even the smartest aristocrats had really nothing positive of their own to hold

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(para. 17) by Lawrence(the University of Adelaide,here):
You had to get on without it, and hold your own; which was all very well if you were of the same class and race. Then you could keep yourself cold and be very estimable, and hold your own, and enjoy the satisfaction of holding it. But if you were of another class and another race it wouldn’t do; there was no fun merely holding your own, and feeling you belonged to the ruling class. What was the point, when even the smartest aristocrats had really nothing positive of their own to hold, and their rule was really a farce, not rule at all?

What's the exact meaning of positive please? It's hard for me to choose one from all its meanings.
Thank you in advance
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    No. I do mean positive -> substantial; tangible.

    Lawrence is making a point about the ruling classes. "But Clifford was not like that. His whole race was not like that. They were all inwardly hard and separate, and warmth to them was just bad taste. You had to get on without it, and hold your own..." to hold your own = to defend and maintain your own status in life. Status and class is neither substantial nor tangible.
     
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