Usage of which, specially when it is put away.

shiness

Senior Member
Korean, South Korea.
But in all, and in almost every line of each, there was a want of that cheerfulness which had been used to characterize her style, and which, proceeding from the serenity of a mind at ease with itself and kindly disposed towards every one, had been scarcely ever clouded. - Context from Jane Austen's P&P -


Hi.

What do you think the underlined "which" in the quote is implying?
I think it could be both her cheerfulness or her style.

I suspect it would be the former,But I'm not really confident in my judgement, so I'd like to ask for your confirmation and help.
 
  • Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Shiness, 'which' defines 'cheerfulness.
    I agree. The reason is that there is an earlier "which" that immediately follows "cheerfulness", and the highlighted one is preceded by "and", indicating a continuation of first which's reference.

    Consider instead, "But in all, and in almost every line of each, there was a want of that cheerfulness which had been used to characterize her style, which, proceeding from the serenity of a mind at ease with itself and kindly disposed towards every one, had been scarcely ever clouded."

    With the "and" gone, the second "which" could as easily refer to her style as to her cheerfulness.
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    The and Old Novice refers to connects two subordinate clauses starting with which. Without the and, the second which could only refer to her style.

    But in all, and in almost every line of each, there was a want of that cheerfulness which had been used to characterize her style, and which, proceeding from the serenity of a mind at ease with itself and kindly disposed towards every one, had been scarcely ever clouded. - Context from Jane Austen's P&P -
    There was a want of that cheerfulness which had been used to characterize her style.

    There was a want of that cheerfulness which, proceeding from the serenity of a mind at ease with itself and kindly disposed towards every one, had been scarcely ever clouded.

    Also, 'scarcely ever clouded' wouldn't really make sense if modifying 'her style.'

    Orange Blossom
     
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