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“There are so many inquisitive people and institutions abounding,” said Arobin, “that one is really forced as a matter of convenience these days to assume the virtue of an occupation if he has it not.”

(From Chapter 30 of The Awakening by Kate Chopin.)

there is several marked bold where I don't quite make me myself structure and meaning clear,how would you translate it more a simpler version? Also if it's for any convenient ,that would be very nice of you if you could break it apart and help me about it.

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    I have added attribution (Title, author, chapter, and a link). In future please add such attribution yourself when you quote a text. See "Marking and Attributing Examples, Sources, and Other Quotes". Thank You. Commented Aug 27, 2022 at 1:00
  • @David Siegel oh thank you I had never noticed it at all, but the sentence I posted is just an given example from "vocabulary.com",which is only shown as a very example for word "convenience" with nothing but only its title<< Awakening>>,I guess it must have taken a very long time to locate where the sentence is in that book, so I just came up with this. Commented Aug 27, 2022 at 4:21
  • Actually, a simple Google search on {“There are so many inquisitive people and institutions abounding,” + Awakening} gave the link I posted, which listed the chapter and page, and gave surrounding context. Commented Aug 27, 2022 at 9:51
  • It's so kind of you for telling me that,thanks again. Commented Aug 27, 2022 at 12:38
  • I think that you might be advised to read something else to practice your English skills as that is almost incomprehensible to me.
    – mdewey
    Commented Aug 27, 2022 at 16:46

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inquisitive people and institutions abounding

"abounding" = "existing in or providing a great or plentiful quantity or supply" according to Merriam-webster

Thus this means that there are many inquisitive people and institutions.

as a matter of convenience

This is a *fixed phrase (see Cambridge here) It means something done because it is practical or convenient, with little or no deeper reason.

assume the virtue of an occupation if he has it not.”

This is an altered quote from Hamlet Act 3, Scene 4 In Hamlet it means to act properly even if one did not feel like doing so. Here it means to pretend to have a job or to be on business even if that was not true.

Overall the text:

There are so many inquisitive people and institutions abounding,” said Arobin, “that one is really forced as a matter of convenience these days to assume the virtue of an occupation if he has it not.”

means roughly:

There are so many people and institutions around ready to ask questions, that a person finds it a very good idea to appear to have some business.

That is, that people who seem to have no current purpose are likely to b asked questions.

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  • oh my goodness that's harsh! anyway, it seems to me that I still have long way to come along with my english, I wonder if native speaker also find some sentences in a novel or passage that may appear a little bit hard to understand? like if they haven't been much educated or just don't like reading. Commented Aug 27, 2022 at 13:03
  • @vater herrn Some do. Indeed I, who loves to read and does it a lot, sometimes Find sentences or passages that I need to stop and think my way through. Some of the works of Gene Wolfe, for example. Commented Aug 27, 2022 at 16:31

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