pass over incrementally

SantaClaus01

Senior Member
Korean
She rushed out, because the darkness in the theater was too much when combined with the darkness in her head. And after that? I asked her. A lot of darkness, she said. But most people pass over incrementally, making a series of perforations in the membrane between here and there until an opening exists. And who can resist an opening?


Hello guys. This is from <Girl, Interrupted> by Susanna Kaysen. It's a story about girls going through mental illness.

What does "pass over incrementally" mean here?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Santa Claus. The phrase isn't meaningful or clear to me in this context. Kaysen seems to be using it in an effort to write about some sort of mystical awareness that this girl is supposed to be experiencing.
     

    SantaClaus01

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Hello, Santa Claus. The phrase isn't meaningful or clear to me in this context. Kaysen seems to be using it in an effort to write about some sort of mystical awareness that this girl is supposed to be experiencing.
    Thanks for the reply!

    What does "pass over" mean then? Does it mean "ignore" like it says in the dictionary?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You are welcome, Santa Claus, even though my reply wasn't very helpful. I imagined that "pass over" had a literal meaning in that sentence, but it might indeed mean something like "to ignore." I assume that Kaysen was trying to tell her readers something meaningful when she used that phrase, but its meaning still isn't clear to me.

    Both Benny and I believed your comment about the subject of the book. I have some experience in talking to people who suffer from delusional thinking, but that experience didn't help me understand what "most people pass over incrementally" means.
     

    SantaClaus01

    Senior Member
    Korean
    You are welcome, Santa Claus, even though my reply wasn't very helpful. I imagined that "pass over" had a literal meaning in that sentence, but it might indeed mean something like "to ignore." I assume that Kaysen was trying to tell her readers something meaningful when she used that phrase, but its meaning still isn't clear to me.

    Both Benny and I believed your comment about the subject of the book. I have some experience in talking to people who suffer from delusional thinking, but that experience didn't help me understand what "most people pass over incrementally" means.
    All right. Thanks though for trying to help me, owlman5.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    A small extract containing that passage can be seen here:
    http://www.randomhouse.com/highschool/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780679746041&view=printexcerpt

    And it is easy to slip into a parallel universe. There are so many of them: worlds of the insane, the criminal, the crippled, the dying, perhaps of the dead as well*. These worlds exist alongside this world and resemble it, but are not in it.


    My roommate Georgina came in swiftly and totally, (She had a sudden breakdown, and found herself suddenly in the "world of the insane" or in the mental institution where she is roommate to the narrator).

    In contrast, most people pass over incrementally (by stages), into the "parallel universe" that is the world of the insane.

    Edit: *"pass" or "pass over/away" is often used as a euphemism to mean that someone "died", so there is an echo of that too.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top