The Printable KISS Grammar Workbooks The Theodore Dreiser Page
(Code and Color Key)

From “The Lost Phoebe,” by Theodore Dreiser
A Study in Ellipsis # 1
Analysis Key

1. [Adv. to "had become" As time had passed], and [Adv. to "had become" *as*

they had only themselves (DO) to look after [#1] ], their movements had become

slower (PA) and slower (PA), | their activities *had become* fewer (PA) and

fewer (PA). |

2. The living children were notified (P) | and the care {of him} *was* offered (P)

[Adv. to "was offered" if he would leave], | but he would not *leave*. |

3. There were hours (PN) [Adj. to "hours" when his feet were sore (PA)], and 

[Adj. to "hours" *when* his limbs *were* weary (PA)], [Adj. to "hours" when he

would stop {in the heat} to wipe [#2] his seamed brow, or {in the cold} to beat his

arms [#2] ]. |

4.  His figure {after a time} became not so much a common-place (PN) {as an 

accepted curiosity} [#3], | and the replies, [ [#4] “Why [Inj], no, Henry [DirA]; I ain't

see her (DO),]” or [ [#4] “No, Henry [DirA] ; she ain't been here to-day]

*became* more customary (PA). |

1. The infinitive "to look," or "to look after," can be explained in several ways. For one, it can be seen as functioning as an adjective to "themselves." In this case, "after should probably be considered either as part of the infinitive or as an adverb that modifies it. Note, however, this construction is comparable to a delayed sentence. Thus it means "had only to look after themselves." From this perspective, "after themselves" can be considered a prepositional phrase, and the "to look" could be explained as either as part of the finite verb ("had to look") or as an adverb to "had."
2. "Brow" is the direct object of the infinitive "to wipe," and "arms" is the direct object of the infinitive "to beat." The infinitives function as adverbs (of purpose) to "would stop."
3. Some people will prefer to see this as an ellipsed clause -- "as *it became* an accepted curiosity."
4. These two clauses function as appositives to "replies."