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    #1

    Meaning of sentence

    And his mother died soon after, giving up the ghost with a sigh that sounded positively happy, for it was her own son who ministered to her in her last illness and who sat pressing her feet at the last moment - such a son as few women had borne.

    What does the sentence mean, especially the part in bold? I think 'ghost' doesn't mean 'spirit', but 'memory'. However, the sentence is vague to me. Could some member paraphrase it for me?

    Many thanks.

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Meaning of sentence

    It means letting her spirit depart peacefully with a breath.

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    #3

    Re: Meaning of sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    It means letting her spirit depart peacefully with a breath.
    giving up the ghost with a sigh that sounded positively happy.

    What does 'sounded positively happy' mean?

    Does it mean that she was grateful to her son for taking good care of her in her final days?

    Thanks.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Meaning of sentence

    It means she seemed totally content in the sound of her sigh.

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    #5

    Re: Meaning of sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    It means she seemed totally content in the sound of her sigh.
    Does 'she seemed totally content in the sound of her sigh' mean that she left contentedly because she had a filial son who took tender care of her till the very last moments of her life.

    Could any member please confirm whether my interpretation above is correct?

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 09-Aug-2009 at 01:55.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Meaning of sentence

    Literary meanings are ambiguous, and rightly so. Literature articulates something beyond words, through the words. Your interpretation of the English is correct. But the author wants us to have that image without knowing for certain the exact source of her happiness: death, and its peace, and the end of struggle, or a filial son. First-rate art asks questions; second-rate art gives answers.

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    #7

    Re: Meaning of sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Literary meanings are ambiguous, and rightly so. Literature articulates something beyond words, through the words. Your interpretation of the English is correct. But the author wants us to have that image without knowing for certain the exact source of her happiness: death, and its peace, and the end of struggle, or a filial son. First-rate art asks questions; second-rate art gives answers.
    What does the last sentence which I have put in bold print mean? Does it mean that those good at literature ask questions and those who are not so keen on literature just expect to be told what they don't understand.

    Many thanks,
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 09-Aug-2009 at 14:10.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Meaning of sentence

    No, it means that great artists who write books show the human condition in a way that leaves us asking questions about being a human being, while mediocre and bad writers try very hard to give us answers, teach us lessons, push us toward a philosophy they espouse, etc.... like children's literature does (appropriately) for children.

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    #9

    Re: Meaning of sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    First-rate art asks questions; second-rate art gives answers.
    Nice. Is that original?

  6. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Meaning of sentence

    Yes, as a matter of fact. :)

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