Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

“Fat and Thin”

on May 20, 2015

In the next class, 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



24 responses to ““Fat and Thin”

  1. Takuto Kase(T4) says:

    I choose Question No2.
    I think that the two first talk to each other about what they have been doing up to now, because they meet each other for the first time in years and so they want to know each
    other more.

  2. Emi Tanaka(T4) says:

    I choose question 1.
    They can recognize each other because they find the character of their figure, one of which is fat, and the other is thin. Then, on seeing the old friend unexpectedly, they rush up to and embrace each other.

  3. Mika Osada(T4) says:

    Hi, Matt. I choose question 1.
    On seeing, they recognize each other and cry each name. Both of them are surprised by unexpectally meeting. They hug and kiss each other and start to talk with smiling face.

  4. T4 Yuki Yokomizo says:

    Hi, Matt! I’m Yuki.
    I’ll guess question 4.
    I think they can’t stop talking with each other, so they start to travel together by train.
    One fat person eats a lot as befor, and the other thin person also doesn’t eat too much.
    It is true that the world has changed, but these two friends’ looks and characters are the same as their childhood. Maybe, they would spend a lot of fun time.
    Thank you.

  5. Yuka Hattori(T4) says:

    I will answer question 3.
    I think that one of them was fat and the other was thin in their childhood because the title of the story is “Fat and Thin”. Then,when they meet after long times, both of them are surprised by seeing a change of their shape. “Thin” was became fat and “Fat” was became thin! I guess that when they were little, they were on good terms with each other and always do everything by the two, so they were called “Fat and Thin”.

  6. Ling(T4) says:

    I will answer question 2.
    When two friends from childhood met with each other they would talk about their lives.For example,maybe they will talk about the job and where they live now or family members.Because they must want to know about something changed since they took part from each other.

  7. Rika Morofuji(T4) says:

    I would like to answer question 3.

    It is usual for human to change its appearance from childhood to adult. And guessing from the title, I think their shape was completely changed. They will be surprised to see each other, but their characters do not change. And they will talk as same as in their childhood.

  8. Yu Kobashi(T4) says:

    I choose question 3.
    I think the fat man was thin like the thin friend in his childhood..On the other hand , the thin man was.fat like the fat friend in the past .I’m looking forward to reading the story. See you.

  9. Ayumi Nakahara(T4) says:

    I choose question 2.

    I think that they will talk about what they experienced since they had parted from each other. This is because if I meet my friend for the first time in few years, maybe I will talk to him or her about my school life which he or her doesn’t know about. This topic makes us fun!

  10. Miki Kashiwa says:

    I choose question 2.

    Actually,two weeks ago, I met my friend for the first time in 6 years !
    We were really moved… and talked about each other’s school,daily life,and so on.
    So, they will also talk about each other’s present life like us.

  11. Rio Sato(T4) says:

    I choose question 2.
    I think they will talk about two things.
    First, they will ask why are you here now each other. If I happen to meet such friends, I may be surprised and ask that.
    Secondly, they will talk how was the days of not seeing each other. I think they want to know a lot of news which they do not know.

  12. Minami Shimoura (T4) says:

    I’ll answer the question 2. I think they talk about their styles, judging from the title, I think one of the characters is fat, and the other is thin. I guess the story, the two people’s looks change dramatically during the time they haven’t met for a long time.

  13. Annie(T4) says:

    Hi, Matt! I’m Annie in T4.
    I’d like to answer question 3. According to the title” Fat and Thin”, I think their appearance may have changed a lot. Perhaps one of them was fat before but becomes thin now, and the other was thin before but becomes fat now. Besides appearance, their lifestyle may also have changed. Lifestyle has a direct effect on weight. If one’s figure has changed, his or her way of living must have changed as well.
    That’s all, thank you.

  14. Chikako Tsuge(T4) says:

    I choose question 1. Because the meeting is after many years of not seeing each other, they don’t recognize each other at first, but they both pay attention to each other, thinking like I have me this person…? And finally they remember who they are, then talk to each other with smile.

  15. Keisuke Koyama (Chankei) says:

    I chose quetion 4.
    Have you read “After 20 Years”, written by O Henry? This is a story that two men who have promised to meet each other twenty years ago. The men could do, but at last, we readers can see an amazing secret ! (If you have not read the story and want to know the secret, please read it !) I am expecting to this story’s surprising ending like that. So, I hope unexpected things will happen to them.For example, each of them are a solder of the armies, that are in opposition.
    Thank you.

  16. reina inoue T4 says:

    I’ll answer question 3.
    They changed s lot so they could not recognize each other. One of them is now rich and important man, the other one is poor farmer. They were good friends but now they have differnt way of think… Time chenged not only their looks but their minds.

  17. Ichiyo Shimizu says:

    I’m answering question 3. I think one of two friends was very thin when he was small and the other one was very fat. However, after many years, when they unexpectedly met on the train, they found that they were contrary. The thin boy became fat and the fat boy became thin.

  18. Aiko Narasaki (T4) says:

    I choose question 3.
    From the title, I can imagine that the two characters are fat and thin.
    In their childhood, one of them was fat and the other was thin. Now they are not children anymore, and the fat boy becomes a thin man, the thin boy becomes a fat man.

    I’m studying Russian so I’m really looking forward to the next lesson.

  19. Atsushi Igarashi(T4) says:

    I choose Q.1.
    I think it’s not easy to talk to friends who have not seen each other, because their appearances must change. They natunally stare at their appearances, so they talk about their looks at first, like ” you’ve become fat or thin.”

  20. Natsumi Mizumura(T4) says:

    I choose question 3. I think one of them became fat and the other man became thin since their childhood.Because I guess from the title “Fat and Thin” whose story we will listen and read. I think people which are friends remember each other how long term have passed.

  21. Keishu Joi (T4) says:

    I choose Question 2.
    I predict that they talk about their memories in childhood.
    If I meet my old friends, I will be really happy and talk about our memorial things, such as our school teacher.
    That must be really good time.

    I think, however, there will be something happend in their talking.
    I’m looking forward to it.


  22. Akari Yamada (T4) says:

    I choose Question1.
    I guess that they can’t recognize an old friend each other at first because many years have passed. However, as they talk together, they recall an incident from the past and realize that they are friend.
    I like to read a story so I can’t wait to read it.

  23. Kenji (T4) says:

    Hi Matt.
    I’m Kenji.

    I’d like to answer question 5.
    Since we are going to read and listen to a story about the time when Aleksandr II reign in Russia, we will hear the terms about marxism and socialism. I don’t know the difference between them. Anyway I find “Fat and Thin” meanings “rich and poor” or “broujova an proretaliarte”.

    I’m looking forward to the next because yesterday I became to know there are a lot of books about marxism in the library of TUFS and interested in them.


  24. Ayaka Kishino says:

    I choose question 1.
    I have experienced similar situations several times, so I guess with my own experience. I think they are surprised at the unexpectedly meeting,but they will not show their feelings directly becouse they are not sure how close they were in their childfood.

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