- For Teachers
"The living knew themselves just sentient puppets on God's stage"
What is the meaning of the above quote? I understood it but want to be sure of how well I understood it.
However, Is there any thing wrong grammatically in the above quote?
How about rewriting it as ""The living knew themselves as just sentient puppets on God's stage"
Thank you very much for your advanced response
Well you* could rewrite it like that, but I think you'd be understating it. The only thing the living could do was to be aware that they were puppets with senses. They couldn't judge or question or compare. And "as" suggests comparison; it suggests that there was something else they might have been seen as. Without the "as" it sounds more absolute; and although one may question the belief, it was absolute.
*that is, Kiran. Our posts coincided.
Last edited by BobK; 14-Dec-2008 at 20:59. Reason: PS
Thanks to one and all for your wonderful responses.
In the first place, the reason for which I was jimmied to put the adverb word 'as' was because I felt that they (the living) are comparing themselves to the 'conscious dolls' in the drama that is being directed by the God.
I read this on the Dictionary.com webpage under the definition 'Sentient'. I don't know the context but It was quoted by 'T.E.Lawrence'. Sorry for not mentioning the developed mortal of this quote.
However, I still have the following questions:
1. How is the usage of 'to be' different from the usage of 'as'?
2. How is the quote as it was quoted is absolute in its form without any refinement?
3. Here, the usage of the living sounds as if it was a non-living thing but the word themselves in the latter part of the statement makes non-living thing being compared to living thing? How is this possible?
4. Concerning the correction, made by RonBee, that was taken place in the previous post of the word 'understood' to the word 'understand': Please explain me how this works?
Kindly help me fix all my above questions.
Thanks thanks so much for your time.
I must say, indeed, that it is a very good and insightful statement. What do you say?
Could any of you kindly help me understand the above aspects?
Thanks so much
Not now, as I'm about to go out. But I will.
To understand something is to know it well enough that it doesn't have to be explained to you. What does "I understood it" mean?
Last edited by RonBee; 18-Dec-2008 at 22:29. Reason: fixed punctuation
1/2: As I used the word "absolute", I guess this is directed at me!
If I am happy, I am "as pleased as Punch". It doesn't really matter who or what "Punch" is; the "as" says "here comes a simile". Many similes are clichés.
In contrast, consider metaphor. Shakespeare's Leontes doesn't say 'I am as <anything>', he says 'I am a feather for each wind that blows' (this doesn't mean the same, it's just a strong metaphor that springs to mind). The directness of the metaphor makes it more striking and expressive than any simile could be.
It would be silly to say that "as" always marks some kind of weakness in expression; and in any case we're not - in the case of your quote - dealing with a simile. But it seems to me that 'knew themselves just sentient puppets' makes the belief sound more absolute than your version with "as".
3: I don't understand your question, but your first statement ('the usage of "the living" makes the sentence sound as if it refers to a non-living thing') is mistaken, so my failure to understand doesn't matter! "The living" just means "living people".
4: You're talking about your present state of understanding. "I understand" means "[there was a moment when I came to understand and now] I understand". You could use "I understood" in a sentence like this: "There was a time when I thought I understood, but I see now that I was wrong"; "understood" refers to a past state of understanding (or thinking you understood).
In your second clause you need to use a present tense as well: '...but want to be sure of how well I understand/have understood it' - you can use either present simple or present perfect.
Thanks Bob. I've always found myself reading your post twice before I understand your post in entirety:D.
With respect to your usage of absolute: I strongly feel that you projected the meaning of the quote in the best possible way it should have been done.
Be it a metaphor (comparing the object directly to another) or a simile(with the usage of 'as'), I feel both could be intended in the quote (one meaning without the usage of 'as' in the sentence and the other with the usage of 'as' in the sentence). Am I correct?
Thanks again, Bob.. :)