as they must believe

Discussion in 'English Only' started by arietenata, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. arietenata Senior Member

    Hi there,

    " Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young, their own experience has been so partial, and their lives have been such miserable failures, for private reasons, as they must believe; and it may be that they have some faith left which belies that experience, and they are only less young than they were." Walden

    Is my interpretation right?

    Their lives for personal reasons are miserable, and they must believe so, and having still some faith denies those experiences.

    Do you agree with it?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    When you quote something, please name the author as well as the title. :)
    The author of Walden is Henry David Thoreau.
    For the text, -----> CLICK HERE

    This is the what I think it means.
    They have experience, because of their age. But they may also have faith that contradicts that experience. (I assume that this is religious faith that contradicts what experience has taught them, but it might be faith in some idea or understanding of the world.) If this is so, they haven't learned by their experience, and they haven't become 'old' in the sense that they were made wise by experience, but they are only less young and no wiser.
    The general idea of the passage is that old people have nothing to teach younger people.
  3. arietenata Senior Member

    Thanks a lot for your very helpful reply.
    I'd like to mention that the reason I didn't name the author is the book is so famous even for us here in Europe so I thought it would be like naming the author of Divine Comedy which would be a little odd but I will name him in the future.;)
    And I still have some confusion over " as they must believe", believe in what? In their failures?

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