© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Not Waving but Drowning

Not Waving but Drowning


by Stevie Smith

Not Waving but Drowning Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #4

Poor chap, he always loved larking (5)

That doesn't sound much like the moaning dead guy we know and love. Somehow these folks got the impression that he was as much of a party hound as they are. So what happened? Did they misinterpret his cries for help all along, or did he pretend to be happy fun guy for so long that when he really needed help no one could tell?

Quote #5

It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way, (7)

Wow, are these folks clueless. They continue to misunderstand the dead dude's situation, thinking that he died because of cold water acting on a weak heart. What they don't know is that he was metaphorically too cold and broken-hearted all along. Chilling, isn't it?

Quote #6

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always (9)

The dead man, even whinier now, tries to set the record straight, letting them know it wasn't a single event that killed him, but a lifetime of loneliness. He's still trying to communicate, but they still can't hear (or won't). As readers who do hear, what message do we take away from his attempts to connect? And how do we feel about those jerks who don't hear?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...