Read the short story Revenge is Sweet by C. Fremlin and do the following tasks.

I. Expand your vocabulary.

1. Insert the missing prepositions. Recall the situations from the story where these word combinations were used. Make up your own examples with the same word combinations.
  1. to be hurtful smb;
  2. to black smth ;
  3. to pierce to smth;
  4. to get around getting married;
  5. to go along smth;
  6. to be so much of a strain smb’s sweet and generous nature;
  7. to go with;
  8. to lay one’s hands smth;
  9. to transform a nightmare;
  10. to bring perfection;
  11. to be incoherent anxiety and panic;

2. Make up word combinations as they were used in the story.
  • hasty
  • nonsense
  • miserable
  • desperate
  • topmost
  • strategic
  • mundane
  • generous
  • intelligible
  • old-age
  • branches
  • problem
  • nature
  • scrawls
  • detail
  • questions
  • questions
  • points
  • need
  • notes

3. Insert the words from the box into the sentences below.
address foreboding details impact wreck deep-seated handiwork affair outline objections
  1. Their four-year love was at an end.
  2. You shouldn’t torture yourself over the .
  3. The main of the story goes like that.
  4. She took in the mode of .
  5. The likely of the letter was calculated.
  6. It was his need for personal freedom.
  7. Felicity contemplated her and pictured its consequences.
  8. It wasn’t long before the to the plan began forcing themselves into her consciousness.
  9. She decided to go along and the place.
  10. Felicity was filled with .
4. What is the meaning of the prefix re- in the following case: refold the letter? Explain the meaning of the following words and make up your own examples using them.

Redo, redecorate, refill, reconsider, reimburse, rephrase, reabsorb, reactivate, reassure, refresh, refuel, refund, revitalize.

5. The following verbs are examples of “violent English”: bash up, splash, smash, tear, ruin. In what context were they used in the story? Add more “violent” words to your list and make up your own examples using them.

To rack one’s brains, to demolish the opposition’s points, to break smb’s concentration, to puncture smb’s assumptions, to hammer away at smb’s weaknesses, to assault smb’s integrity, to twist smb’s arms, to kill smb with kindness.

From Crazy English by R. Lederer

II. Check your understanding of the story.

1. Choose the answer as appropriate.
1. Gerald’s letter was exactly like the ones he used to write: just hasty, loving scrawls.

2. Even before Felicity picked up the envelope from the mat, she was already filled with foreboding.

3. It was a crude and straightforward letter.

4. Murder was exactly the sort of thing that a person like Felicity could bring herself to do.

5. One of the reasons why Gerald did not want to move in together with Felicity was his brand-new fitted carpets.

6. Tricia’s a bit like Felicity.

7. For her perfect revenge plan Felicity needed a hammer, an axe and other tools of destruction.

8. Felicity denied the fact that she had received a letter from Gerald.

2. Which of the following ways to begin the letter did Gerald choose and why? Explain what the other option would have meant and why Gerald discarded it.

My dear Felicity. My sweet, darlingest Flicky.

3. In what situations did the characters of the story use the following words? In what situation would you use them?

After all, nothing lasts forever.
To be handled with care.
Let’s all be friends.
The perfect revenge!
Darling, I can hardly wait.
Double-dealing bastard!
It worked like a dream.

4. Gerald’s letter consisted of three main parts. Following the outline below, recall the details of each part. What exactly did Gerald write in it? What effect was each part supposed to make? Did Gerald succeed in achieving the desired effect?

Part 1 contained sentences like: I just hate to be writing this letter… I can’t bear the thought that I may be causing you pain…
Part 2 brought in a bit of sentiment: I will never forget the wonderful times you and I have had together…
Part 3 included sentences like:I do hope this letter isn’t going to upset you too much…

5. Gerald had probably penned several drafts of the letter and discarded all of them before he wrote, as he thought, the perfect breakup letter. Rewrite Gerald’s letter to make it sound: a) too brusque; b) too sentimental; c) too apologetic.
6. Role play. Imagine the situation where Felicity decides to break up with Gerald. Speak to Gerald on Felicity’s behalf. Did you choose to speak in a cruel, straightforward, sentimental, friendly, indifferent etc. manner? Explain why.
7. Role play. You are Felicity’s friend. She shared her plans about perfect revenge with you. Give her tips on how to improve her plan.
8. Roleplay the “terrible quarrel” between Gerald and Tricia.

III. Follow up activities.

1. Imagine that you have decided to break up with your beloved and make it through a letter. Write two variants of the letter – a short informal note and a serious one. How do you think would the addressee react to the letter in either case?
2. You are a journalist writing for an interior design magazine. You are going to write a short article about a typical dwelling of contemporary couples. Imagine that Gerald and Felicity have decided to move in together and write about their flat. Use the following word combinations.

Look at the beautiful view;
the green canopy of leaves;
to admire the expanse of greenery; to fill the whole flat with colour and sweetness;
to do something helpful in the kitchen;
brand-new fitted carpets;
happy homecoming;
fresh and dewy flowers;
to arrange the flowers in shining vases;
polished wooden surfaces;
to bring to perfection;
to attach loving little notes.