beat one's head against <a stone / a brick wall>

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(para.4) of an English-learning website
"Only Clifford and his books, which did not exist. . .which had nothing in them! Void to void. Vaguely she(Connie) knew. But it was like beating her head against a stone."
What does "beat her head against a stone" mean please? I guess it means "Connie repeatedly beat her head against a stone to punish herself", but I'm not sure. It is also likely to mean "Connie bumped her head against a stone unconsciouly, which is used to mean Connie's life is not smooth or successful.

Thank you in advance
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This expression refers to doing something that is painful but produces no useful result. I don't know enough about the general context to say how it applies here.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    This expression refers to doing something that is painful but produces no useful result. I don't know enough about the general context to say how it applies here.
    Thank you all the same. And is it a set phase?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Note that the common expression is "to beat one's head against against a wall."

    From Free Dictionary of Idioms:

    beat one's head against the wall

    and bang one's head against a brick wall
    Fig. to waste one's time trying hard to accomplish something that is completely hopeless. You're wasting your time trying to figure this puzzle out. You're just beating your head against the wall. You're banging your head against a brick wall trying to get that dog to behave properly.


     
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