I'm reading the To the Little Ones story (『小さき者へ』).

I wonder what does the writer mean in this sentence

電燈の消えた薄暗い中で、白いものに 包まれたお前たちの母上は、夢心地に呻き苦しんだ。

"呻き苦しんだ" has a negative meaning, right? and he puts before it "夢心地に" which has a positive meaning so what does he mean? I don't get it.

1 Answer 1


The meaning of that sentence goes something like this:

Lights out, your mother, wrapped in something white and in a trance, let out moans of pain in the dimness.

「夢心地」is thus defined in goo 辞書:


I'd say it denotes a dreamy state that's not necessarily always "ecstatic", although "ecstasy" is listed among its meanings in some bilingual dictionaries.

「呻き苦しんだ」comes from the 連用形 of「呻く」(moan, groan) +「苦しむ」(suffer, groan), forming a compound word that I believe is not very commonly seen these days. This phrase you are having issues with just means the mother groaned in a state of half-consciousness or unconsciousness.


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