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How would you explain “arrangements” here?


CLOUDS SPREAD OUT over the Atlantic like soiled linens on an unmade bed. I knew, watching them, that if in any given moment a measurement could be made it would show how tentative was my mind’s mastery over my heart. Such small arrangements make a life, and though it’s hard to get close to saying what the heart is, it must at least be that which rushes to spill out of those parentheses which were the beginning and the end of my war: the old life disappearing into the dust that hung and hovered over Nineveh even before it could be recalled and longed for, young and unformed as it was, already broken by the time I reached the furthest working of my memory. I was going home…

How would you explain “arrangements” in the third sentence?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    In the future, when asking a question about something, it is more helpful to post a slightly longer passage that precedes the ambiguity. It is because, the ambiguity can usually be resolved by looking at what was said before. Although there are exceptions to the rule, good writing consists of first defining something, then referring back to it in short hand. It's less common (though it still does happen) to use a word very generally, and then define it in the lines that follow. But given the limited context, I would say that "small arrangements" mean the "random occurrences" in life. Think of the simile "clouds spreading over the Atlantic like soiled linens on an unmade bed." There is something random about how the dirty linens are laid on the bed. Throw the linens on the bed again, and likely you will have a different "arrangement." Likewise, in life, there is an accumulation of small, random occurrences that while small and perhaps insigificant individually, together define a life.

    Such small arrangements make a life.

    A life is made of a such a small combination of events arranged in a particular way. The human heart is bigger than that small arrangement.

    *Not saying Denis is wrong, just adding on to it :)*

    Like, the human heart is full of emotion and complexity that it anything small or simple can't compare to it. And, even the little things that happen to you, makes up your life and shouldn't be taken for granted.

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