Questions tagged [literature]

Questions citing excerpts from works of literature.

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19 views

Best term for self obligation / loyalty to do something

What is the Best interpretation, term or etc that indicates loyalty along with the obligation to do something Conditions: Positive meaning Show the situation that a person has chosen this things with ...
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41 views

What is the meaning of 'file' in : “we had each stowed away at the foot of our beds a file, a brace of pistols, a pound of powder and twenty slugs”? [closed]

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Gloria Scott by Arthur Conan Doyle: "The sham chaplain came to our cells to exhort us, carrying a black bag, supposed to be full of tracts, ...
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1answer
41 views

What does “klioklio” mean? [closed]

I'm reading Malcolm Lowry's letters and his second letter to Conrad Aiken finishes like this: Klioklio, C. M. Lowry Does anyone know what "klioklio" mean? Thanks in advance!
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23 views

what is the meaning of 'to wear one's breeches out' and 'rat-gutted'?

I am quoting from the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Gloria Scott by Arthur Conan Doyle: "Now, you don't think it likely that a man who could do anything is going to wear his breeches out ...
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1answer
58 views

What does “te-thrum” mean?

I'm reading Malcolm Lowry's letters and his first letter to Conrad Aiken finishes like this: te-thrum te-thrum te-thrum te-thrum, Malcolm Lowry Does anyone know what "te-thrum" mean in this ...
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1answer
29 views

Questions on the usage of 'cut against' based on Moby Dick

I found difficulty understanding the following line from Moby Dick, Ch.48. As for Fedallah, who was seen pulling the harpooneer oar, he had thrown aside his black jacket, and displayed his naked ...
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1answer
74 views

What does “tenable” mean to Shakespeare?

Hamlet: If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight, Let it be tenable in your silence still, And whatsoever else shall hap to-night, Give it an understanding, but no tongue: Tenable seems a strange ...
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4answers
143 views

What does Dickens mean by “servant” in A Christmas Carol? [closed]

In the following quote from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, why does Dickens describe himself as a servant to the reader? What does he mean here? their faithful friend and servant, C.D.
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1answer
68 views

Can the first person singular pronoun 'I' take in 's' in the simple present?

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Gloria Scott by Arhur Conan Doyle : "Thank you sir, said, the seaman, touching his forelock. I am just off a two-yearer in an eight-knot ...
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1answer
385 views

What is the meaning of “laid by the heels”?

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Gloria Scott by Arthur Conan Doyle: It was a prosaic way of forming a friendship, but it was effective. I was laid by the heels for ten days, but ...
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50 views

“An” in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew

In Act 1, Scene 1, Katherine says to Bianca "A pretty peat! It is best / Put finger in the eye, an she knew why". I understand "Put finger in the eye" means she is fake crying for ...
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25 views

what is the meaning of 'three parts' in :“if ever a man was three parts mad with terror, that man's name is Pinner”?

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Stockbroker's Clerk by Arthur Conan Doyle: "There is something which I don't understand in his manner. If ever a man was three parts mad with ...
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36 views

What is the meaning of “length of my face” in : “Don't be disheartened Mr Pycroft : said my new acquaintance, seeing the length of my face”

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Stockbroker's Clerk by Arthur Conan Doyle. I gather from the context that that Mr Pycroft is referring to his disappointment by "the length ...
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1answer
33 views

What is the meaning of “let in” in : “but they were let in in early in the spring through the Venezuelan loan, as no doubt you remember”

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, the Stockbroker's clerk, by Arthur Conan Doyle. It says: "I used to have a billet at Coxon and Woodhouse's, of Drapers' Gardens, but they were ...
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2answers
565 views

What does “goathawks” mean in this passage from All The Pretty Horses?

I'm currently on page 123 of All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, and came across this passage. The mouths of the cans were lensed with tinted cellophane and they cast upon the sheeting a ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of the word “connection” in: “Shortly after my marriage I had bought a connection in the Paddington district.”

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, "The Stockbroker's Clerk", by Arthur Conan Doyle. Does "a connection" mean "a clinic" or "a business" or ...
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1answer
74 views

What does the sentence “I lit a cigarette that tasted like a plumber's handkerchief” mean? [closed]

In what way does a plumber's handkerchief taste like a cigarette?
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13 views

One word to describe this situation: “Losing the interest or feeling in something after being exposed to it so much” [duplicate]

Was asked this after a student wanted to talk about how Mrs Birling lost sympathy for the working class after seeing them so many times. Please just one word to describe this situation. Thanks
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3answers
100 views

What is the meaning of 'fly' in: “I wonder how many real amber mouth-pieces there are in London? Some people think that a fly in it is a sign.”

I am quoting The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Yellow Face By Arthur Conan Doyle. Is it some kind of brand of amber-stemmed pipes that has a fly as a logo or what?
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24 views

Word for stating something as fact when narrator and audience knows it is untrue?

I am looking for a literary term that is similar to irony. Basically, the narrator say something in an almost sarcastic way by stating something that everyone knows is untrue. The quote I am going off ...
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18 views

Love of Home and Friends—like the ridge behind a Bunker! (Meaning)

I'm translating a fable by George Ade called "The Fable of the Visitor Who Got a Lot for Three Dollars." In the following extract, the phrenologist is telling his customer how he is based on ...
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3answers
49 views

I wanted to know what is the meaning of “checking off the points upon the palm of his left hand”?

I am quoting from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Silver Blaze by Arthur Conan Doyle: "I lay back against the cushions, puffing at my cigar, while holmes, leaning forward, with his long thin ...
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24 views

“Don't they carry one back to all one's parties?”

In Katherine Mansfield's The Garden Party (1921), there is this question I cannot decipher semantically nor grammatically. In this scene, this high-society family is preparing a garden party. Cream ...
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1answer
47 views

half-column means terse?

In the opening paragraph to “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Watson writes: The story has, I believe, been told more than once in the newspapers, but, like all such ...
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4answers
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What type of English is used in the dialogue of the Lord of the Rings movies? [closed]

In the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Elrond speaks to his daughter: "If Aragorn survives this war, you will still be parted. If Sauron is defeated and Aragorn made king and all ...
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1answer
40 views

Downwards upon us - is it above or below then?

Reading a story, I found the following sentence: Downwards upon us, with limbless Atlantean stridings, there swept the cloudy cohorts. I am struggling with understanding of the phrase "...
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1answer
53 views

Does “malefic rune”, possible typo from “tune” in the context?

I have been reading a story by Robert Bloch - The feast in the Abbey. I just cannot see how the "rune" can be correct in the following: As I thus mused there fell upon my ears the sounds ...
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1answer
33 views

“Measured cadence” meaning in the musical context (monks' chanting)

I would like to ask for help with proper understanding of the following paragraph (included to give some context): As I thus mused there fell upon my ears the sounds of sonorous chanting that ...
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1answer
69 views

The grammar in the English novel Forrest Gump

I am currently reading the English novel Forrest Gump and this is the first time I am reading a novel using my second language. I realized that the author is writing somehow different from the English ...
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1answer
46 views

Can anybody tell me the meaning of “a bloody great mass of iron and we work it- praise be to God for man's endeavour-”?

It is a part of The Kitchen by Arnold Wesker. The paragraph this sentence is used in is the following: Michael. Quite right...who'd want to kill me? Young man in his teens, all the world in front of ...
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2answers
109 views

“Right tol loor rul!” Meaning - Dickens, Dombey and Son

In Dickens's book Dombey and Son, at the start of Chapter 2, Mr. Chick says the following to his wife Louisa Chick right after she made an observation of the death of her sister-in-law: Don’t you ...
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44 views

Meaning of “One day you'll lay an egg too many and it'll crack under you.”

I'm reading a play and I cannot understand the meaning of this expression. Somebody pulls a trick and laughs to himself. The other says, "One day you'll lay an egg too many and it'll crack under ...
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1answer
35 views

What is the meaning of “quixotic stance”?

quixotic stance I guess it refers to a kind of standing position. It may have something to do with chivalry and Don Quixote as well. The context it is used in, is somebody tantalizing someone else. ...
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56 views

Meaning of “I can ring your napkins out any day, with you tucked in them any day”

I'm reading Arnold Wesker's The Kitchen and cannot understand the meaning of: I can ring your napkins out any day, with you tucked in them any day. I understand that it's suggesting beating someone ...
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2answers
50 views

Could anyone explain to me the meaning of the sentence and phrase?

That year we had planned to fish for marlin off the Cuban coast for a month. The month started the tenth of April and by the tenth of May we had twenty-five marlin and the charter was over. The thing ...
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1answer
34 views

Meaning of end of political life

I am reading the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Now I am going through book 1 section 5 and here is the one-sentence of section 5. A consideration of the prominent types of life shows that people ...
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2answers
77 views

Could anyone explain to me the meaning of the abbreviation Nagel's?

I'm not quite sure I understand correctly the meaning of the word in bold font. There are two paragraphs that open the first chapter of "Set This House on Fire": Of the drive from Salerno to Sambuco, ...
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16 views

What is the term used to describe the behaviour of someone talking about something they want as if they already have it?

An example of this would be in Act I of An Inspector Calls, where Arthur Birling says "May we look forward to the time when Crofts and Birlings are no longer competing but working together" To me, ...
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64 views

What is the opposite of patronising?

Something to the sense of - guininely treat in a way that is apparently kind or helpful, and overly praise and make the person feel superior. Even though there is nothing much much to praise about. ...
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1answer
56 views

F. Scott Fitzgerald's “Nor Does He Spin” subheading title, what does he mean by spinning?

In his book The Beautiful and Damned one of the subheadings of Chapter 1 is "Nor Does He Spin." There is no specific reference to the title (I think) within this section. So what did Fitzgerald mean ...
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1answer
206 views

What are the differences between practical implications, insightful implications, and limitations of a research study?

A reviewer asked me in three separate questions about each of these sections. However, I do not understand the differences between practical implications, insightful implications, and limitations of a ...
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41 views

What does the author mean here by referring to this character as 'the possibility and the promise'?

So I've come across this strange phrase in a novel I've been reading. "Jim was splashing water on the girls. He was the Water God and they loved him. He was the possibility and the promise. He was ...
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3answers
166 views

Grammar question from A Christmas Carol: meaning of “quite as well that — as have”?

I am reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and finally reached the last few pages, but I am stuck with the following paragraph. Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and ...
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1answer
32 views

Definition of 'cut out in'

I was reading 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' for the sake of improving my English and have not found the definition of the phrasal verb in bold: ‘I don’t know much about the tariff and things of ...
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1answer
34 views

Could anyone explain me the meaning of the sentence?

I can't understand the sentence in "The Innocence of Father Brown". Could anybody explain the meaning of it? It was he who had kept up an unaccountable and close correspondence with a young lady ...
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1answer
53 views

Hitchens' quote “the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?” [closed]

To the dumb question "Why me?" the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?” I just wanted to know your opinion on what Hitchens means by this. Does he imply everyone is equal before ...
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32 views

Is this an antithesis?

I am learning English and there are a couple of things that confuse me, like antithesis. I am reading 'The Story of an Hour' by Kate chopin and I wanted to know if this sentence was an antithesis. "...
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1answer
474 views

What is, or was the meaning of “oncommon”?

In Dickens' David Copperfield, there is an exchange between David and Mr Pegotty who arrives with his nephew Ham to visit him at school. It runs as follows: "Do you know how mama is, Mr Peggotty? I ...
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60 views

Is “I was heard” correct to write?

I've just started to translate BLOOD by Maggie Gee into my native language (Vietnamese). In the very first paragraphs of the book, I came across a difficult line, which reads Dad is dead, and I’ve ...
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9answers
6k views

Is there a pessimistic counterpart to the term “Pollyanna”?

The term "Pollyanna" came into the lexicon with the 1913 publication of Pollyanna, a novel by Eleanor H. Porter. The name has come to mean A person regarded as being foolishly or blindly optimistic....

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