UNIT   6.    CHARACTER   AND PERSONALITY

Exercise 1. Read these brief character descriptions. Which of these four Reading    people sounds most like you?

Amrita: 'I'm an active and energetic person - I can't bear just sitting

around doing nothing. It just makes me impatient and restless. ButI know what I want, and I think I've got what it takes to achieve my goals. Does that make me sound horribly ambitious and selfish? I hope not!'

Kevin: 'I'm the kind of person who knows how to have a good time. I suppose you would call me fun-loving, but it's more than that. I actually believe in a calm, cool, easy-going approach to life and I can't bear unnecessary anxiety and pressure. I believe in being sociable and taking life as it comes...'

Larry: 'My problem can be summarized in one word: self-confidence. I just don't have enough. I'm shy with other people, who must think I'm boring and stupid sometimes. Lack of confidence also makes me indecisive: I spend days trying to make up my mind what to do about quite simple things. I'm told I sometimes look moody, but in fact I like being with other people.'

Cathy: 'How I see myself? Well, I'm forgetful and disorganized - some would say absent-minded! But I've got quite a lot of willpower, really, and I've got ideas. I'm a hard worker too when I'm doing something I'm interested in. I'm not very articulate when it comes to public speaking but I quite enjoy being the center of attention, and I don't get in the least bit nervous.'

Exercise 2. A. The words below are taken from the character descriptions. Connotation   Which of them are positive, negative or neutral?

impatient active energetic restless ambitious selfish fun-loving calm cool easy-going sociable stupid indecisive shy boring moody forgetful disorganized nervous absent-minded articulate anxiety will-power hard worker self-confidence

Positive_|_Negative_|_Neutral

Word     B. Find nouns to correspond to as many of the adjectives Form/       above as possible. Use the endings -sion, -tion, -ness, -Antonyms    ence, etc.

C. In the list above find opposites for

lethargic      confident       clever      magnanimous    excitable lazy What are the opposites for other words from 2.A?

Exercise 3. Make up a dialogue about your and your neighbour's ' ideal Speaking partners'. Talk about the differences in your descriptions of such a person.

Some more words to be used:modest proud vain creative artistic eccentric narrow-minded broad-minded kind considerate cautious

Exercise 4. A. Read this description of a famous 18th century British Reading      writer, who was one of the first to write about women's rights. As you read, try to answer the following questions:

a. What kind of person was she?

b. Would you have admired her if you had met her? Why / Why not?

A harsh and unhappy childhood, dominated by an unstable and drunken father whom she never respected, gave Mary Wollstonecraft an unusual sense of her own independence and reliance on her own judgement; and a corresponding lack of respect for all kinds of male authority that she did not feel had been genuinely earned, whether in life or in literature. At the same time this passionate, ebullient and frequently opinionated woman was given to terrible swings of mood, from hectic, noisy enthusiasm to almost suicidal depression and a sense of futility and loneliness.

B. List the words and phrases in the text that describe Mary Wollstonecraft. Which of these words and phrases imply that the author approves of her character, and which may indicate weaknesses?

Exercise 5. The adjectives and nouns in the table all have to do Word Form   with character and personality. Complete the table by finding nouns corresponding to the adjectives and adjectives corresponding to the nouns.

Adjectives

Nouns

Adjectives

Nouns

moody

mood

carefree

xxxxx

emotional

 

warm-hearted

 

 

despair

 

vivacity

likeable

xxxx

 

liveliness

prejudiced

 

anxious

 

 

affection

 

enthusiasm

passionate

 

independent

 

 

charm

 

instability

optimistic

 

domineering

xxxxx

 

pessimism

lonely

 

Do the adjectives and nouns describe an attitude to other people, an attitude to life in general or both?Exercise 6. Complete the passage with appropriate words from this unit. Activate

My uncle Desmond is the kind of person everyone likes. In fact,

he's so_a_that neighbours and friends visit him constantly.

Luckily, he enjoys other people's company.

Almost everyone finds Desmond charming, and as far as I can tell

his_b_lies in the fact that he always takes a positive view of life.

In fact, many people find his_c_infectious. I've seen people

who are really_d_suddenly forget all their terrible worries and

become full of life. Last week one woman became so_e_that

she started dancing on the table, which amused Desmond.

Another thing I like about Desmond that he is very broad-minded about everything from religion through food to nationality. I have rarely met anyone with so few_f_and so much_g_for life.

Not surprisingly, although Desmond lives alone, he always has

company, so he never feels_h_. On the other hand, he doesn't

seem to need the help of anyone, in spite of being 80, and lives a very _i_life.

Exercise 7. In this dialogue, B's responses have become mixed up. Dialogue   Indicate their correct position by putting a number in the

brackets (the first one has been done for you). A: So that's your friend, Damien.

B: [ 1 ] I've known him for ages. We used to go to school together.

A: What's he like?

B: [ ] Well... perhaps I'd better introduce him to you... A: I thought you said he has a tendency to be aggressive. B: [  ] Aristocratic? Damien? Maybe he gives that impression. . yes,

now you mention it, he does have an arrogant streak. A: There's a touch of the aristocratic about him, I find... B: [  ] Yes, I think he takes after his father, who was well-known for his

bad temper.

A: I don't mean that exactly. I think there's something quite distinguished about him.

B: [ ] He's the quiet type, but he's not as shy as he seems ... I'm quite

fond of him. A: Oh, yes please!

Exercise 8. Make up a dialogue of your own, discussing some of your Speaking  acquaintances or friends. Use the underlined structures.Exercise 9. Give a literary translation of the following short descriptions Translation of famous Hollywood actors and actresses. Arnold Schwarzenegger The Austrian-born action hero and former Mr. Universe is Hollywood's most bankable star worldwide. Clever direction and lines tailored to his screen persona have turned Schwarzenegger vehicles like 'Total Recall' (1990) and the 'Terminator'series (1984-91) into smash hits.

Robin Williams Best-known for his manic energy and impro-

visational comic gift in 'Good Morning, Vietnam!' (1987) and 'Dead Poets Society'(1989), Williams gave a more subtle performance as a Russian emigre in 'Moscow on the Hudson' (1984). Anjelica Huston Her acting career did not take off until her mid-

30s, but whenever the part calls for a strong woman Hollywood looks to Huston. Her powerful performances in 'Prizzi's Honor' (1985), 'Enemies, A Love Story' (1989), and 'The Grifters' (1990) define the gallery. Susan Sarandon Authenticity and intelligence are hallmarks of

the characters Sarandon plays in 'Atlantic City' (1981) and 'Bull Durham' (1988). Her average-woman-turned-outlaw in the recent 'Thelma and Louise' (1991) redefines several of Hollywood's classic genres. Jack Nicholson The all-American wise guy, Nicholson has made

a career of playing rogues, renegades, and demons in such classics as 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' (1975), 'Chinatown' (1974), and

'Batman' (1989).

Tom Cruise A teen heartthrob in 'Risky Business' (1983)

and 'Top Gun' (1986), Cruise won acclaim for his performance in a more serious role, the wheelchair-bound Vietnam vet in 'Born on the Fourth of July'(1989).

Kevin Costner His generation's leading good guy, Costner's

personal credibility was one key to the success of films like 'Bull Durham' (1988), 'Dances with Wolves' (1990), and 'JFK' (1991).

Exercise 10. Write a short essay about any actor or actress Writing     mentioned above. Add some information about him or her, give your personal impressions and attitudes.