doing well given the circumstances

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from: Oscar Pistorius treated in hospital after 'slipping in cell' - BBC News

Quotation: Carl Pistorius said he had visited his brother, who was "doing well given the circumstances".

"He slipped in his cell and injured himself, nothing serious," he said, adding that suggestions of a suicide attempt were "completely untrue and sensational".

The 29-year-old athlete was initially given a five-year term for manslaughter, but was found guilty of murder on appeal last December.
===
Hi everyone! I am confused bu the bold part. I guess it means "recovering well because of the favorable circumstances". Is it correct?

I've found an relevant report: Oscar slipped in cell, his brother insists | IOL
He said: “Jenna and I have just been to see Oscar and he is doing well given the circumstances. He was in good spirit. I know there are reports saying that he tried to injure himself; these are completely untrue and sensational.
 
  • pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    His circumstances are not favorable; he's in prison.

    He's doing well for someone who is in prison. Given his unfavorable circumstances, he's doing well.
     

    Irelia20150604

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thanks. But I also don't quite understand "doing well". How to figure it out?

    I guessed the line meant he recovered well in the hospital, comparing favorably to the cell, so I interpreted "circumstances" as "favorable circumstances" :eek:
     

    dermott

    Senior Member
    B.E. via Australian English
    Doing well = coping, managing. The circumstances probably refer to all the circumstances - that his conviction was changed from manslaughter to murder, then injured himself. None of which are favourable.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    This is a fairly common phrase, which just means "even though things are generally going pretty badly, he nonetheless is dealing with it about as well as anyone could expect."

    If my house got knocked down by a tornado, and you came to visit me at a Red Cross shelter, and saw that I was in reasonably good spirits and only had minor injuries, and that insurance would probably pay to rebuild my house, you could say, "POB is doing well given the circumstances."

    Crossposted with the more succinct dermott.

    Further edit: If we meant that the circumstances were helping him, we would more likely say, "He's doing well because of the circumstances." We usually use "given" in this context to mean "despite."
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top