limbs regimented

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kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Dear all
What's meant by "limbs regimented" in the following context from "Three Soldiers" by Dos Passos:
Time: 1918
Location: A YMCA hut in an American camp somewhere in France
Andrews sat at the piano without playing. He was thinking how once he had thought to express all the cramped boredom of this life; the thwarted limbs regimented together, lashed into straight lines, the monotony of servitude. Unconsciously as he thought of it, the fingers of one hand sought a chord, which jangled in the badly tuned piano.
Does it mean "the thwarted limbs stuck together"?
 
  • Very literary. Regimented brings to mind a military regiment, which is tightly bound together into conformity and restrained movement.

    Does "this life" refer to a soldier's life?

    I wonder what is meant by limbs, are they physical or metaphorical limbs? What is your guess?
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Very literary. Regimented brings to mind a military regiment, which is tightly bound together into conformity and restrained movement.

    Does "this life" refer to a soldier's life?

    I wonder what is meant by limbs, are they physical or metaphorical limbs? What is your guess?
    My guess is that they are physical limbs, and that you are right. These bodies would like to be doing other things.
     
    Last edited:

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Does "this life" refer to a soldier's life?
    I wonder what is meant by limbs, are they physical or metaphorical limbs? What is your guess?
    I guess "this life" refers to his own life as a soldier.
    As for limbs I see it more physical than metaphorical.
     
    My guess is that they are physical limbs,

    Yes, like when soldiers stand to attention, their limbs " lashed into straight lines."

    I was also thinking about the "limbs" of one's life (when in servitude). You see?

    Karoba, is the whole book written in this expressive style? Sounds interesting.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thanks dear TT
    Do you think this is an interpretation of the "cramped boredom of this life" expressed in the previous sentence?
    Yes, certainly. There's an element of personification - limbs don't usually have ideas of their own, but these are thwarted by the regimentation. They would rather be making love to their girls, say, that standing on the parade ground, or going into battle. It's an understandable point of view.
     
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