I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to those who have replied to my other thread.
I have one more question concerning another part of the same passage.
On Sophie's last day, before Aidan went to school he crouched down to pet him lovingly and said with a smile, "Bye, Sophie! I hope you have a good time dying!" I was shocked but held back my criticism. He doesn't know what words to use, I thought. I gave him more appropriate words: We'll miss you. You were a good cat. We love you. May you rest in peace. [...]
Why did the author feel that way (=the underlined part)?
1. Aidan said something deliberately cruel.
2. Aidan didn't understand Sophie's problem.
3. Aidan didn't care what happened to Sophie.
4. Aidan was cruel without meaning to be.
The answer, according to the book, is #1. I don't think the word 'deliberately' is appropriate here. I don't think he did it 'deliberately'. (If the 'deliberately' were not there, I would choose #1.)
(I'm not really sure what 'said something deliberately cruel' means. Is it the same as 'said something cruel deliberately'?)
I think the answer is #4, because the author then writes "... but held back my criticism. He doesn't know what words to use, I thought." (I admit it is strange to say "I was shocked that Aidan was cruel without meaning to be but held back my criticism...")
What do you think?