Discussion club: A message for all humanity by Charlie Chaplin

An inspirational speech of Charlie Chaplin from «The Great Dictator» movie. We suggest doing some vocabulary work and discussing the questions that the speech poses.

Exercise 1: before you watch, study the words below:

Conquer [ˈkɒŋkə] — завоёвывать

The Spanish conquered the New World in the 16th century.

Despise [dɪˈspaɪz] — презирать

She despised him for the way he treated her sister.

Provide for [prəˈvaɪd fɔː] — обеспечивать средствами к существованию

He has a wife and two young children to provide for.

Greed [ɡriːd] — жадность, алчность

I don’t know why I’m eating more — it’s not hunger, it’s just greed!

Poison [ˈpɔɪzn̩] — отравлять

The long dispute has poisoned relations between the two countries.

Goose-step [ˈɡuːs step] — маршировать, высоко поднимая ноги

Hitler’s soldiers used to goose-step.

Misery [ˈmɪzəri] — страдание, горе

Ten years of marriage to him have made her life a misery.

Bloodshed [ˈblʌdʃed] — кровопролитие

The army was brought in to try to prevent further bloodshed.

Abundance [əˈbʌndəns] — изобилие

There was an abundance of food at the wedding.

In want [ɪn wɒnt] — в нужде

He appeared tired and in want of a shave.

Victim [ˈvɪktɪm] — жертва

The new drug might help save the lives of cancer victims.

Despairing [dɪˈspeərɪŋ] — в отчаянии, отчаявшийся

That is certainly the basis on which it was sold to despairing Liberal Democrats.  

Torture [ˈtɔːtʃə] — мучить

It is claimed that the officers tortured a man to death in a city police station.

Imprison [ɪmˈprɪzn̩] — заключать в тюрьму, лишить свободы

He was imprisoned in 1965 for attempted murder.

Perish [ˈperɪʃ] — погибать, пропадать

Three hundred people perished in the earthquake.

Violent [ˈvaɪələnt] — жестокий

He shouts a lot but I don’t think he’s ever been physically violent towards her.

Enslave [ɪnˈsleɪv] — обратить в рабство, поработить

The early settlers enslaved or killed much of the native population.

Regiment [ˈredʒɪmənt] — зд. распределять, регламентировать, вводить строгую дисциплину

We can’t be too spontaneous, it has to be regimented because of our schedules.  

Drill [drɪl] — зд. муштровать

He drilled the children in what they should say.

Treat like cattle [triːt ˈlaɪk ˈkætl̩] — относиться, как к скоту

They treat Hispanics like cattle, like less than human.

Cannon fodder [ˈkænən ˈfɒdə] — пушечное мясо

The team that came as cannon fodder had just detonated Italy’s World Cup hopes.

Brute [bruːt] — жестокий человек, дикарь

Take your hands off me, you brute!

Fulfill a promise [fʊlˈfɪl ə ˈprɒmɪs] — выполнить обещание

Thompson, 49, came back for his degree to fulfill a promise to his mother, Ida.

Do away with [də əˈweɪ wɪð] — покончить с

These ridiculous rules and regulations should have been done away with years ago.

Now write your own sentences with the words above.

Exercise 2: a bit more of vocabulary. Make nouns from these verbs and adjectives:

good —

happy —

busy —

clever —

know —

kind —

gentle —

invent —

unite —

bitter —

secure —

intolerate —

Now return to the words from exercise 1 and study them with our Quizlet set.

Exercise 3: now watch the video and answer the questions:

What does Charlie Chaplin’s hero encourage people to?

How does he describe the situation in the world?

Do you think it’s possible for the world to live accroding to the ideals from the speech?

What do you think the words «the kingdom of God is within man» mean?

Exercise 4: read the text of the speech, watch the video again and fill in the gaps:

I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or _______ anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and _______ one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can _______ everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has _______ men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has _______ us into _______ and _______. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives _______ has left us _______. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness — hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be _______ and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say «Do not despair.» The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to _______, men who despise you and _______ you; who _______ your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who _______ you, diet you, _______, use you as _______! Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written «the kingdom of God is within man», not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not _______. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To _______ national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!


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