Works on a deeper level

Stephen Schmidt

Senior Member
Arabic
Hi everyone,
What is the synonym and the meaning of the word "work" in the following sentence:
The horror in this book works on a deeper, more frightening level.

--- Praise for Cell, Stephen King
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    to work = to operate successfully; to have a successful effect.

    It is an extend meaning of the usual verb to work: "I have fixed the clock and now it works."
     
    'works' means, approximately, 'affects the reader'.

    I agree Paul that 'success' is implied, but 'successfully affects the reader' {if one were to consider that} is unnecessary wording. Perhaps "successfully reaches the reader in an emotional way" is a fuller explanation.

    These definitions from W-R apply, original numbering 14, 15, 17.

    to be functional, as a machine; operate[no object]He got the machine to work again.

    to prove effective[no object]This plan works.

    to have an effect (on), as on a person's feelings: [no object]Don't try tears and crying; that doesn't work on him.[~ + object]Diet and exercise worked wonders on him.
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    As Bennymix says (#4), the reader is not mentioned. The sentence "The horror in this book works on a deeper, more frightening level."
    is about the quality of the horror in the story - not its effect.

    You can simplify and say "The horror in this book is on a deeper, more frightening level [than you might, at first, expect/notice]."
     
    I think that's fine. The reader, of course, is not mentioned, BUT we can assume that the horror writer wishes to reach the reader emotionally, to make them horrified. HENCE, 'success' is in reaching, i.e. affecting the reader, in that way. Thus, in a practical sense, to say a book 'works' is roughly equivalent to saying it affects the reader as intended. To say a horror book works on a deep level, is to say, roughly, that the reader is affected (in relation to the emotions of horror, fright, anxiety, etc.) on a deep level.

    If one wants to incorporate 'success' then you could re-word your proposed sentence:

    The horror in this book succeeds in affecting the readers on a deeper and more frightening level. {revised}




    The horror in this book affects the readers on a deeper and more frightening level.
     
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