Lesson "The Man And The Snake"

Ким Р. П., учитель английского языка18 Сентября, 2012 12:11

The Theme: The Man And The Snake

The Aims:  a) To consolidate orall speech

                 b) To teach students to work with stories

                 c) To teach critical thinking

Equipment: Power point presentation, handouts.

Outine

Warm up

1 How do they feel?

 2 Discuss the following proverb “FEAR MAKES A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL”. Do you agree with it? Give your own examples.

Presentation

1 Read the first and the last paragraphs of the text “The Man and the Snake” and make predictions based upon these paragraphs:

Lying upon a sofa Harker Brayton was reading “Marvells of Science.” Reflecting on what he had read he unconsciously lowered his book without changing the direction of his gaze. Suddenly something in a dark corner of the room drew his attention. What he saw, in the shadow under his bed, was two small points of light about an inch apart.  They may have been reflections of the gas lamp above him, in metal nail heads. He gave them little thought and resumed his reading. A moment later some impulse made him lower his book again and seek for what he saw before. The points of light were still there. They seemed to have become brighter than before, shining with a greenish luster that he had not at first observed. He thought that they had moved a little – were somewhat nearer. However, he couldn’t reveal their nature and origin and again he resumed his reading. Suddenly something in the text suggested a thought that made him start and drop the book for the third time to the side of the sofa. Brayton, half rising, was staring intently under the bed where the points of lights shone, as it seemed to him, much brighter. His attention was now fully aroused, his gaze eager and intensive. It disclosed almost directly under the foot of the bed the coils of a large serpent – the points of light were its eyes! Its horrible head was directed straight toward him. The eyes were no longer luminous points; they looked into his own with an evil expression.

***

He pulled out the snake and threw it, still coiled to the centre of the room where it stopped by the wall and lay without motion. It was a stuffed snake; its eyes were two bright buttons.

2 Decide which of the following are true or false based upon the first and the last paragraphs:

  • Harker Brayton was a scientist who lived in the house in the woods.
  • Harker Brayton’s sphere of research was reptilia.
  • Harker Brayton was a brave man who was accustomed to reptilia in his house.
  • Harker Brayton had a son who played with stuffed reptilia and forgotten it under the bed.
  • Harker Brayton killed the snake and made a stuffed snake from it.

3 Read the first sentence of each paragraph and discuss the content of that paragraph:

***

A snake in a bedroom of a modern city flat is, happily, not so common a phenomenon as makes explanation needless.

***

Except for a slight shock of surprise and a shudder of mere disgust Mr. Brayton was not greatly affected.

***

The reptile was of a species with which Brayton was unfamiliar.

***

Brayton rose to his feet and prepared to back softly away from the snake, without disturbing it if possible, and through the door.

***

Brayton lifted his right foot to stop backwards.

***

He heard somewhere the continuous throbbing of a big drum with sounds of far music, sweet and beautiful, like the tones of an Aeolian harp.

***

The snake had not moved and seemed to have lost its power over the imagination; the wonderful illusions of a few moments before were not repeated.

***

Dr. Druring and his wife sat in the library.

***

The conversation was interrupted by a loud cry, which rang through the silent house like the voice of a demon screaming in a tomb!

***

Brayton lay on the floor, dead.

***

“Dead,” said the scientist, placing his hand upon his heart.

4        The Man and the Snake

Lying upon a sofa Harker Brayton was reading “Marvells of Science.” Reflecting on what he had read he unconsciously lowered his book without changing the direction of his gaze. Suddenly something in a dark corner of the room drew his attention. What he saw, in the shadow under his bed, was two small points of light about an inch apart.  They may have been reflections of the gas lamp above him, in metal nail heads. He gave them little thought and resumed his reading. A moment later some impulse made him lower his book again and seek for what he saw before. The points of light were still there. They seemed to have become brighter than before, shining with a greenish luster that he had not at first observed. He thought that they had moved a little – were somewhat nearer. However, he couldn’t reveal their nature and origin and again he resumed his reading. Suddenly something in the text suggested a thought that made him start and drop the book for the third time to the side of the sofa. Brayton, half rising, was staring intently under the bed where the points of lights shone, as it seemed to him, much brighter. His attention was now fully aroused, his gaze eager and intensive. It disclosed almost directly under the foot of the bed the coils of a large serpent – the points of light were its eyes! Its horrible head was directed straight toward him. The eyes were no longer luminous points; they looked into his own with an evil expression.

 ***

 A snake in a bedroom of a modern city flat is, happily, not so common a phenomenon as makes explanation needless. Harker Brayton, a bachelor of 35, a scientist, rich, popular, and healthy, had returned to San Francisco from remote and unknown countries. He accepted the invitation of his friend, Dr. Druring, the famous scientist, and was staying at his large old-fashioned house. Dr. Druring’s interest was reptilia, he kept them in a distant wing of the house that he used as a combination of a laboratory and museum and that he called the Snakery. Despite the Snakery Brayton found life at the Druring’s very much to his liking.

Except for a slight shock of surprise and a shudder of mere disgust Mr. Brayton was not greatly affected. His first thought was to ring the bell and call a servant; but then it occurred to him that the servant would suspect him of fear, which he certainly did not feel.

The reptile was of a species with which Brayton was unfamiliar. Its length he could only guess; the body at the largest visible part seemed about as thick as his arm. In what way was it dangerous if any? Was it venomous? Was it a constrictor? His knowledge of serpents did not enable him to say.

Brayton rose to his feet and prepared to back softly away from the snake, without disturbing it if possible, and through the door. He knew he could walk backwards without mistake. In the meantime the snake’s eyes burned with a more pitiless malevolence than before.

Brayton lifted his right foot to stop backwards. His hand upon the chair was grasping it. “Nonsense!” he said aloud. “I am not so great a coward as to be afraid.” He lifted his foot a little higher and put it sharply to the floor – one inch in front of the other.

He heard somewhere the continuous throbbing of a big drum with sounds of far music, sweet and beautiful, like the tones of an Aeolian harp. The music stopped; rather it became the distant roll of a retreating thunderstorm. A landscape, shining with sun and rain, lay before him, and in the middle of it a huge serpent, wearing a crown, was putting its head out of its large coils and looking at him with the eyes of his dead mother. Suddenly this enchanting landscape seemed to rise upward, like the drop scene at a theatre, and vanished. Something struck him upon the face. He had fallen to the floor; blood ran from his broken nose and lips. In a few moments he had recovered, and then realized that this fall, by interrupting his gaze, had broken the spell that held him. He felt that now if

he did not look at the snake he would be able to retreat. But the thought of the serpent within a few feet of his head, yet unseen, perhaps in the very act of springing upon him and throwing its coils about his throat was too horrible! He lifted his head, stared again into those sinister eyes, and was again in their slavery.

The snake had not moved and seemed to have lost its power over the imagination; the wonderful illusions of a few moments before were not repeated. Its black, beady eyes simply glittered with an expression unspeakably malignant. Then came a terrible scene. The man, lying upon the floor, within a yard of his enemy, raised the upper part of his body upon his elbows, his head thrown back, his legs extended to their full length. His face was white and his eyes were wide open and were staring at the snake. Strong convulsions ran through his body making almost serpentile movements. And every movement left him a little nearer to the snake.

 ***

 Dr. Druring and his wife sat in the library. The scientist was in a very good mood.

“I have just obtained by exchange with another collector,” he said, “a splendid specimen of the ophiophagus.”

“What is it?” the lady inquired with little interest.

“Why, what profound ignorance! My dear, a man who learns after marriage that his wife does not know Greek has the right to a divorce. The ophiophagus is a snake that eats other snakes.”

“I hope it will eat all yours. But how does it get the other snakes? By charming them, I suppose?”

“That is just like you, dear,” said the doctor. “You know how irritating to me are conversations about that vulgar superstition about a snake’s power of fascination.”

The conversation was interrupted by a loud cry, which rang through the silent house like the voice of a demon screaming in a tomb! They sprang to their feet, the man confused, and the lady pale and speechless with fear. Almost before the echoes of the last cry had died away, the doctor was out of the room, springing up the stairs two steps at a time. He rushed at the door without knocking.

Brayton lay on the floor, dead. His head and arms were partly concealed under the foot of the bed. They pulled the body away, turning it upon the back. The face was covered with blood and foam; the eyes were wide open, staring… a dreadful slight!

“Dead,” said the scientist, placing his hand upon his heart. Standing on his knees beside the man he chanced to look under the bed. “Good God!” he exclaimed, “How did this thing get in here?”

He pulled out the snake and threw it, still coiled to the centre of the room where it stopped by the wall and lay without motion. It was a stuffed snake; its eyes were two bright buttons.

 Read the text and choose the phrase that best completes the sentence:

  1. Harker Brayton was a scientist who

a)      studied reptilia in remote and unknown countries.

b)      lived in his large old-fashioned house in San Francisco.

c)      Found the Snakery at Dr. Druring’s house very much to his liking.

d)      Knew almost nothing about snakes.

  1. When Harker Brayton realized that there was a snake in the room he

a)      was frightened to death and decided to call a servant.

b)      decided to kill the snake with his foot.

c)      decided to leave the room as carefully as possible.

d)      decided to catch it and throw it away through the door.

  1. The sounds of music, of a thunderstorm and a shining landscape with a huge serpent in the middle of it were

a)      all his imagination.

b)      the reminiscences from his life in the remote countries.

c)      the reminiscences about the story his mother told him in his childhood.

d)      the episode from the play he had seen several years before.

  1. Blood ran from his broken nose and lips because

a)      the snake sprang forward and bit him.

b)      he fainted and fell down onto the floor.

c)      the snake threw its coils into his face.

d)      the snake held him tightly in its coils.

  1. Strong convulsions ran through Harker Brayton’s body because of

a)      the snake’s poison.

b)      his fall onto the floor.

c)      the snake’s movement under his body.

d)      terrible fear that broke his heart.

  1. Dr. Druring’s wife

a)      shared his interest in reptilia.

b)      liked snakes.

c)      wanted all the snakes in the Snakery to die.

d)      knew a lot about snakes.

  1. The loud cry Dr. Druring and his wife heard was

a)      the voice of a demon.

b)      the last cry of Harker Brayton.

c)      the sound from the tomb.

d)      the scream of the snake.

  1. The snake couldn’t kill Harker Brayton  because

a)      it was not venomous.

b)       it was not alive.

c)      it was tame.

d)       it was not of a dreadful type.

 Follow up

1 How  does this pro-verb “FEAR MAKES A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL” describe the main hero?

2 What is your attitude to the hero?

3 Power Point Presentation The Biography of Bierce

 Wrap Up: To retell the text

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