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“The last end” or the final end, the end of everything, is a poetic way of referring to death, which gives the story closure, as it is what the title and key topic of the story are. One of Joyce’s trademarks in his writing is his association and fusion of disparate things in the form of multi-meaning symbols or in this case a metaphor. The snow falls on the ...


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The story you remember is "Once Upon a Time" by Nadine Gordimer. It's in collection "Jump and Other Stories" (where I read it). Most of the google returns for it are to Cliff's Notes type sites, so I can well believe you read it in a literature textbook! There's a summary here. The part that matches your memory is: The couple settles on ...


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It translates to nothing and then nothing and nothing and then nothing. In his depressed mood, he feels that everything is nothing. This is the diagnosis that leads to his parody prayer.


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What does this passage mean? It is more or less literally the Lord's prayer, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from ...


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While agreeing with @Greybeard that this cannot be a reference to the woman’s relative openness of outlook, I’d suggest it means more than merely thin. A person can be thin but not ‘narrow’ if they have a robust skeletal frame. Taking ’narrow’ in conjunction with the ‘greyhound of a woman’ phrase, it conjures an image of a person who is not only thin, but ...


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As the narrator has only seen the wife, she cannot know whether she is narrow-minded. It must therefore mean small in breadth or width in proportion to length; lacking breadth, i.e. she had thin features.


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Wiktionary identifies ‘porbida’ as one word in the Cebuano language. Pinning down that language is itself something of a goose-chase. A user on Quora, Ray Hart, who says they are in the Philippines explains: Visayan is the language group. There are dozens of languages in that group some of them are close enough to be mutually understandable, others are not. ...


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Following along to muru's and Kevin Ryan's excellent answers, "sniper material" may be an allusion to the Cold Sniper (warning, TV Tropes entry) stereotype as a loner with a lack of emotion or compassion. To quote the U.S. Army Training Manual on Sniper Training: "(1) Emotional balance. The sniper must be able to calmly and deliberately kill ...


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Yes, essentially this is a minor wordplay and double meaning. A "dumb brute" is a phrase that was commonly used to denote an animal, not necessarily even a savagely violent animal. I say "was" because I associate this phrase with a time in English writing when words like "brute" and "savage" carried less negative ...


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A simpler interpretation is that that "dumb or talking" is merely contrasting "unable to speak" and "speaking". While you could extend that to discuss "human or beast", I think it's easier to read it as "talking or not".


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