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I don't get the meaning of "but he lives it too" in the context below?

One day he overheard her talking about him with a friend. Lucile was saying: "other men live in things and events and emotions and the future. but he seems to know that living is something else...."

What else? This friend interrupted curiously.

"Well, of course every one knows, really. But he lives it too."

"l am not good enough for her," Bellard thought, and tried his best to prove that he was.

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The sentence is very vague and unclear, even to a native English speaker. I think I understand what it is trying to say, though.

Lucile was saying: "other men live in things and events and emotions and the future. but he seems to know that living is something else...."

This sentence, though strangely worded, is trying to say that most men Lucile meets are thinking only about things, events, emotions, and the future. When we say we "live in" something, it often means that we are always thinking about that thing. For example, "living in the moment" is an idiom that means that you think about the present moment, and not the future. It seems to me that, to Lucile, thinking about things, events, emotions, and the future is a very common and possibly boring quality in other people. The fact that she can identify what they are thinking about probably means that most men are not new or interesting to her.

Meanwhile, the person she is referring to lives in something else, which means that they have more unique and interesting thoughts or mannerisms.

"Well, of course every one knows, really. But he lives it too."

I think that she's being intentionally mysterious here, which makes the sentence hard to interpret. But I think that the key point is that she doesn't say exactly what he "lives in". I think that this means that she can't quite understand where his mind is at, because he has a more unique way of looking at the world compared to the men she usually meets. Notice how the other men live in things, events, emotions, etc. Since Lucile doesn't describe Bellard in this way, he probably "lives in" (is always thinking about) something a bit more abstract and hard to put into words, which probably makes him attractive to her.

"l am not good enough for her," Bellard thought, and tried his best to prove that he was.

I don't know why this is said, but I think that this is a story where Bellard very deeply loves Lucile and she very deeply loves him, and the author wants to emphasize this many times throughout the story. I think this comment by Bellard is just another example of that, where he idealizes his wife and thinks that he is not good enough to have such an amazing woman like her.

  • You mean in this context "to live somthing else" is in possitive meaning. There is some exercises at the end about this story on page 168 of book"Discovering fiction 1" titled:"Making Inferences" I saw its first question answer by chance on the net and base on the answer Lucie mean that his husband didn't understand life and in this way " to live in something else is in negative meaning. sorry if l made some mistake. l am learning English and my knowldge is not good. Thanks in advance for your help. – Viser Hashemi Apr 3 '18 at 21:29
  • @ViserHashemi Could you tell me the exact text? – Sydney Maples Apr 3 '18 at 21:45
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Let's make an organization (based on the book "Discovering Fiction Level 1 Student's Book" in which this story came from...):

One man (Bellard) listens to his woman (Lucile) talking about him with his friend (let's call him Mike).

She says:

"other men live in things and events and emotions and the future. but he seems to know that living is something else..."

What else? This friend (=Mike) interrupted curiously.

and he (Bellard) heard Laucile say: "Well, of course every one knows (=what is this "something else"), really. But he lives it too.".

My understanding based on the context: Bellared doesn't only seem to know that living is something else, he is also lives this "something else" (=it) too. Take into account that there's a difference between "to live in something" and "to live something**. Bellared not only lives in but also lives it too.

Bellard understood that saying about him that he lives in "something else" is in a negative meaning and that's why he thought to himself: "l am not good enough for her," and tried his best to prove that he was.

  • Thank you so much. But I don't get it clearly. you mean in " but he lives it to." "it" refer to " something else". At first she mention he lives in something else and again she says but he lives it too.(it=something else).I don't know why I got it quite opposit of your understanding.I thought "something else" is in possitive meaning. And why it is not written " But he lives in it too." Isn't "in" missed? My English is not good and I am learning. I would be thankful of your help. – Viser Hashemi Apr 3 '18 at 11:57
  • Fair enough! Take a look again in my answer. I edited it and added some elucidations about your questions in the comment. If it's not clear yet then let me know. – Judicious Allure Apr 3 '18 at 14:52
  • I don't understand clearly the difference between"to live in something" and "to live something" Could you please explain more? And why does the woman say every one knows what "something else" is, if her husband is one of those few men who live in "something else" and it seems to me that " something else" is also unclear to her. – Viser Hashemi Apr 3 '18 at 21:01
  • Think, for example, about a person who loves rock music but he lives in a place where all of people love Jazz. Now, the person who loves rock "lives rock" but in fact lives in jazz. – Judicious Allure Apr 3 '18 at 21:03
  • About your second question in last comment: literature is not always clear and it is its beauty. The authors are not clear and want to provoke the reader thought. It is not exact science - it is art. – Judicious Allure Apr 3 '18 at 21:06

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