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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 3

    Meaning of a sentence

    Hi everyone.
    I'm a Japanese who is doing some translation work.
    I have just faced a sentence whose meaning is not clear for me.
    Here is the sentence:

    A "very pretty girl" made up "for an altogether artificial effect―pallor mortis, poisonously scarlet lips, richly ringed eyes," Jane imitated the "swagger" supposed by innocent America to go with the female half of a Paris Apache dance."

    This sentence is taken from a book about "flapper" in the Jazz Age.
    Here, Jane is a girl depicted in a journal of those days.

    Specifically speaking, my questions are:

    1. Does the expression as "A very pretty girl made up for <negative images>" mean that "Although Jane is a very pretty girl, she puts on weird makeup" or that "Although Jane puts on weird makeup, she is still a very pretty girl"?

    2. In the latter part of the sentence, "the swagger supposed . . . to go with the female half of a Paris Apache dance," does this mean that "Although female Apache dancers didn't actually put on such a swagger style, those American new women imagined the style will go with the female Apache dancers"?

    I'll appreciated it very much if some of you could answer my questions.
    Thanks anyway for your reading.


  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 60,190

    Re: Meaning of a sentence

    1 She's a pretty girl under the make-up. I guess the writer doesn't like the make-up, but it doesn't ruin her prettiness. The writer is trying to criticise the look- she doesn't need to wear this make-up to be attractive.

    2 The Apache dance was meant to represent a fight between a prostitute and a pimp, so it would have affected, exaggerated gestures and movements- the swagger. She walks in what she thinks is this manner. Again, the writer doesn't approve of this. In those days it would have been difficult to find out much about the dancing, so the flappers swaggered in the way they imagined the dancers would.

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