At the bottom of his soul, <not allowed to shape itself into words> was the conviction

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park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
The protagonist, Philip moved in with his uncle Mr. Carey, the Vicar of Blackstable after his mother's death.
He goes to the medical school St. Luke's in London.
His uncle has been sick for a couple of years, now so very sick.
............................................

In Philip's head was a question he could not ask, because he was aware that his uncle would never give any but a conventional answer: he wondered whether at the very end, now that the machine was painfully wearing itself out, the clergyman still believed in immortality; perhaps at the bottom of his soul, not allowed to shape itself into words in case it became urgent, was the conviction that there was no God and after this life nothing.
[Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham]
I'd like to know if "not allowed to shape itself into words" is the complement of "the conviction."
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think you could see it that way, PSJ. It certainly applies to "the conviction...", not to "the bottom of the soul".
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I am with Loob:
    perhaps at the bottom of his soul, not allowed to shape itself into words in case it became urgent, was the conviction that there was no God and after this life nothing.

    perhaps there was the conviction that was at the bottom of his soul,[ and that was not allowed to shape itself into words in case it became urgent], that there was no God and, after this life, there was nothing.
     
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