I have some difficulties regarding the understanding of the following 2 sentences in a passage. I hope someone can help me with these:
“We have all kinds of aggressive impulses, and also creative impulses, which society forbids us to indulge, and the alternatives that it supplies in the shape of football matches and all-in wrestling are hardly adequate. Anyone who hopes that in time it may be possible to abolish war should give serious thought to the problem of satisfying harmlessly the instincts that we inherit from long generations of savages.”
My questions are:
1. Does “it” in the first sentence refer to
thesociety? My understanding towards the first sentence is that football matches and wrestling provided by our society are not enough to suffice our aggressive impulses and creative impulses. Am I right?
2. Regarding the second sentence, does “in time” forms a phrase meaning “eventually” or “not late”? "Eventually" or "within an unspecified period of time".
What does “long generations of savages” mean? Is "savages" a plural noun meaning cruel people? Yes. "Savage" can be a noun.
Does it mean that humans had been savages for a number of long generations in the past? It doesn't mean that all humans in the past were savages. It simply means that savages have existed for many generations.
I would appreciate it if you could tell me your understanding of these 2 sentences by simpler English.
Thank you very much!
Student or Learner