Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

“Fat and Thin”

on May 21, 2014

In the next class (in room #113) we will listen to and read a short story called “Fat and Thin” by one of the world’s greatest short story writers, Anton Chekhov. In the story, which is set in Russia in 1883, two friends from childhood unexpectedly meet at a train station after many years of not seeing each other. Choose ONE question from below and answer it in the comments.

1. How will the friends react at first?

2. What will they talk about?

3. How do you think they have changed since childhood?

4. What will happen at the end?

5. This is a Russian story from over 130 years ago. What kind of cultural references or old-fashioned terms might we hear?

These words will be important in the lesson: unexpectedly, to predict / a prediction, socio-economic

Remember to do the reading and questions I handed to you in class!

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25 responses to ““Fat and Thin”

  1. Minami Iwakiri(T4) says:

    I will answer the question 3.
    Judging from the title “Fat and Thin”, I think that one of two friends might become quite fat compared to his childhood and the other quite thin, as if they had exchanged each other’s body.

  2. Hiroshi Yoshida(T4) says:

    I will answer the Q2.
    After one man notices the other is his friend, he will say, “Do we have a third growth?” According to the title, I think two guys get more big and large and massive than before.

  3. Emi Enomoto(T4) says:

    I choose question 1, and I think, at first, they feel it hard to believe each other that the person in front of him is his childhood friend, because their appearances are greatly changed. According to the title,I think one of them got fat, and the other is thin. But they gradually think they are true friends, as they talk.

  4. Mayu Morimoto(T4) says:

    I will answer the question 1.
    Maybe two guys surprised each other how different the other is from his chilidhood when they first met. Guessing from the title, one who is fat in his childhood became thin, and the opposite thing happened in the other one.

  5. Miho Hashimoto(T4) says:

    I will answer the Q4.
    I think they finally notice each other by the man’s particular habit and surprised because their looking is completely different from the past. Then they confirm that they are old friends by talking about their secret memories.

  6. Ryohei Kamiya (T4) says:

    I choose Question No.3.
    I guess that they cannot be as friendly as they used to be in their childhood.
    The reason is that this story looks like the modern Chinese story, “The Hometown”, written by Lu Xun.
    In that story, like “Fat and Thin”, two friends from childhood meet after many years of not seeing each other. But they cannot be friendly because of the gap of their social status.
    I think that things like this also happens in “Fat and Thin”.

  7. Tamako(T4) says:

    I will try to answer Question 5.
    Over 130 years ago–around 1870-80’s, Russia is under the reign of emperor Alexandre Ⅱand Ⅲ, and involved in war against The Osman Empire, in Balkan Peninsula.
    Russia was at that time in the midst of imperialism, eager to expand their territory towards South.
    So, The thought and terms of imperialism or the name of emperor could be referred to. Also, the area ‘Balkan’ and countries like Selvia, Montenegro, etc. can be related.

  8. Chinatsu Fukunaga(T4) says:

    I will answer Q2.
    I guess that they refer to their body each other, because their body are quite defferent from those they have when they were children.

  9. Mika Yamamori (T4) says:

    I will answer the question 4.
    Two friends from childhood unexpectedly met at a train station and one noticed the other because he was really slender like before, but the other did not notice one because he was really fat even though he was slender in childhood.They looked back on childhood with nostalgia and talked about each other’s life after childhood.
    A few days later, both of them were dragged into confusions because In the 1800s, many rebellions and affairs for the revolution happened in Russia. So, one tried to lose weight and the other tried to put on weight because of each role for battles.
    Finally,both of them realized that a person with a well-balanced physique is good, not too slender, and not too fat and succeeded in training their bodies and played active parts.

  10. Ayano sato (T4) says:

    I will answer Q3.
    I guess from the title “fat and thin”, one of them succeeds in something and becomes rich, but the other fails in his life and becomes poor. I think that they know about real world and they have different ideas from ones in their childhood.

  11. Shintaro Murakami(T4) says:

    I choose question3.
    I guess they have changed very much since their childhood .One person might be very fat he has changed completely and he looks like another person and on the other hand other may be very thin . He was not such a thin guy in his youth. What was happened to them? I’m looking forward to next lesson.

  12. Akira Katagata(T4) says:

    I choose the question2.
    At first, one of them probably says to the other “How are you?” . And then,they talk about their bodies because their shape is very different from one in their childhood.

  13. Wataru Kaneto (T4) says:

    Each of the two friends will be surprised at first that they look quite different from what they used to be: one of them becomes fat while the other thin (slender?). Also, there will be a big difference in their statuses because I think “fat” is a symbol of riches and “thin” implies poverty. So, because of the gap they will break up, but they’ll revive their friendship in the end, I hope.

  14. Natsuko Nishida says:

    I choose the question1.
    I think they don’t recognize each other because they haven’t see for long time. Their appearance become diffearent from in thier childfood.However , they gradually remember each other.

  15. Watanabe Akihiro (T4) says:

    I choose Q1.
    Firstly they couldn’t recognize each other because they didn’t meet for a long time.

  16. Kentaro Ando says:

    I choose the question 2. I think they talked about their childhood and they laughed at each other because their appearances were different from their childhood. I am looking forward to next lesson.

  17. Ayaka Sakuma says:

    I will answer Q1.
    Considering from title, I think two friends cannot recognize each other because they look different from what they used to be.
    Maybe one is fatter and another is thinner than before so they will be surprised by the change.

  18. Risako Ohata says:

    I will answer the question 2.
    I think they will talk about each life, for example, what they experienced during many years of not seeing each other, and what job they do now.

  19. Suzuki Kana(T4) says:

    I will answer the question 3.
    I think that they each have changed from what they had been to the opposite figure. Guessing from the title “Fat and Thin,” one of them is fat and another is thin. In childhood, however, fat one might be thin and thin might be fat. The reason why I guess so is not clear, just my intuition.

  20. Shizuka Abe(T4) says:

    I choose the question 1.
    I imagine that this story hava two characters, the fat man and the thin man. At first, the fat man notice the thin man and recognized that the thin man is his old friend. Then, he speak to the thin man. The thin man can’t recognize the fat man before being told the fat man’s name. After recognizing each other, they are excited by meeting again unexpectedly.

  21. Akane Okumura says:

    I choose question 1.
    I think they are surprised at each other’s appearances which have completely changed in many years they don’t see. Then they are happy and talk a lot about themselves.

  22. Wataru Yamamura(T4) says:

    I’ll answer Q2.
    They probably talked about a lot of things that they had experienced while they had’nt met.
    I think the title “fat and thin” does not mean not only their appearance but also show their circumstances.

  23. Tanaka Kotaro(T4) says:

    I will answer Q2.
    They will talk about their memory of childhood. I think they have different memorys of one happning,so they will get into a quarrel to decide which is true.

  24. Nanami Ozaki (T4) says:

    I’ll answer Q1.
    I think they will be surprised each other because their appearance changed a lot. They didn’t have good relationships in their younger days, so they will be troubled what to talk about.

  25. Shota Nihi(T4) says:

    I will ansew Q2.
    I think they can’t recoginize each other at first,because of a long time changing.So,they may talk
    about their appearence,for example hair style,fashon,or how they speak.

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