushing his teeth, and he felt elated. It wasn’t tipsiness, because he hadn’t been tipsy. Anyway, the walk had worn off all effects of the whiskey. He got in bed and read a magazine for a while. He was asleep before midnight.
Mr. Martin got to the office at eight-thirty the next morning, as usual. At a quarter to nine, Ulgine Barrows, who had never arrived at work before len, swept into his office. «I’m reporting to Mr. Fitweiler now!» she shouted. «If he turns you over to the police, it’s no more than you deserve!» Mr. Martin gave her a look of shocked surprise. «I beg your pardon?» he said. Mrs. Barrows snorted and bounced out of the room, leaving Miss Panel anil Joey Hail staring alter her. «What’s the mullet with that old devil now?» asked Miss Paird.
«I have no idea», said Mr. Mail in, resuming his work. The other two looked at him and then at each other. Miss Paird got up and went out. She walked slowly past the closed door of Mr. Fitweiler’s office. Mrs. Barrows was yelling inside, but she was not braying. Miss Paird could not hear what the woman was saying. She went back to her desk.
Forty-five minutes later, Mrs. Barrows left the president’s office and went into her own, shutting the door. It wasn’t until half an hour later that Mr. Fitweiler sent for Mr. Martin. The head of the filing department, neat, quiet, attentive, stood in front of the old man’s desk. Mr. Fitweiler was pale and nervous. He took his glasses off and twiddled them. He made a small, bruffing sound in his throat. «Martin», he said, «you have been with us more than twenty years». «Twenty-two, sir», said Mr. Martin. «In that time», pursued the president, «your work and your — uh — manner have been exemplary». «I trust so, sir», said Mr. Martin. «I have understood, Martin», said Mr. Fitweiler, «that you have never taken a drink or smoked». «That is correct, sir», said Mr. Martin. «Ah, yes». Mr. Fitweiler polished his glasses. «You may describe what you did after leaving the office yesterday, Mr. Martin», he said. Mr. Martin allowed less than a second for his bewildered pause. «Certainly, sir», he said. «I walked home. Then I went to Schrafft’s for dinner. Afterward I walked home again.
I went to bed early, sir, and read a magazine for a while. I was asleep before eleven. «Ah, yes», said Mr. Fitweiler again. He was silent for a moment, searching for the proper words to say to the head of the filing department. «Mrs. Barrows», he said finally, «Mrs. Barrows has worked hard, Martin, very hard. It grieves me to report that she has suffered a severe breakdown. It has taken the form of a persecution complex accompanied by distressing hallucinations». «I am very sorry, sir», said Mr. Martin. «Mrs. Barrows is under the delusion», continued Mr. Fitweiler, «that you visited her last evening and behaved yourself in an — uh — unseemly manner». He raised his hand to silence Mr. Martin’s little pained outcry. «It is the nature of these psychological diseases», Mr. Fitweiler said, «to fix upon the least likely and most innocent party as the — uh — source of persecution. These matters are not for the lay mind to grasp, Martin. I’ve just had my psychiatrist, Dr. Fitch, on the phone. He would not, of course, commit himself, but he made enough generalizations to substantiate my suspicions. I suggested to Mrs. Barrows when she had completed her — uh — story to me this morning, that she visit Dr. Fitch, for I suspected a condition at once. She flew, I regret to say, into a rage, and demanded — uh — requested that I call you on the carpet. You may not know, Martin, but Mrs. Barrows had planned a reorganization of your department — subject to my approval, of course, subject to my approval. This brought you, rather than anyone else, to her mind — but again that is a phenomenon for Dr. Fitch and not for us. So, Martin, I am afraid Mrs. Barrows’ usefulness here is at an end». «I am dreadfully sorry, sir», said Mr. Martin.
Il was at this point that the door to the oilier blew open with the suddenness of a gas-main explosion and Mrs. Barrows catapulted through it «Is the little rat denying it?» she screamed. «He can’t get away with that!» Mr. Martin got up and moved discreetly to a point beside Mr. Fitweiler’s chair. «You drank and smoked at my apartment», she bawled at Mr. Martin, «and you know it! You called Mr. Fitweiler an old windbag and said you were going to blow him up when you got coked to the gills on your heroin!» She stopped yelling to catch her breath and a new glint came into her popping eyes. «If you weren’t such a drab, ordinary little man», she said, «I’d think you’d planned it all. Sticking your tongue out, saying you were sitting in the catbird seat, because you thought no one would believe me when I told it! My God, it’s really too perfect!» She brayed loudly and hysterically, and the fury was on her again. She glared at Mr. Fitweiler. «Can’t you see how he has tricked us, you old fool? Can’t you see his little game?» But Mr. Fitweiler had been surreptitiously pressing all the buttons under the top of his desk and employees of F & S began pouring into the room. «Stockton», said Mr. Fitweiler, «you and Fishbein will lake Mrs. Barrows to her home. Mrs. Powell, you will go with them». Stockton, who had played a little football in high school, blocked Mrs. Marrows as she made for Mr. Martin. It took him and Fishbein together to force her out of the door into the hall, crowded with stenographers and office boys. She was still screaming imprecations at Mr. Martin, tangled and contradictory imprecations. The hubbub finally died out down the corridor.
«I regret that this has happened», said Mr. Fitweiler. «I shall ask you lo dismiss it from your mind, Martin». «Yes, sir», said Mr. Martin, anticipating his chief’s «That will be all» by moving to the door. «I will dismiss it». He went out and shut the door, and his step was light and quick in the hall. When he entered his department he had slowed down lo his customary gait, and he walked quietly across the room to the W20 file, wearing a look of studious concentration.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. Why does the author use so many legal terms that suggest the image of a courtroom (reviewed his case, crimes, peccadillos, entering an objection and sustaining it...) in the story? Find the terms and explain their use in relation to the story.
2. What language does the author use to describe Mr. Martin and Mrs. Barrows? In what case is the language highly expressive? What are the expressive means the author employs? What adds to the negative characteristics of Mrs. Barrows and to the positive characteristics of Mr. Martin?
3. What are the peculiarities of the composition of the story? How different are various parts of the story?
4. Analyse the words of the story and try to define the genre of it. Is the «Catbird seat» a believable story? Do you think the author intended it to be?
It’s queer, the things you remember. When life has crumbled suddenly, and left you standing there, alone. It’s not the big important things that you remember when you come to that: not the plans of years, not the love nor the hopes you’ve worked so hard for. It’s the little things that you remember then: the little things you hadn’t noticed at the time. The way a hand touched yours, and you too busy to notice; the hopeful little inflection of a voice you didn’t really bother to listen to...
John Carmody found that out, staring through the living-room window at the cheerful Tuesday-afternoon life of the street. He kept trying to think about the big, important things, lost now — the years and the plans, and the hopes. And the love. But he couldn’t quite get them focused sharply in his mind, just now. Not this afternoon.
They, those important things, were like a huge but nebulous background in his mind. All he could remember, now, was a queer little thing: nothing, really, if you stopped and thought about it in the light of the years and the plans and the — the great love. It was only something his little girl had said to him. One evening, two — perhaps three weeks ago. Nothing, if you looked at it rationally. The sort of thing that kids are always saying. But it was what he was remembering, now.
That particular night, he had brought home from the office a finished draft of the annual stockholders’ report. Very important, it was. Things being as they were, it meant a great deal—to his future; to the future of his wife and his little girl. He sat down to reread it before dinner. It had to be right: it meant so much.
And just as he turned a page, Marge, his little girl, came with a book under her arm. It was a green-covered book, with a fairy-tale picture pasted on it. And she said: «Look, Daddy». He glanced up and said: «Oh, fine. A new book, eh?» «Yes, Daddy», she said. «Will you read me a story in it?» «No, dear. Not just now», he said.
Marge just stood there, and he read through a paragraph which told the stockholders about certain replacements in the machinery of the factory. And Marge’s voice, with timid and hopeful little inflections, was saying: «But Mummy said you probably would, Daddy». He looked up over the top of the typescript. «I’m sorry», he answered. Maybe Mummy will read it to you. I’m busy, Dear». «No», Marge said politely. «Mummy is much busier, upstairs. Won’t you read me just one story? Look it has a picture. See? Isn’t it a lovely picture, Daddy?»
«Oh, yes. Beautiful», he said. «Now, that picture has class, hasn’t it? But I do have to work tonight. Some other time»...
After that, there was quite a long silence. Marge just stood there, with the book open at the lovely picture. It was a long time before she said anything else. He read through two more pages explaining in full detail, as he had directed, the shift in markets over the past twelve months, the plans outlined by the sales department for meeting these problems which, after all, could safely be ascribed to local conditions, and the advertising program which after weeks of conferences had been devised to stabilize and even increase the demand for their products.
«But it is
a lovely picture, Daddy. And the story looks so
exciting», Marge said.
«I know», he said. «Ah... mmmmmmm. Some other time. Run along, now».
«I’m sure you’d enjoy it, Daddy», Marge said.
«Eh? Yes, I know I would. But later».
«Oh», Marge said. «Well, some other time, then. Will you, Daddy? Some other time?»
«Oh, of course», he said. «You bet».
But she didn’t go away. She still stood there quietly, like a good child. And after a long time, she put the book down on the stool at his feet, and said:
«Well, whenever you get ready, just read it to yourself. Only read it loud enough so I can hear, too».
«Sure», he said. «Sure. Later».
And that was what John Carmody was remembering. Now. Not the long plans of love and care for the years ahead. He was remembering the way a well-mannered child had touched his hand with timid little fingers, and said:
«Just read it to yourself. Only read it loud enough so I can hear, too».
And that was why, now, he put his hand on the book. From the corner table where they had piled some of Marge’s playthings, picking them up from the floor where she had left them.
The book wasn’t new any more; and the green cover was dented and thumbed. He opened it to the lovely
And reading that story, his lips moving stiffly with anguish to form the words, he didn’t try to think any more, as he should be thinking, about the important things: about his careful and shrewd and loving plans for the years to come; and for a little while he forgot, even, the horror and bitterness of his hate for the half-drunken punk kid who had careened down the street in a secondhand car—and who was now in jail on manslaughter charges.
He didn’t even see his wife, white and silent, dressed for Marge’s funeral, standing in the doorway, trying to make her voice say calmly: «I’m ready, dear. We must go».
Because John Carmody was reading:
«Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in a woodcutter hut, in the Black Forest. And she was so fair that the birds forgot their singing from the bough, looking at her. And there came a day when...»
He was reading it to himself. But loud enough for her to hear, too. Maybe.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. What are the compositional peculiarities of the story? What’s the essence of the first paragragh of the story?
2. What’s the topical word of the story? How do you know it?
3. What’s the function of the syntactic repetition in the story?
4. What does the title of the story mean? What about the contextual and the dictionary meanings of the word «latеr»?
William Carlos Williams
The Use of Force
They were new patients to me, all I had was the name, O1son. Please come down as soon as you can, my daughter is very sick.
When I arrived I was met by the mother, a big startled looking woman, very clean and apologetic who merely said, Is this the doctor? and let me in. In the back, she added. You must excuse us, doctor, we have her in the kitchen where it is warm. It is very damp here sometimes.
The child was fully dressed and sitting on her father’s lap near the kitchen table. He tried to get up, but I motioned for him not to bother, took off my overcoat and started to look things over. I could see that they were all very nervous, eyeing me up and down distrustfully. As often, in such cases, they weren’t telling me more than they had to, it was up to me to tell them; that’s why they were spending three dollars on me.
The child was fairly eating me up with her cold, steady eyes, and no expression to her face whatever. She did not move and seemed, inwardly, quiet; an unusually attractive little thing, and as strong as a heifer in appearance. But her face was flushed, she was breathing rapidly, and I realized that she had a high fever. She had magnificent blonde hair, in profusion. One of those picture children often reproduced in advertising leaflets and the photogravure sections of the Sunday papers.
She’s had a fever for three days, began the father and we don’t know what it comes from. My wife has given her things, you know, like people do, but it don’t do no good. And there’s been a lot of sickness around. So we tho’t you’d better look her over and tell us what is the matter.
As doctors often do I took a trial shot at it as a point of departure. Has she had a sore throat?
Both parents answered me together, No... No, she says her throat don’t hurt her.
Does your throat hurt you? added the mother to the child. But the little girl’s expression didn’t change nor did she move her eyes from my face.
Have you looked?
I tried to, said the mother, but I couldn’t see. As it happens we had been having a number of cases of diphtheria in the school to which this child went during that month and we were all, quite apparently, thinking of that, though no one had as yet spoken of the thing.
Well, I said, suppose we take a look at the throat first. I smiled in my best professional manner and asking for the child’s first name I said, come on, Mathilda, open your mouth and let’s take a look at your throat. Nothing doing.
Aw, come on, I coaxed, just open your mouth wide and let me take a look. Look, I said opening both hands wide, I haven’t anything in my hands. Just open up and let me see.
Such a nice man, put in the mother. Look how kind he is to you. Come on, do what he tells you to. He won’t hurt you.
At that I ground my teeth in disgust. If only they wouldn’t use the word «hurt» I might be able to get somewhere. But I did not allow myself to be hurried or disturbed but speaking quietly and slowly I approached the child again.
As I moved my chair a little nearer suddenly with one cat-like movement both her hands clawed instinctively for my eyes and she almost reached them too. In fact she knocked my glasses flying and they fell, though unbroken, several feet away from me on the kitchen floor.
Both the mother and father almost turned themselves inside out in embarrassment and apology. You bad girl, said the mother, taking her and shaking her by one arm. Look what you’ve done. The nice man...
For heaven’s sake, I broke in. Don’t call me a nice man to her. I’m here to look at her throat on the chance she might have diphtheria and possibly die of it. But that’s nothing to her. Look here, I said to the child, we’re going to look at your throat. You’re old enough to understand what I’m saying. Will you open it now by yourself or shall we have to open it for you?
Not a move. Even her expression hadn’t changed. Her breaths however were coming faster and faster. Then the battle began. I had to do it. I had to have a throat culture for her own protection. But first I told the parents that it was entirely up to them. I explained the danger but said that I would not insist on a throat examination so long as they would take the responsibility.
If you don’t do what the doctor says you’ll have to go to the hospital, the mother admonished her severely.
Oh yeah? I had to smile to myself. — After all, I had already fallen in love with the savage brat, the parents were contemptible to me. In the ensuing struggle they grew more and more abject, crushed, exhausted while she surely rose to magnificent heights of insane fury of effort bred of her terror of me.
The father tried his best, and he was a big man but the fact that she was his daughter, his shame at her behavior and his dread of hurting her made him release her just at the critical moment several times when I had almost achieved success, till I wanted to kill him. But his dread also that she might have diphtheria made him tell me to go on, go on though he himself was almost fainting, while the mother moved back and forth behind us raising and lowering her hands in an agony of apprehension.
Put her in front of you on your lap, I ordered, and hold both her wrists.
But as soon as he did the child let out a scream. Don’t, you’re hurting me. Let go of my hands. Let them go I tell you. Then she shrieked terrifyingly, hysterically. Stop it! Stop it! You’re killing me!
Do you think she can stand it, doctor! said the mother.
You get out, said the husband to his wife. Do you want her to die of diphtheria?
Come on now, hold her, I said.
Then I grasped the child’s head with my left hand and tried to get the wooden tongue depressor between her teeth. She fought, with clenched teeth, desperately! But now I also had grown furious — at a child. I tried to hold myself down but I couldn’t. I know how to expose a throat for inspection. And I did my best. When finally I got the wooden spatula behind the last teeth and just the point of it into the mouth cavity, she opened up for an instant but before I could see anything she came down again and gripping the wooden blade between her molars she reduced it to splinters before I could get it out again.
Aren’t you ashamed, the mother yelled at her. Aren’t you ashamed to act like that in front of the doctor?
Get me a smooth-handled spoon of some sort, I told the mother.
We’re going through with this. The child’s mouth was already bleeding. Her tongue was cut and she was screaming in wild hysterical shrieks. Perhaps I should have desisted and come back in an hour or more. No doubt it would have been better. But I have seen at least two children lying dead in bed of neglect in such cases, and feeling that I must get a diagnosis now or never I went at it again. But the worst of it was that I too had got beyond reason. I could have torn the child apart in my own fury and enjoyed it. It was a pleasure to attack her. My face was burning with it.
The damned little brat must be protected against her own idiocy, one says to one’s self at such times. Others must be protected against her. It is social necessity. And all these things are true. But a blind fury, a feeling of adult shame, bred of a longing for muscular release are the Operatives. One goes on to the end.
In a final unreasoning assault I overpowered the child’s neck and jaws. I forced the heavy silver spoon back of her teeth and down her throat till she gagged. And there it was — both tonsils covered with membrane. She had fought valiantly to keep me from knowing her secret. She had been hiding that sore throat for three days at least and lying to her parents in order to escape just such an outcome as this.
Now truly she was
furious. She had been on the defensive before but now she attacked. Tried to get off her father’s lap and fly at me while tears of defeat blinded her eyes.
Exploring Ideas and Questions for Discussion
1. In the story you can find a lot of informal words. What’s the function of the contrast use of neutral and informal words?
2. You can notice the use of synonyms in the description of the girl’s and the doctor’s feelings. In what way do their feelings change and what changes take place in the meanings of synonyms? What sort of connotation changes in the semantic structures of synonyms?
3. How does the use of synonyms account for the tension growth in the story?
4. Why are there many military and medical words in the story? Explain the reasons the author employs terms in abundance.
To enter out into that silence that was the city at eight o’clock of a misty evening in November, to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to step over grassy seams and make your way, hands in pocket through the silences, that was what Mr. Leonard Mead most dearly loved to do. He would stand upon the corner of an intersection and peer down long moonlit avenues of sidewalk in four directions, deciding which way to go, but it really made no difference; he was alone in this world of a. d. 2131, or as good as alone, and with a final decision made, a path selected, he would stride off, sending patterns of frosty air before him like the smoke of a cigar.
Sometimes he would walk for hours and miles and return only at midnight to his house. And on his way he would see the cottages and homes with their dark windows, and it was not unequal to walking through a graveyard, because only the faintest glimmers of firefly light appeared in flickers behind the windows. Sudden gray phantoms seemed to manifest themselves upon inner room walls where a curtain was still undrawn against the night, or there were whisperings and murmurs where a window in tomblike building was still open.
Mr. Leonard Mead would pause, cock his head, listen, look, and march on, his feet making no noise on the lumpy walk. For a long while now the sidewalks had been vanishing under flowers and grass. In ten years of walking by night or day, for thousands of miles. he had never met another person walking, not one in all that time.
He now wore sneakers when strolling at night, because the dogs in intermittent squads would parallel his journey witht barkings if he wore hard heels, and lights might click on and faces appear and an entire street be startled by the passing of a lone figure, himself, in the early November evening.
On this particular evening he began his journey in a westerly direction, toward the hidden sea. There was a good crystal frost in the air; it cut the nose going in and made the lungs blaze like a Christmas tree inside; you could feel the cold light going on and off, all the branches filled with invisible snow. He listened to the faint push of his soft shoes through autumn leaves with satisfaction, and whistled a cold quiet whistle between his teeth, occasionally picking up a leaf as he passed, examining its skeletal pattern in the infrequent lampplights as he went on, smelling its rusty smell.
«Hello, in there», he whispered to every house on every side as he moved. «What’s up tonight on Channel 4, Channel 7, Channel 9? Where are the cowboys rushing, and do I see the United States Cavalry over the next hill to the rescue?»
The street was silent and long and empty, with only his shadow moving like the shadow of a hawk in mid-country. If he closed his eyes and stood very still, frozen, he imagined himself upon the center of a plain, a wintry windless Arizona country with no house in a thousand miles, and only dry riverbeds, the streets, for company.
«What is it now?» he asked the houses. noticing his wrist watch». Eight-thirty p. m. Time for a dozen assorted murders? A quiz? A revue? A comedian falling off the stage?»
Was that a murmur of laughter from within a moon-white house ? He hesitated, but went on when nothing more happened. He stumbled over a particularly uneven section of walk as he came to a cloverleaf intersection which stood silent where two main highways crossed the town. During the day it was a thunderous surge of cars, the gas stations open, a great insect rustling and ceaseless jockeying for position as the scarab beetles, a faint incense puttering from their exhausts, skimmed homeward to the far horizons. But now these highways too were like streams in a dry season, all stone and bed and moon radiance.
He turned back on a side street, circling around toward his home. He was within a block of his destination when the lone car turned a corner quite suddenly and flashed a fierce white cone of light upon him. He stood entranced, not unlike a night moth, stunned by the illumination and then drawn toward it.
A metallic voice called to him:
«Stand still. Stay where you are! Don’t move!»
«Put up your hands».
«But —», he said.
«Your hands up! Or we’ll shoot!»
The police, of course, but what a rare, incredible thing; in a city of three million, there was only one police car left. Ever since a year ago, 2130, the election year, the force had been cut down from three cars to one. Crime was ebbing; there was no need now for the police, save for this one lone car wandering and wandering the empty streets.
«Your name?» said the police car in a metallic whisper. He couldn’t see the men in it for the bright light in his eyes.
«Leonard Mead», he said.
«Business or profession?»
«I guess you’d call me a writer».
«No profession», said the police car, as if talking to itself. The light held him fixed like a museum specimen, needle thrust through chest.
«You might say that», said Mr. Mead. He hadn’t written in years. Magazines and books didn’t sell any more. Everything went on in the tomblike houses at night now, he thought, continuing his fancy. The tombs, ill-lit by television light, where the people sat like the dead, the gray or multi-colored lights touching their expressionless faces but never really touching them.
«No profession», said the phonograph voice, hissing. «What are you doing out?»
«Walking», said Leonard Mead.
«Just walking», he said, simply, but his face felt cold.
«Walking, just walking, walking?»
«Walking where? For what?»
«Walking for air. Walking to see
«Eleven South St. James Street».
«And there is air in
your house. You have an air-conditioner,
«And you have a viewing a viewing screen in your house to see with?»
«No?» There was a crackling quiet that in itself was an accusation.
«Are you married, Mr. Mead?»
«Not married», said the police voice behind the fiery beam. The moon was high and clear among the stars and the houses were gray and silent.
«Nobody wanted me», said Leonard Mead, with a smile.
«Don’t speak unless you’re spoken to!»
Leonard Mead waited in the night.
«Just walking, Mr. Mead?»
«But you haven’t explained for what purpose».
«I explained: for air and to see, and just to walk».
«Have you done this often?»
«Every night for years».
The police car sat in the center of the street with its radio throat faintly humming.
«Well, Mr. Mead», it said.
«Is that all?» he asked politely.
«Yes», said the voice. « Here». There was a sigh, a pop. The back door of the police car sprang wide.
Wait a minute, I haven’t done anything!»
He walked like a man suddenly drunk. As he passed the front window of the car he looked in. As he had expected, there was no one in the front seat, no one in the car at all.
He put his hand to the door and peered into the back seat, which was a little cell, a little black jail with bars. It smelled of riveted steel. It smelled of harsh antiseptic; it smelled too clean and hard and metallic. There was nothing soft there.
«Now if you had a wife to give you an alibi», said the iron voice. «But —»
«Where are you taking me?»
The car hesitated, or rather gave a faint whirring click, as if information, somewhere, was dropping card by punch-slotted card under electric eyes.
«To the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies».
He got in. The door shut with a soft thud. The police car rolled through the night avenues, flashing its dim lights ahead.
They passed one house on one street a moment later, one house in an entire city of houses that were dark, but this one particular house had all its electric lights brightly lit, every window a loud yellow illumination, square and warm in the cool darkness.
house», said Leonard Mead.
No one answered him.
The car moved down the empty river-bed streets and off away, leaving the empty streets with the empty sidewalks, and no sound and no motion all the rest of the chill November night.
Итак, Вы уже прослушали спецкурс «Лексический анализ семантической структуры художественного текста», прочитали десять рассказов американских и английских писателей, два эссе и главы из романа Э. Хэмингуэя «Прощай, оружие!», самостоятельно проанализировали рассказ Р. Брэдбери и получили долгожданный зачет.
Автор данного учебно-методического пособия надеется, что вам понравилось с ним работать. В результате приобрели хорошие навыки интерпретации художественного текста, образцы авторского анализа помогли вам овладеть испытанными методами анализа текста и найти свои индивидуальные подходы к нему. Вы научились вдумчиво читать художественные произведения на английском языке и глубоко чувствовать язык писателя, то есть понимать, в чем заключается авторское послание читателю.
Список художественных произведений, предлагаемых
1. Finney, Jack. Сontents of the Dead Man’s Pockets / J. Finney // Configurations : American Short Stories for EFL Classroom. — Washington, 1988. — Р. 17—28.
2. Galsworthy, John. The Japanese Quince / J. Galsworthy // Story and Structure / Perrine L. — New York : Chicago : Burlingame : Harcout, Brace & World, Inc., 1959.
3. Updike, John.
The Orphaned Swimming Pool / J. Uhdike// Twentieth Century American Short Stories: McConochie, Jean A. — New York : Collier Macmillan International, Inc., 1979. — Р. 50—54.
4. Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms / E. Hemingway. — Moscow : Progress Publishers, 1976. — 319 p.
5. Hemingway, Ernest. Old Man at the Bridge / E. Hemingway // Adventures in American Literature / J.Gehlmann, M. Bowman. — New York : Chicago : Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1958. — Р. 105—107.
6. Saroyan, William. Going Home / W. Saroyan // Configurations: American Short Stories for EFL Classroom. — Washington, 1988. — Р. 1—5.
7. Buckley, William F., Jr. Up from Misery / W. F. Buckley, Jr // Mind Speaks to Mind: Selected American Essay for Advanced Students of English as a Foreign language. — Washington : United States Information Agency, 1994. — Р. 7—8.
8. Epstein, Joseph. The Virtues of Ambition / J. Epstein // Mind Speaks to Mind: Selected American Essay for Advanced Students of English as a Foreign language. — Washington : United States Information Agency, 1994. — P. 16—19.
9. Thurber, James. The Catbird Seat / J. Thurber // Configurations: American Short Stories for EFL Classroom. — Washington, 1988. — Р. 45—51.
10. Foster, Michael. Later / M. Foster // Configurations: American Short Stories for EFL Classroom. — Washington, 1988. — Р. 137—139.
11. Williams, William Carlos. The Use of Force / W. C. Williams // Twentieth Century American Short Stories: McConochie, Jean A. — New York : Collier Macmillan International, Inc., 1979. — Р. 8—11.
12. Bradbury, Ray. The Pedestrian / R. Bradbury // Adventures in American Literature / J. Gehlmann, M. Bowman. — New York : Chicago : Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1958. — Р. 122—126.
Cписок рекомендуемой литературы
1. Каверина, О. Н. Лексический анализ художественного текста (на примере анализа рассказа Джека Фини «Содержимое карманов мертвого человека») / О. Н. Каверина // Образование на пороге нового тысячелетия : сб. науч. ст. — Балашов : Изд-во БГПИ, 1999. — С. 45—48.
2. Каверина, О. Н. Своеобразие семантики ритма в рассказе Джона Голсуорси «Японская айва» / О. Н. Каверина // Ритм и стиль : сб. ст. филолог. кафедр. — Балашов : Изд-во БГПИ, 2000. — С. 28—33.
3. Каверина, О. Н. Ритм семантической структуры текста (анализ рассказа Джона Апдайка «Осиротевший бассейн») / О. Н. Каверина // Ритм и стиль : сб. ст. кафедр англ. яз. и литературы Балашовского пед. ин-та. — Балашов : Изд-во БГПИ, 1999. — С. 57—60.
4. Каверина, О. Н. Pитмические особенности создания подтекста в романе Эрнеста Хэмингуэя «Прощай, оружие!» / О. Н. Каверина // Ритм и стиль : сб. ст. кафедр англ. яз. и кафедры литературы. — Балашов : Изд-во БГПИ, 2001. — С. 65—69.
5. Каверина, О. Н. Особенности синтаксического ритма эссе / О. Н. Каверина // Ритм и стиль : сб. ст. кафедры англ. яз. и кафедры литературы БФСГУ. — Балашов, 2004. — С. 41—45.
Каверина Ольга Николаевна
Лексический анализ семантической структуры
для студентов факультетов иностранных языков
Редактор М. Б. Иванова
Корректор Н. Н. Дробышева
Подписано в печать 25.03.07. Формат 60×84 1/16.
Уч.-изд. л. 5,2. Усл.-печ. л. 5,25.
Тираж 100 экз. Заказ №
г. Балашов, Саратовская обл., а/я 55.
Отпечатано с оригинал-макета,
изготовленного издательской группой
Саратовского государственного университета
им. Н. Г. Чернышевского.
412300, г. Балашов, Саратовская обл., ул. К. Маркса, 29.
Печатное агентство «Арья»,
ИП «Николаев», Лиц. ПЛД № 68-52.
412340, г. Балашов, Саратовская обл.,
ул. К. Маркса, 43.
О. Н. Каверина
Текст романа цитируется по изданию: Hemingway E. A Farewell to Arms / E. Hemingway. Moscow : Progress Publishers, 1976.