Lydia sometimes had premonitions of a famine-stricken period ....

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street_princess

Member
Turkey, Turkish
Lydia sometimes had premonitions of a famine-stricken period when there would be nothing left to talk about, and she had already caught herself doling out piecemeal what, in the first prodigality of their confidences, she would have flung to him in a breath.

Hello. I tried to analyse this sentence but still couldn`t understand it on my own. I need help :eek:

Lydia had premonitions that there would be a famine-stricken period when there would be nothing left to talk about... and she was piecing a food or something to share with the other person ? " in the first prodigality of their confidences, she would have flung to him in a breath " I hardly understood a thing from this sentence :confused:


Below, I`m giving it in the context;


[...]
They had unlimited leisure and an accumulation of mental energy to devote to any subject that presented itself; new topics were in fact at a premium. Lydia sometimes had premonitions of a famine-stricken period when there would be nothing left to talk about, and she had already caught herself doling out piecemeal what, in the first prodigality of their confidences, she would have flung to him in a breath. Their silence therefore might simply mean that they had nothing to say; but it was another disadvantage of their position that it allowed infinite opportunity for the classification of minute differences. Lydia had learned to distinguish between real and factitious silences; and under Gannett's she now detected a hum of speech to which her own thoughts made breathless answer.
Source

 
  • cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    Lydia sometimes had premonitions (flashes or images of what is to come in the future) of a period where famine would be widespread, and where there would be nothing left to talk about anymore.

    She had already caught herself (i.e. found herself, discovered herself doing something she hadn't realised she was doing), doling out (i.e. serving up, giving out) sparingly what, in the initial (tendency towards) excess of their interactions/doings with each other, she would have flung (i.e. thrown) to him in a breath (i.e. without thinking, in a second).

    To summarise: She sometimes foresaw a period of great famine where nothing would be left to talk about. She began giving out sparingly, compared to what originally was the case, what she served up freely and unhesitatingly before.

    I hope it's clearer now. Don't hesitate to ask for any further clarification. :)
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Lydia sometimes had premonitions (flashes or images of what is to come in the future) of a period where famine would be widespread, and where there would be nothing left to talk about anymore.
    I think that the famine referred to here is actually figurative - it's a "famine of things to talk about". The second part of the sentence supports this - she has a lot of things to say now but she is eking them out one by one in the knowledge that they will one day run dry and they will have nothing left to say to one another.

    She began giving out sparingly, compared to what originally was the case, what she served up freely and unhesitatingly before.
    Yes - but I think that what is being referred to is words not food or concrete items.
     

    street_princess

    Member
    Turkey, Turkish
    guys, I have to tell you something :( I`m afraid I have some problems with the rest of the paragraph too. ( that`s the conclusion I`ve come to after some hours:rolleyes: ) So I thought you could help me maybe as you still seem online and already read the paragraph before.

    Their silence therefore might simply mean that they had nothing to say; but it was another disadvantage of their position that it allowed infinite opportunity for the classification of minute differences. Lydia had learned to distinguish between real and factitious silences; and under Gannett's she now detected a hum of speech to which her own thoughts made breathless answers.

    Their silence could mean they had nothing to say but it was actually another disadvantage of their situation ( which is their having infinite time ) coz they don t even know when to say a thing as their time is infinite and they can`t decide how to class it. Lydia knows the difference between real and fake silences and she detects a hum of speech ; she hears Gannett humming by himself and then her mind produces quick answers ?

    Am I any close ?
     
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