is a matter of the needle giving because the camel can’t.

Lamb67

Senior Member
China/Mandarin
If she told anyone what he’d done, he would kill her brother. “The act of rape on an eight-year-old body,” writes Angelou in her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is a matter of the needle giving because the camel can’t. The child gives, because the body can, and the mind of the violator cannot. [Afterward,] he dried me and handed me my bloomers … Walking down the street, I felt the wet on my pants, and my hips seemed to be coming out of their sockets.

Hello, I guess the Bible's story is used but unfortunately don't know how.The Glory of Oprah

By Caitlin Flanagan




http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/12/the-glory-of-oprah/8725/?single_page=true
 
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    1. What is your question (just one question)?
    2. Please cut your quotation down to four sentences maximum.
     

    Lamb67

    Senior Member
    China/Mandarin
    Bacially, the camel is the violator while the needle is the girl figuratively speaking.
     

    Lamb67

    Senior Member
    China/Mandarin
    sorry, my question is how to understand ' needle giving because the camel cann't' part in particular.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It is what you already suggested, the girl is the needle and the man is the camel, she is broken by his assault.

    It is a reference to a saying of Jesus' which is something to do with a camel not being able to get through the eye of a needle. The original phrasing is
    I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God
    Jesus no doubt chose this image because the size difference is so great, it creates an absurd image in our minds.

    Maya Angelou turns this around in her description of the rape as a way of drawing attention to the great variation in size between her 8 year old body and the adult rapist. In this case the needle (girl) breaks as the adult (camel) forces his way in.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'm simply quoting the author who uses "gives" – and her hips "seemed to be coming out of their sockets." Readers are welcome to interpret her words any way they want, but objectively speaking "breaks" does not appear in the passage and Maya Anjalou is a skillful enough writer that I don't think it's appropriate to add it.
     
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