[grammar]that she was locked away...

thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
As a result, all she could do was wait for news. It felt as if nothing was happening, that she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city.

Hi, dear everyone. This quote is from a novel called "Dishonored". I'm wondering if "that" in the second sentence is a short version of "now that"? If not, what does the "that" function as?

Thank you for your enlightenment.
 
  • thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Was she really locked, or did it feel like she was locked?
    Hi. The context is she refers to the Empress of the Isles and her Loyal Protector(her father) calls for more of his men to watch her every move so that she won't get entangle in some trouble because the Empress likes to "hang out" at night. So she is not literally "locked" in the tower.
    Does this help?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    As a result, all she could do was wait for news. It felt as if nothing was happening, that she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city.

    I'm wondering if "that" in the second sentence is a short version of "now that"? If not, what does the "that" function as?
    I think you can read it as though "that" was another "as if" – It felt as if nothing was happening, as if she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city.

    In practice, as the next sentence reveals, she wasn't actually locked in but had chosen not to go out at night as it was too dangerous.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you. But I don't understand if "that" is another "as if", why doesn't the author write "It felt as if nothing was happening, and that/as if she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city"? Is there a missing "and"? Why doesn't the author use "and" to join the two clauses?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It felt as if nothing was happening, that she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city.

    It felt as if nothing was happening -- she felt that she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city.

    The sentence is imperfect. The implied "she felt" fits with "that", but is a mismatch with the earlier "It felt".
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    -- she felt that she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city.
    Thank you. So this part ",that she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city" is a parenthesis which provides additional information?
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thank you. So this part ",that she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city" is a parenthesis which provides additional information?
    Well, yes, it's additional information, and it gives us more of a complete picture of what she was feeling.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    As a result, all she could do was wait for news. It felt as if nothing was happening, that she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city.


    I agree that the sentence should not be taken as an example of perfectly correct English. We have to bear in mind that it's from a novel, and writers of fiction use literary devices that often bend the rules.

    "It felt" relates to two different things. If you remove the first of them, you're left with: It felt that she was locked away in Dunwall Tower while events raced ahead of her, outside in the city. Although "it felt that" is not an accepted construction, this reads quite well and is perfectly understandable. (Nevertheless, a repeat of "as if" would have been better grammar and, arguably, better style!)

    As to why the two points in the sentence are not joined by "and" or some other conjunction, again that's just for effect. Adding "and" would detract from the flow or rhythm of the sentence.

    Finally, thetazuo, you've asked here – and elsewhere – whether the second part of the sentence is a parenthetical phrase. It isn't. But my "and elsewhere" is!
     
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