Smith was shocked by a Jain monk’s refusal to resist an attack

Gattamelata

Senior Member
Russian
Is "refusal" a clear grammatical agent performing the action in a sentence like "somebody was shocked by refusal to resist an attack"? As a context, please consider such a sentence:
"Smith’s first encounter with Jainism began with the oath of non-violence, when in 1977 Smith was shocked by a Jain monk’s refusal to resist an attack by bandits." The first thing Smith encountered in Jainism was its oath of non-violence. In 1977 Smith had seen a monk who refused to use force against attacking bandits. Is it clear which subject exactly shocked Smith? In other words, is it clear that I'm speaking not about the monk per se, and not about the attack, but about the refusal to resist the attack?
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Basically the sentence is "Smith was shocked by a ... refusal ..." But that is terribly vague.

    So, in order to clarify the meaning, you have specified whose refusal (a Jain monk’s) and what kind of refusal (to resist an attack by bandits). That is perfectly clear.
     
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