FRIENDSHIP IN THE MODERN WORLD
People often say that our modern way of life, with its individualism and fast speed,
has made the world a lonely place. So many of us live and work surrounded by people,
but it is hard to find true friendship. The faces we see each day are like pictures in
a gallery; the talk that we hear is just sound. Perhaps this is why the websites like
'Facebook', 'Contacts' are so popular these days. They allow people to communicate and
even become close without meeting up. It seems that many people's idea of friendship
has changed nowadays. But what is friendship?
Aristotle was the first western philosopher to discuss friendship in a detailed
way. He said that people who chose to live alone were either like animals or gods. He
probably meant that it is natural to want friends. Certainly, people who choose to live
without friends are frequently regarded as having problems. We either pity them or
else we view them as strange.
Aristotle also said that there are three different categories of friends. In the first
category we are friends with people because of some advantage that the friendship
gives us. In other words, the friendship has a practical value. Friends in this category
would include bosses at work or some of our colleagues.
Aristotle's second category of friendship is based on the idea of pleasure. Friends in
this category enjoy doing things together and they have a lot of interests in common.
The third category of friendship is the highest form of friendship. In this category,
people are friends on a deeper level. The friendship does not depend on anything other
than the friends themselves. The relationship is so close that it seems that one soul
belongs to two bodies, Aristotle said.
Aristotle also said that close friends must have eaten salt together. In other
words, they must have shared some of life's good and bad experiences. Most
people today would probably agree that these are a fundamental part of true
2. Read aloud the extract which says about the changes in the modern society.
3. What do people think about people who have no friends?
4. What does Aristotle say about the three types of friendship?
1. Read the magazine article and say in 2—3 sentences what it is about.
Agatha Christie wrote some of the best detective stories in English. Her own life
also contains a mystery that has only recently been solved.
The story began like this. At 9.45 pm on December 3rd 1926, Agatha Christie left
her home in the south of England, saying that she was going out for a drive in her car.
The next morning, her car was found quite far away crashed. The front end of the car
was in some bushes, the headlights2 were still on. Inside, there were only some women's
clothes and Agatha Christie's driving license.
The detective in charge of the case, William Kenward immediately organized a big
search of the area. Policemen came from different parts of the country to help in the
search, even some famous detective writers were asked to help.
Archie Christie, Agatha's husband, told everyone that his wife was suffering from
amnesia3. However, soon the police discovered that the marriage between Archie and
Agatha Christie was not a happy one, and that Archie and Agatha were having problems.
But he could not admit that his marriage was in trouble because people might have
thought that he had had something to do with her disappearance.
At this point, the police received a letter. In the letter, Agatha told Archie's brother
that she was going away to rest in Yorkshire, Harrogate. The police now went there and
looked for her at all the hotels. But they did not find Agatha Christie as she had not
checked in using her real name. Instead, she had introduced herself as Neele, a visitor
from South Africa.
The situation was very upsetting for the police as they didn't find her. Instead, the
musicians in the dance band at the hotel recognized her.
It was not an easy story to believe and most people did not in fact believe it. But
all what we know now is that she did not do it for publicity. She did it as she was going
through an unhappy time with her husband. Later, in fact, their marriage broke up and
they got divorced. However, her disappearance did make Agatha Christie the most
popular crime writer in the country.
2. How did the story begin? Read aloud the extract which says about it.
3. What are the details of the police investigation?
4. Why did Agatha Christie disappear according to the article?