doom

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MaryamSeresht

Senior Member
Persian
Hello everyone,

May I ask what does "doom" here mean? I shall explain that here the Judge has lost his dearest thing in the world; his dog, Mutt, so he came to people, asking for her, but in a very bad situation in India, when there was a terrible riot, so many have been killed, and people terrified of going out of their houses. They didn't even have anything to eat. So, they became angry, or ridiculed this proud man, when Judge asked them for help to find his dog.

"Everyone he called on responded with immediate doom. Was this a hopeful time? They were already reconciled to Mutt's fate, and the judge wished to strangle them as they spoke.
Mrs. Thondup: "Was she expensive
?"

It's part of Inheritance of Loss, a novel by Kiran Desai.
Best Regards and lots of thanks.
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hullo Maryam. I'd interpret it to mean they all answered pessimistically, i.e. "there can't possibly be any good news about your dog, not when times are so hard for all us human beings."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi Maryam

    I agree with the puppy. Just to add - "doom" here, for me, irresistibly conjures up the set phrase "doom and gloom", which is often used to express pessimism, despair etc (see this previous thread Doom And Gloom).
     

    DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    "Everyone he called on responded with immediate doom"
    Although I'm sure that ewie's interpretation is correct, I would just add that it seems like a very odd usage of the word, and not one that you should be encouraged to imitate.

    p.s. "doom and gloom" would be a better choice - thanks, Loob ;)
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Although I'm sure that ewie's interpretation is correct, I would just add that it seems like a very odd usage of the word, and not one that you should be encouraged to imitate.

    p.s. "doom and gloom" would be a better choice - thanks, Loob ;)
    Re the odd usage of doom. What does doom mean then? "death, destruction, or another terrible fate" according to the WR dictionary.. that surely fits ewie's "I'd interpret it to mean they all answered pessimistically," even though he is being a bit euphemistic..

    see http://www.wordreference.com/definition/doom

    GF..
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    You're right, Doc/Dock - Kiran Desai's language is often slightly strange. When I read the novel, I couldn't work out whether the language quirks were Indian-influenced or idiosyncratic; I tend, now, to think that they're idiosyncratic. There's a choice: you can like them or dislike them. Personally, I like the way she writes - though I hated the wretchedly sad ending of The Inheritance of Loss.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I don't think there's any more sense in 'doom' here than there is in 'you've got another thing coming' - wait, perhaps that's what the people were saying.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Well, a "doom" is also the act of passing judgment, right? I get a sense of "people immediately responded by prophesying awful fates, declaring the dog lost, etc."

    I obviously love irregular language use. But this particular example seems a little bit more awkward than the others. I wonder if it's supposed to be choppy or inelegant so as to reflect the characters' panic and discombobulation?
     
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