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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
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    #1

    one reference

    When I was 13 my mother died. Through my own grief I was aware of the great loss this was to pop. But he made only one reference to his almost insupportable sadness. He said, "To be happy every day is to be not happy at all." He was saying to his sons that happiness is not a state you achieve and keep, but something that must be won over and won over, no matter what the defeats and losses.


    Could anyone explain the highlighted words of the above paragraph please?

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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    #2

    Re: one reference

    Quote Originally Posted by user_gary View Post
    When I was 13 my mother died. Through my own grief I was aware of the great loss this was to pop. But he made only one reference to his almost insupportable sadness. He said, "To be happy every day is to be not happy at all." He was saying to his sons that happiness is not a state you achieve and keep, but something that must be won over and won over, no matter what the defeats and losses.


    Could anyone explain the highlighted words of the above paragraph please?
    "through my own grief" - Because he felt so sad when his mom died, he understood how sad his father must have felt.

    "one reference" - He only spoke about his sadness one time.

    "insupportable sadness" - A sadness so deep and strong that you think you won't survive it. You feel as though a knife went through your heart, your spirit is completely crushed.

    "won over and over" - You have to earn it or achieve it, and not just one time, but every time you want it. No one is perpetually happy. But you can "win" moments of happiness, such as working hard so that you get a raise in salary at work, or following a diet and losing weight. Little everyday "battles" that you can conquer and make yourself smile.


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335
    #3

    Re: one reference

    Quote Originally Posted by user_gary View Post
    When I was 13 my mother died. Through my own grief [= as I've experienced grief, too] I was aware of the great loss this was to pop. But he made only one reference [=said only one thing about] to his almost insupportable sadness [= great , unbearable feeling of unhappiness]. He said, "To be happy every day is to be not happy at all." He was saying to his sons that happiness is not a state you achieve and keep, but something that must be won over and won over [= people have to overcome difficulties in order to be happy], no matter what the defeats and losses.


    Could anyone explain the highlighted words of the above paragraph please?
    Regards


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: one reference

    happiness is not a state you achieve and keep, but something that must be won over and won over, no matter what the defeats and losses.

    I interpret this as happiness is not a state you achieve and keep, but something that must be won over, and won over no matter what the defeats and losses.

    ie: the narrator is emphasising that happiness is something that must be worked for, and won despite all the negative things that may happen along the way.


    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 1,740
    #5

    Re: one reference

    Thanks to everybody who helped me in all my threads.

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