why is "but" used here?

amy20082008

Member
mandarin, P.R.China
...She(a very old woman) could have taken it(her fur necklet, which she thinks very lovely) off and laid it on her lap and stroked it. She felt a tingling in her hands and arms, but that came from walking, she supposed...

why is "but" used here? does this sentence mean "the tingling possibly came from walking" or "there was no possiblity that the tingling came from walking"? i think maybe she doesn't want to admit that she feels bad after walking.
 
  • englishman

    Senior Member
    English England
    amy20082008 said:
    ...She(a very old woman) could have taken it(her fur necklet, which she thinks very lovely) off and laid it on her lap and stoked it. She felt a tingling in her hands and arms, but that came from walking, she supposed...

    why is "but" used here? does this sentence mean "the tingling possibly came from walking" or "there was no possiblity that the tingling came from walking"? i think maybe she doesn't want to admit that she feels bad after walking.
    I think that when she is stroking the necklace [necklet ?] and feels a tingling, she is explaining to herself the cause of the tingling. Because she feels that it would not make sense to associate it with the stroking (that would be magical, or supernatural, perhaps) she associates it with the walking. So "but" here is used in the sense:

    "the tingling does not come from the stroking but from the walking"

    That is how I would interpret it. Does that help ?
     

    amy20082008

    Member
    mandarin, P.R.China
    thank you, maybe i have thought too much about her feeling :p
    but "she could have taken it off and stroke it", so she didn't stroke it because of the tingling. anyway, thanks a lot.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    amy20082008 said:
    ...She(a very old woman) could have taken it(her fur necklet, which she thinks very lovely) off and laid it on her lap and stoked it. She felt a tingling in her hands and arms, but that came from walking, she supposed...

    why is "but" used here? does this sentence mean "the tingling possibly came from walking" or "there was no possiblity that the tingling came from walking"? i think maybe she doesn't want to admit that she feels bad after walking.

    I think the tingling is not at all related to the sentence about the fur necklet.

    I think you are right about the her not wanting to admit that she is feeling unwell. Some people who sense a tingling in their arms might think of heart-attacks, which are reported to give strange sensations in ones arm. Maybe she is saying "but" to stop herself thinking of the possibility of heart trouble and onto the (more unlikely?) reason of "walking".

    Does she get more ill later in the book?
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I'm not sure exactly what a 'necklet' is; but if it was very heavy or large, it could have caused tingling; since the woman didn't want to remove the necklet, she rationalized that the tingling must have been caused by walking (thus the use of 'but').

    Just found a definition of necklet http://www.thefreedictionary.com/necklet:
    decoration worn about the neck (fur piece or tight necklace) as an ornament
    If the woman's necklet was too tight, it could have caused tingling...
     

    amy20082008

    Member
    mandarin, P.R.China
    suzi br said:
    I think the tingling is not at all related to the sentence about the fur necklet.

    I think you are right about the her not wanting to admit that she is feeling unwell. Some people who sense a tingling in their arms might think of heart-attacks, which are reported to give strange sensations in ones arm. Maybe she is saying "but" to stop herself thinking of the possibility of heart trouble and onto the (more unlikely?) reason of "walking".

    Does she get more ill later in the book?

    hey, you have the perfect answer. :)
    "She could have taken it off and laid it on her lap and stroked it. She felt a tingling in her hands and arms, but that came from walking, she supposed. And when she breathed, something light and sad – no, not sad, exactly – something gentle seemed to move in her bosom. “
    maybe this lady is too old and weak, and she really has some trouble with her heart.
     
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