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Wu Ting
How would you interpret “thank you” here? “Take a letter, Mrs. Brown. Tell the lady she needs to get in touch with General Eisenhower right away, because he too is in possession of a Communist Object.” Mrs. Brown sat at the typewriter, hands poised, waiting for the cue that my words were going to make some kind of sense. Sometimes she waits all day. “What did they call it? Oh, yes!” I said, snapping my fingers. My memory is fine, thank you. “The Order of Victory. It was in Life Magazine years ago, they had a full-page photo. A platinum star set with diamonds. Stalin gave it to him at Yalta. Tell her the next time Agent Myers comes around, she’d better tell him to go see Eisenhower. Make sure the general puts that thing in a poke and sends it right back to Stalin.” How would you interpret “thank you” in the sentence “My memory is fine, thank you”? What do you think the pronoun “you” refers to? His memory? Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.
Jun 8, 2015 8:08 AM
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Answers · 1
I could be wrong, but my interpretation is that he is answering a criticism that he hasn't received from anyone, only one he may have given to himself when talking to himself. So if after he said 'What did they call it?", someone else had said "you've got a bad memory", he might have replied, "My memory is fine, thank you", meaning it's fine and I don't need you to point out my shortcomings that are not even true. In this example there is nobody saying anything to him, but it looks like he has anticipated someone might have said that, or his own inner voice might have said that, so he has replied.
June 8, 2015
Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English