Suffer the children?? I heard about a book, SUFFER THE CHILDREN by John Saul, which follows the story of a child abductor. What I wonder is what it means by its title. Does it mean the children are suffering? Or they(whoever they are) are suffering because of the children? Enlighten me please~~
Aug 20, 2018 5:31 AM
Answers · 6
It is an archaic usage of " suffer" meaning to allow or permit as Jesus famous saying " Suffer little children to come unto me " in the sense of " let" here.
August 20, 2018
I agree with Matt. A close synonym to this meaning of "suffer" is "tolerate". It's an old usage of "suffer" that is seen now only in stock expressions like "I don't suffer fools gladly". "suffer the children to come to me" is a widely known phrase from the King James Bible. So, the author is using the word "suffer" with a double meaning.
August 20, 2018
I believe the most appropriate definition of suffer in this usage is 'permit.' I'm not familiar with the book but in most cases where I've seen suffer phrased this way, it has meant 'permit' or 'allow.' Hope this helps!
August 20, 2018
Here is the context so that you can get fuller answers eventually, from italki members. THE BOOKS INTRODUCTION FROM AMAZON. Innocence dies so easily. Evil lives again . . . and again . . . and again. One hundred years ago in Port Arbello a pretty little girl began to scream. And struggle. And die. No one heard. No one saw. Just one man whose guilty heart burst in pain as he dashed himself to death in the sea. Now something peculiar is happening in Port Arbello. The children are disappearing, one by one. An evil history is repeating itself. And one strange, terrified child has ended her silence with a scream that began a hundred years ago. HERE IS ANOTHER MORE ACCURATE DESCRIPTION FROM ANOTHER ONLINE BOOKSELLER. Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as readers are introduced to Herod's Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave…and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were…but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds ten pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back? Nobody is permitting or allowing. the children are suffering in silence. The book is about a child abductor who comes back to life after 100 years and begins to murder children one by one. The title by the Authors own admission is a double meaning. A scary scene and children involved the scope of possibilities is broadened.
August 20, 2018
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!