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Harry
What does "to trail feebly away," mean? For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. I had got to shoot the elephant. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle. A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things. To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two thousand people marching at my heels, and then" to trail feebly away," having done nothing – no, that was impossible. The crowd would laugh at me. And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at. What does " to trail feebly away," mean?
May 27, 2013 3:06 AM
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Answers · 4
"To trail away" is a set phrase that means to become weaker, or to fade away. A similar phrase is "to trail off." When something trails off or trails away, it is the opposite of ending suddenly. Ex.: "Although I tried to explain my mistake, my explanation trailed off feebly when I saw the angry look in my girlfriend's eyes." In other words, my explanation became weaker and weaker instead of just ending suddenly. "Feebly" here means "weakly," but maybe with a slightly stronger connotation. Apologies to Dr. Ring, but in this instance I do not think "to trail" means "to walk," especially in the set phrase "to trail away." "To trail" by itself means "to follow behind," which you could do on foot, on a bike, in a car, etc. You can also trail behind something in an abstract way. For example: "The test scores in inner city schools trail (far) behind those in suburban schools." Hope this helps. Another
May 27, 2013
to trail = to walk feebly = weakly
May 27, 2013
Harry
Language Skills
English, Korean
Learning Language
English