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"Or gaze before me with compressed lips."
Winnie makes this comment several times, first in Act One, Part Two, after Willie repeats "Fear no more." It indicates her fear that one day she will not be able to speak, but will simply stare off into space. This silence, however, will not merely be a result of physical incapacity, but can occur if Winnie feels her words will "fail." If her conversation with Willie proves futile, in other words, her words may as well be kept inside her thoughts. Winnie understands that language is dependent on social usage for it to have meaning, that self-contained language carries no external meaning, and as Willie increasingly ignores her, her words come closer and closer to failing, and she comes closer to gazing before herself with compressed lips, even if she prattles on as before.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Happy Days!