In the face of so much meaning

MaryamSeresht

Senior Member
Persian
Hello everyone,

Here a ghost who appears to her sister, makes a decision to not appear anymore to her or the rest of her family; anyone who knows her, since it is painful for them, or because they need her to appear more and more.

I'm not sure about understanding the word " meaning " here. So, Please tell me your idea about this sentence. Maybe those who know us well are full of understanding, knowledge, information, about us! I need a synonym for it.

(It has been easier since then, I find, to appear to people who don't recognize what they see. I looked at the cracked face of the sad girl{her sister} and knew. In the face of so much meaning it is easier to have no face.
From Hotel World by Ali Smith

Thank you.
 
  • Jektor

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    From the text you have quoted, I assume that "meaning" here means "having such an effect", "provoking such a (strong) reaction", etc.

    I looked at the cracked face of the sad girl (her sister} and knew.
    In the face of such a strong reaction, it is easier to have no face at all...

    There is also a play on the word "face" here.
    .
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You can think of it as association. A face that you’ve never seen before has no prior associations for you – it means nothing to you. Seeing the face of someone close to you (especially if they’re dead!) summons up very personal associations/meaning.
     
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