Wu Ting
How would you interpret the remark made by Nixon? MR. RAVENNER (the counsel): Is it true that in that same place, several extreme acts of espionage and violence were committed, all directly linked with the Secret Police of Joseph Stalin? MR. SHEPHERD (the witness): Yes. Committed against us. MR. RAVENNER: You say you have no head for politics, so try to focus your powers, if you will, on one simple question. From that headquarters, did you come here on a program of overthrowing the United States government, however poorly you may have understood it? I want to hear one word, sir. Yes, or no. MR. SHEPHERD: No. MR. RAVENNER:: For what purpose, then, did you come to the United States? MR. SHEPHERD: (Pause.) Yes or no? MR. RAVENNER: You may elaborate in this instance. MR. SHEPHERD: I came to deliver paintings to museums in New York City. MR. NIXON: Well, that’s some delivery job if he’s still here after ten years. Even Sears Roebuck doesn’t generally take that long. (Laughter in the gallery.)How would you interpret the remark made by Nixon? 1# How would you interpret the first sentence “that’s some delivery job if he’s still here after ten years”? 2# How would you interpret the second sentence? Did Nixon joke that Sears Roebuck (a department store ?) always took long time to deliver the goods to the customers? Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.
Jul 11, 2015 8:37 AM
Answers · 2
Reading between the lines, it seems that Mr Shepherd has been in the US for at least ten years. In response to his statement that he came to the US for the purpose of delivering something, Mr Nixon interjects with his comment. His first comment is making fun of the fact that Mr Shepherd came to deliver something and is still there 10 years later. Normally of course, a delivery person makes the delivery then goes on their way. His reference to even Sears Roebuck (yes, it is an American dept store) not taking that long suggests that that dept store had a reputation for being slow in making deliveries - however even they wouldn't take as long as Mr Shepherd has taken to make his delivery.
July 11, 2015
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Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language
English