he felt himself that into words that he wished to seem jovial and friendly there crept the bitterness of his jealousy

thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Then he told me again of his asking Strickland to go. He chose his moment carefully, and tried to make his request sound casual; but he could not master the trembling of his voice, and he felt himself that into words that he wished to seem jovial and friendly there crept the bitterness of his jealousy. He had not expected Strickland to take him up on the spot and make his preparations to go there and then; above all, he had not expected his wife's decision to go with him.

Excerpt From
The Moon and Sixpence
W Somerset Maugham
This material may be protected by copyright.

Hi. Regarding the underlined part, I have two questions:
1. What do the two “that” refer to respectively?
2. Is the underlined part inversion?
Thank you.
 
Last edited:
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "That he wished to seem jovial and friendly" is a relative clause modifying "words".

    Removing this (and adding "his", since "words" on its own sounds unnatural), this part of the sentence becomes:
    he felt himself that into [his] words there crept the bitterness of his jealousy.​

    The that-clause is inverted. In a more usual word order:
    that the bitterness of his jealousy crept into his words​
    I am not sure of the grammatical function of "there"; it is not needed, but it does help mark the inversion and make it easier for readers to follow.

    "Himself" emphasises "he" - it isn't the object of "felt" - but it is common enough to place it after the verb.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you very much, Jack. It’s clear now. So the first “that” is omissible while the second is not, and the phrase “wish something to seem +adjective” is used in the relative clause, with something referring to “words”. Right?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Although in other circumstances either of the "that"s could be omitted, I would not omit the first one here; the that-clause is difficult enough, but at least you know it is a that-clause, and the basic structure is "he felt that...". If you omit "that" then it would be almost impossible to follow. The second "that" could be omitted quite easily, since it is not the subject of "wished".
    the phrase “wish something to seem +adjective” is used in the relative clause, with something referring to “words”. Right?
    Right. The relative pronoun ("that") represents the noun the relative clause modifies ("words") and is either the subject or object of the verb. If there is a different subject ("he", in this case), then you know it has to be the object, although just to make things difficult for learners, if the relative pronoun is the object then it can be omitted.
     
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