The text below is quite long, but in order to share the exact context, I'm pasting it. You can read the full text here on the Gutenberg Project page(https://gutenberg.ca/ebooks/huxleya-bravenewworld/huxleya-bravenewworld-00-h.html#chapter07).

My question is whether "what hadn't he hoped" in the text is just an interrogative sentence or rhetorical question. And I also want to know what the phrase means.

I'd appreciate it if you would answer my question. Thank you.

... 'And now, my friends,' said the Arch-Community-Songster of Canterbury, in that beautiful ringing voice with which he led the proceedings at Ford's Day Celebrations, 'Now, my friends, I think perhaps the time has come...' He rose, put down his glass, brushed from his purple viscose waistcoat the crumbs of a considerable collation, and walked towards the door.

Bernard darted forward to intercept him.

'Must you really, Arch-Songster?... It's very early still. I'd hoped you would...'

Yes, what hadn't he hoped, when Lenina confidentially told him that the Arch-Community-Songster would accept an invitation if it were sent. 'He's really rather sweet, you know.' And she had shown Bernard the little golden zipper-fastening in the form of a T which the Arch-Songster had given her as a memento of the week-end she had spent at the Diocesan Singery. To meet the Arch-Community-Songster of Canterbury and Mr. Savage. Bernard had proclaimed his triumph on every invitation card. But the Savage had chosen this evening of all evenings to lock himself up in his room, to shout 'Háni!' and even (it was lucky that Bernard didn't understand Zuñi) 'Sons éso tse-ná!' What should have been the crowning moment of Bernard's whole career had turned out to be the moment of his greatest humiliation.

'I'd so much hoped...' he stammeringly repeated, looking up at the great dignitary with pleading and distracted eyes. ...

  • 2
    One clue is there's no question mark.
    – gotube
    Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


It's a rhetorical question, meaning that he had been hoping for a great deal (which apparently wasn't going to happen).

Questions like What didn't he bring? - What didn't she tell me? are an idiom implying (with some exaggeration) that so much was included that it would be difficult to think of anything that was left out.

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