chew every mouthful thirty times because their guts are so narrow, a bit as big as a pea would give

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 319, chapter 15) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie asked Mellors whether he's happy as an officer and a gentleman, after his Colonel was dead, then Mellors said no and continued to talk…… )

‘The Colonel used to say: Lad, the English middle classes have to chew every mouthful thirty times because their guts are so narrow, a bit as big as a pea would give them a stoppage. They’re the mingiest set of ladylike snipe ever invented: full of conceit of themselves, frightened even if their boot-laces aren’t correct, rotten as , and always in the right. That’s what finishes me up. Kow-tow, kow-tow, arse-licking till their tongues are tough: yet they’re always in the right. Prigs on top of everything. ……’

What's the meaning of the blue sentence please? It's literal meaning is not hard at all, but what's the meaning behind the words? For me, if somebody ate that way, I would think he minds his health very much(of course, Lawrence didn't mean it), but according to the context, I guess it shows that the middle classes are narrow-minded

Is that right please?
Thank you in advance
 
  • longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you. The first tree sentences before the quotation are: 'No! They were a mingy lot(=they were a group of mingy people, I think).’ He laughed suddenly.
    Therefore, I feel they think too much about money, because they are mingy. Is that possible? In fact, I didn't hear the middle classes was do worried about things.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    -
    Swedish
    It's not just about things, it's about everything in life, what to wear, how to behave properly, who to marry, and so on. Today you might say that they worried about their status in society.
     
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