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Thread: Any English Students About?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Ok, here's a test for someone. My French friend, who is an English student, has asked me for help with her assignment. She though that my being English, i'd have no problems. Thing is, my girlfriend, my two flatmates and myself are all puzzled as to what her tutor is looking for......

    okay, the story is like that...they have separated a year ago and now he is bringing back the children...they went to the park but it started to he brings back the boys and asks his wife to give him an umbrella because it is raining heavily and it takes him a bit to get to the next underground:

    "I'm not giving you one, " she said. "If there were a thousand umbrellas there I would not give you one."
    He said, "They are my umbrellas."
    "No," she repeated.
    "How petty u've become."
    Didn't I give you everything?"
    He cleared his throat."Everything but love."
    "I did give u that , acutually." She said, "I've rung my friend. He's on his way."
    He said, "I don't care. JUst give me an umbrella."
    She shook her head. She went to shut the door. He put his foot out and she banges the door against his leg. He wanted to rub his shin but could not give her the pleasure.
    He said, "Let's try to be rational."
    He had hated before, his parents and brother, at certain times. But it was a fury, not a deep intellectuel and emotional hatred like this. He had had psychotherapy; he took tranquilizers, but still he wanted to pulverize his wife. None of the ideas he had about life would make this feeling go away. afreind had suggested it would be no bad thing if he lost the "good" idea of himself, seeing himself as more complicated and passionate. But he could not understand the advantage of seeing himself as unhinged.
    "You used to find the rain "refreshing" she said with a sneer.
    "It has come to this "; he said.
    "Here we are then ", she said. "Don't start crying about it."

    So, what is meant by him saying "It has come to this ", and her saying "Here we are then".

    What we had thought was that it was simply his acknowledgement of how petty and spiteful their dealing with each other had become, and her saying, that this was the way it was (going) to be.

    Thing is though, this is what my French friend had thought too, but her tutor had told her no.

    Is she giving him the umbrella when she says "here we are then"? I'm quite puzzled as to what is being looked for here.

    Can any bright spark help us out? My sexy French friend would be very grateful to anyone who can help.

    I hope the mods don't mind, but i am going to doublem post this in the lounge and bookworld. This is because i could do with an answer tonight.

  2. Lounge   -   #2
    Skweeky's Avatar Manker's web totty
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    I don't see any other explanation either. I'm not english, but this is more philosophic I think. Maybe you should look deeper into it?
    Does he say 'here we are then' because of what she said about the rain? Maybe what happened in the past (remember the remark about psychotherapy and all) has made him hate what he loved in general ; he hates her, he also dislikes the rain which he used to love too. It could be her reply implies that he should get his act together.

    I'm not sure though....this is more for the great board philosoper JPaul

  3. Lounge   -   #3
    TheDave's Avatar n00b
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    yorkshire, england

  4. Lounge   -   #4
    perhaps the facade between the wife/husband (ex's) has come to a new stage where the front of friendship/good feeling has finally disappeared.
    they were attempting to propogate a good feeling in front of the children, however, the symbolic umbrella is the final stage in the breakdown between the couple.
    the husband may have had some residual feelings for the woman after the breakup. of course, he says he feels hate for her like he has never felt for anyone before, however, isn't love a more powerful emotion than hate?
    his hopes there may be life left in the relationship are extinguished with the symbol of the denial of the umbrella by his wife.

    that's just what i feel though, it's probably way off.

    p.s. i like the way you say "my sexy french friend" to prompt more help

  5. Lounge   -   #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    We must analyze the phrase "It has come to this "

    What is IT and what is THIS?

    I determine that IT is the possible ( or hopeful) civilized communication between the two people, regardless how much they hate each other. THIS is the is the actual, undesired, outcome of their relationship precieved by the ex-husband.

    The phrase "Here we are then ", is simply the woman's stubborn heartless response to the man's comment. Which means nothing more than any further effort, in the current situation, is a waste of her time.

  6. Lounge   -   #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Great. Thanks all for answers. I think that Skweeky has maybe hit the nail on the head, relating the weather to the breakdown of the relationship. Cheers bruddah, it seems so obvious now!!

    Here's an addition to the mail my sexy French friend (HawHeeHaw 2Gnoob ) had previously sent.

    After the violence of separation he had expected a diminishment of interest and of loathing, on her part. He himself had survived the worst of it and anticipated a quietness. KIND INDIFFERENCE HAD COME TO SEEM AN IMPORTANT BLESSING: But as well as refusing to divorce him, she sent lawyer's letters about the most rivial matters. One lerrter, he recalles, was entirely about a cheese sandwich he hade made for himself when visiting the children. He was ordered to bring his own food in future.
    Here's the mail i've now sent.

    Hi Celine. Sorry for delay. Ended up going to pub after work. The battery on my phone was flat or I'd have let you know.

    When he says "it has come to this", he refers to what she said about the rain. What happened in the past (remember the remark about psychotherapy and all) has made him hate what he loved in general; he dislikes her, he also dislikes the rain which he used to love too.

    "Here we are then ", she said. She is telling her husband that; yes this is the way things are. And, as far as she is concerned, the way things are going to stay. She is purposefully torturing and playing games with him. She will not give him the divorce he wants so much, or let him move on with his life, having petty legal letters sent to antagonise him. This is why she says, "Don't start crying about it.". She, in her bitter state of mind, is gaining perverse pleasure or satisfaction from making him suffer.


    To me, what this is saying is that he just wants to put the relationship behind him. Not necessarily that his wife should be friendly to him, just that she would move on and stop loathing him. By not giving him a divorce, and by having petty solicitors letters sent to him, it is clear that she has not moved on in her own life. She is still bitter, and subsequently will not allow him to move on in his own life.

    I hope this helps. I've mailed a friend of mine, who also studied English at uni, to see if he has any further ideas. Will mail you again later. Have to go for now mate, I'm off to get stoned!!!

    Lots of love, Mark.

    Please keep any further ideas coming.

    ps. Skweeky. Note the cut and paste job.

  7. Lounge   -   #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    How you perceive the last two lines of this probably says more about you than it does about the couple in the story.

    One's interpretation of what this means is almost certainly determined by one's own experiences. I suspect that someone who has been through an acrimonious break-up will perceive the exchange very differently to someone who has only had good relationships.

    The fact that the last two sentences are so badly written doesn't help at all. The conversation just doesn't sound natural. No-one would say "It has come to this", certainly in that context. It would be written either as a question "Has it come to this then ?" or at the very least "It's come to this then".

    Sorry I can't help any, but this reads more like a psychology test than a question about English interpretation.

    PS @Skweeky. I see myself more as a Warrior Poet, in the Irish tradition.

  8. Lounge   -   #8
    MediaSlayer's Avatar slowly going deaf
    Join Date
    May 2003
    ur anus
    I can think of lots of interpretations all of which I will list without reading a single reply. If I read some replies I'm afraid my thoughts would be scattered. I will edit this post if needed.

    1. "It has come to this" could mean the following. The word "this" could signify an event, such as the beating of his wife. Literal translation "It" refers to the relationship. "This" refers to the actual violent action that hasn't taken place at the precise moment the statement was uttered. Now for the reply, "Here we are then". "Here" refers to a condition, not a place. The condition of the troubled relationship. "We" of course means both of them. "Are" refers to being(both of them together in the troubled relationship). "Then" signifies hopelessness or defeatism.
    Addendum to 1. A second interpretation to the reply is this. "Here we are" refers to the actual violence, the beating. Maybe like saying "So beat me then".

    2. This explanation is a variant of the first one, with the difference mainly being an inclusion of the "friend" in this explanation. "It" refers again to the relationship, or maybe for this translation, the overall situation. "Has come" signifies the progression of the dysfunctional relationship. "To this" refers to an actual scene of violence that has not occured yet, owing to the fact that the "friend" has not arrived yet. As far as the reply goes, the explanation could be exactly the same as the one given in number 1.("Here" refers to a condition...), but for this explanation I would tend to think the following is more plausible. "Here we are" is a complete thing. It means something like "this is it" or "this is what is to happen". This statement draws on the "Englishness" of the speaker(I am referring to proper English as opposed to the more modern types of English spoken). I interpret "then" in the usual way here. So when she says "Here we are then" she is implying something being "served up" or given. Her in-action(not trying to help the situation) directly results in the re-action that will occur when the "friend" arrives and a physical fight breaks out. That is what I refer to when I mention something being "served up" or given.

    3. This explanation is very abstract, too abstract and I cannot develop it. She says "You used to find the rain "refreshing". The "rain" could stand for something other than precipitation. What could it stand for? Good question.

    4. "This" could refer to the final separation, that will happen after her last statement of "Don't start crying about it". "It" refers to the relationship. "Has come" signifies the gradual deterioration of the relationship. "To this" refers to the state of permenant separation that will follow. As for the reply, it could be any of the ones suggested above, but the one in 2. seems to be the most plausible.

    In addition if the paragraph at the top that sets up the story is missing anything, it would make any explanations harder. Obviously, the same goes for the actual story. The story seems to contain a different English than I'm used to, as I've never been to England. "Underground" is usually not used like that here. I'm guessing it means a subway terminal of some sort.

    Edit: It was downright evil of you to post the story incomplete and then comeback and add a small paragraph that should have been posted in the original post. I was hoping that wouldn't happen. It doesn't matter anyway though because the skeeky's explanation seems to be the best so far. I looked hard at that sentence "You used to find the rain "refreshing", but I didn't know what it refered to.

    sending fiery missiles in manker's japan's general direction.

  9. Lounge   -   #9
    Its blatently obvious. The couple are divorced, the guy is still in love with the woman, but he screwed up at some point. She is having non of it (typical ex) and so she wont give him the time of day.

    Meaning "it has come to this" is saying "well, thats it then"...he really wants her back but she wants nothing to do with him.

    I think the plausable answer is this question doesnt have an answer unless a person has been in actual love, and felt the hurt spurred on by idiocracy, when a person doesnt realise what they have til its gone, therefor understanding the emotions of each individual.


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