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    #1

    dwell = to fasten one's attention

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentences from Hardy’s “The Returned soldier”?

    As the speech continued, the shabby man listened more intently, dwelling on every word with a puzzled frown.

    dwell = to fasten one's attention

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. MASM's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: dwell = to fasten one's attention

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentences from Hardy’s “The Returned soldier”?

    As the speech continued, the shabby man listened more intently, dwelling on every word with a puzzled frown.

    dwell = to fasten one's attention

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    dwell on something usually means thinking about something for a long time, something that is unpleasant. I guess the man didn't like what he was hearing because of his "puzzled frown"

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: dwell = to fasten one's attention

    "To dwell on" would also mean to me that he thought about it for a long time afterwards, not while he was listening to it. Usually people "dwell on" something that happened to them, or something that was said to them, but after the event.

    The "puzzled frown" would suggest to me that he didn't necessarily understand what was being said, not that he didn't like it. Puzzled = confused.

  3. MASM's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: dwell = to fasten one's attention

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "To dwell on" would also mean to me that he thought about it for a long time afterwards, not while he was listening to it. Yes, I thought about that too, but as the sentence is "As the speech continued, the shabby man listened more intently, dwelling on every word..." I interpreted that he was thinking as the speech continued. Usually people "dwell on" something that happened to them, or something on every word at was said to them, but after the event.

    The "puzzled frown" would suggest to me that he didn't necessarily understand what was being said, not that he didn't like it. Puzzled = confused.
    That's true, I was just trying to fit the definition (thinking about something, generally unpleasant) in


  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: dwell = to fasten one's attention

    Quote Originally Posted by MASM View Post
    That's true, I was just trying to fit the definition (thinking about something, generally unpleasant) in

    Yes, I agree, I just think "dwelling on" was an unusual choice of phrase to use for concentrating on something while it's happening! I'm sure that's what the writer meant, though.

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