Giant is the English word commonly used for the monsters of human appearance but huge size and strength in common in the mythology and legends of many different cultures. The legends about giants are widespread all over the world. Besides legends you can meet them in films, literature, on pictures, in modern computer games. Giants are tall, huge, awesome, angry and even maybe furious but so impressive.They attract people’s attention whatever they are. And it’s impossible to ignore them. There are few research works about giants. Plakhova O. A. has several works where she contemplates the images of English giants. That’s why the research work “Giants in English and Udmurt cultures: from ancient times till nowadays” was decided to be written. The aims are to research old and modern giants in English and Udmurt cultures, analyse their differences and common features and also explain the meaning of the world combination “modern giants”, elicit our pupils’ “giant literacy”. The steps of achieving this aim: to learn the English and Udmurt giants’ names; to find their usage in literature and cinematography; to contemplate modern art according to giants. In this research work different giants are contemplated (English, Greek, American, and Udmurt). All giants presented in our work are huge, powerful, muscular, and heroic. All of them are the brightest characters in mythology, fiction, animation, and cinematography. They are very different. They symbolize different items. More than that, there are giants in our society nowadays. Body-builders, monsters from fantasy world are considered to be modern giants.
Giants are not accidental. Every one of them has his own function. For example, English giants are shown very warlike. People always had to fight with them. And in most cases they won giants because giants personified evil. As it is accepted evil must be punished. But in “Gulliver’s Travels” giants are shown differently. The country of the giants is governed by common sense, reason and justice, which is not the case in England. Ancient Greek giants had influence with English giants, of course. The most famous of them are Cyclopes. They were considered to be excellent builders of high walls in several ancient cities.
Americans are a young nation. Their culture isn’t as rich as European one. But despite of this fact they have the giants of their own. One of them is Shrek who is known now all over the world. On the one hand, he looks ugly and terrifying, but on the other hand he is very kind and warm-hearted. He calls everyone to be attentive to each other. People usually judge us by our appearances. But remember that appearances can be deceptive. And you mustn’t judge people by the first impression.
The Udmurt land is rich in traditions, legends and different tales as well as Great Britain and Greece. But there are fewer giants in Udmurt culture comparing with English ones. According to legends giants appeared on Udmurt land long before people. They were half-people and half-mountains. Udmurt giants are shown very strong and powerful but not smart. The force that is used indiscriminately is useless and harmful. “He has muscles for brains” proverb is character for them.
Body-builders are considered to be “modern giants”. Most of them are really very high, muscular and terrifying like mythological giants. In May 2013 there were international contests of body-builders in Izhevsk. The competition was called “Gran-prie Alangasar”. May 15 became the day when English, American and Udmurt giants “met”. Now they are united. And the interest to body-builders and “giants” in general doesn’t become less.
To sum up all the facts about different giants we can make the following conclusion: all giants have either differences or similarities.While writing this research work we have questioned 22 pupils from 7th and 8th forms in our school. Only 4 of them don’t know anything about giants. Most of them have seen the films about giants. Only one person heard about Udmurt giants. From 22 people 8 pupils said that giants are negative characters, 3 of them said that giants are positive characters, 8 pupils think that they are neither negative nor positive, 2 students didn’t answer this question at all.pupils showed good “modern giant literacy” and they would like to improve their knowledge in this sphere, especially they wanted to know about Udmurt and English giants.
Drawing enormous pictures, making huge monuments, writing exciting books, shooting marvelous films, by doing all that people make each other believe that giants exist and make our life brighter. They make us think about many things.