[accustomed as] I was to a life of ceaseless reprimand and thankless fagging

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Irelia20150604, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. Irelia20150604

    Irelia20150604 Senior Member

    China Shanghai
    The context comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 3

    Next day, by noon, I was up and dressed, and sat wrapped in a shawl by the nursery hearth. I felt physically weak and broken down: but my worse ailment was an unutterable wretchedness of mind: a wretchedness which kept drawing from me silent tears; no sooner had I wiped one salt drop from my cheek than another followed. Yet, I thought, I ought to have been happy, for none of the Reeds were there, they were all gone out in the carriage with their mama. Abbot, too, was sewing in another room, and Bessie, as she moved hither and thither, putting away toys and arranging drawers, addressed to me every now and then a word of unwonted kindness. This state of things should have been to me a paradise of peace, accustomed as I was to a life of ceaseless reprimand and thankless fagging; but, in fact, my racked nerves were now in such a state that no calm could soothe, and no pleasure excite them agreeably.
    Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. I understand "accustomed as I was to a life " as "though I was accustomed to a life " (I often understand "ADJ as X is" as "though X is ADJ), but this understanding seems not to work here. :confused: So, does it mean " as (because) I was accustomed to a life..." ? To be honest, I'm not familiar with the structure of "ADJ as X is" when "as" means "because".
  2. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    It's "...with me being accustomed, as (like) I was, to a life of..."
  3. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Your 'though' reading does not work. Your 'because' reading works,
    "This state should have been paradise because I was accustomed to unending criticism...."

    The issue is not the meaning of 'as', but the sentence structure: it tells whether contrast or similarity is being proposed.
    "Sad as I was, I went to work the next day." contrast
    "Sad as I was, I became even more despairing, on hearing the news." similarity

    Conclusion: "{adj} as {pron, noun}+ {'be' form} is neutral.


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