beyond the superficial trappings that only days before had seemed so important

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Failed to get "But had he found real personal meaning in this kind of life, beyond the superficial trappings that only days before had seemed so important?"

Because the different parts of the sentence seem to contradict each other to me:

(1) "this kind of life" refers to "conventional lives", which is exactly the "superficial trappings"
(2) so the use of "beyond" is confusing to me. You found real meaning in the trappings, and at the same time, you were beyond it.

How to understand it?


Thanks in advance
********************************

He was now forty. His friends were making money, living conventional lives-that kind of lives that had previously seemed to Paul like the right way to live. But had he found real personal meaning in this kind of life, beyond the superficial trappings that only days before had seemed so important?

-SUPERSURVIVORS
David Feldman
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    This represents a possible turning point in his life "only yesterday" the superficial stuff had seemed all important. "Today" there is a question: has he found real personal meaning beyond that?

    I am not sure he HAS found it because the sentence is structured as a question: "But had he found ...?" (something to take him beyond the superficial)
     
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