Wonder

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october15

Senior Member
Portugal-Portuguese
I need to make sure of the sense of the word "wonder" in the following passage:

"Caught in the tidal flows of unspoken morning prayers and simple wonder, John the Collector rested against a tree".

Source: Eve by WM. Paul Young

Could the word wonder mean awe or reflexion? Maybe contemplation?
This is the very beginning of the book so it's hard to add more insight. He's sitting on the beach facing the ocean. Other than that, there's not much more I can say.

Please advise.

october15
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Though it's the beginning of the book, could you please describe the situation he's in, october15?

    For example, where's he? What does the reference to morning prayers mean?
     

    october15

    Senior Member
    Portugal-Portuguese
    Though it's the beginning of the book, could you please describe the situation he's in, october15?

    For example, where's he? What does the reference to morning prayers mean?
    His morning prayers I suppose. It makes sense: He is praying in silence lost in thought or contemplation.
    I say in my previous thread he is on the beach.

    Here's the complete passage:

    "Caught in the tidal flows of unspoken morning prayers and simple wonder, John the Collector rested against a tree with his toes burrowed and curled into the coolness beneath the warming sand. Before him, a rippling ocean stretched out until it disappeared, merging into the clear cobalt sky."

    October15
     

    MirandaEscobedo

    Senior Member
    British English
    Ocean ... awe ... wonder -- yes, these all go together in standard cliches and here we have "tidal flows" to reinforce that.

    Specifically, I think it is wonder in the sense of awe rather than wonder in the sense of wonder about, as in reflection or contemplation. However, with this kind of writing, there is probably no reason to exclude reflection and contemplation as well.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    "Caught in the tidal flows of unspoken morning prayers and simple wonder, John the Collector rested against a tree with his toes burrowed and curled into the coolness beneath the warming sand. Before him, a rippling ocean stretched out until it disappeared, merging into the clear cobalt sky."
    My God, what hyperbole. But I guess it's nice hyperbole. :) There are too many parts of this sentence to break down in one thread. "Wonder" has normal meaning here.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Thanks for the context.

    I say in my previous thread he is on the beach.
    Please keep in mind that people don't read every thread, except the moderators.:) And there are so many every day that even they may not always remember the context you supplied in another thread.
     

    october15

    Senior Member
    Portugal-Portuguese
    S
    Thanks for the context.



    Please keep in mind that people don't read every thread, except the moderators.:) And there are so many every day that even they may not always remember the context you supplied in another thread.

    I meant my previous post, not thread. Sorry for that. I think I got all the feedback I needed. Thanks everyone.

    october15
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Could the word wonder mean awe or reflexion? Maybe contemplation?
    Probably all three. English apparently has the largest vocabulary of all the languages in the world. There are slight variations between so-called synonyms. In my opinion there is no such thing as a pure synonym. Anyway, these words have slightly different connotations: wonder, awe, reflection, contemplation. In learning a foreign language people need to expose themselves to the nuances.

    Wonder means wonder. It is similar to the other three.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Wonder' as a noun doesn't have the meaning of asking oneself or questioning like the verb 'to wonder'. So if that's what you meant by 'reflection', then no.
    We have to use the gerund 'wondering' if we needed a noun with that meaning.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Could the word wonder mean awe or reflexion? Maybe contemplation?
    It is very close, in this context, to " awe and reflection"

    OED: Wonder (n. - uncountable): The emotion excited by the perception of something novel and unexpected, or inexplicable; astonishment mingled with perplexity or bewildered curiosity. Also, the state of mind in which this emotion exists;

    1848 Thackeray Vanity Fair lxv. 594 Max and Fritz were at the door listening with wonder to Mrs. Becky's sobs and cries.
     
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