would he take her gift to which he had only to stetch out his hand.

fateh ahmadpanah

Member
Kurdish/Iran
this is a complex sentence from 'A portrait of the artist as a young man' by James Joyce. context: here Joyce is describing a fantasy in which the hero of the novel( Stephen)expresses his feelings about her favorite girl . but the meaning of this part is not easy to understand: " a voice within him spoke above the noise of his dancing heart, asking him would he take her gift to which he had only to stretch out his hand."
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    It could be expressed: "...asking him if he would take her gift. He had only to stretch out his hand to it."

    So, to combine the two sentences in one, Joyce uses a relative pronoun (which) to replace the pronoun it.

    You're right, it's not easy to understand - it is James Joyce, after all!
     
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