a countenance that was exquisitely regular

celine713

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, still on Cooper's the last of the mohicans:

...her complexion was not brown but it rather appeared charged with the colour of the rich blood that seemed ready to burst its bounds, and yet there was neither coarseness nor want of shadowing in a countenance that was exquisitely regular and dignified and surpassingly beautiful.
how to understand the green part ? :confused: and how could "regular", and "dignified" and “beautiful" be put together? Thanks in advance!
 
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    First, understand that the "ideal" of feminine beauty at the time was a woman with a complexion like white marble. If a woman had skin that showed the effect of the sun -- in other words, such as a woman had when she had to work in the garden or the field -- such a complexion was considered "coarse". Furthermore, unless one had the pale white complexion that was favored, every change of emotion would not show through pink blushes or flushes of the skin, and thus a darker complexion was thought to have a lack (or "want) of "shadowing.

    This woman, however, even though she does not have a pale white skin, has a face whose features are regular (that is, not crooked or misplaced, or too large or small, but all exactly where they belong), and which is dignified and beautiful.

    It makes perfect sense to say that a woman's face is dignified, and beautiful, and with regular features; the three work very well together to explain why the woman is attractive.
     

    celine713

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    First, understand that the "ideal" of feminine beauty at the time was a woman with a complexion like white marble. If a woman had skin that showed the effect of the sun -- in other words, such as a woman had when she had to work in the garden or the field -- such a complexion was considered "coarse". Furthermore, unless one had the pale white complexion that was favored, every change of emotion would not show through pink blushes or flushes of the skin, and thus a darker complexion was thought to have a lack (or "want) of "shadowing.

    This woman, however, even though she does not have a pale white skin, has a face whose features are regular (that is, not crooked or misplaced, or too large or small, but all exactly where they belong), and which is dignified and beautiful.

    It makes perfect sense to say that a woman's face is dignified, and beautiful, and with regular features; the three work very well together to explain why the woman is attractive.
    Thank you so much for that thorough explanation, the picture is pretty clear for me now! :)
     

    celine713

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    here, what is the meaning of “and yet”, for emphasis or transition or just characteristic of the style?
     

    Aria

    Member
    Castellano, Argentina
    Hi! personally I think that:
    There the "yet" it is used for transition. Because it is saying that she didn´t had already the coarseness nor want of shadowing in a countenance that was exquisitely regular and dignified and surpassingly beautiful.

    Best!
    ...Aria
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    The "and yet" used here is very similar to "despite the fact"

    The dinner was made of very simple, common ingredients, and yet it was absolutely delicious. (= Despite the fact that the dinner was made of very simple, common igredients, it was absolutely delicious.)

    Mary has almost no money to spend on her clothes, and yet her appearance is always elegant. (= Despite the fact that Mary has no money to spend on her clothes, her appearance is always elegant)

    Here, what we have means "Despite the fact that her complexion was darker and redder in shade than that marble whiteness commonly considered the standard of beauty, there was neither coarseness nor want of shadowing in a countenance that was exquisitely regular and dignified and surpassingly beautiful.
     

    Aria

    Member
    Castellano, Argentina
    Now I see the post of GreenWhiteBlue I see that I was wrong. I agree with you, it makes sense, and ,besides, it is the meaning that the text is trying to show.
     

    celine713

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, that's on my mind, even I still think" yet" alone could convey the mood without"and", maybe it's part of Cooper's style:) fantastic tips, I've learnt much, thanks again!
     
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