Paul Laurence Dunbar: But Interest!

Posted by admin on Sunday, July 9, 2023

Meaning of Paul Laurence Dunbar Money Quote: saying It didn’t cost much, the loan was minor, but Oh Lord! that interest!. Paul Laurence Dunbar said:
 
 
Slight was the thing I bought,  Small was the debt I thought,  Poor was the loan at best —  God! but the interest! Quote
 

“Slight was the thing I bought, Small was the debt I thought, Poor was the loan at best — God! but the interest!” — Paul Laurence Dunbar

 

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Paul Laurence Dunbar seems to be using a financial metaphor to convey a deeper meaning in this quote. Some possible interpretations:

  • He took out a small loan (“slight was the thing I bought”) but underestimated the true cost (“small was the debt I thought”). The interest accumulated over time and grew much larger than expected (“God! but the interest”). This could refer to how even small transgressions or mistakes have unforeseen consequences.
  • It refers to how initial or minor indulgences or vices grow into larger problems over time, as the “interest” compounds. What starts as a small act balloons in significance.
  • On a spiritual level, it suggests that small sins or deviations from righteousness accumulate and multiply until they become overwhelming. The true cost is greater than anticipated.

Overall, the quote uses the metaphor of debt and interest to represent how small choices have unintended downstream effects that end up being much larger than we realize or “borrow” at the outset. The meaning depends on whether taken literally or applied metaphorically.

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