• Chapter 9
• Chapter 10
Analysis Chapter 9
• Denotative anylisis
• Narrative tecnique
• Characters
• Message
• Setting
• New Language and Info I
Denotative analysis
Helen, Ralph and his family are having a
conversation in the hot tub in the black garden of
Messengers’ country cottage.
They are talking about the self-consciousness
that we are mortal.
Everybody climbed out of the pool and ascended
the woodebn steps that lead the rear of the
house execpt Helen and Ralph: in a dark angle of
the staircase he detained her with hand on her
arm and kissed her lips.
She didn’t resist.
• Ralph Messenger (professor and director of the
prestigious Holt Belling Centre for Cognitive Science)
• Helen Reed (a novelist writer)
• Carrie Messenger (Ralph’s wife)
• Mark (Ralph and Carrie’s kid)
• Simon (Ralph and Carrie’s kid)
• Emily (Ralph and Carrie’s kid)
The hot tub in the black garden of the Messenger’s
country cottage.
Narrative tecnique
The events are narrated by a external narrator
and there are some dialogues that explain the
point of view of the characters.
The protagonists are discussing if it is possibile know other’s
Helen represent the points of view of literature while and Ralph
represent science.
Helen support that it is possible only in literature because there can
be a omniscient narrator able to make us know what the
character thinks and how he/she thinks.
New Language and Info I
• What is it like to be a bat: Nagel's classic "What is it like to
be a bat?" must be one of the most influential papers on
consciousness of the last century, and it's still very relevant.
• Thermostat Lloyd: he thinks that the thermostat does very
well as a model of consciousness.
• Pan-psychism: Panpsichismo è un concetto appartenente
all'ambito filosofico.
Esso ritiene che tutti gli esseri, viventi e non viventi
posseggano delle capacità psichiche. Hanno inserito concetti
panpsichici nelle loro dottrine Talete, Platone, Bernardino
Telesio, Tommaso Campanella.
• You' ll catch your death of cold: slang,
letteralmente “Il freddo cattura la tua morte”.
• I don’t really buy myself: slang, abboccare.
• Whiff: in questo caso, ventata.
• Keen: entusiasta.
• She turs to address Ralph: rigirare la domanda.
• Crossword: parole crociate.
• the ground slopes: la pendenza del suolo.
• steeply: ripidamente.
• the rear of the house: il retro della casa.
• timber balcony: balcone di legno.
• mezzanine deck: terrazzino in mezzanino.
• surface: superficie.
• bench: panchina.
• hip to hip: fianco a fianco.
• to grant: concedere.
• Descartes: Cartesio.
• state-of-art: punto del lavoro.
• to shrug: non dare peso.
Analysis Chapter 10
• Denotative anylisis
• Narrative tecnique
• Characters
• Message
• Setting
• New Language and Info I
Denotative analysis
Helen is reading the students’ work-in-progress but she is
thinking about the kiss given her by Ralph and after, about the
debate having with him too.
The were discussing on the existence, or not the existence, of
the soul and she starts to think to Martin, her husband, who is
Helen is thinking too about how she can be a friend of Carrie
and how she can help her with her novel.
She ask herself where courage come from or if it is only sense
of guilty.
• Ralph Messenger (professor and director of the
prestigious Holt Belling Centre for Cognitive Science)
• Helen Reed (a novelist writer)
• Carrie Messenger(Ralph’s wife)
• Martin (Helen’s husband)
• Lucy (Martin’s daughter)
• Joanna (Martin’s sister)
The concrete setting is Helen’s house but in her
mind he travel with tought and we can see the
story setting in the Messenger’s country cottage,
in Helen’s house too when Martin was alive, in the
Curch where was celebrated Martin’s funeral and
the place where took place the party in Martin’s
honor (they are all feedback).
Narrative tecnique
The events are narrated in first person by Heln Reed in
her diary day by day.
Human are the only animal on th earth that are
concious they will die and tey making stories to win
the fear of death.
People have a soul. Is it indipendent from body? Can it
life for eternity? Where can it life?
In the mind of those who knew that person.
But those mind and memories are themselves
allegedly constructs, fictions, tied to decaying brain
cells, doomed to eventual extinction too.
Another Message
Helen in her diary writes:
Here is Messenger family simulates the life of English
country folk for one or two days a week (…)
It is interessant the use of verb simulates.
As a matter of fact the simulates the perfect happy
Ralph is a faithfull pater familias who get carreer and
dedicates himself to work but when he’s home he passes
his time with family.
Carrie is a perfect wife and mother and she makes other
find everything prepareted for better
But we know trough the Helen’s diary and Ralph’s
stream of conciousness that when Ralph isn’t with
family he is other from what he shows.
Probably his friends, his collegues and his wife
doesn’t recognize him.
New Language and Info I Learnt
• it never crossed my mind: non mi passò mai per la mente.
• debate: dibattito.
• to slap: schiaffeggiare.
• to twanged: far vibrare.
• harp: arpa.
• to pluck: in questo caso, pizzicata (riferimento alle
corde dell’arpa).
• to feel moistly aroused: sentirsi umidamente eccitato.
• to hush: fare silenzio.
• wisteria: glicine.
• mellow: generoso, dolce, maturo, caldo.
• to dripp: gocciolare.
• mauve blossom: malva in fiore.
• raftered ceilings: soffitto con travi.
• bumpy flagged: floorattenzione pavimento bagnato.
• rugs: tappeti.
• needless: inutile.
• half-belief: mezza convinzione.
• merely: solamente.
• the flicker of a eyelid: tremore della palpebra.
• slightest: il più leggero.
• nevertheless: tuttavia.
• earthquakes: terremoti.
• to assuage: alleviare.
• to be trapped into: essere intrappolato in.
• to speed up: accellerare.
• to bustle about: agitarsi, affacendarsi.
• to galvanize: stimolare.
• to shed: togliere, disfarsi.
• venue: luogo.
• make an habit of it: farci l’abitudine.
• nowhere: in nessun posto.
• dammit: accidenti.
• to shit themselves: fregare se stessi.
• to nisff : annusare.
• to be distressed : essere in ansia.
• queer : strano, bizzarro.
• pollution : inquinamento.
• self-exposure : esporsi.
• overty: apertamente.
• overheated: surriscaldato.
• cheerless: triste, tetro.
• to endure: sopportare.
• at stake: in posta, in gioco.
• to be worn on: trascorrere in maniera noisa.
• feasible: fattibile, probabile.

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