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The Flying Machine

Discussion & analysis

Discussion
At the beginning of the story, the servant
runs up to the Emperor, crying: A
miracle!. The Emperor agrees and gives a
list of things he considers miraculous. What
are these things and what do they tell us
about the Emperor?
Two major contrasts emerge from the story:
natural vs. man-made world and ancient vs.
modern. Find examples (e.g. a new dragon
in a land of ancient dragons) and consider
the importance of these two sets of
contrasts for the meaning of the story.

Discussion
When the flying man alights and comes
before the Emperor, the Emperor insists
on asking What have you done?. What
is the meaning of his repeated question?
The Emperor glanced in all directions
while tha flying man soared down the
morning wind. He saw a farmer, early in
his fields, watching the sky, and he
noted where the farmer stood. Why
does the Emperor make sure to note
where the farmer stood?

Discussion
Here is the man who has made a certain
machine ... And yet asks us what he has
created. He does not know himself. It is only
necessary that he create, without knowing why
he has done so, or what this thing will do.
If you asked me what I have done here, I could
answer you well. I have made birds sing, I have
made forests murmur, I have set people to
walking in this woodland, enjoying the leaves
and shadows and songs. That is what I have
done.
What is the difference between the flying
machine and the Emperors miniature metal
garden? Why does the Emperor consider the
former dangerous and the latter beautiful?

Discussion
The word creation is mentioned several times
with reference to the flying machine. The word
has both biblical and artistic connotations.
Consider the significance this might bear within
the context of the story.
I fear another man ... Some other man who,
seeing you, will build a thing of bright papers
and bamboo like this. But the other man will
have an evil face and an evil heart, and the
beauty will be gone. It is this man I fear.
Provide some reasons and logical explanations
for the Emperors fear. Would you call the
Emperor a tyrant, a fool or a prophet?

Analysis
WORD

SYNONYM

WORD

SYNONY
M

WORD

SYNONY
M

Ready
(verb)

Prepare

Dominion Realm,
sovereign
ty

Miracle

Wonder

Thoughtf Meditative, Meadow


ul
pensive,
contemplati
ve

Plain,
glade,
valley,
vale

Soar

Fly

Ancient

Old,
obsolete,
antiquated,
oldfashioned

Splendid

Brilliant,
radiant,
magnifice
nt

Preserve

Maintain

Gather

Collect

Note
(verb)

Observe,
notice,
record

Alight
(verb)

Land

Analysis
WORD

SYNONY
M

WORD

SYNONY
M

WORD

SYNONY
M

Leap

Jump

Courage

Bravery

Seize

Grab,
take hold
of

Bewildere
d

Puzzled,
Serene
confused,
befuddled

Calm,
unruffled,
peaceful

Delicate

Frail,
fragile,
subtle,
sensitive

Forest

Wood,
grove

Impossibl
y

Incredibly, Plead
unbelieva
bly

Beg

Whirl

Revolve,
rotate,
spin,
wheel

Retreat

Withdraw

Comfort,
consolatio
n

Motion

Movemen

Lope

Run (with

Solace

-ING Forms
GERUNDS
Used instead of nouns, after
prepositions:
without knowing why he has done
so
I have set people to walking in this
woodland, enjoying the leaves and
shadows and songs

-ING Forms
PRESENT PARTICIPLE
After verbs of senses: He saw the town beginning
to waken; He saw a farmer watching the sky
Instead of dependent clauses: said the servant,
smiling at the sky, waving; He came proudly to the
Emperor, bowing before the old man; pleaded the
flier, on his knees, the tears pouring down his face;
tiny people ran in and out of sun and shadow,
fanning themselves with miniature fans; Some
other man who, seeing you, will build a thing of bright
papers and bamboo like this
Instead of adjectives: flying man; his shouting
mouth; the smell of grass was refreshing; all the
sleeping houses and gardens
Instead of adverbs: The executioner came
running
For tense formation: he was soaring all about

-ING Forms
After verbs of senses:
Verbs of senses: see, watch; hear, listen; etc.
Verb of sense + object + present participle OR bare
infinitive
He saw the town beginning to waken: saw = verb
of sense; the town = object; beginning = present
participle
He saw the town waken: waken = bare infinitive
Usage and difference: Present participle implies
that only part of the action is/was witnessed. Bare
infinitive implies that the whole action was
witnessed.
Example: I heard Mary playing the flute. (only for
some time). I heard Mary play the flute. (from the
moment she began until she finished).

-ING Forms
Instead of dependent clauses possible rephrasing:
said the servant, smiling at the sky, waving = said the
servant while he smiled at the sky and waved (TIME)
He came proudly to the Emperor, bowing before the old
man = he came proudly to the Emeror and bowed before
the old man (INDEPENDENT CLAUSE)
pleaded the flier, on his knees, the tears pouring down
his face = pleaded the flier, on his knees, as the tears
poured down his face (MANNER)
tiny people ran in and out of sun and shadow, fanning
themselves with miniature fans = tiny people, who
fanned themselves with miniature fans, ran in and out of
sun and shadow (RELATIVE)
Some other man who, seeing you, will build a thing of
bright papers and bamboo like this = some other man
who, after/because he sees you, will build a thing of
bright papers and bamboo like this (TIME/CAUSE)

Word Formation
Noun

Adjective

Adverb

Verb

Readiness

Ready

Readily

Ready

Peace

Peaceful

Peacefully

Sadness

Sad

Sadly

Miracle

Miraculous

Miraculously

Sureness

Sure

Surely

Ensure

Dream(er)

Dreamy

Dreamily

Dream

Preparation

Preparatory

Thought

Thoughtful

Thoughtfully

Splendour

Splendid

Splendidly

Majesty

Majestic

Majestically

Wonder

Wonderful

Wonderfully

Wonder

Protection

Protective

Protectively

Protect

Sadden

Prepare
Think

Word Formation
Noun

Adjective

Adverb

Verb

Preservation,
preserver

Preservable

Preservably

Preserve

Pride

Proud

Proudly

Clumsiness

Clumsy

Clumsily

Demand

Demanding

Demandingly

Demand

Beauty

Beautiful

Beautifully

Beautify

Invention, inventor

Inventive

Inventively

Invent

Courage

Courageous

Courageously

Encourage

Execution,
executioner

Executive

Execute

Bewilderment

Bewildered/i
ng

Bewilder

Certainty

Certain

Certainly

Creation, creator

Creative

Creatively

Create

Word Formation
Noun

Adjective

Adverb

Serenity

Serene

Serenely

Delicacy

Delicate

Delicately

Similarity

Similar

Similarly

Enjoyment

(Un)Enjoyable

Distance

Distant

Fear

Afraid,
frightened

Obedience

Obedient

Consideration

Considerative
considerable

Verb

Enjoy
Distantly

Distance
Frighten

Obediently

Obey
Consider