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    #1

    'Give the lie to...'?

    In that same story, there is a line I can't understand and I hope you can help me:

    They never forgot that it was death, and the touch of the man's dead body gave them strange emotions, different in each of the women; a great dread possessed them both, the mother felt the lie was given to her womb, she was denied; the wife felt the utter isolation of the human soul, the child within her was a weight apart from her.
    Idioms
    give the lie to something (formal): to show that something is not true

    eg These new figures give the lie to the belief that unemployment is going down

    But this time OALD is useless; I find DH Lawrence's meaning unintelligible.

    If in the examination, I would say it means the mother doesn't feel there is an unborn child in her womb.

    Could anyone help me out?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 'Give the lie to...'?

    As this question is completely unrelated to the question in the other thread, I have moved it to a new thread.

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    #3

    Re: 'Give the lie to...'?

    Thank you for the moving.

    Is there anyone who can help me?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: 'Give the lie to...'?

    The mother, seeing her dead son, felt that her womb, in which the son had been carried, had somehow been shown to be untrue, unfaithful.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: 'Give the lie to...'?

    D. H. Lawrence was a pretty creative user of language. At first I thought this was an OCR-generated typo for 'word'.

    But I think Lawrence did mean womb. I wouldn't agree with 5jj's interpretation though; I don't think it's a question of fidelity (being disloyal or untrue). In Lawrence's view there was a truth, a unique value, to having a womb (all right, being a woman). The mother felt cheated - children should mourn dead parents, not the other way round..

    But I see from the context that there's another issue; the pregnancy. Maybe my 'mother' idea is wrong, and she just felt that her child-to-be's not having a living father was wrong (a contravention of that truth I mentioned).

    b

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    #6

    Re: 'Give the lie to...'?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    D. H. Lawrence was a pretty creative user of language. At first I thought this was an OCR-generated typo for 'word'.

    But I think Lawrence did mean womb. I wouldn't agree with 5jj's interpretation though; I don't think it's a question of fidelity (being disloyal or untrue). In Lawrence's view there was a truth, a unique value, to having a womb (all right, being a woman). The mother felt cheated - children should mourn dead parents, not the other way round..

    But I see from the context that there's another issue; the pregnancy. Maybe my 'mother' idea is wrong, and she just felt that her child-to-be's not having a living father was wrong (a contravention of that truth I mentioned).

    b

    Thank you very much.

    For the red words, do you mean Annie and John, the children?

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    #7

    Re: 'Give the lie to...'?

    All going well, children will outlive their parents- if parents outlive their children, then we're looking at premature death. It applies to everybody- parents are older than their children.

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