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Word-Combinations and Phrases

to tuck away (in)

to remind (of)

to get nasty

to dodge (across, down)

precipitous drop (to)

to coax


to burst into tears

to put one's arms round

to grind to dust

to lie about

to breed discontent

to be trained to do without

to promise faithfully;

to tell straight away


to entitle one to

to hover (above)

5. Reread the story very carefully and answer the following questions:

1. Why does the author use the phrase midday nourish­ment? What sort of food did the people take?

2. What sort of rain was arranged for and how is it described at the end of the story?

3. What did the playing area look like? How does it differ from an ordinary playground?

4. In what terms does the author describe the city and the landscape? Pick out the words he uses and try to analyse the effect they have on the reader.

5. Why was it compulsory for the population to wear dark eye-glasses?

6. Why did Simon ask his father what a monkey was?

7. Why was The Authority so strict on things that might breed discontent?

6. Topics for discussion:

1. How is the distant future described in the story? What is the author's attitude to it?

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of advanced technologies?

3. What makes the story sad, if not tragic?

4. How is it that technical progress does not put an end to ill-feeling, envy and spite?

5. Give your opinion of the story.

6. Tell a science-fiction story describing: a) people and relations between them;

b) big cities in centuries to come.

7. Speak on science-fiction as a genre (say whether you like it, name the authors you know, the best books or stories you have read, the main features of the genre).

7. Group project:

Split into two groups, work out your project/idea of the city of the future, be sure to specify the following points: a) its design, location; b) community services, sources of energy and transportation; c) population and places of their residence; d) industry.

Topical vocabulary Man’s Impact on the Biosphere:

  • to affect the environment adversely;

  • to be fraught with fatal consequences;
  • to interfere in nature infinitely;

  • negative effects of man’s economic activity;

  • to change the biosphere;

  • to be overconcerned with technicism;

  • to threaten to destroy everything on earth;

  • pollution of the environment through chemical, physical and biological agents;

  • to have a disastrous effect on man;

  • to become extinct;

  • the disappearance of particular living species;

  • to be fraught with the extinction of animals and plants;

  • to perish as a result of industrial, urban and demographic pollution of the environment;

  • widespread use of insecticides;

  • deforestation;

  • changes in the microclimate, vegetation, fauna;

  • pesticides and herbicides that destroy the flora and fauna;

  • to be vulnerable to the destructive impact of man;

  • to reach threatening proportions;

  • to transform fertile regions into arid ones.