‘You’re pretty crazy, aren’t you,’ said Philip. ‘I have to go to Sydney. Better come with me. I’ll pay.’

Perhaps there was a world where people could act on whims, where deeds could detach themselves cleanly from all notion of consequences. Perhaps this never-quite-present Philip might be that mythical creature, a man who was utterly scrupulous and who was yet prepared to do anything. Perhaps she too might never apologise, never explain.

Can we say the part in bold simply mean: as there people could act on whims they never thought about the consequences of their acts?

Does "notion of consequences" mean: our thoughts about the consequences of our deeds?

Source: The Children's Bach by Helen Garner

1 Answer 1


Yes, it means a world where people can do what they want, and either they wouldn't have to think about the consequences, or there simply wouldn't be any consequences.

"the notion of consequences" means the conceptual or abstract idea of consequences, rather than our thoughts about them. That's why it's "the notion..." and not "a notion...", because it's the general concept, rather than what some people are thinking.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .