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    #1

    be in abeyance

    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 sentence from Stevenson’s “The Wrecker”?

    I was, at least, so sunk in sadness, that I scarce remarked where I was going; and chance (or some finer sense that live in us, and only guides us when the mind is in abeyance) conducted my steps into a quarter of the island where the birds were few.

    be in abeyance = be in state of uncertainty, uncertainty, expectations; be in limbo; be in dormant state

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #2

    Re: be in abeyance

    Dear vil
    I will try (only try)to have a share in explaining it. I'm not a teacher.
    I think that your interpretation "to be in state of limbo/inactivity" is appropriate.
    "the mind is passive".
    Thank you.
    S.M.

  1. chester_100's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: be in abeyance

    I believe you're right. Abeyance is categorized as an advanced word. Although that doesn't seem to be an original metaphor, using abeyance to mean disorientation as a result of psychological or physiological malfunctioning seems to be original.

    In abeyance can mean, in a non-literary context, not being used; suspended; barred.

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    #4

    Exclamation Re: be in abeyance

    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 sentence from Stevenson’s “The Wrecker”?

    I was, at least, so sunk in sadness, that I scarcely remarked where I was going; and chanced (or some finer sense that live in us, and only guides us when the mind is in abeyance) conducting my steps into a quarter of the island where the birds were few.

    be in abeyance = be in state of uncertainty, uncertainty, expectations; be in limbo; be in dormant state

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.
    I hope, you would not mind my making a few modifications that sounds ok to me. Your interpretation of 'mind is in abeyance' is perfectly right though this may not be used in everyday English.

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