the meanig of "it would be a nice gesture on her part"

chance22

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In the short story "Say Yes" by Tobias Wolff, during a quarrel, the wife hurt her finger while washing the dishes, and then the husband came to her aid quickly. Here comes the sentence:
He'd acted out of concern for her, he thought that it would be a nice gesture on her part not to start up that conversation again, as he was tired of it.
My question is, what does this gesture refer to? If "it" is considered as an anticipatory it and the "not to..." part is what actually this "it" refers to, then the gesture means the wife's not starting up that conversation again.
Is it also possible to interpret it as the husband's act of coming to help quickly, which would be a nice gesture to suggest to the wife that she should not start up the conversation again?
I really don't quite understand this. Would you explain it to me? Thank you.
 

jutfrank

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If "it" is considered as an anticipatory it and the "not to..." part is what actually this "it" refers to, then the gesture means the wife's not starting up that conversation again.
Yes.

Is it also possible to interpret it as the husband's act, which would be a nice gesture to suggest to the wife that she should not start up the conversation again?
No.

I really don't quite understand this. Would you explain it to me?
Your first interpretation is correct. The gesture belongs to the wife, not the husband. The gesture is not starting up that conversation again.
 
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