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Questions tagged [meaning]

For questions regarding the meaning of certain terms of phrases used in a work of literature. If your question concerns the symbolic significance of something whose surface meaning is clear, use the [symbolism] tag instead.

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What's the meaning of the line “9 Parts of Desire” in this song?

There is a partially Hindi (there is only a couple of lines in Hindi; rest is in English) song titled as "9 Parts of Desire". Here is the YouTube link to that song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
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Explanation of a line from the poem “I do not love you ” by Pablo Neruda

I loved her like certain dark things are to be loved, in between shadow and soul. Can someone explain this? What dark things are being talked about? Full text in Spanish and English Alternate ...
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Equestrian statues and wooden logs, what's the connection?

Here's a quote from Tomas de Quincey's "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater": Turkish opium-eaters, it seems, are absurd enough to sit, like so many equestrian statues, on logs of wood as stupid ...
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What did Pope intend to say by “Whatever is, is right”?

Source: The Well-Educated Mind (2 edn 2016), p. 86 Middle.   Related to this is one final question: What is fiction meant to do? Why are you reading a novel at all? Are you expecting to find ...
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What does this sentence about a cliché bouncing back like a boomerang mean?

What does this sentence mean in chapter 01 of Peel My Love Like an Onion by Ana Castillo? But you must be really in love for the cliché to bounce back like a boomerang smack dab between the eyes ...
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64 views

A real meaning of a Bramarbas or a Holofernes?

Before long the madness of intoxication broke out; they attacked one another with fists and knives, and it looked as if they would do murder. Suddenly the Saltmaster’s son, who had stood looking on, ...
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247 views

Meaning of some phrases and lines in “Quality” by John Galsworthy

I am reading "Quality" by John Galsworthy and there are some phrases and lines which I could not grasp. I thought that this site would be the perfect place to ask this question. Below are some lines ...
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59 views

Had fasting anything to do with golden trout in Middle Ages?

When I read a short story by Ambrose Bierce, 'Monk and the Hangman's daughter', I found a strange expression as below: At length we reached the bank of a stream whose silvery waters presented a ...
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193 views

What does “pull down the blinds” mean in Yeats's poem “The Mountain Tomb”?

Pour wine and dance, if manhood still have pride, Bring roses, if the rose be yet in bloom; The cataract smokes on the mountain side. Our Father Rosicross is in his tomb. Pull down ...
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450 views

What does “our identity with this country” mean here?

Reading The Great Gatsby, I encountered these sentences and came to be curious as to what "our identity with this country" means in this context: When we pulled out into the winter night and the ...
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157 views

What does “the protecting canvas unrolled from Gatsby’s grave” mean?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and came to be curious as to what "the protecting canvas unrolled from Gatsby’s grave" means in the following sentences: As we started through the gate into the ...
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538 views

What does “The none too savory ramifications by which” mean here?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and came to be curious as to the meaning of "ramifications" and "by which" in these sentences: Cody was fifty years old then, a product of the Nevada silver fields, ...
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What does “the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty” mean here?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and came to be curious as to what "the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty" means in the following sentences: His parents were shiftless and ...
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2answers
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What does “that most limited of all specialists” mean here?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and encountered these sentences: There was so much to read, for one thing, and so much fine health to be pulled down out of the young breath-giving air. I bought a ...
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Does D'Hubert rape the maid at the beginning of Joseph Conrad's 'The Duel'?

Towards the beginning of Joseph Conrad's novella The Duel, the character D'Hubert visits the house of the hussar Feraud, where he tries to obtain information about Feraud's whereabouts from his maid. ...
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What does this passage about the atmosphere blowing in Cyprus and the Galilee mean in “Jude the Obscure” mean?

When Jude is in the church, when he was following Sue, we see this line: ...was like the dew of the Hermon, and he remained throughout the service in a sustaining atmosphere of ecstasy. Though he ...
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What does “the facts about themselves” mean here?

Could you please let me know what "the facts about themselves" means in the following sentences: I was in no great pains to keep in touch with England. I followed local advice for my itinerary ...
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841 views

What exactly are masques and bergamasques?

In Verlaines's "Claire de Lune" he speaks of: Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques They play musical instruments, so one assumes them to be musical artists, but what exactly are masques and ...
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487 views

What does “snapped out, made accidental, isolated, like ghosts” mean here?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and encountered these sentences: The voice begged again to go. "Please, Tom! I can't stand this any more." Her frightened eyes told that whatever intentions, ...
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1answer
137 views

What does “if we had room for him” mean here?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and would like to know what "if we had room for him" means in the following sentences: "Biloxi?" He concentrated with an effort. "I didn't know him. He was a friend ...
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1answer
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How did the oil tank look like in Wilson's garage?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and came to wonder how the oil tank looked like in Wilson's garage. With an effort Wilson left the shade and support of the doorway and, breathing hard, unscrewed ...
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313 views

What was “standard shift” in the 1920's?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and encountered these sentences: "Shall we all go in my car?" suggested Gatsby. He felt the hot, green leather of the seat. "I ought to have left it in the shade." ...
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1answer
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What does “the master's body” mean here?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and finding it difficult to grasp what "The master's body" means in the following sentences: ...Through the hall of Buchanans' house blew a faint wind, carrying the ...
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395 views

What does “an affront to the common store of life” mean here?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and would very much like to know what "an affront to the common store of life" means in the following sentences: He set down the receiver and came toward us, ...
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2answers
587 views

What does “which comes at the two changes of the year” mean here?

I am reading The Great Gatsby, and finding it difficult to grasp the meaning of "which comes at the two changes of the year" in the following sentences: ...One autumn night, five years before, they ...
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1answer
37 views

What does “made notes for a little thesis” mean here?

I would like to know what "made notes for a little thesis" means in the following sentences: Collins made notes for a little thesis pointing out the inferiority of the original mosaics to their ...
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What does “chafed” mean here?

I would like to know what "chafed" means in the following sentences: "I like her," said Daisy, "I think she's lovely." But the rest offended her—and inarguably, because it wasn't a gesture but ...
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What is “machullah” in Stanley G. Weinbaum's short story Graph?

Nothing specific can be said from the context and only one thing came up in my google search. I know it's a name, and it's probably Arabic in origin. But it just doesn't add up to the story really. It'...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of Flavie's final statement?

At the end of Nantas (1878) by Émile Zola, the last words of the short story are Flavie's final statement: ENGLISH: "I love you!", she cried to his neck, sobbing, tearing this confession from ...
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1answer
37 views

Need an interpretation for a rather slang quotation from 'Elia Kazan's The Arrangement'

Need an interpretation for a quotation from 'Elia Kazan's The Arrangement' which is 'I was going to pull that big damp stone off from over him and let the light of day hit him.' Here is the context ...
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In The Wall Jumper, what is the meaning of the very last line about walls still standing?

In The Wall Jumper by Peter Schneider the very last line is: The city outside, with its fire walls, garden walls, border walls - those walls will still be standing when no one is left to move ...
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Putting 'gently' out of pain

I'm reading "A Roadside Stand" by Robert Frost, which you can read online. Below I have given the particular paragraph. In the line - To put these people at one stroke out of their pain Robert ...
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1answer
693 views

What does Gulzar actually mean by saying that Earth can hide a river inside?

The poem "The Magical Earth" by Gulzar (from Green Poems, 2014) contains these lines (in the English translation by Pavan K. Varma): There is something indeed in the earth of my garden Is this ...
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What is Robert frost 'owning' in these lines?

I read the poem 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
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1answer
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How did “they make them sleep all day” in A Roadside Stand?

I read the poem 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
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2answers
195 views

What does the word 'Avernus' mean in Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu?

Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu, Chapter 7: The first change I experienced was rather agreeable. It was very near the turning point from which began the descent of Avernus. On Wikipedia it says ...
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1answer
185 views

What are the 'N' and 'S' signs in the 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost?

I read the poem "A Roadside Stand" by Robert Frost. I am confused by the reference to "N" and "S" signs in tree poem. What do those signs refer to? The little old house was out with a little new ...
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1answer
151 views

What does “in the arms of Murphy” mean?

From E. Nesbit's The Enchanted Castle, Chapter V, when Gerald is telling the policeman Johnson about the burglary he witnessed: "Was it you give the warning, and they sent for the police?" Johnson ...
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Why did “the human race became a small committee surrounded by affectionate animals” for Sartre in the Words?

What is Sartre's metaphor meaning in the Words when saying : "The human race became a small committee surrounded by affectionate animals." The context is when he begins to become familiar ...
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1answer
44 views

What does “contention-tost” mean?

In Matthew Arnold's 'Thyrsis: A Monody, to Commemorate the Author's Friend, Arthur Hugh Clough' we read: What though the music of thy rustic flute Kept not for long its happy, country tone; ...
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1answer
523 views

What does it mean to ask 'what is the subject of this poem'?

I read a poem called "Vigil strange I kept on the field one night" by Walt Whitman (reproduced below). One question I was asked about this poem is 'what is the subject of this poem?' For my ...
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What sort of bookshops sell The Works of Aristotle?

In the beginning of The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis' narrator states: However far I went I found only dingy lodging houses, small tobacconists, hoardings from which posters hung in rags, windowless ...
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What are the “mind-forged manacles”?

From "London", a short poem in William Blake's Songs of Experience collection (free to read online): In every cry of every man, In every infant’s cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, ...
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1answer
318 views

What does “I'll be D.D. before I have done!” mean?

I was reading Jude the Obscure, and I came across this line in Part First, VI: "...I must save money, and I will; and one of those colleges shall open its doors to me—shall welcome whom now ...
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What does “chartered” mean in Blake's poem “London”?

William Blake's short poem "London", from his Songs of Experience collection (which you can read online), starts as follows: I wander through each chartered street, Near where the chartered ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of “hearth” in Charles Reade's work The Cloister and the Hearth?

I haven't read the book. The author of the article I'm translating mentions him and his novel, I need to include the exact translation of the title but I'm not sure what he meant. Is it a home, a ...
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1answer
146 views

What does “Wireless-men” mean?

In All Quiet on the Western Front, the narrator says, In the meantime we receive visitors, a couple of wireless-men, who are generously invited to the feed. They sit in the living-room where there ...
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1answer
181 views

Does “Natural Lord” in Frankenstein mean “Father” or something to that effect?

From chapter 10 of the Project Gutenberg ebook - or Volume 2, Chapter 3, Page 102 of Penguin Classics edition (emphasis mine): My rage was without bounds; I sprang on him, impelled by all the ...
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What does “pre-Miracle” mean in this extract from the book “The fault in our stars”?

'Do you have a Wish?' he asked, referring to this organization, The Genie Foundation, which is in the business of granting sick kids one wish. 'No' I said. 'I used my Wish pre-Miracle.' 'What'd ...
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What does “Choice is a subtle form of disease” mean?

Choice is a subtle form of disease. - Don DeLillo, Running Dog What does this quote mean? Can someone explain it, please? I googled a lot but didn't get any proper explanation. And if this kind of ...