English Grammar

Задания на практические занятия по теме“Lexical expressive means and stylistic devices”

Part 1

I. Study the following passages, pick out and analyze lexical stylistic devices. What impression do you get of the things and persons described?

  1. Theodore represented a fountain of knowledge on every subject from which I drank greedily. (G. Durrell)
  2. She (Mother) looked not unlike a diminutive Victorian missionary facing a charging rhino. (G. Durrell)
  3. When, in an ocean of sweat, they reached the top of the hill, they found Leslie (G. Durrell)
  4. He fell into the water with a yell, spread-eagled like an ungainly frog, and his proud yachting cap floated towards the bamboo roots while he thrashed about in a porridge of water and mud. (G. Durrell)
  5. He was so absurdly childlike that I had a fit of the giggles and this of course only made him worse. He   had relapsed into French, which he was speaking with the rapidity of a machine gun so, with my tenuous command of the language, I was unable to understand him. (G. Durrell)
  6. He gave me a murderous look. “Espece de con!” he said vehemently. (G. Durrell)
  7. The whole island was a bustle and ringing with sound. (G. Durrell)
  8. Panting for breath, I would burst out of the olive groves, the dogs barking hysterically in front of me, and we would hold up the great, gleaming Dodge, its hood back. Spiro in his peaked cap crouching, massive, brown and scowling behind the wheel. (G. Durrell)

9. Sitting in the back, dressed in black, and with a beautifully arranged turban as white as a snowdrop bud, sat a slender, diminutive Indian with enormous, glittering almond-shaped eyes that were like pools of liquid agate fringed with eye-lashes as thick as a carpet. He opened the door deftly and leapt out of the car. His smile of welcome was like a lightning flash of white in his brown face. (G. Durrell)

  1. Surrounded by a forest of ecclesiastical beards he disappeared into the dark depths of the church, where a thousand candles bloomed like a riot of primroses. (G. Durrell)
  2. However, his (chauffeur’s) estimation of the time the King would take to visit the saint was inaccurate so when the King, surrounded by the cream of the Greek Church, suddenly emerged from the church and took his place in the car, the chauffeur was conspicuous by his absence. (G. Durrell)
  3. July had been blown out like a candle by a biting wind that ushered in a leaden August sky. (G. Durrell)

13. The rest of us felt too apathetic to think of anything except our own ills, but Larry was designed by Providence to go through life like a small, blond fire-work, exploding ideas in other people’s minds, and then curling up with cat-like unctuousness and refusing to take any blame for consequences. (G. Durrell)

14. Roses dropped petals that seemed as big and smooth as saucers, flame- red, moon-white, glossy and unwrinkled; marigolds like broods of shaggy suns stood watching their parent’s progress through the sky. (G. Durrett)

15. He had a straight, well-shaped nose: a humorous mouth lurking in the ash-blond beard; straight, rather bushy eyebrows under which his eyes, keen but with a twinkle in them and laughter-wrinkles at the corners, surveyed the world. (G. Durrell)

  1. On the opposite side of the room was the microscope table, with its powerful lamp on the jointed stem leaning like a lily over the flat boxes that housed Theodore’s collection of slides. The microscopes themselves, gleaming like magpies, were housed under a series of beehive-like domes of glass. (G. Durrell)
  2. After a moment’s thought he decided to try the skittish let’s-all-have-a­ jolly-game approach. (G. Durrell)
  3. We had liked the villa the moment Spiro had shown it to us. It stood, decrepit but immensely elegant, among the drunken olives, and looked rather like an eighteenth-century exquisite, reclining among a congregation of charladies. (G. Durrell)
  4. Our dead live in the hearts and the minds of the Spanish peasants, of the Spanish workers, of all the good simple honest people who believed in and fought for the Spanish republic. (E. Hemingway)
  5. The fascists may spread over the land, blasting their way with weight of metal brought from other countries. (E. Hemingway)
  6. Mrs. Harley and Deborah walked to a little park at the edge of the river. The child’s beauty was bright, and the old woman was dressed in black, and they walked hand in hand, like some amiable representation of winter and spring.(J. Cheever)
  7. It was almost dark, the Porsche humming along like a jewelled clock, when he reached what he recognized as the approach to Green Hollow. (I. Shaw)
  8. Rain’s arrival created a stir. The eyes of the School were turned away from the cricket field. (I. Murdoch)
  9. He began to run down the drive. He saw the Riley parked upon the grass verge. But there was no sign of Rain.(I. Murdoch)
  10. It was a night for walking, still and clear. I did not run, as she had bidden me, but for all that I achieved the Beacon Hill. The moon, so nearly full, hovered, with swollen cheek, above the bay, and wore about his face the look of a wizard man who shared my secret. (D. du Maurier)

II. Read the following passages and do the tasks given below:

Mary was like a large dark moth. She had the same texture of softness, and when she looked at you with her large dark eyes they spoke of the night: of the night hours in the Rectory garden, of night-scented stocks, the starry heavens above and the whirring yet soothing rattle, of the nightjars in the glades of the New Forest close at hand.

[…] Yes, Mary was like a large dark moth, and you might suspect that if she lifted her wings to fly she would uncover brilliant red or purple underwings in dazzling contrast to the ashy ambiguously patterned pair which she exhibited when at rest. A fanciful idea – but possibly it conveys her quality.        

[…] He (Mary’s husband) was a big man.[…], but with sandy hair and blue eyes. He took his ideas from the “Daily Telegraph” and the books in his prep-school library, and his guiding rule in life was to play safe. (From “Letting Down The Side” by D. Garnett)


1. Analyze the similes, metaphors and epithets used to describe Mary. What
connotation does the phrase “a large dark moth” have? How is this image
developed in the second paragraph?

2. How does the repetition of the word “night” add to the image of the girl?

3. What impression do you get of Mary’s husband? Is his description contrasted with that of Mary? How does the author achieve such acontrast (consider the structure and length of the sentences and connectives between clauses)?

4. How does the author’s choice of words affect your attitude towards the
characters he describes?

She (Brett) stood holding the glass and I saw Robert Cohn looking at her. He looked a great deal as his compatriot must have looked when he saw the Promised Land. Cohn, of course, was much younger. But he had that look of eager, deserving expectation. Brett was damned good-looking. She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy’s. She started all that. She was built with curves like the hull of a racing yacht. And you missed none of it with that wool jersey. (From “Fiesta” by E. Hemingway)


  1. Pick out similes employed by the author and explain them.
  2. What image of a woman does the simile “like the hull of a racing yacht” create?
  3. How does the author show the impression Brett produced on Cohn?

Part 2

I. Read the passages and note the stylistic devices creating humorous and ironical effect:

  1. The daughters, on seeing me, gave shrill cries of joy and gathered round me like benign shire horses, clasping me to their mammoth bosoms and kissing me, exuding affection, sweat and garlic in equal qualities. (G. Durrell)
  2. Then, at a particularly snarling bark from Roger (the dog), it (the ram) uttered a frantic bleat and fled toward the French window and safety. (G. Durrell)

3.”If you must keep that harmonium covered with feathers,” said Larry, glancing up irritably, “you might at least teach it to sing properly”. He was obviously not in the mood to receive a lecture on the jackdaw’s singing abilities. (G. Durrell)

  • “My God, they’ve amputated him,” screamed Margo, who always lost both her head and her command over English in moments of crisis. (G. Durrell)
  • “Let me see, let me see,” George would murmur, running a long forefinger down   our carefully prepared   time-table; “yes, yes, mathematics.   If I remember rightly, we were involved in the Herculean task of discovering how long it would take six men to build a wall if three of them took a week. I seem to recall that we have spent almost as much time on this problem as the men spent on the wall. Ah, well, let us gird our loins and do battle once again…” (G. Durrell)
  • I have introduced you to every one as Ernest. You answer to the name of Ernest. You look as if your name was Ernest. You are the most earnest-looking person I ever saw. (O. Wilde)
  • …Mamma, whose views on education are remarkably strict, has brought me up to be extremely short-sighted; it is a part of her system; so do you mind my looking at you through my glasses? (O. Wilde)

II. Read the following passage and note the different contextual meanings of the word “nobody”. Dwell on the types of meanings in a word and think of other examples when words or phrases may be coloured by different associations in various contexts.

Have you noticed this – that people never answer what you say? They answer what you mean – or what they think you mean. Suppose one lady says to another in a country house, “Is anybody staying with you?”, the lady doesn’t answer “Yes; the butler, the three footmen, the parlourmaid, and so on,” though the parlourmaid may be in the room, or the butler behind her chair. She says “There is nobodystaying with us,” meaning nobody of the sort you mean. But suppose a doctor inquiring into an epidemic asks, “Who is staying in the house?” then the lady will remember the butler, parlourmaid, and the rest. All language is used like that; you never get a question answered literally, even when you get it answered truly. (From ‘The Invisible Man” by G. K. Chesterton)

III. Speak about the humorous tinge of the following passage and the stylistic devices that create this effect.

His order was evidently a usual one. “I want, please,” he said with precision, “one halfpenny bun and a small cup of black coffee.” An instant before the girl could turn away he added, “Also, I want you to marry me;”

The young lady of the shop stiffened suddenly, and said, “Those are jokes I don’t allow.” The red-haired young man lifted grey eyes of an unexpected gravity. “Really and truly,” he said, “it’s as serious- as serious as the halfpenny bun. It is expensive, like the bun; one pays for it. It is indigestible like the bun. It hurts.” (From “The Invisible Man” by G. K. Chesterton)

IV. Read the following extracts from L. Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”. Examine the interplay of different meanings in the words and the stylistic effect achieved. What can you say about L. Carroll’s manipulation with words?

1. Alice sighed wearily. “I think you might do something better with the time,” she said, “than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers.”

“If you knew Timeas well as I do,” said the Hatter, “you wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him”.

“I don’t know what you mean.” said Alice.

“Of course you don’t!” the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. “1 dare say you never even spoke to Time!”

“Perhaps not.” Alice cautiously replied: “but I know I have to beat timewhen I learn music.”

“Ah! that accounts for it.” said the Hatter. “He won’t stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he’d do almost anything you liked with the clock.”

2. “Take some more tea,”the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.

“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take “more”.

“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”

3. Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and said to Alice, “Have you
seen the Mock Turtleyet?”

“No, said Alice, “I don’t even know what a Mock Turtle is.” “It’s the thing Mock Turtle soup is made from,” said the Queen.

4.”When we were little,” the Mock Turtle went on […], “we went to school in
the sea. The master was an old Turtle – we used to call him Tortoise -“

“Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?” Alice asked. “We called him Tortoisebecause he taught us“.

5. [‘…], said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. “I only took the regular course.”
“What was it?” inquired Alice. “Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,” the Mock Turtle replied: “and then the different branches of Arithmetic – Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.”

[…] “Well, there was Mystery,” the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flappers – “Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling – the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, he used to come once a week: he taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.”

6. “And how many hours a day did you do lessons?” said Alice […]

“Ten hours the first day,” said the Mock Turtle: “nine the next, and so on.”

“What a curious plan!” exclaimed Alice.

“That’s the reason they’re called lessonsthe Gryphon remarked: “because they lessen from day to day.”

7. The miserable Hatter dropped his teacup and bread-and-butter, and went down to one knee. “I’m a poor man, your majesty.” he began.

“You’re a very poor speaker,” said the King.

Here one of the guinea pigs cheered, and was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings: into this they slipped the guinea pig. Head first, and then sat upon it.)

“I’m glad I’ve seen that done,” thought Alice. “I’ve so often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, “There was some attempt at applause, which was immediately suppressedby the officers of the court and I never understood what it meant till now.”

8. The King looked anxiously at the White Rabbit, who said in a low voice, “Your majesty must cross-examine this witness.”

“Well, if I must, I must,” the King said with a melancholy air, and after folding his arms and frowning at the cook till his eyes were nearly out of sight, he said in a deep voice, “What are tarts made of”.

Part 3

I. Find lexical expressive means and stylistic devices

1) O, never say that I was false of heart,

Though absence seemed my flame to qualify. (W. Shakespeare. Sonnet CIX)

2) No longer morn for me when I am dead

Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell

Give warning to the world that I am fled

From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell:

Nay, if you read this line, remember not

The hand that writ it; for I love you so

That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot

If thinking on me then should make you woe.

O, if, I say, you look upon this verse

When I, perhaps, compounded am with clay

Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,

But let your love even with my life decay,

Lest the wise world should look into your moan

And mock you with me after I am gone. (W. Shakespeare Sonnet LXXI)

3) And when he to the green wood went,

No body saw he there,

But Chield Morice, on a milk-white steed,

Combing down his yellow hair.

4) Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage

Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,

To thee I send this written embassage,

To witness duty, not to show my wit. (W. Shakespeare. Sonnet XXVI)

5) And how can body laid in that white rush

But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

(W.B. Yeats. Leda and the Swan)

6) I love not less, though less the show appear:

That love is merchandised whose rich esteeming

The owner’s tongue doth publish everywhere. (W. Shakespeare. Sonnet CII)

7) Naething mair the lady saw

But the gloomy clouds and sky.

8) Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end;

Each changing place with that which goes before,

In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

Nativity, once in the main of light,

Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d,

Crooked eclipses ‘gainst his glory fight,

And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.

Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth

And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,

Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,

And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:

And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,

Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand. (W. Shakespeare. Sonnet LX)

9) With the farming of a verse

Make a vineyard of the curse,

Sing of human unsuccess

in a rapture of distress.

10) My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red,

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,

But no such roses see r in her cheeks … (W. Shakespeare. Sonnet CXXX)

11) Fight your little fight, my boy, Fight and be a man.

12) In faith, I do not love thee with mine eyes,

For they in thee a thousand errors note;

But ’tis my heart that loves what they despise,

Who in despite of view is pleased to dote;

Nor are mine ears with thy tongue’s tune delighted,

Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone,

Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited

To any sensual feast with thee alone … (W. Shakespeare. Sonnet CXLI)

13) There is no interrogation in his eyes

Or in the hands, quiet over the horse’s neck,

And the eyes watchful, waiting, perceiving, indifferent. (T.S. Eliot)

14) All days are nights to see till I see thee,

And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me. (W. Shakespeare. Sonnet XLIII)

15) I will make a palace fit for you and me

Of green days in forest and blue days at sea. (R.L. Stevenson)

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