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Elizabeth
what‘s the meaning of the phrase "a maelstrom of sound" here in the context? here was no artificial light, but the curtains, if there were any, had been drawn back from the single window, and the bottom sash forced up as far as it would go. On the floor by the dusky void, a maelstrom of sound, knelt the John, his cropped white hair faintly catching the moonless glimmer, as his head lay on the sill, like that of a man about to be guillotined. His face was in his hands, but slightly sideways, so that Smith received a shadowy distorted idea of his expression. Some might have called it ecstatic, but Smith found it agonised. It frightened him more than anything which had yet happened. Inside the room the bells were like plunging, roaring lions. Q1: what‘s the meaning of the phrase "a maelstrom of sound" here in the context? what sound? Q2: what's the meaning of the sentence " his cropped white hair faintly catching the moonless glimmer"? does it mean that there is no moon, but there are a few stars, so there is a little light, then his white hair ?“Smith received a shadowy distorted idea of his expression”, what does it mean? especially "a shadowy distorted idea"“Smith received a shadowy distorted idea of his expression”, what does it mean? especially "a shadowy distorted idea"
Jan 1, 2016 6:26 PM
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Answers · 2
A maelstrom of sound in this context would mean a tumult of noise, a chaos of noises. I think you are close on the meaning of moonless glimmer. I think it says his hair reflected the faint glimmer from the stars of a moonless night. All in all this reads like a translation into English of some foreign language text. It's difficult even for me a native speaker to understand some of the phrasing.
January 1, 2016
Elizabeth
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English