The appalling horror did not penetrate

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lilly jo

Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello everyone.

I'm reading Asimov's Pebble in the sky and I want to make sure I understood this sentence: "And all will die? The appalling horror did not penetrate - could not."

Two characters are talking and one of them is telling the other something very important: Earth's plan to destroy the Galaxy by using a modified virus.

One of the meanings of the verb to penetrate is "to have an effect or influence, especially on the mind or emotions". Am I correct to think that the idea in the sentence I mentioned is that the character is horrified, but doesn't show that emotion?

  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    No, it means that it didn't penetrate his mind so as to have an effect on his emotions. His psychological defences prevented him from fully appreciating the horror so that he would not become incapacitated by his emotions.
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