Unit VI. Love, Marriage and Family in the USA
and translate the text using a dictionary if necessary.
Family. Extended Family.
Far. Middle and Near East and in parts of Africa, South America and Europe,
the first thing most Western people notice is the respect everyone has for the
old. Older men and women live with their married children and are important
members of the family. They look after the children, help with the cooking,
give advice and often rule family life. Living in an extended family has
advantages for everyone. A small child, for example, knows many people from
the very beginning, not just his mother and father. When his mother goes out,
it doesn't matter. He'll stay with someone who loves him — an aunt or sister
or grandmother. For a young mother and father there are also advantages. They
can go out to work and grandmother will look after the house and the children.
especially important in farming communities, where both men and women work in
older woman, for example, has something important to do. She sees her children
and grandchildren grow up. She is needed and loved. The nuclear family is the
product of the West. The typical family consists of mother, father and two
children. If the mother goes out to work, she must leave them with a stranger
— someone who looks after them as a job, for money. If there is a divorce or
separation the child's life will change completely.
the old, too many older people live alone — in special flats or homes. They
hardly ever see their children and grandchildren. They have nothing important
to do. They are often poor and lonely. In the winter many old people die of
cold or from falls in the house — because there is no one to look after them.
USA many old people go to Florida when they retire and live in large parks.
Often these parks are for old people only. Neither children nor pets can live
and answer questions on the text.
on nuclear and extended families.
2. Give the definition of
a nuclear family; an extended
3. Answer the questions:
do most western people notice in the Ear and Middle East?
do older men and women lived with?
there an advantage for everyone living in an extended family?
are these advantages for different members of the family?
family is the product of the West?
does it consist of?
children have advantages in a nuclear family?
do old people live?
do many retired people go to Florida?
4. Speak on nuclear and
extended families in Britain and in Russia.
5. Listen and discuss.
in the American Family
nineteenth century in the United States, it was not unusual the extended
families of uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents live together in
the same home. Then, in this century, nuclear families became popular. Only
the parents and their children lived together. Recently, in the United States,
many parents and children have begun living with grandparents again. Often,
parents and children don't want to send their parents and grandparents to a
special nursing home for older people. They think it is better to take care of
the elderly person at home.
course, there can be problems when people of three generations live in the
same house. Grandparents are often more permissive than parents, and they let
children do what they want. But most American parents feel that it is better
to be strict; they feel that children should follow rules. Parents think that
grandparents who don't make children mind (=obey) will spoil them. Then the
children won't obey anyone as they are growing up.
having grandparents in the home can also be fun. For example, everyone enjoys
the stories the older people tell and the interesting things that they can
teach the other family members. Americans are learning that having elderly
people in the home can be a wonderful experience.
and answer questions on the text.
on the changes in the American family.
on the advantages and disadvantages of living with parents and grandparents.
D. Do you
think these statements about family life are true or false? Decide in pairs,
then compare your answers with other pairs.
Old people should live with their
Old people should live in special places
(nursing homes) with other old people.
Everyone can learn a lot from older
Young couples must live away from their
life feels the stress of social changes. New aspects of family life in the USA
are caused by mobility, women's new position in society and changes in
attitude towards divorce. The following text uses three terms to describe
different types of families. Look through the text to find the definitions and
CHANGING AMERICAN FAMILY
American family unit is in the process of change. There used to be mainly two
types of families: the extended and the nuclear. The extended family most
often included mother, father, children, and some other relatives, such as
grandparents, living in the same house or nearby. Then as job patterns changed
and the economy progressed from agricultural to industrial, people were forced
to move to different parts of the country for job opportunities. These moves
split up the extended family. The nuclear family became more prevalent; this
consisted of only the parents and the children.
American family the husband and wife usually share important decision making.
When the children are old enough, they participate as well. Foreign observers
are frequently amazed by the permissiveness of American parents. The old rule
that "children should be seen and not heard" is rarely followed, and children
are often allowed to do what they wish without strict parental control. The
father seldom expects his children to obey him without question, and children
are encouraged to be independent at an early age. Some people believe that
American parents carry this freedom too far. Young people are expected to
break away from their parental families by the time they have reached their
late teens or early twenties.
besides these two types of traditional groupings, the word "family" is being
extended to include a variety of other living arrangements. Today's family can
be made up of diverse combinations. With the divorce rate nearly one in two,
there is an increase in single-parent homes: a father or mother living with
one or more children. Blended families occur when previously married men and
women marry again and combine the children from former marriages into a new
family. On the other hand, some couples are deciding not to have any children
at all, so there is an increase in two-person childless families. There are
also more people who live alone: single, widowed, divorced. Now, one in five
Americans lives alone.
Why were people forced to move to
different parts of the country?
Did these moves split up the
Who usually shares important
Do you believe that American parents
carry freedom too far?
Are you for or against the
permissiveness of American parents?
Today’s family can be made up of
diverse combinations, can’t it?
When do blended families occur?
the correct word to complete the following sentences.
typical American family of the past used to include grandparents or other
relatives who were living with the parents and children; this was called the
the industrialization of American society, the (extended/nuclear/blended)
family became more common.
Foreigners are often amazed by the (strictness/permissiveness/rudeness) of
present, nearly one out of every (two/three/four) marriages in the US ends in
family composed of parents with children from previous marriages is called a
Nowadays, there is an (increase/decrease) in the number of childless
through the definitions of different types of families and say which type your
family belongs to.
c) It is
interesting to know
American family has changed greatly in. the last 20 or 30 years. Many of these
changes are similar to changes taking place in other countries.
Marriage and Children
people are waiting longer before getting married. Women are also waiting
longer to have children. It's not unusual today for a woman to have her first
child in her mid-thirties. And families are having fewer children. The typical
family used to have three children. Today most families have one or two
traditional family, the wife stayed home with the children while the husband
earned money. Now 60 percent of all married women work outside the home. So a
majority of couples have two wage-earners. One reason for this change is that
women want and expect to have careers. Another reason is economics. With
rising prices, many families cannot survive on one person's salary.
What makes a family typical or unique?
Would you feel happier in a large or in a small family? Why?
How does a single-parent family influence children’s achievements?
the text and give a summary of it, using vocabulary of the unit.
American Family (Part I)
American families consist of a mother, a father, and three or four children
living at home. There may be relatives — grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins,
and in-laws in the same community, but American families usually maintain
separate households. This familial structure is knows as the "nuclear family."
It is unusual for members of the family other than the husband, wife, and
children to live together. Occasionally an aging grandparent may live with the
family, but this arrangement is usually not considered desirable. Although the
nuclear family unit is economically independent of the rest of the family,
members of the whole family group often maintain close kinship ties. Visiting
between parents and their married children and between married sisters and
brothers is frequent when they live close to each other. If they live in
different communities, they keep in touch by writing letters and by telephone.
In the American family the husband and wife usually share important
decision making. When the children are old enough, they participate as well.
Foreign observers are frequently amazed by the permissiveness of American
parents. The old rule that "children should be seen and not heard" is rarely
followed, and children are often allowed to do what they wish without strict
parental control. The father seldom expects his children to obey him without
question, and children are encouraged to be independent at an early age. Some
people believe that American parents carry this freedom too far. Young people
are expected to break away from their parental families by the time they have
reached their late teens or early twenties. Indeed, not to do so is often
regarded as a failure, a kind of weak dependence.
pattern of independence often results in serious problems for the aging
parents of a nuclear family. The job-retirement age is usually 65. The
children have left home, married, and set up their own households. Elderly
couples feel useless and lonely with neither an occupation nor a close family
group. Many communities and church groups sponsor social centers for "senior
citizens." At these centers older men and women can make friends and
participate in a variety of planned activities, including games, trips,
lectures, and discussion groups. These programs may help some old people, but
they do not provide the complete solution to the problems of old age.
Compare the British family and the American family. Do they have something in
Некоторых мужчин лучше избегать, если вы
хотите выйти замуж. Психологи выделяют шесть типов закоренелых
тип – жажда свободы
тип – страх осложнений
тип – поиск идеала
тип – культ самостоятельности
тип – под маминым крылом
тип – сказка об охотнике
Итак, если вы хотите выйти замуж, а ваш
партнер говорит что-то (смотри типы), спросите его прямо: готов ли он
жениться? Если он вместо ответа продолжит рассуждения – бегите от него.
in groups. Discuss which of the following statements you agree with, and which
statements you disagree with:
You should always ask your parents
for permission to marry.
It’s reasonable for young people to
live together for some time before getting married.
should be involved in matchmaking for their children.
members of a family should live in the same area so that it is easy for them
to visit each other.
should only leave home after they are married.
people should be encouraged to stay in old people’s homes rather than with
life is less important in the modern world than it was in the past.
Comment on the following:
the girl’s prison and the woman’s workhouse”
the text and memorize as many details as possible.
American Family (Part II)
American family is a nuclear family consisting usually of a husband, wife, and
children who live in their own house or apartment. Grandparents rarely live in
the same home with their married sons and daughters, and uncles and aunts
almost never do. Americans have fewer children than in many other cultures.
The typical American couple has two children, so that the average American
family has four people living together as a household unit. A great value is
placed on each child’s having a room of his or her own.
are not “arranged” in the U.S. Young people are expected to find a husband or
wife on their own; their parents do not help them. In fact, parents are often
not told of marriage plans until the couple has decided to marry. This means
that parents have little control, and generally not much influence, over whom
their children marry.
believe that young people should fall in love and then decide to marry someone
they can live happily with.
course, in reality this does not always happen, but it remains the ideal of
marriage among young Americans.
majority of American women value companionship as the most important part of
marriage. Other values, such as having economic support and the opportunity to
have children, although important, are seen as less important.
couple is not happy, they may choose to get a divorce. A divorce is relatively
easy to obtain in most parts of the United States. Some states have "no-fault"
divorce. To obtain a "no-fault" divorce, a couple states that they can no
longer live happily together and that it is neither partner's fault.
divorce rate has risen rapidly in the United States over the last twenty
years. Approximately one out of every three marriages ends in divorce, and the
numbers are rising. Americans believe that unhappy couples should not stay
married for the sake of the children, they do not want to sacrifice individual
happiness for the sake of the children.
current generation thinks that unhappy marriages do not contribute to the
happiness of the children.
to the American sociologists, the institution of marriage in the USA has had
four stages of development:
Wife as Servant to Husband
Husband - Head, Wife – Helper
III: Husband - Senior Partner, Wife - Junior Partner
Husband - Wife - Equal Partners
USA today most marriages are either the husband-head or the husband-senior
partner type, but the latter is becoming more typical as more and more wives
take jobs outside the home.
more American women come to believe that they should be equal partners rather
than junior partners in their marriages.
Accordingly, stage IV, although not typical of most American marriages at
present will grow most rapidly in the future.
are strongly attached to the idea of the family as the best of all life
styles. Families are seen by many Americans as places where one can find
refuge from the highly competitive world outside.
Answer the questions about the details:
many children has the typical American couple?
2) How do
the Americans usually get married?
marriages are "arranged" in the US;
marriages are not "arranged" in the US.
do the majority of American women value as the most important part of
opportunity to have children;
English equivalents to Russian ones:
семья только из
родителей и детей, супружеская пара, самостоятельно, влиять на что-то,
материальная поддержка, развод без вины партнеров, жертвовать личным счастьем,
стиль жизни, конкурирующий мир, институт брака.
Translate the words and word combinations into Russian:
American family, household unit, have influence over smth., economic support,
obtain divorce, divorce rate, sociologist, find refuge, come to believe,
to render and ponder.
family is the most basic and ancient of all institutions, and it remains the
fundamental social unit in every society. Yet there are many people today who
predict the end of the family system as we know it. The family, it is
contended, is breaking down, the victim of moral decay, sexual permissiveness,
changing gender roles, or irresistible social forces.
predictions are heard in all industrialized societies, but the statistics
suggest that the family system of the world's leading post-industrial society,
the United States, is under the most pressure. The great majority of both
American men and women begin sexual activity before marriage. One in every
five American births is to an unmarried mother, usually a teenager. One in
every four pregnancies ends in abortion. The number of unmarried couples
living together has tripled in less than two decades. Americans are staying
single longer than ever, and more than one adult in five now lives alone.
About half of American marriages are expected to end in divorce. New
alternatives to traditional marriage, such as the single-parent household, are
becoming steadily more common...
exactly is a family? Our ideas on the subject may tend to be ethnocentric, for
they are often based on the middle-class "ideal" family so relentlessly
portrayed in TV commercials, one that consists of a husband, a wife, and their
dependent children. This particular family pattern, however, is far from
typical. A more accurate conception of the family must take account of the
many different family forms that have existed or still exist both in America
and in other cultures.
characteristics, then, are common to all family forms? First, the family
consists of a group of people who are in some way related to one another.
Second, its members live together for long periods. Third, the adults in the
group assume responsibility for any offspring. And forth, the members of the
family form an economic unit — often for producing goods and services (as when
all members share agricultural tasks) and always for consuming goods and
services (such as food or housing). We may say, then, that the family is a
relatively permanent group of people related by ancestry, marriage, or
adoption, who live together, form an economic unit, and take care of their
young. If this definition seems a little cumbersome, it is only because it has
to include such a great variety of family forms.
Translate the abstract and give your own understanding of the word “family”
no definition of a "normal" family. Broadly speaking, the family is a group of
people related by blood or law, living together or associating with one
another for a common purpose. That purpose is usually to provide shelter arid
food, and to bring up children. The nature of the family keeps changing: there
are a number of types of family that exist in a society at any one time.
along, certainly, lasting, present, to show, shortage, to foresee, pair,
grown-up, precise, constant, concern, ordinary, to connect, matrimony, to
appear, to stay, to take into consideration, to take upon oneself, to
commence, to accuse, alienated;
deprive, disregard, to put together, to increase, refusal, minority, to
flourish, the beginning, married, more, marriage, child, abundance, beyond,
Choose the proper word:
make — to do
... the best of her charms to marry him. 2. It doesn't ... any sense. 3. He
... well at present. 4. I like the way she ... her hair. 5. He was a young
writer and could hardly ... both ends meet. 6. He knew it was not the right
way to ... his living. His marriage ... things worse. His wife tried to ...
her best by ... her share of work about the house, but her efforts didn't seem
to ... their marriage any good. 7. Nothing could ... her ... what she didn't
want to. 8. "That won't ... !" he exclaimed. 9. Two and two ... four. 10. "I
don't want him to have anything to ... with my daughter. He is no match for
her," mother thought. 11. It's very important to ... a very good first
impression on the parents and relatives.
Russian equivalents for the following English proverbs (or translate them into
A good husband makes a good wife.
Marry in haste and repent at leisure.
Blood is thicker than water.
Explain in English the meaning
of each proverb.
Make up a dialogue to
illustrate one of the proverbs.
the vocabulary and make up your sentences with new words
Family, folks, household, tribe, clan,
descent (to be of some descent), descendant, ancestor, forefather, heredity,
hereditary, sibling, paternal, maternal, next of kin, nearest and dearest,
one's own flesh and blood, in-laws.
To date smb, to be smb's date, to go
out with smb. to court smb. boyfriend, girlfriend, bridegroom, bride, fiancée,
best man, bridesmaid, newlyweds, marriage knot, marriage of convenience,
single, spouse, divorced, divorcee, separated, bachelor, spinster,
To bring up a child, to raise a child, to
adopt a child, to foster, a foster child/brother, step-mother/father,
half-brother/sister, a single parent.
to do the chores, to do the laundry,
to wash dishes and pots, to wash up, to cook meals, to do the shopping, a
shopping list, to vacuum a room, to polish furniture, to redecorate a room
(with new wallpaper).
Equality and prejudice:
to consider smb inferior/superior or
as an equal; to enjoy equal prospects and opportunity; equality of
opportunity; conventional/unconventional attitudes/beliefs;
acceptable/unacceptable patterns/modes of behaviour; to be prejudiced against
smb; to discriminate against; sexual discrimination; to be faithful; to commit
amazement, surprise, astonishment,
horror, misery, disappointment, to be appalled, to be astounded, to be
disgusted; ecstatic, overjoyed, thrilled; to be put out, to be offended, to
hurt someone's feelings; furious, speechless with anger; to be taken aback; to
be upset, to be dismayed, to be disheartened, moving, touching; to feel
up a story:
f) Make a
Politics of Housework
perfectly reasonable. We both had careers, both had to work a couple of days a
week to earn enough to live on, so why shouldn't we share the housework? So, I
suggested it to my mate and he agreed. You're right, he said. It's only fair.
interesting thing happened. I can only explain it by stating that we women
have been brainwashed more than even we can imagine. Probably too many years
of seeing television women in ecstasy over shiny waxed floors or breaking down
over their dirty shirt collars. Men have no such conditioning. They recognize
the essential fact of housework right from the very beginning. Which is that
list of dirty chores: buying groceries, carting them home and putting them
away; cooking meals and washing dishes and pots; doing the laundry; digging
out the place when things get out of control; washing floors. The list could
go on but the sheer necessities are bad enough. All of us have to do these
things, or get someone else to do them for us.
in pairs. Make up dialogues where one of the students is facing some problem
in his/her family. The other one should give him/her some advice.
The wife complains that her husband
does not pay enough attention to the children.
The husband thinks the
seventeen-year-old daughter is too young to go out on dates. The wife
The wife has a full-time job and is
angry because the husband does not help around the house.
The husband complains about his
wife’s mother interfering in.
on the topic “Our Family’s Traditions and Customs”
i) Write down an essay on the
topic “The Politics of Housework in your Family”
MARRIAGE IN THE UNITED STATES
Marriage in the United States
have one of the highest marriage rates among the industrial nations. Other
countries with high marriage rates are Russia, Egypt, and Japan. This has
always been so. More than 90 percent of the members of every birth cohort
since the early 1800s have eventually married.
marriage rate has undergone great fluctuations in the past forty years. This
is reflected mainly in the behavior of people between the age of 20 and 24.
The percentage of men and women in this age group who have never married
started to fall at the beginning of World War II and reached a low point by
the end of the 1960s. At that time the median age at first marriage was 22.5
for men and 20.2 for women. Thereafter the percentage rose steadily for twenty
years, so that by 1984 more than half of the women in the United States
between the ages of 20 and 24 had never been married.
Glick and Arthur Norton offer several reasons for this trend. During the
Vietnam War many young men postponed marriage in order to enter service or to
avoid military service by continuing their education. Women tended to stay in
school and then work to support themselves. Moreover, during the late 1960s
and early 1970s the children born during the post-World War II baby boom came
of age and competed for jobs. Because many people prefer to postpone marriage
until they can get a job and afford to set up a household and raise a family,
the tight job market resulted in a lower marriage rate.
Assignment: Read the text
and discuss the following questions: 1. Why do you think marriage rates differ
in different countries? 2. What are the reasons for the change of marriage
rate in the USA? 3. Do you think it's right to postpone marriage until you can
get a job and support your family? 4. What are the most important
considerations for our youth when they enter marriage?
and translate the text.
in the text the English equivalents to the following:
каждый десятый, неустойчивость, отражать, поведение, процент, в возрастной
группе, падать, предлагать, откладывать, поддерживать, поднимать семью,
the definition if the following words:
family, support, household, postpone.
4. Translate the text without
a dictionary and do points A, B and C, given below.
Marriage in the United States
single people in the United States have trouble finding a marriage partner. In
the past, sometimes friends would help by becoming matchmakers. They would
introduce a man and woman, and sometimes the man and woman would fall in love
and get married. But today, many people pay companies called dating services
to help them find partners. And even if the dating service does not always
find them someone to marry, it at least finds them someone to date.
married has changed in some ways. In the past, the man proposed to the woman.
But now sometimes the woman asks the man to marry her. After the couple
decides to marry, the man gives the woman a ring. She wears it on her left
hand to show that they are engaged. Sometimes the man and woman elope. When
they run away and get married privately, their parents are often disappointed
because they wanted their children to have a big wedding.
are married, both newlyweds often work because they need two paychecks to pay
their bills. But sometimes they still have money problems. And sometimes the
parents find that they just aren't compatible. So, for many people, marriage
ends in divorce. Yet, some people stay together long enough to celebrate their
fiftieth or seventy-fifth wedding anniversary.
A. Ask and answer questions on the text.
B. Speak about marriage in the United States.
C. 1. Do people
become engaged in your country? 2. Do you give rings in your country? 3. Have
you got dating services in your country? 4. Do many marriages end in divorce
in your country? 5. Do many women work after marriage?
Comment on the following quotations:
Accidents occur in the best regulated
families” (Ch. Dickens)
Being asked whether it was better to marry
or not, Diogenes replied, “Whichever you do, you will repent it”.
Marriage is popular, because it combines
the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity (G.B. Shaw)
Marriages are made in heaven
up a dialogue, illustrating the English proverbs:
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Every family has a skeleton in the
Men make houses, women make homes.
It’s a sad house where the hen crows
louder than the cock.
library research and prepare an essay on one of the following topics:
Focus on Family Problems
in the Jenssen home was not much different from breakfast in a couple of
hundred thousand homes in the Greater City. Walter Jenssen had his paper
propped up against the vinegar cruet and the sugar bowl.
expertly, not even taking his eyes off the printed page when he raised his
coffee cup to his mouth.
hell!" exclaimed Walter Jenssen. He slammed down his coffee cup, splashing the
contents on the tablecloth.
take a look at this. Take a look at it!" He handed her the paper as though he
were stabbing her with it.
the paper. Her eyes roved about the page and stopped. "Oh, that? Well, I'd
like to know what's wrong with that."
said, "Gimme back that paper."
have it," said Elsie. "Go ahead, read it till you get a stroke."
began to read aloud. "Is your husband as attentive to you now that you are
married as when he was courting you? Answer: Mrs. Elsie Jenssen, West 174th
Street, housewife: Yes, in fact more so. Before we were married my husband was
not exactly what would be called the romantic type. He was definitely shy.
However, since our marriage he has become the ideal man from the romantic
point of view.
what?" said Elsie. "So what? What the hell kind of a thing is that you're
putting in the paper? Go around blabbing private matters. How do you think a
person's going to have self-respect if you go running around and shooting off
your face to newspaper reporters?"
go around anywhere. He stopped me." "Who stopped you?" "The reporter. On
Columbus Circle. I was just coming around the corner and he came up and tipped
his hat like a gentleman and asked me. It says so there."
wasn't listening. "The office," he said. "Oh, God! What they're going to do to
me at that office. They probably read it already. And the boss'll find out.
What happens to the public confidence if..."
doesn't say a word about you. It says Elsie Jenssen. It doesn't say where you
work or anything else. Well, it could be another one."
living on 174th Street. I'm not going to that office today. You
call up and tell them I have a cold."
baby. If you want to stay home, call them up yourself," said Elsie.
you call them up. I'm not going to that office."
to the office or I'll - who do you think you are, anyway? The time you had
this year. Your uncle's funeral and your brother's wedding. Go ahead, take the
day off, take the week off. Just quit your job and I'll support you while you
sit here, you big baboon." She put down the dishes and put her apron to her
eyes and ran out of the room.
took out a cigarette and put it in his mouth but did not light it. He picked
the paper off the floor and began to read. First he re-read his wife's
interview, and then for the first time he read the other interviews. The
first, a laughing Mrs. Bloomberg, said her husband was so tired when he came
home nights that as far as she was concerned romance was only a word in the
dictionary. Mrs. Petrucelli said she hadn't noticed any difference between her
husband's premarital and present attentiveness. Elsie was the prettiest. He
read the interviews once more, and he reluctantly admitted that - well, if you
had to give an interview, Elsie's was the best. Mrs, Bloomberg's was worst. He
began to feel pretty good about it. He put on his coat and hat and overcoat
and then he went to the bedroom. Elsie was lying there, her face deep in the
guess I'll go to the office now," he said.
stopped sobbing. "What?" she said, but did not let him see her face.
downtown now." he said.
they start kidding you?"
what if they do?" he said.
up. "Are you cross with me any more?" she said.
what the hell?" he said.
smiled and got up and put her arm around his waist and walked down the hall
with him to the door. He opened the door and set his hat on his head. She
kissed his cheek and his mouth. He rearranged his hat again.
he said. "See you tonight." It was the first thing that came into his head. He
hadn't said that in years.
The Ideal Man by J.O'Hara)
are some headlines suggested for the story. Discuss them and give their
Russian equivalents. Which one, if any, do you like best. Give grounds for
When one is fond of making a mountain out
of a molehill.
One heart bleeding, the other unheeding.
One man's sore is another man's bore.
Accidents will happen in the best
at the following sayings and say if the ideas are true in the above-described
A trouble's a ton, or a trouble is an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
isn't the fact that you are hurt that counts.
how did you take it.
There is always a risk of making bad worse
with words, however carefully chosen.
Our near ones never appreciate anything in
us. We have to go to others for that!
Habits are at first cobwebs, at last,
at the picture and say whether it deals with a similar situation. Is it
different in details? In plot?
I was sure you'd like the
soup, hubby, dear!
About Matrimony (Part I)
Discuss the problems raised in the dialogue and do the activities.
Grandmother: You must do one thing or the other. You must either ask Sally to
be your wife, or you must take yourself off out of her way. You must know that
you are an extremely attractive man, you must know that she loves you,
and to be perpetually with her as you are, draining her sympathy, and giving
nothing whatever in return, is so cowardly and so selfish that I cannot
reconcile the man that you are now with the man I have hitherto known. I do
not know what has come over you, David; I simply do not know.
Grandmother, why should you think that Sally loves me? Has she told you so?
Grandmother: Don't be ridiculous, David! Of course not She'd sooner die than
tell me, or anyone. She has a fine reticence; never would that girl willingly
allow a trouble of her own to make things uncomfortable for other people. But,
though I am an old woman, I thank God that I still retain the use of my
eyesight and my mental faculties. The young - and Sally is very young -
are never as skilful at hiding what is happening to them as they think they
are. Now, don't prevaricate, David. Can you sit here and tell me that you do
not know that Sally loves you?
No, Grandmother, I don't sit here and tell you anything of the sort. I didn't
know for some while, and then I suddenly did know. But I knew, too, that not
to be loved in return would do her no harm. She's too fine a creature to let
frustration embitter her.
Grandmother: Really, David, you are an extremely hard man. 1 do not know when
I have heard a more cynical or arrogant remark. Is it your habit nowadays to
go through life inflicting pain on others and then rejoicing in the excellent
effect it will have upon their characters? Has this dreadful war made a sadist
That had been one of the questions that had been haunting me all through those
years.... Shall I get used to this killing? Shall I get accustomed to
inflicting agony? Shall I, at last, think nothing of it?...
Grandmother: How you can not want to marry Sally I am unable to
do want to marry her, Grandmother. With all my heart and soul I want to marry
Grandmother: Then, David, my darling, why in the name of common-sense and love
and mercy can't you? David, mind what you're doing with that wretched trolley!
(callously): OK. Nothing to smash.
Grandmother: I dislike American colloquialisms about as much as I dislike
trolleys. But neither as much as I dislike criminal stupidity.
Grandmother, is it criminal stupidity to look at this from the viewpoint of
Sally's eventual happiness? Can I make her happy? Much older than she is. Not
particularly healthy. In a rotten state of nerves. Worst of all, not really in
love with her. Have 1 any hope of making her happy? I'm too scared to try.
I've lost my nerve for... nearly everything.
Grandmother: How can you say you're not in love with her when you want, so you
say, with all your heart and soul to marry her?
don't feel about her as I have, in the past, about... other women.
Grandmother: One woman, Nadine. David, do you still feel yourself bound
in spirit to Nadine?
No! She's - pretty effectually - cut me right out.
Grandmother (in sudden penitence): Darling, I don't think it was quite
fair of me to say that you drained Sally. I'm sure you did not mean to do
No, I did not mean to do it; but I see now that I did it.
Reproduce the dialogue in class.
Discuss the following points:
Whether the grandmother was right concerning David's relations with Sally. 2)
Whether it is right or wrong that young people are not skilful at hiding what
is happening to them. 3) Whether David's reasons for not marrying Sally were
right or wrong. 4) The ways war may affect the nature of people. 5) The
factors that are likely to make a marriage a success.
Discuss the problems raised in the dialogue and do the activities.
About Matrimony (Part II)
Grandmother: We must get things clear, David. You think you don't love Sally
because you do not feel for her the passion you felt for Nadine. You'll never
feel that again. Nature knows what she's doing, and she does not allow us to
be torn by passions we've not the strength for. You're too old and tired for
that sort of thing.
There, you've put it in a nutshell, Grandmother. Sally isn't. She's young and
Grandmother: Not in the way you mean. Don't you know anything, about
women? Don't you know the difference between a woman like Nadine and a woman
like Sally? Nadine - she can't help it, poor dear - was born a hungry,
unsatisfied woman. Her perpetual search after perfection is a lovely thing in
her; because of it her home and her person will never be less than exquisite;
but it makes all the normal relationships disappoint her by their
imperfection, so that she looks beyond them for happiness. At least she did
until now. Sally - and she couldn't help it either - was born the other way
round. She does not demand gifts of life, she just loves it for itself, and
her humility makes her feel that what she is given is always far too much.
She'll feel exactly the same about you as she does about life. You won't
I'd give my right hand to be sure of that.
Grandmother: There's no need to do anything so dramatic, dear. All you've got
to do is to rely on my judgement.
Grandmother, I believe you think that if the whole world relied on your
judgement the millennium would come.
Grandmother: So it would. I'm not eighty five for nothing. This modern craze
for putting the young in positions of authority - headmasters in their
thirties, bishops without a grey hair on their heads, generals who scarcely
need to use a razor - ever since it took hold the world's gone steadily
downhill. But we're wandering from the point, dear. To return to Sally. She's
a born mother. You want children, don't you?
With my heart and body - far more desperately than I can tell you. With my
mind - no. What sort of world is this to bring them into? That's another
consideration that's holding me back.
Grandmother: A very cowardly consideration, dear. A mere shirking of
responsibility. It's a heavy responsibility, of course, a double one -
responsibility for the chidden themselves and responsibility for the world
they must live in. But I know of no better incentive for the building of a
decent world than the possession of children who must live in the world you've
Discuss the grandmother's viewpoint on:
Nature's wisdom concerning our passions. 2) The two different types of women
she speaks of. Find illustrations of each of these types in Russian and
English fiction. 3) Putting the young in positions of authority. 4) Children
in a family and their parents' double responsibility.
Act the dialogue in class with prompting done in Russian.
discussion. "What are the changes in family life?"
Sociologists say that the relationship between men and women is changing
rapidly nowadays. Dating customs are changing. More women are working. Family
life is changing. Men are helping more in the home. At the same time, the
divorce rate is rising. More and more single parents are raising children
nowadays. Discuss the following: What changes are taking place in family life?
What are your predictions for the future? What changes in behaviour will
become acceptable the future? Will more women work? Will divorce become more
common? Will the size of the average family change? What things won't change?
trees - or bushes?
the following with a partner:
Have you ever drawn a family tree? How
many generations of your family do you know about?
Have you ever had a problem working out
exactly how some family member is related to you (for example, your cousin's
How could divorce complicate family trees?
text using a dictionary
family that stretches (together)
CASCO BAY, Maine —The girl is spending the summer with her extended family.
She doesn't put it this way. But as we talk on the beach, the ten-year-old
lists the people who are sharing the same house this month with the careful
attention of a genealogist.
First of all there is her father — visitation rights awarded him the month of
August. Second of all there is her father's second wife and two children by
her first marriage. All that seems perfectly clear. A stepmother and two
Then there are the others, she slowly explains. There is her stepmother's
sister for example. The girl isn't entirely sure whether this makes the woman
a step-aunt, or whether her baby is a step-cousin. Beyond that, the real
puzzle is whether her step-aunt's husband's children by his first marriage
have any sort of official relationship to her at all. It does, we both agree,
seem a bit fuzzy.
Nevertheless, she concludes, with a certainty that can only be mustered by the
sort of ten-year-old who keeps track of her own Frequent Flyer coupons, 'We
are in the same family.' With that she closes the subject and focuses instead
on her peanut butter and jelly.
I am left to my thoughts. My companion, in her own unselfconscious way, is a
fine researcher. She grasps the wide new family configurations that are
neglected by census data takers and social scientists.
After all, those of us who grew up in traditional settings remember families
which extended into elaborate circles of aunts, uncles, and cousins. There
were sides to this family, names and titles to be memorized. But they fit
together in a biological pattern.
Now, as my young friend can attest, we have fewer children and more divorces.
We know that as many as 50 percent of recent marriages may end. About 75
percent of divorced women and 83 percent of divorced men then remarry. Of
those remarriages, 59 percent include a child from a former marriage.
So, our families often extend along lines that are determined by decrees,
rather than genes. If the nucleus is broken, there are still links forged in
The son of a friend was asked to produce a family tree for his sixth-grade
class. But he was dissatisfied with his oak. There was no room on it for his
step-grandfather, though the man had married his widowed grandmother years
to the point, the boy had to create an offshoot for his new baby half-brother
that seemed too distant. He couldn't find a proper place for the uncle—the
ex-uncle to be precise—whom he visited last summer with his cousin.
family tree just doesn't work, he complained. He would have preferred to draw
reality is that divorce has created kinship ties that rival the most complex
tribe. These are not always easy relationships. The children and even the
adults whose family lives have been disrupted by divorce and remarriage learn
that people they love do not necessarily love each other. This extended family
does not gather for reunions and Thanksgivings.
when it works, it can provide a support system of sorts. I have seen the
nieces, nephews—even the dogs—of one marriage welcomed as guests into another.
There are all sorts of relationships that survive the marital ones, though
there are no names for these kinsfolk, no nomenclature for this extending
long ago, when living together first became a common pattern, people couldn't
figure out what to call each other. It was impossible to introduce the man you
lived with as a 'spouse equivalent.' It was harder to refer to the woman your
son lived with as his lover, mistress, housemate.
equally difficult to describe the peculiar membership of this new lineage.
Does your first husband's mother become a mother-out-law? Is the woman no
longer married to your uncle an ex-aunt? We have nieces and nephews left
dangling like participles from other lives and step-families entirely off the
reality is more flexible and our relationships more supportive than our
language. But for the moment, my ten-year-old researcher is right. However
accidentally, however uneasily, 'We are in the same family'
Goodman is a columnist who writes for many major U.S. newspapers. This essay
first appeared in The
1. Study the words and make up
sentences with them:
genealogist: a person who
studies family trees
visitation rights: her
father no longer lives with her, but has the right to visit.
kinship ties: family
community in pre-industrial
family-oriented holiday in USA
decrees: legal decisions
(NB a 'decree absolute' finalises a divorce)
connections forged: made
type of tree
offshoot: a small branch
nomenclature: system of
spouse: husband or wife
lineage: line of family
mustered: summoned up,
census: a government count
of the population and its living arrangements.
data-takers: people who
attest: give evidence
and translate the following letter:
think you could bring yourself to ask your mother-in-law to leave? (Maybe
explaining that now the children are growing up they need more space.)
think that the old lady would then be too lonely don't you think it would be a
good idea at least to ask somebody, probably some of your husband's relatives,
to invite her for a couple of weeks. It would somehow release tension in your
family and entertain the old lady. I realize it's much easier to give advice
than really tackle the problem, but if I were you I'd think of some regular
house chores that would keep her busy. And, Jean, why don't you try to show
now and then that you appreciate her help. However it is very important for
your mother-in-law to feel that she is needed in the house, but let her know
that the children are your responsibility. Your husband will no doubt be
grateful for your effort and things will turn out for the best I hope.
above situation into a dialogue and act it out.
2. Make up dialogues using
A twenty-year-old girl who has married a
man of thirty. He works too hard and comes home very tired and bad-tempered.
A twenty-five-year-old girl, a university
graduate. She has met a man who is impatient to marry her, but she wants to
finish a year's post-graduate study first.
A thirty-five-year-old man whose wife is a
business-woman with a very successful career. She frequently comes home from
work very late because she has meetings.
work. Split into two groups of four to six students:
One of the groups has to prepare the role
of the interviewers and write down questions each interviewer could ask the
members of the "ideal family". The other group represents an "ideal family";
they should allocate the different roles within the group and talk about the
personalities, ways of behaviour and ideas of the people in their family and
give advice to other families.
The "ideal family" is interviewed by a
different interviewer in turn in front of the class. At the beginning each
member of the family introduces either himself or another family member.
Since a lot of the students' values and
ideals regarding families will have become obvious, they should discuss them
4. Points to Ponder
them! They are a real disaster! They come without an invitation, break into
your world, turn everything upside down, and finally ruin your life. And such
accidents happen several times a year. Guess who they are?! They are your
relatives! Distant or close, they are sure they have a right to behave like
that. Their assurance lies in two words - "Blood Relationship". Yes, they
believe in the power of blood. No matter if you've seen each other only once
or twice - you are of the same blood, the same kind; you are relatives, you
are "The Family!"
they have a habit of coming like a bolt from the blue, but more often they
gather on Special Occasions, family holidays in other words. The most popular
occasions are weddings, funerals, or anyone's birthday, especially an
anniversary. I'll omit funerals for it's a sad basis for meetings.
Let's talk about birthdays. So, this "field day" has come. You wake up
happy. You love the entire world today. And suddenly you hear the doorbell
ringing. You get up wondering who the hell it is. You open the door and your
heart sinks. Here they are! Your beloved relatives! You didn't invite them.
But they don't care. They do remember all the dates! They always stay
in your apartment. And being hospitable, you cede your room and bed. They do
the day they torment you with a thousand questions about your school, friends,
boy/girlfriends and plans for the future. They always ask about such intimate
things that even your parents don't dare to inquire about. In the evening they
gather round the table to have a party. They usually take strong drinks and
soon get absolutely drunk. Between taking drinks and food they recall "funny
stories" from your childhood, whereas you recall the ruined plans for this
evening. If you come with your "significant other" (poor thing!!!) they tell
him or her how funny you were running bare-bottomed in the house of your aunt
in Kukuevo and other peculiarities that makes you blush. Finally they end the
spoiled party with their faces in the salad or snoring on your bed.
wedding is the most "awful"
event. Weddings do not occur as often as birthdays. This means that all the
"available" relatives come. Neither weather, nor age, nor illnesses can stop
them from congratulating you! But this is not the main and most important
reason for their appearance. They're burning with the desire to see "the other
side" - his/her relations. The wedding is the holiday when the two Clans meet,
and is as important as the battle of Waterloo. Relax! It's not your feast -
it's theirs. They study each other like cattle traders to make the Decision
whether to erase you from their memory, or to celebrate new family ties. They
do not ask for your opinion, because "you are of the same kind - you
are The Family".
what they mean by "The Family"? In the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary
English "Family" is defined as "all the people related to you,
including those who are now dead". Relatives seem to rely on dictionaries
more than on your heart and feelings. In my life, "Family" are all the people
1 love and value. They are not necessarily my relations by blood. But they
know me, they confide in me, they share my problems and success, they love me
after all! Someone once said: "God gave us our relatives. Fortunately we can
choose our friends ourselves!" I'm sure I'm not the only one who can endorse
the text and put questions to it
up a dialogue according to this text.
7. Give a
short summary of the text.
8. Write down an essay and
explain your feelings and opinion on this text.
9. Are you for or against the
author’s opinion? Prove your point of view.