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"wasting the most poignant moments of night and life" [ At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others — poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner — young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life ] Ch.3 http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/f/fitzgerald/f_scott/gatsby/complete.html#chapter3 1.) “poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows” <= are they waiting in line to get inside the restaurant? If so, why was the verb “loiter” used? 2.) Here I guess “the most poignant moments of night and life” means something positive. But I thought “poignant” is a word usually associated with something negative, such as “cry”, “pain”, “grief” etc. So confused I am unable to grasp the overall meaning of the passage. Could you please help?
Nov 6, 2012 4:02 PM
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Answers · 1
1. Loiter means to wait around a place with no particular purpose in mind. 'Loiter' is used here to emphasize that the time was wasted. 2. 'Poignant' can also mean sharply perceptive or revealing. I think this is what he means.
November 6, 2012
chen
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English