Student or Learner
In the following paragraph:
Another of [astronaut] Beanís thoughts sums up the very essence of the Apollo missions, indeed of all human travel: that it isnít about where youíre going, itís about who you are. ďEverybody came back just more like I knew them. I think maybe success doesnít change you as much as reveal you.Ē
1. What does "Everybody came back just more like I knew them" mean?
2. a) Is "more" being used here to indicate comparison?
b) Or, instead, "more" here means something like "pretty much", "more or less"
Thanks a lot in advance.
That is, no astronaut got new traits, or lost old ones. But they did intensify whatever traits they started with. If they were spiritual before, now they were more so. If a man was politically ambitious before his success, he was even more so afterwards. If he had been essentially uninterested in the arts, now he cared not at all.
The quote by Bean is part of a joking expression: "It's the same thing, only more so." You might say this if you had found Physics I to be a boring class. If a friend then asked you, "Well, how do you like Physics II?" you might say, "It's the same thing (boring) as Physics I, only more so (even more boring)."
I suspect that Bean's remark is a little jumbled in terms of syntax because half way through his remark, he realized that he didn't want to actually SAY "They came back the same, only more so" on the grounds that it would sound too flippant. So he kind of blurred the words so as not to say that exact rather silly saying.