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complicated sentence

 
 
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 12:45 pm
Would anybody like to explain the following problems that I face while I read the following sentences?

" Alive, Miss Emily had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary obligation upon the town, dating from that day in 1894 when Colonel Sartoris, the mayor -- he who fathered the edict that no Negro woman should appear on the streets without an apron -- remitted her taxes, the dispensation dating from the death of her father on into perpetuity. Not that Miss Emily would have accepted charity."

-- William Faulkner, "A Rose for Emily" (1930).

1) What is the function of 'Alive' in this sentence? Is it a form of reduced clause? Please give me some examples related to this kind of structure where single word stands alone at the starting of a sentence. I think this kind of words that stand alone at the end and starting point of a sentence are able to work as adjective or adverb.

2)"Miss Emily had been a tradition" ...... what does it mean? Is it possible for a woman to be a tradition?

3) "..........on the streets without an apron -- remitted her taxes."

How "remitted her taxes" is related to the other parts of this sentence? Again I wish some examples related to this. Please, if it is possible to you, give some examples.

4) " ........ the dispensation dating from the death of her father on into perpetuity. Not that Miss Emily would have accepted charity."

a) Is "the dispensation dating from ....... on into perpetuity." working here as appositive? If it is not, what is it?

b) Two prepositions have been used here (on into perpetuity). Why? Is it possible? Would you like to give some examples?
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neologist
 
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Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 04:51 pm
@Nousher Ahmed,
The passage coveys a large amount of information in a way that brings personality and warmth to the image.
It would have been grammatically correct to omit the adjective 'Alive' from the beginning as the ensuing phrase makes her passing understood; but it's inclusion seems to invoke sorrow. And, yes, it is possible for a person to be considered a 'tradition', by some exemplary feature of her or his life.

I'll try to get back later.
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