Educated by Tara Westover

For as long as I could remember, this image had been at the core of my idea of paradise: my husband, and his wives. There was a sting in this arithmetic: in knowing that in the divine calculus of heaven, one man could balance the equation for countless women.

I looked for sting in the dictionary, but I have found nothing suggesting it's used in the meaning of disadvantage. Hope someone can help me

  • What did you discover about the term "sting"? Could you provide a link and an explanation IN the question, please? – Mari-Lou A Mar 4 '20 at 7:01
  • Have you heard of a literary device called "metaphor"? – Mari-Lou A Mar 4 '20 at 7:02
  • @Mari-LouA I have found an idiom "to sting in the tail". And as I understand it can be used to imply that some thing has a disadvantage. So I thought that a noun "sting" itself can be used to talk about disadvantage. – artek Mar 4 '20 at 8:32
  • @Mari-LouA Yes, I understand. But I can't understand how the arithmetic can hurt. Sounds weird. What do you think? Thanks 🙂 – artek Mar 4 '20 at 8:33

Try replacing 'sting' with 'irony'

Since the speaker is one of many wives, her arithmetic or 'thought process' says multiple wives is good, implying more personal freedom. However the irony or sting of this thinking is that the husband's 'thought process' might be 'more is better' and she risks being forgotten in the multitude.

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