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Help me with a Moby **** passage


unclhien
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[QUOTE]Call me Ishmael. Some years ago -- never mind how long precisely -- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off -- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me. There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs -- commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme down-town is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there. Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall northward. What do you see? -- Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks [/QUOTE] What is "growing grim about the mouth"? What is "in my soul"? What does the author mean by saying "pausing before the coffin warehouses ...."? What does "hypos" mean? What is "knocking people's hats off"? What is "account it high time"? Thanks a lot and happy new year.
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[quote name='unclhien']What is "growing grim about the mouth"? What is "in my soul"? What does the author mean by saying "pausing before the coffin warehouses ...."? What does "hypos" mean? What is "knocking people's hats off"? What is "account it high time"?[/QUOTE] unclhien, Ishmael loves the sea and becomes deprressed and full of morbid thoughts on land. From this I would say: [U]Growing grim about the mouth[/U] = losing his smile and going around with his mouth turned down. [U]In my soul[/U] = in my mental feelings - a damp November is dark and horrible. [U]Pausing before the coffin warehouses[/U] = stopping outside shops that sell coffins (in UK English - undertakers). [U]Account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can[/U] = think I must go back to see as soon as possible. [U]What does "hypos" mean?[/U] An uncommon use of the prefix hypo- (= below) as a word to mean in low spirits, depressed. [U]What is "knocking people's hats off"?[/U] What it says, his depression and frustration at being away from the sea make him want to run into the street and do silly things. Michael
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I want to ask you some more questions. What's 'a philosophical flourish Cato'? I think 'throws' must be 'throwing', because the sentence begins with 'with'. Is that right? What does the author mean by 'pistol and ball'? What does 'but knew' mean? Does 'but' here mean 'only'?
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[U]What does the author mean by 'pistol and ball'?[/U] Pistol and ammunition, in those days a ball. He is referring to suicide. So when he is depressed he goes to sea instead of killing himself. Cato killed himself, Ishmael boards a ship. [U]What's 'a philosophical flourish Cato'? I think 'throws' must be 'throwing', because the sentence begins with 'with'. Is that right? [/U]Cato the Younger killed himself with his own sword. In other words he threw himself on it. Here the writer seems to use the present ‘throws’ as a literary device to give ‘Cato kills himself, I go to sea.’ [U]Philospohical flourish[/U] would refer to Cato’s demeanour when he killed himself. The use of [U]philosophical[/U] could mean like a philosopher, or the word can often be used to mean ‘resigned acceptance’, eg ‘she was very [U]philosophical[/U] about the theft of her car. [U]What does 'but knew' mean? Does 'but' here mean 'only'?[/U] Yes. So to paraphrase ‘ all men have a desire to go to sea at certain times in their life, but they don’t realise that they do.’ Michael
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  • 8 years later...

Dear Sir, may i ask your good self to please help me to know the following points .

 

1.Call me Ishmael.? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

2.having little or no money in my purse -- DID HE MEANT NO MONEY IN PURSE ?

3.and nothing particular to interest me on shore--- IF HE HAD NO INTEREST IN SHORE THAN WHY HE THINKS TO GO FOR SEA EXPLORING?

4. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation-- PLEASE TELL ME THE COMPLETE WAY TO UNDERSTAND THIS LINE WITH SOME SIMPLE SENTENCE

5.battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves,?? WHAT IN THESE LINES BATTERY HAS TO DO WITH NOBLE MOLE AND WHAT IS NOBLE MOLE ANYWAYS?

6.Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon..... WHAT IS Sabbath means here? and what stands for Circumambulate???

7. spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks .............. PLEASE CAN YOU WRITE THIS LINE IN SOME MORE COMPREHENSIVE FORM.

 

I WILL APPRECIATE YOURS VALUABLE TIME IN RESPONDING ME WITH MY QUERIES.

GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR.

 

ASHISH KUMAR SINGH

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

HUMAN RESOURCES

PhD. MBA , NEW DELHI

INDIA

+919411032328

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