Plantiska
What does Bashfull mean? I'm reading Discworld novel of 'Raising Steam' by Terry Pratchett and am confused by the following paragraph: As they hurried inside Bashfull said, ‘Please let me, as they say, mark your card, Mister Lipwig. The King is furious. Furious with the rebels and furious with himself for not doing enough at the right time and I dare say he’s also furious with me. But me, well, Ilook to the sky and I say to Tak, “Don’t get mad, but when you made us dwarfs you had a bad day and couldn’t find anything in the subtlety box.” It seems that we’d sooner fight and argue than live.’ Question: The sentence Bashfull said to Tak, the creator god of dwarfs, seems like Greek to me. What is a subtlety box? What meaning is Bushfull trying to convey?
Nov 17, 2019 3:07 AM
Answers · 2
As a native english speaker, I would interpret this to mean that Bashfull is addressing a god ('Tak'), accusing him of not giving dwarfs any traits of subtlety when the god created that race. In this analogy, the god has boxes of different traits and characteristics to give to various creatures as he makes them--maybe the characteristic to argue, maybe the trait to be kind. When the god made dwarfs, his box of "subtlety"--the ability to not see things just in black and white--was empty. So dwarfs didn't get any ability to recognize subtlety--only to treat things in extreme ways. So they just fight and argue instead of treat each other with sensitivity.
November 17, 2019
when Tak created dwarfs he did not make them subtle. The subtlety box refers to personality attributes having to do with being a subtle, diplomatic, indirect type of person, or dwarf in this case
November 17, 2019
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Plantiska
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English