to any living soul...a cleavage in her life

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 403, chapter 18) by DH Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie hoped she would never go back to Wragby, her father asked why, she said..…)

‘I’m going to have a child.’
It was the first time she had uttered the words to any living soul, and it seemed to mark a cleavage in her life.
‘How do you know?’ said her father.

The part in blue is quite confusing for me. how should I understand it?
I feel any living soul to be any living person, but a person can only utter words to living persons, so why didn't Lawrence just use anyone, instead of living soul? And how should I understand a cleavage in her life please? Is it a breakthrough in her life?
Thank you in advance
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Living soul" is just a formerly common way to say "living person". Perhaps it developed among people who believed that every living human had a soul.

    "A cleavage in her life" means that something in her life was notably different after she did this. She uttered the words to another living soul, and now her life was different in some notable way.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Here, 'cleavage' means a break, change or split in her life. There was life before she said the words, the past and life after she said the words, the future. 'Cleavage is often used to mean that cleft in a woman's chest, where the breasts meet.

    ('Breakthrough' means something else.)
     
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