Firstly sorry for my bad English.

I'm translating an article about behavior.

Can anyone explain what it means in the sentence?

"But Phil didn't bend to circumstance."

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    When a person is under a heavy pressure, he might bend under this pressure. Phil remained upright under the pressure of circumstance. Compare: "In the fell clutch of circumstance \ I have not winced nor cried aloud. \ Under the bludgeonings of chance \ My head is bloody, but unbowed." – CowperKettle Dec 26 '15 at 6:18

It would mean being able to adapt to that circumstance

The sentence: "But Phil didn't bend to circumstance." would mean that Phil, the aforementioned character, did not adapt to the circumstance. He did not change himself, or rather, did not try to adjust to it.

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  • While "adapt to circumstance" doesn't really have an innate value judgement, "bend to circumstance" does. Adapting is neither good nor bad, but bending is usually seen as a sign of flexibility (a positive), or of failing under pressure (negative). You would have to determine what the speaker meant based on context, but they are probably either slightly praising or slightly condemning the subject of discussion. – marcus erronius Dec 27 '15 at 4:59

I'm unable to comment, but to further Marcus' point: I would say in the context it might mean he didn't succumb to peer pressure.

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