The Escape

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Today I am going to share with you my thought about a story I’ve read recently. It’s “The Escape” by William Somerset Maugham and strongly recommend you to read it if not yet!

The story is written by a famous English writer, William Somerset Maugham. He was not only a novelist, but also a one of the most successful dramatist and short-story writers of the 20th century.

The events are described through the eyes of the narrator. The setting of the story is quite obscure, as we have no concrete date or place of the story’s actions, but a writer imagines a story to be happening in a place that is rooted in his or her mind, so we can easily guess that Maugham describes the first part of the 20th century. “The Escape” starts with the author’s monologue about marriage: “I have always been convinced that if a woman once made up her mind to marry a man nothing but instant flight could save him”. Judging by this quotation we can easily guess that the story  is about the relationships of men and women.

The plot of the story is quite easy but extremely captivating. The protagonist of the story, Roger Charing, fell in love with Ruth Barlow with splendid dark eyes. She was an unfortunate woman, twice a widow, and Maugham’s characteristic of her is rather vivid: “She never had a little lamb but it was sure to die”. At first they were a happy loving couple, their marriage was announced for the immediate future. But the Roger suddenly fell out of love. It was awkward for him to jilt Ruth and he made up a perfect scheme to extricate. He promised her that they would be married as soon as they found a house that suited them. But Roger rejected all the orders of the agents offering a new house. At last Ruth lost her patience and left Roger herself.

There is no direct character-vs-character conflict. There is an internal psychological conflict within Roger. The subject matter of the story is that men and women have different approaches to relationship. On the one hand, Roger doesn’t love Ruth and has to scheme against her to avoid marriage. On the other hand, analyzing Ruth’s letter we can say that she doesn’t love him either. Her motives to marry Roger are quite obvious and they are connected with Roger’s financial position for sure. In fact, they both have to kept their own counsel, to pretend being in love with each other.

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Bernardo Bellotto

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I specialize in cross-cultural communication in English and Italian.So I decided to share with you some information about an outstanding Italian artist Bernardo Bellotto known for his carefully drawn topographical paintings of central Italian and eastern European cities and some of his works. Look at them and enjoy!)

Bernardo Bellotto
(1720-1780)

  • also called Canaletto Belotto
  • a painter of the Venetian
  • the fidelity of his views are in part attributable to the use of the camera obscura.
  • famous for his paintings of central Italian and eastern European cities

Early Studies

  • Bellotto was born in Venice in 1720, and trained at his uncle’s workshop.
  • by the age of 18 he was already a member of the Venetian Painters Guild.
  • Between 1742 and 1747 Bellotto moved around Northern Italy, studying architectural and topographical paintings.
  • It is assumed that Bellotto worked closely with his uncle in his last years in Venice, as Bellotto’s stylistic quirks start to appear in Canaletto’s work.

The village of Gazzada

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Capriccio with the Colosseum

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The Scuola of San Marco

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The Piazza della Signoria in Florence

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View of Turin near the Royal Palace

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New Market Square in Dresden

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Dead Poets Society. Review

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Dead Poets Society (1989)

Director: Peter Weir

Cast: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen.

Synopsis

The story takes place in 1959. Neil Perry, Todd Anderson, Knox Overstreet, Charlie Dalton, Richard Cameron, Steven Meeks  and Gerard Pitts are senior students of the Welton Academy. It’s an elite school with very strict rules, traditions and discipline. However, their new English teacher John Keating tries to change the situation, to break some rules and uses unusual teaching methods. The boys discover that when a student Keating belonged to a school literary club – the “Dead poets society” and decide to revive it. From that moment all they want is to find themselves, their way of life and become personalities. The teacher wants them to focus on the idea of carpe diem and it changes their lives once for all.

Peter Weir is an extremely gifted Australian film director. He is known for such movies as Witness, Dead Poets Society, Green Card, The Truman Show and Master and Commander. He received scores of various awards and his films may be called international. Robin Williams is also famous for being an excellent actor. R.I.P. There is no doubt that as a result of co-working of such talented people we have a really original, thoughtful and unforgettable film.

The film touches all the things that  each of us ever thought about. The characters do what almost all of us would like to do but we can’t. But why? Because almost none of us had such a teacher. Which would made of the children – people, real people willing or able to fight for their idea, aware of their uniqueness. Dead Poet Society is a kind of film that can change our outlook on life after watching it. However, the thing is that it’s very important to get the right idea of the film. So one shouldn’t treat it as a rebellion against the system and the national anthem of individuality. The idea is much deeper. The film is not against the public schools . The author of the film is not against the values ​​proclaimed in the shown boarding school  but against their formalization. ” Four Pillars ” of the school , which the protagonists hate at the beginning – Tradition , Honor , Discipline, Excellence – return to life in their mind, thanks to Keating , in an unexpected way , and become authentic, relevant and alive.

In conclusion, I think that the film is really great because of its truthfulness and veracity.  It raises a lot of problems such as the role of a teacher in our society, relationship between parents and their children, the struggle of being individual etc. And these problems will remain topical forever. The film is good for people of all ages.

All Inclusive?!

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The day of my summer holidays arrived and my friends and I decided to spend a week or so not in Moscow but in some holiday centre. So we chose one which was not far from Zvenigorod.

Zvenigorod is famous for its beautiful landscapes and untouched pristine environment.

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It took us about three hours to get there. After checking in my friends were very tired and I decided to roam about the territory of the holiday centre. I walked there for about an hour and felt hunger. There was a local restaurant and I decided to have a snack there. There were very few people and I found a vacant table easily. Then something strange started happening. All the waiters rushed to me and started to flood my table with all the dishes from the menu. I was shocked and couldn’t say a word. At last I collected my thoughts and tried to clear up confusion. “Don’t worry, everything is prearranged, just relax and have a rest” – the waiter said. So in 30 minutes I was full up and when I wanted to pay for this “snack” they told me that everything was OK and I shouldn’t pay for it. They also recommended me to go to the bar and continue my holiday there. To my surprise in the bar everything was also free. On my way back to the hotel I was absorbed in thought. I felt exhausted and fell asleep immediately.

The next day I told my friends about this strange occurrence. They split their sides with laughing. The thing was that a business company had a corporate party there and my outfit was almost alike their uniform (jeans and a green T-shirt). In fact the company should have been a little bit more creative with the uniform. =) And still my friends often remind me  about it and say that I’m a lucky man because I don’t have a job and participate in corporate parties.

…or not to smoke – that is the answer!

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The problem is trite for everybody but urgent for smokers from all the worlds. Today I’m going to quit smoking.
It’s nearly 2 a.m. in Moscow and I’ve come up with the brightest idea ever – to quit smoking. Unfortunately, I’ve been doing it for 7 years already and just can’t imagine a day without it. So let it be a kind of a cruel experiment. 🙂
The thing is that I’m trying to keep to a healthy lifestyle in everything but smoking and it drives me mad. I’ve read a lot of books which promise to help quiting,  I’ve seen plenty of videos. But the only thing I understood is that the first key to success is just having a burning desire to do it. Everything is as simple as that. Moreover I’m joining the army in a month so it will make my life (that can be compared to the popular tv show – Naked and scared) there a bit easier because the Russian army is a place where you can get nothing and in case you get it you have to give it away immediately, especially cigarettes.  I hope that everything will be ok and I’ll manage to stop smoking. And of course positive thinking is really important. People! Health is our treasure. Don’t be indifferent to it, it has its limits.

All the World’s a Stage, and All the Men and Women Merely Players

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“All the world’s a stage” is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII.  It is one of Shakespeare’s most frequently-quoted passages. But what does it mean? Does it mean that everything around us is fake? Does it mean that we shouldn’t believe people and confide our secrets to them?

We are living in a society. Every day we have to follow some rules of our society  to be a part of it. Moreover, we have to accept these rules if we don’t want to live like a hermit. It goes without saying that it affects our behavior. That’s why sometimes we have to  ignore our feelings, emotions and wishes and to be dishonest, affected and unnatural. It makes us be players during our lifetime. However, there is a kind of people, who always behave like actors. They are constantly telling lies and they’ve already got carried away and forgotten about their true characters, about their own thoughts and feelings. They even can’t come out in their true colors anymore. As for me these people present a sorry spectacle. Besides, I try to avoid such people because I can’t trust them, they’re just playing their parts, nothing more than that.  They do the things you want them to do, they say the words you want them to say. To make things worse, they have no own opinion and even think you want them to think.

In conclusion, I suppose that if you want to have a real life,  to have a lively mind, not to regret that your life has passed without any good result and uselessly, not to be just a human-being but a personality in the flesh, you shouldn’t be an actor in your life. Of course, sometimes you have to be flexible and pliable but the key word in this sentence is ”sometimes”.