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In the end, one can be the slave of a tyrant, but he is just as much your slave.

Could you please say "he" in the sentence above refers to which one, "One" or "tyrant"?

Is this correct to say:

Helen can be the slave of a tyrant, but Helen is just as much her slave.

The fuller text is here:

I remembered everything connected with him. People said contradictory things: some had found him formidable, while others insisted on his unusual sense of humour. Then both sides would turn their heads to me, to hear the truth. Any explanation seemed impossible, especially when the conversation touched on father-son relationships, however obliquely. Perhaps the only secret I learned from him was how difficult it is to understand whether tyranny is a real thing or something one projects oneself. The same goes for enslavement. In the end, one can be the slave of a tyrant, but he is just as much your slave.

The Doll by Ismail Kadareh

Translated by John Hodgson

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I can certainly see why there's confusion! To be honest, this is a bit of a bizarre construction, which I am guessing is the result of the translation into English.

What makes the most sense to me is that he refers to tyrant. I'm guessing that one could be substituted for you, and the meaning would be more clear:

In the end, you can be the slave of a tyrant, but he is just as much your slave.

Or I'd replace "he" with "tyrant" or "the latter" for clarity,

In any case, since the original sentence is linking "slave" to "one" (the subject), the introduction of a second subject inverting the relationship makes the most sense.

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