Şervan Kurdî
Bell! A bell is not a bell. While undeniably constructed out of metal and heralded for its ability to ring, it is actually a great deal more than that. It’s the taste of barbecue, the feel of sunburned skin from playing outside all day, and the smell of chlorine from freshly cleaned pools. It’s the promise of football games, sleepovers, and video-game tournaments, all without the interruption of homework. With mounting frustration, the girls wondered if the bell had gone on holiday. It had a history of doing that during exams, oral reports, and other academic nuisances. What does "bell" mean in this context? What does the author mean by "heralded for its ability to ring"? What does the author mean by "the bell had gone on holiday"? Thanks a lot in advanceA bell is not a bell. While undeniably constructed out of metal and heralded for its ability to ring, it is actually a great deal more than that. It’s the taste of barbecue, the feel of sunburned skin from playing outside all day, and the smell of chlorine from freshly cleaned pools. It’s the promise of football games, sleep overs, and video-game tournaments, all without the interruption of homework. In short, the bell is the gatekeeper of summer. At Brunswick School for Girls in the posh Kensington neighborhood of London, a group of twenty uniformed students waited for the final proclamation that the school year was over. With desperation brimming in their eyes, the girls watched the clock and waited for the bell. A chorus of petite navy blue shoes, rife with impatience, banged against weathered chairs muting the teacher’s voice. Disregarding the teacher was hardly a new trick, but on this particular day, the girls did it with the deft ability of guards at Buckingham Palace, the fuzzy hat–clad group who refuse to react under any circumstance. With mounting frustration, the girls wondered if the bell had gone on holiday. It had a history of doing that during exams, oral reports, and other academic nuisances. Thoughts of mischief frolicked through nineteen of the twenty girls’ minds; however, in the back of the class, there was one young girl determined to will the bell not to ring. Raven-haired Madeleine Masterson had purposefully chosen her seat for its obstructed view of both the clock and the bell. Madeleine’s blue eyes darted rapidly as she repeated three simple words, “do not ring,” under her breath. For the first time in her short life, she had nothing but trepidation and fright for the start of summer. Normally Madeleine savored summer’s many quiet afternoons spent in the drawing room with a book, puzzle, or Internet-equipped laptop. Madeleine prided herself on having an above-average understanding of world politics. Most students did not know the name of Norway’s prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, but Madeleine did. She also knew, and more impressively could pronounce, the names of Greenland’s Prime Minister Hans Enoksen, Iceland’s Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdar-dóttir, Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdey Aziz, Benin’s President Yayi Boni, and so on. Madeleine staunchly believed that all of the one hundred ninety-two member states represented at the United Nations deserved to be studied. Madeleine would gladly spend the summer at Brunswick School for Girls if it meant eclipsing her parents’ plan for her. She would live off the drinking fountain and vending machine; she simply needed to make sure she had enough coins. The idea began to take shape; Madeleine could ravage the library, devouring books by the armful, skip through the halls, and sleep in the immaculate infirmary. A summer at Brunswick would be utterly delightful! Regrettably, Madeleine’s plea to stop the bell was flatly denied at exactly ۳:۰۰ PM.
Sep 26, 2018 6:48 AM
Answers · 6
The bell here is, as the text says, a proclamation that school is over, in this case, for the year. So the bell signifies the end of school and the start of the summer holidays. In my schooldays there was an actual bell which was rung to mark the start and finish of the day. These days some sort of hooter is sounded electronically - although for all I know they probably send a message via an app to students' smartphones!
September 26, 2018
This part of the text does not make it clear what the bell is. There must be preceding or subsequent context. You may have to read a lot - even a whole chapter - to make sense of this writer's very elaborate and subtle ideas. Perhaps the bell symbolises significant events in our lives.
September 26, 2018
Thanks a lot, Nanren888- 新西兰. I really appreciate it.
September 26, 2018
They wait for the final bell to signal the end of the school year. As such it was a signal of a whole long vacation and all the things that go with it, mostly freedom from school. The bell is known and used for its abilty to ring, to make a noise, to annouce times. "going on holiday" = not ringing when expected. Schools often don't ring bells when they migh interrupt concentration during exams.
September 26, 2018
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