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There is a sentence in An unwanted guest by Shari Lapena:

She glances at her friend. But just look where that got her.


What does

look where that got her

mean?

The fuller text is:

She[Gwen] is a modern young woman. She consider herself a feminist. But she has never been particularly sure of herself, it's a quality that she admires - even envies- in others. she wants to be strong and independent, like Riley. well, like Riley used to be. She glances at her friend. But just look where that got her. Beside her, Riley guzzles her first glass of wine like water on a hot day [...] she [Riley] was always an accomplished drinker [...] Riley seems to emerge from her semi-catatonic state to motion to the young man with the bar cart and says "May I have another?"

https://www.amazon.com/Unwanted-Guest-Shari-Lapena/dp/0525557628/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= page 24

  • More of the surrounding paragraph is helpful. It reminds me of an expression though: 1. Someone does something stupid. 2. Another person says "Look how far that got you", which means it did not get you very far. It was all a mistake. "Look where that got you. Nowhere." – Sam Aug 6 '18 at 20:12
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Look where that got him|her means "Consider the outcome of that action—it was not very good, was it?"

P.S. But it can also have a positive spin, and mean "Consider the outcome of that action—better than you might have expected, no?"

  • 2
    A minor footnote: It can work with any pronoun, not just third-person pronouns; e.g.: Look where it got me; Look where that got you; Look where that got us, etc. Also, you're right about how the phrase can potentially be used in a positive way, but, generally speaking, it tends to have the first meaning more often, I think. – J.R. Aug 6 '18 at 20:32
  • This is correct. The "where" and the "that" are both context-specific, so without more we can't judge whether this is good or bad. Could be "She spent her mortgage on lottery tickets, look where that got her" (homeless). Or perhaps, "Cher dropped out of high school and moved to LA to start her music career; look where that got her" (rock and roll stardom). – BradC Aug 6 '18 at 20:40

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