as much the product of birth as of brains

asaisaio

Banned
Chinese
"Your voyage to the top was [as much the product of birth as of brains]", for your family probably gave you a head start with an expensive education, but there are more self-made men and women today than there were a decade ago.
I don't know the meaning of the sentence in "...", especially the section in []. Thanks in advance!
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hi.
    May I remind you that you should tell us the source of your questions.

    However, I can deduce enough from this to answer this time.
    The writer is telling someone that their success in life was thanks to their family connections not their actual ability.
    Birth = high status family in this case.
    The rest of the sentence goes on to suggest that more people are succeeding thanks to their ability rather than their heritage, these are the self-made people.
     

    asaisaio

    Banned
    Chinese
    Hi.
    May I remind you that you should tell us the source of your questions.

    However, I can deduce enough from this to answer this time.
    The writer is telling someone that their success in life was thanks to their family connections not their actual ability.
    Birth = high status family in this case.
    The rest of the sentence goes on to suggest that more people are succeeding thanks to their ability rather than their heritage, these are the self-made people.
    Thanks very much! But I still don't know the structure of "as much the product of birth as of brains".
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I painted one half of a piece of paper red and the other half blue.
    The paper is painted red as much as it is painted blue.
    The paper is painted red as much as blue.
    Your voyage to the top was as much the product of birth as it was the product of brains.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    But I still don't know the structure of "as much the product of birth as of brains".
    The word "product" means result here. The writer is saying: Your success resulted as much from the fact that you were born into a well-to-do family as it did from your own efforts.

    Does that make sense to you?
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    'As much this as that' is an elaborate way of saying two things are equally important, or even that the first mentioned is more important than you would expect.

    I've seen it recently in this sort of context:

    The recent success of the right wing political parties is as much of a protest vote as it is an understanding of their policies.

    This means, yes the far-right did well, but people voted as a protest against the usual parties rather than because they understand ask the policies of the right-wing parties.

    So in your context:
    Yes, you did well, but your family connections and expensive education had more to do with that than your natural ability.
     
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