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Wu Ting
How would you interpret the phrase ‘nurse’s evening-off aspect of it’? 1 How would you interpret the phrase ‘evening-off’? Does it mean nurses are off duty in evening? 2 How would you interpret the word ‘it’? Thanks. It’s from A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.the context: We looked at each other in the dark. I thought she was very beautiful and I took her hand. She let me take it and I held it and put my arm around under her arm. "No," she said. I kept my arm where it was. "Why not?" "No." "Yes," I said. "Please." I leaned forward in the dark to kiss her and there was a sharp stinging flash. She had slapped my face hard. Her hand had hit my nose and eyes, and tears came in my eyes from the reflex. "I'm so sorry," she said. I felt I had a certain advantage. "You were quite right." "I'm dreadfully sorry," she said. "I just couldn't stand the nurse's-evening-off aspect of it. I didn't mean to hurt you. I did hurt you, didn't I?" She was looking at me in the dark. I was angry and yet certain, seeing it all ahead like the moves in a chess game. "You did exactly right," I said. "I don't mind at all." "Poor man."
Jan 20, 2016 2:31 PM
Answers · 8
It could be the assumption that a nurse on her evening off is 'fair game', shall we say, for any man who happens to be around. And I agree with Bill about Hemingway not holding women in high regard.
January 20, 2016
nurse's-evening-off since a nurse works over a 24 hour 7 day a week cycle they have might not have whole days off work but just an evening and a night when they do not work. It might be suggested that nurse might be more "available" on their time off work, but you have to remember this is Hemingway who had a pretty poor opinion of women and of any man other than Hemingway himself. :-)
January 20, 2016
It should mean off duty. But it is not totally clear. There might be something earlier in the story that makes it clearer.
January 20, 2016
From the provided passage I don't know what it means exactly.
January 20, 2016
Wu Ting
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Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
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