but the mother's heart turned from an opinion so harsh, and inclined rather to the more refined idea

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The context comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 1

John Reed was a schoolboy of fourteen years old; four years older than I, for I was but ten: large and stout for his age, with a dingy and unwholesome skin; thick lineaments in a spacious visage, heavy limbs and large extremities. He gorged himself habitually at table, which made him bilious, and gave him a dim and bleared eye and flabby cheeks. He ought now to have been at school; but his mama had taken him home for a month or two, "on account of his delicate health." Mr. Miles, the master, affirmed that he would do very well if he had fewer cakes and sweetmeats sent him from home; but the mother's heart turned from an opinion so harsh, and inclined rather to the more refined idea that John's sallowness was owing to over-application and, perhaps, to pining after home.
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand "but the mother's heart turned from an opinion so harsh, and inclined rather to the more refined idea" here. Referring to my thread "the heart is imagined to be the generator of emotion", I try to interpret it more plainly as "but his mother emotionally rejected an opinion (which was) so harsh, and inclined rather to the more agreeable/pleasant (i.e., free from the harshness of that opinion) idea ". Is it correct?
 
  • You are very close. The kid is obviously spoiled, indulged, fat to the point of unhealth.
    His mom emotionally rejected the obvious true facts and took a more "refined", i.e. higher-level, lofty, and more favorable {seeing him better than he was}--and completely silly-- view that he perhaps worked too hard at school.

    The author is poking fun at the mom.

    In other words, the word 'refined' was not quite understood, as far as I can see.


    Hi everyone! I don't quite understand "but the mother's heart turned from an opinion so harsh, and inclined rather to the more refined idea" here. Referring to my thread "the heart is imagined to be the generator of emotion", I try to interpret it more plainly as "but his mother emotionally rejected an opinion (which was) so harsh, and inclined rather to the more agreeable/pleasant (i.e., free from the harshness of that opinion) idea ". Is it correct?
     
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