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    #1

    sanguine - Orwell

    Dear teachers,

    I wouldn't be so fastidious person as you will suppose am I. I met recently an ill-defined expression in the following passage of "1984" Part 1. "He moved over to the window: a smallish, trail figure, the meagerness of his body merely emphasized by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the party. His hair was very fair; his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soup and blunt rasor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended."

    I have doubts in the likelihood of the using the expression "his face naturally sanguine". I know some different meanings for "sanguine":cheerfully optimistic" or confident, ruddy faced, ruddy health, enthusiastic, buoyant, spirited. Those are words that do not match with Winston Smith and his country. There is a talking of cross-purposes. I couldn't see the properly using this adjective in perfect harmony with the rest adjectives in this passage: smallish, frail, meager, roughened,blunt, cold. There is an obvious discord.

    I wander whether you could tell me your attitude and lend a hand to me to understand properly this passage.

    V
    Last edited by vil; 09-Oct-2007 at 19:00.


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    #2

    Re: sanguine - Orwell

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I wouldn't be so fastidious person as you will suppose probably. I met recently an ill-defined expression in the following passage of "1984" Part 1. "He moved over to the window: a smallish, trail figure, the meagerness of his body merely emphasized by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the party. His hair was very fair; his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soup and blunt rasor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended."

    I have doubts in the likelihood of the using the expression "his face naturally sanguine". I know some different meanings for "sanguine":cheerfully optimistic" or confident, ruddy faced, ruddy health, enthusiastic, buoyant, spirited. Those are words that do not match with Winston Smith and his country. There is a talking of cross-purposes. I couldn't see the properly using this adjective in perfect harmony with the rest adjectives in this passage: smallish, frail, meager, roughened,blunt, cold. There is an obvious discord.

    I wander whether you could tell me your attitude and lend a hand to me to understand properly this passage.

    V
    I haven't read the book but I have a problem with the phrase "his face naturally sanguine"

    Sanguine comes from the French word "sang" meaning "blood"

    So a face that is sanguine has a ruddy look(flushed look) to its complexion.

    A naturally sanguine look means that his face was always this way.

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    #3

    Re: sanguine - Orwell

    Hi Naamplao,

    Thank you for your swift reaction.

    Your answer is very close to my first supposition. Bloody-red, red. That makes two of us. I find this usual and plain meaning very acceptable. This is very close to the Steven King's "The Red".

    I must tell the truth: I have a boring disadvantage seeking the stilted and pompous meaning of the words first of all. Zeal without knowledge is a runaway.

    If you wish a good advice ask the old man. (or the wise man)

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 09-Oct-2007 at 19:36.


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    #4

    Re: sanguine - Orwell

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi Naamplao,

    Thank you for your swift reaction.

    Your answer is very close to my first supposition. Bloody-red, red. That makes two of us. I find this usual and plain meaning very acceptable. This is very close to the Steven King's "The Red".

    I must tell the truth: I have a boring disadvantage seeking the stilted and pompous meaning of the words first of all. Zeal without knowledge is a runaway.

    If you wish a good advice ask the old man. (or the wise man)

    V.
    There is a saying: A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Are you suggesting this applies to you?

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    #5

    Re: sanguine - Orwell

    No objection. This proverb is my old companion.

    What about this one:

    To know everything is to know nothing.

    or

    Two much knowledge makes the head bald.

    and in the end

    No man is born wise or learned.

    V.


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    #6

    Re: sanguine - Orwell

    Orwell is just stating that the character is ruddy-faced. I do not see a problem with its use here. A person can be thin and yet have a naturally red skin, and the word in itself adds a dimension to the description.

    I am not sure what you mean by "likelihood" - it is a fact. Orwell used the word, and being Orwell, he knew what he was doing.

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    #7

    Re: sanguine - Orwell

    Dear Anglika,

    I meant no offense. I know who is Orwell. Unfortunately I know the country which he has depicted in so glaring colors by nature, not from his books. I was a pig from his farm.

    I think the words have to be unambiguous.

    When I use the word "likelihood" I mean "verisimilitude, probability, plausibility.

    When we speak about the adjective "ruddy" (your words "ruddy- faced") we
    have to know that there is a contradictory polysemy; on the one hand ruddy = scarlet, pink-cheeked,ruddy health, and on the other hand ruddy = bloody, cursed, bad-tempered, mucky, hoggish. What do you think about the character of Mr. Smith? Is he a man of bad character, or he have a character for honesty? I,m disconcerted. That is beyond my comprehension.

    This was my opinion, maybe an erroneous judgment.

    I will continue go on with the book which excited my drowsy individuality.

    V.

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