A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people: soul vs souls

Englishmypassion

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Hi there,
Another question.
Mahatma Gandhi said, "A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people". Why didn't he say "in the hearts and souls of its people"? After saying " in the hearts", why does he start again with "in the" as if he were going name something completely different which was not related to the subject that hearts are to? I think both hearts and soul are here related to the people of the nation. Why did he use "soul" in the singular?

Please enlighten me on this.
Thank you very much in advance.
 
  • Mr.Dent

    Senior Member
    English American
    These are good questions for which I do not have a good answer. Perhaps he was speaking extemporaneously. Or perhaps his command of English was not perfect. Or maybe he was choked up with emotion. Or perhaps he was misquoted by a reporter. I really don't know.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    in the hearts and in the soul of its people". = In the individual heart of every person in the country and in the combiined soul of the country's people."

    To me "the combiined soul of the country's people." = the general way that we, in a country, all behave and think.

    It seems that the Mahatma, who was given to expressive language, was describing the idea that national culture is the combination, the sum total, of all individual thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, etc.
     

    Mr.Dent

    Senior Member
    English American
    I didn't say it wasn't good. I said perhaps it was not perfect. I had no intent to offend, and if I did I apologize.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Thank you, Mr Dent. No, you didn't say that really. It's fine. But Mahatma Gandhi's command of the English language was really exceptional. Native command, I would say.
     
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