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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4
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1answer
170 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 ...
2
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1answer
65 views

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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1answer
424 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
1k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
587 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
708 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 ...
3
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1answer
39 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 ...
6
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2answers
2k views

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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2answers
51 views

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'...
4
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1answer
47 views

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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2answers
188 views

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
1k 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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2answers
238 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
542 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
255 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 ...
5
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1answer
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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 ...
3
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1answer
191 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
51 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
844 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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178 views

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
379 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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2answers
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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
105 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
179 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
220 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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3answers
374 views

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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1answer
85 views

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 ...
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1answer
3k views

Interpretation of Martin Luther King's essay

Martin Luther King, Jr. said: The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. Can anyone ...
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1answer
76 views

Meaning of “was given to her favorite, and now bore his” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: While this high post of honour's in abeyance, For one or two days, reader, we request You'll mount with our young hero the conveyance Which wafted him from ...
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1answer
98 views

Meaning of “and those things which for an instant clip enjoyment's wings” in Byron's Don Juan

Canto 10, stanza 5, from Byron's Don Juan: We left our hero, Juan, in the bloom     Of favouritism, but not yet in the blush; And far be it from my Muses to presume     (For I have more ...
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1answer
68 views

Meaning of “all game and bottom” in Byron's “Don Juan”

From Byron's Don Juan: That drinks and still is dry. At last they perish'd -- His second son was levell'd by a shot; His third was sabred; and the fourth, most cherish'd Of all the ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Meaning of “With Ismail's storm to soften it the more” in Byron's “Don Juan”

Canto 8, stanza 68, from Byron's Don Juan: So much for Nature: -- by way of variety, Now back to thy great joys, Civilisation! And the sweet consequence of large society, War, pestilence, ...
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2answers
566 views

What is the meaning of this sentence from A Retrieved Reformation?

This is a line from O. Henry's A Retrieved Reformation. The detective Ben Price is confident that Jimmy, now out on parole, has been to crack safes and: He'll do his bit next time without any ...
2
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1answer
30 views

Where is the object in this clause in Byron's Don Juan?

From Byron's Don Juan: But those who scaled, found out that their advance Was favour'd by an accident or blunder: The Greek or Turkish Cohorn's ignorance Had palisado'd in a way you'd ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Meaning of “which some months the same still is” in Byron's 'Don Juan'

From Byron's Don Juan: By Jove! he was a noble fellow, Johnson, And though his name, than Ajax or Achilles, Sounds less harmonious, underneath the sun soon We shall not see his ...
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2answers
69 views

Meaning of “Hounds, when the huntsman tumbles, are at fault” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: The troops, already disembark'd, push'd on To take a battery on the right; the others, Who landed lower down, their landing done, Had set to work as briskly as ...
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1answer
127 views

Meaning of “pig who sees the wind” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: Medals, rank, ribands, lace, embroidery, scarlet, Are things immortal to immortal man, As purple to the Babylonian harlot: An uniform to boys is like a fan To women; ...
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1answer
142 views

Meaning of a stanza in Byron's Don Juan

Canto 6, stanza 52, from Byron's Don Juan: Dudù, as has been said, was a sweet creature, Not very dashing, but extremely winning, With the most regulated charms of feature, Which ...
6
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1answer
626 views

What is a “fetish man” in African tribal culture?

I'm translating Robert E. Howard's short story "The Hyena". It was published in 1927. There is a character called Senecoza and Howard (and the protagonist) always refer to him as "the fetish man". And ...
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1answer
77 views

Meaning of “'T was the boy's ”mite,“ and, like the ”widow's,“ may Perhaps be weigh'd hereafter, if not now”

From Byron's Don Juan: 'T was the boy's "mite," and, like the "widow's," may Perhaps be weigh'd hereafter, if not now; But whether such things do or do not weigh, All who have loved,...
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1answer
172 views

Why is a cuckolded husband “fit for heaven” in Byron's Don Juan?

Canto 5, stanza 154, from Byron's Don Juan: His majesty saluted his fourth spouse      With all the ceremonies of his rank, Who clear'd her sparkling eyes and smooth'd her brows,      As ...
3
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1answer
129 views

Meaning of “but no one dreams of ever being short” in Byron's Don Juan

Canto 5, stanza 48, from Byron's Don Juan: Some talk of an appeal unto some passion,      Some to men's feelings, others to their reason; The last of these was never much the fashion,      ...
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2answers
72 views

Meaning of “from crowns to kicks” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: Just now a black old neutral personage Of the third sex stept up, and peering over The captives, seem'd to mark their looks and age, And capabilities, as to discover ...
2
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1answer
33 views

Meaning of “such as had not staid long with her destiny” in Byron's “Don Juan”

From Byron's Don Juan: Thus lived -- thus died she; never more on her Shall sorrow light, or shame. She was not made Through years or moons the inner weight to bear, Which colder ...
5
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1answer
107 views

Meaning of “The ear becomes more Irish, and less nice” in Byron's Don Juan

From Byron's Don Juan: It has a strange quick jar upon the ear, That cocking of a pistol, when you know A moment more will bring the sight to bear Upon your person, twelve yards off,...
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1answer
68 views

Meaning of “Whose husband only knows her not a whore”

From Byron's Don Juan: Oh beautiful! and rare as beautiful But theirs was love in which the mind delights To lose itself when the old world grows dull, And we are sick of its hack ...