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    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 39
    #1

    Smile "these citadels of degradation"

    Dear Teachers:

    I have problem to understand the following sentence,esp. the word citadel:

    Piled on top of malnutrition, exhaustion and disease, suicidal despair was the big killer in these citadels of degradation.

    The meaning of "citadel" in the dictionary are :

    1 a strong fort (=small castle) built in the past as a place where people could go for safety if their city was attacked [= fortress]

    2 the citadel of something literary a place or situation in which an idea, principle, system etc that you think is important is kept safe [= stronghold]: the last citadel of freedom

    Question A
    I think in this sentence, the meaning of citadel is 2. But why the writer refer the things(malnutrition, exhaustion and disease, suicidal despair) as citadels? They are derogatory words. not safe place or situation. worthy to keep important idea, system etc.

    Question B
    What's the meaning of these citadels of degradation

    Thank you very much in advance.
    Last edited by studying; 29-Nov-2008 at 14:49.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: "these citadels of degradation"

    But why does the writer refer the things(malnutrition, exhaustion and disease, suicidal despair) as citadels?

    He doesn't. "these citadels' refers to a noun in a preceding sentence, something like:

    ".......Malaya.............for the prisoners of war interned in Japanese Concentration Camps. Piled on top of malnutrition, exhaustion and disease, suicidal despair was the big killer in these citadels of degradation."


    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 39
    #3

    Smile Re: "these citadels of degradation"

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    But why does the writer refer the things(malnutrition, exhaustion and disease, suicidal despair) as citadels?

    He doesn't. "these citadels' refers to a noun in a preceding sentence, something like:

    ".......Malaya.............for the prisoners of war interned in Japanese Concentration Camps. Piled on top of malnutrition, exhaustion and disease, suicidal despair was the big killer in these citadels of degradation."


    Thank you for your quick reply. but still confused. the preceding sentences are:

    He was a psychiatrist imprisoned in a German concentration camp during W. W. II. As the shrinking number of surviving prisoners descended to new depths of hell, he and his closest prisoner friend sought desperately for ways to keep from dying. Piled on top of malnutrition, exhoustion and disease, suicidal despair was the big killer in these citadels of degradation.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #4

    Re: "these citadels of degradation"

    He was a psychiatrist imprisoned in a German concentration camp during W. W. II. As the shrinking number of surviving prisoners descended to new depths of hell, he and his closest prisoner friend sought desperately for ways to keep from dying. Piled on top of malnutrition, exhoustion and disease, suicidal despair was the big killer in these citadels of degradation.

    He was imprisoned in one particular concentration camp. In all of the German concentration camps - "citadels of degradation' - (no matter in which particular camp you were interned) suicidal despair was the big killer.


    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 39
    #5

    Smile Re: "these citadels of degradation"

    Thank you very much for the replies.

    What is the exact meaning of the word " degradation" here?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #6

    Re: "these citadels of degradation"

    Utter humiliation brought about by stripping them of all self-esteem and human dignity.


    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 39
    #7

    Smile Re: "these citadels of degradation"

    Thanks a lot.

    Then how to comprehend the phrase "the citadels of degradation"?
    Does it mean the citadels make them feel losing face..

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