Questions tagged [meaning]

Questions regarding the meaning of certain terms or 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. Please add specific tags as well: for the author (if known), the language (if not English), and either the work itself (if long) or the [poetry] or [short-stories] tags for short works.

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1answer
90 views

What was the question which the Baudelaire orphans were asking themselves?

I was reading the last chapter of The Penultimate Peril, by Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), and when I reached the end of that chapter, I couldn't understand what was the question which the ...
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1answer
298 views

Meaning of "Lor’ lumme if there ain’t another on ’em!" from "Five Children and It"

This excerpt is from Five Children and It, Chapter 2. “She’s not mad; it’s true,” said Anthea; “there is a fairy. If I ever see him again I’ll wish for something for you; at least I would if ...
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55 views

Meaning of "curving afternoons" and "the idea of destination meant almost as little to him as..."

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner He would have liked to move around her house and examine all its icons, or to hang over the front windowsill with her and make remarks about ...
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What did Edmund Gosse mean by “servers of pillows to all armholes”?

In a 1907 letter to Walt Whitman’s biographer Bliss Perry, Edmund Gosse wrote: I came across your really delightful volume on Walt Whitman,† and read it with such pleasure that I had to review it ...
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What does “world outlook” mean in this context?

Under these baffling conditions there is no thorough discussion of the world outlook whatever, anywhere. —The New World Order, by H.G. Wells I interpret the "world outlook" as "world ...
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1answer
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meaning of "they blurred into one another and were gone"

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner How fresh and pretty he looked, sitting at her piano in his clean white shirt with the sleeves rolled up and the top button fastened! She said,...
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1answer
122 views

What is the meaning of "pools of gold" in "Nineteen Eighty-Four"?

From the beginning of part 2, chapter 2: Winston picked his way up the lane through dappled light and shade, stepping out into pools of gold wherever the boughs parted. Under the trees to the left of ...
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3answers
797 views

What is the difference in pronunciation between the two types of folio abbreviations: f. and ff.?

I'm reading a book out loud and it sometimes uses "f." and other times "ff." during references like: "(Harding, 274f.)" and other times there would be an "ff." ...
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1answer
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Meaning of "My finger burst like a sausage"

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner ‘I got my hand jammed between two speaker boxes,’ said Philip. ‘My finger burst like a sausage.’ ‘You know?’ said Vicki. ‘One of those horror ...
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1answer
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Meaning of "She had all the colour and dynamism of a parsnip"

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner ‘She was wearing these daggy flares,’ said Elizabeth, ‘with embroidered insets.’ ‘I got my hand jammed between two speaker boxes,’ said Philip....
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1answer
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What does the last sentence "Better look at the oil, too" mean?

In "Stuart Little" by E.B.White, Stuart was having a conversation with the attendant of a gas station: "Five, please," said Stuart to the attendant. The man looked at the tiny ...
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What is the “presence” in Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’?

In Wordsworth’s ‘Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey’ he describes a “presence”:                                 And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated ...
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What does "powerful commodities" mean in The Markenmore Mystery?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, two men were talking about that whoever commits a crime by chance doesn't have a reason to incriminate himself “Ain’t no ’casion as I knows on for ...
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What is the German loan word?

Is there a particular word here that's the "German loan word" or what's the intended meaning? When you think about the textured histories of the teams and the faith and passion of the fans ...
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1answer
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What does "delicately-fashioned fingers" mean in The Markenmore Mystery?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, the author was describing someone: He was a very meek and mild young man, thought Blick, as far as appearance went; an intellectual of some sort, ...
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1answer
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Meaning of "God, the joy of her, the pleasure!"

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Elizabeth used the presence of Vicki at her place as an excuse for sleeping nearly every night at Philip’s. He did not mind: he was not the ...
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4answers
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Meaning of the phrase "If ever a man leaped across time into the raw..."

I'm reading Hearts of Three written by Jack London. Right in Chapter I, I found the following sentence: If ever a man leaped across time into the raw, red drama and tragedy of the primitive and the ...
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1answer
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What does "exalted suffering" mean?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Spring came. In the mornings, when the first person opened the back door, the whole bulk of air in the house shifted and warmed. Women sighed ...
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1answer
345 views

Julius Caesar: "If it be aught toward the general good, Set honor in one eye and death i’ th’ other..."

From Act I Scene II of the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare: BRUTUS I would not, Cassius, yet I love him well. But wherefore do you hold me here so long? What is it that you would impart to ...
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1answer
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Can authors use past tense in fiction works to refer to an unreal situations without using "if"?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner She stood at the tramstop opposite the long railed side of the cemetery. Someone had written in black texta on the lamp-post DARREN WAR LOURD. ...
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2answers
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What does "Sensible plans of action clicked their wooden sides together without meaning," mean?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner In the huge room beyond the partition the phone rang and she heard Elizabeth pick it up. Before the caller had a chance to speak, Elizabeth ...
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1answer
147 views

What did Aciman mean by "Love, which exempts no one who's loved from loving"?

In Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name, while Elio describes the events of the summer, he refers to a quote by Francesca he remembers from Inferno. "Love, which exempts no one who's loved from ...
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1answer
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Can "hollow" in "hollow as a Hopper painting" mean "meaningless and deceptive"?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner That night at the studio they finished early. There were no taxis, so he walked. He didn’t know what time it was but thought it must be after ...
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What does "in flight from it" mean in the below text?

This is a passage in a book called Missing Out by Adam Phillips: But the outrageous, pragmatic strong reader in this account reads as if he knows what he wants, and not as though he is conflicted ...
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2answers
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Meaning of "It was a place that waited, It was a place of reason and courtesy"

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner ‘Once upon a time,’ said Philip. ‘There was a wonderful cafe. It opened very early in the morning. No. It stayed open twenty-four hours. It ...
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What is the "a-" prefix in "a-flying" and "a-getting" in Herrick's "To the Virgins"?

From Robert Herrick's "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time": Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,     Old Time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles to day,     To morrow will ...
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1answer
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Meaning of "What is in here?"

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner What is this, thought Vicki. What is in here? It is a warehouse, it has no walls or rooms. There is a row of windows, each one shaped like an ...
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2answers
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What's the meaning of "catching or missing something" in this sentence from "A Stoic" by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the XX century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across a sentence I’m finding quite tricky to understand:...
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0answers
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In Effi Briest, what is the meaning and significance of a "wide field"?

I noticed a similar phrase recurring twice in the conversation between Effi's parents in Chapter V of Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest, which I'm reading online: Miss Hulda had clinked her glass too ...
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1answer
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Meaning of the dialog in bold and "sour street light"

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Up there under the leafless vine they were talking. Vicki saw their breath. From the angles of their bodies she could tell they were arguing. ...
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1answer
203 views

What does "perverse madonna" mean?

What is a "perverse madonna"? In the short story "The Boarding House" by James Joyce, Polly is compared to a "perverse madonna". Polly was a slim girl of nineteen; she ...
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2answers
352 views

Meaning of "Now things can only get better" and "starry cold" in the passage below

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Dexter emptied his bowl for the last time, then lifted it in both hands and licked it out, pushing his face right into it. There was soup on ...
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2answers
114 views

Explanation of a pargraph from "Five Children and It"

I can't understand this paragraph from Five Children and It. What does it mean? Please explain. The shadows got longer and longer, and at last there were no separate shadows any more, but one soft ...
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1answer
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"You have to take pains so the goods won't go off" from The Witcher

I am reading The Witcher - The Tower of Swallow in English and I would like to know what the following phrase means: He ordered the people who had gathered to bring him a sack of salt and a keg of ...
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1answer
124 views

What does "a star" symbolize here?

Each morning gives thee wings to flee from hell, Each night a star to guide thy feet to heaven. This verse has been taken from the poem "Opportunity" by Walter Malone. What does "a ...
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1answer
2k views

How was the free-born Englishman prevented from taking his ease in his inn in 1922?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, Blick, a detective who had booked rooms at "Sceptre Inn", which belonged to Grimsdale, was cheerful after reaching an important conclusion....
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2answers
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What is the meaning of “the drumstick” in this novel by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the 20th century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across this peculiar use of the word “drumstick”: ...
2
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1answer
75 views

What is the meaning of the sentence “You are--aren't you?” in this novel by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the XX century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across a sentence I’m finding quite tricky to understand:...
2
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1answer
43 views

What is the meaning of "your first interest" in this novel by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the XX century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across a sentence I’m finding quite tricky to understand:...
3
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1answer
31 views

What is the meaning of "the least bit" in these affirmative clauses by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the XX century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across a sentence I’m finding quite tricky to understand:...
0
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1answer
61 views

Meaning of "Low down on the sky was a narrow band of apricot, all that was left of the daylight."

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner The hostess at the open door showed her teeth. Vicki came out into the world. She saw the man beside Elizabeth and slowed down. That couldn’t ...
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1answer
65 views

Can "access and excess" be antonyms in this context?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, Blick, a detective-sergeant, was thinking about the way by which someone had entered and left Markenmore district. Firstly he studied the railways ...
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1answer
138 views

What is the figure of speech used in this part of "Cataract Operation"?

What is the figure of speech used in these lines taken from the Simon Armitage poem "Cataract Operation"? the olé of a crimson towel. the cancan of a ra ra skirt, the monkey business of a ...
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1answer
49 views

Meaning of "he’d go down between sets and find her"

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner They stopped at the gate lounge. The door opened. ‘Here she comes,’ said Elizabeth. ‘Which one is she?’ said Dexter. The man walking behind ...
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1answer
44 views

What does "Might be a good deal in that" mean in "The Markenmore Mystery"?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, the chief constable was talking to two lawyers about a stranger man who had gone to "Sceptre Inn" and booked a room there, but he never ...
3
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1answer
222 views

What does "His business here that night might have been just as much with those two men as with his brother and sister" mean here?

In "The Markenmore Mystery" (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, the chief constable was talking to two lawyers about Guy Markenmore who had been murdered two days ago after his meeting with two men at ...
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1answer
124 views

Meaning of "the kind of woman who’d throw round terms like the orthodox feminist position. "

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Doctor Fox looked at Elizabeth as he chewed, and nodded and smiled. She must be nearly forty now, like Dex. Thank God they were never foolish ...
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1answer
60 views

Meaning of "dawning way" and the use of "altogether" in the context below

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Philip did not turn up with the car. This did not surprise Elizabeth. She took the bus to the airport. Vicki’s plane was late. Elizabeth ...
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2answers
443 views

What does "hawk" mean in the context below?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Over the back fence, nearer the creek, lived an old couple whom Dexter and Athena had never seen but whom they referred to as Mister and ...
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1answer
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Meaning of "Like half the rest of the world, if more than half there be that are clever and good, Marianne ... was neither reasonable nor candid."

This passage is from Chapter 31 of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, where Elinor contemplates the deficiency of sense and sensibility in Marianne, made evident by Elinor had not needed this to be ...

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