able to be altogether herself: it had been denied her

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,friends
Here are some words from the nover, Lady Chatterley's Lover:
But he(the father) was a man of experience himself, and let life take its course. As for the mother, a nervous invalid(meaning patiend I guess) in the last few months of her life, she wanted her girls to be "free", and to "fulfil themselves". She herself had never been able to be altogether herself: it had been denied her. "

Please tell me the meaning of "be altogether herself: it had been denied her". Somebody said "be oneself" means "be natural", but this meaning doesn't fit here. And for "it had been denied her", I feel "her" is redundant and "it had been denied her" is hard to understand.

Would you please explain the meaning of "be altogether herself: it had been denied her"? Thank you in advance.
By the way, something must be wrong with the forum today, for there is no button(like, color, font, link, size and so on) shown today
 
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    "be altogether herself" = be entirely/completely herself. The ability to be who she wanted to be, without being concerned about others' (parents') needs and demands and expectations, seems to have been denied to her (because of those needs, etc.).

    You need "her" in that sentence, in my opinion.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    "You need "her" in that sentence, in my opinion." (sorry,I fail to wrap your words, so just use quotation marks instead)

    Do you mean I need "to" in that sentence? In other words, do you mean the right sentence should be "it had been denied to her"?
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    No, he said you need her - which you said you felt to be redundant - in that sentence. To is optional - "it had been denied her" and "it had been denied to her" are both correct.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you two very much.
    But after careful consideration, I think of two active sentences "they denied her the ability" and "they denied the ability to her".
    Now,
    1.If the active sentence is "they denied her the ability(I use "ability" as Coppyright said)", the passive sentence should be "she was denied the ability"
    2.If the active sentence is "they denied the ability to her", the passive setence should be "the ability was denied to her"

    How can we get the setence "the ability was denied her" from an active sentence? Maybe the only situation is that the "to" between "denied and "her" is omitted in the sentence.

    Woud you please give me some further help? I'm still confused.
     
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    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    The ability was denied (to) her.

    They mean the same thing: the "to" is understood when you leave it out. If you need more grammatical explanation than that, you'll have to wait for someone else. :)
     
    Your analysis is not quite right. Your two examples are identical in meaning. "they denied [to] her the ability" and "they denied the ability to her".

    The one obvious passive is She was denied the ability [by them]. (The other is "The ability was denied by them, to her.")

    HOWEVER, 'she' is NOT exactly the direct object, but the indirect. In such cases there are always two passives:
    Example: I sent my mom a letter. Regarding the direct object: "A letter was sent to my mom by me."
    Regarding the indirect object, "My mom was sent a letter by me.

    There is much material on this, on the 'net. If I may put the point simply, there are cases where the word just after the verb is NOT the direct object, defined as the thing directly acted on. Hence the 'true' passive would NOT involve making that word the subject.

    ===
    Crossposted with Copyright.




    Thank you two very much.
    But after careful consideration, I think of two active sentences "they denied her the ability" and "they denied the ability to her".
    Now,
    1.If the active sentence is "they denied her the ability(I use "ability" as Coppyright said)", the passive sentence should be "she was denied the ability"
    2.If the active sentence is "they denied the ability to her", the passive setence should be "the ability was denied to her"

    How can we get the setence "the ability was denied her" from an active sentence?

    Woud you please give me some further help? I'm still confused.
     
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