How would you interpret the word ‘shock’ in the context?
How would you interpret the word ‘shock’ in the sentence ‘The shock dulls the pain’?
Does it mean ‘a sudden and disturbing effect on the emotions’ or ‘an acute state of prostration’?
I think both make sense in the context. So I’m not sure what the speaker’s real meaning was.
Thanks. It’s from A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (Chapter 9).
Captain doctor—(interested in something he was finding), "Fragments of enemy trench-mortar shell. Now I'll probe for some of this if you like but it's not necessary. I'll paint all this and—Does that sting? Good, that's nothing to how it will feel later. The pain hasn't started yet. Bring him a glass of brandy. The shock dulls the pain; but this is all right, you have nothing to worry about if it doesn't infect and it rarely does now. How is your head?"
"Good Christ" I said.