But surely, by its very nature, everyone wrestled with this dilemma anew every time?

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minhduc

Senior Member
vietnamese
Hello
This is an extract from the novel Life after life by Kate Atkinson.

What if there was no demonstrable reality? What if there was nothing beyond the mind? Philosophers ‘came to grips’ with this problem a long time ago, Dr Kellet had told her, rather wearily, it was one of the very first questions they addressed, so there was really no point in her fretting over it. But surely, by its very nature, everyone wrestled with this dilemma anew every time?

I would like to know what does surely mean when the sentence has a question mark? Does it have a positive or negative meaning? What is the meaning of anew every time in this case? Thank you.

 
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi Minhduc,

    I think it best to keep the rule about only asking one question, so I'll address your first one:

    Surely has a positive meaning in sentences like this. That's to say it produces no effect of negation. It adds a note of slightly plaintive querulousness to the question - it makes it say 'Isn't it obvious that everyone etc.'
     
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