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  1. Member
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    #1

    Her sympathy was ours

    Hi,

    The following is an extract from Frankenstein; I'd like to know whether or not the clause in bold contains a religious image. And what does it mean?

    The saintly soul of Elizabeth shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp in our peaceful home. Her sympathy was ours; her smile, her soft voice, the sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were ever there to bless and animate us.


    I'd appreciate your help.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Her sympathy was ours

    The phrase does not contain a religious image.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #3

    Re: Her sympathy was ours

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    The phrase does not contain a religious image.
    What does that clause mean?

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Her sympathy was ours

    They had her sympathy. She sympathized with them. They felt her sympathy. She was sympathetic toward them.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #5

    Re: Her sympathy was ours

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    They had her sympathy. She sympathized with them. They felt her sympathy. She was sympathetic toward them.
    Did she feel their sympathy? Did she have their sympathy?

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Her sympathy was ours

    The speaker isn't saying they were sympathizing with her.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #7

    Re: Her sympathy was ours

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    The speaker isn't saying they were sympathizing with her.
    Doesn't the following suggest they were sympathizing with her in some way?

    She was the living spirit of love to soften and attract: I might have become sullen in my study, rough through the ardour of my nature, but that she was there to subdue me to a semblance of her own gentleness. And Clerval—could aught ill entrench on the noble spirit of Clerval?—yet he might not have been so perfectly humane, so thoughtful in his generosity—so full of kindness and tenderness amidst his passion for adventurous exploit, had she not unfolded to him the real loveliness of beneficence, and made the doing good the end and aim of his soaring ambition.

  8. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Her sympathy was ours

    I'm not saying that no one sympathized with the saint. I'm saying that the written words "Her sympathy was ours" don't state or imply it.

    The new quote you've introduced gives more information about why the speaker appreciates the saint. Appreciation isn't sympathy, but they often go hand in hand. So you're welcome to infer sympathy from the new quote. But not from the first one.

    It's almost fifty years since I read the book, so I don't remember many details and can't comment more generally.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #9

    Re: Her sympathy was ours

    I find the first quoted passage anything but a strong piece of evidence for Elizabeth's sympathy for Victor and Henry.

    "her smile, her soft voice, the sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were ever there to bless and animate us" could have been the description of any girl of angelic beauty.

    Evidence for Victor's and Henry's sympathy for her saintly qualities seems much stronger.

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    #10

    Re: Her sympathy was ours

    [...
    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    Doesn't the following suggest they were sympathizing with her in some way?

    She was the living spirit of love to soften and attract [...] had she not unfolded to him the real loveliness of beneficence, and made the doing good the end and aim of his soaring ambition.
    No.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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