grinding stone

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flyingcat2008

Senior Member
china,chino
It was tempting to say that Sep 11 changed all that,just as it is tempting to say that every hero needs a villain, and goodness needs evil as its grinding stone.. But try looking a widow in the eye and talking about all the good that has come of this. (Person of the year, from Time by Nancy Gibbs, Rudy Giuliani, Mayor of the New York)

Hi, everyone!

I have searched grinding stone in web, and I really didn't find a good answer. Can you explain it to me?

Thanks very much

 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    This is figurative language that means "goodness needs evil to keep it sharp". What does "keep it sharp" mean? It means that goodness needs evil to remain powerful or effective.

    As a knife needs a grinding stone to remain sharp and effective, so goodness needs evil to remain effective.
     

    flyingcat2008

    Senior Member
    china,chino
    It was tempting to say that Sep 11 changed all that,just as it is tempting to say that every hero needs a villain, and goodness needs evil as its grinding stone...But try looking a widow in the eye and talking about all the good that has come of this. It may not be coincidence, but neither is it a partnership: good does not need evil, we owe no doubt to demons, and the attack did not make us better.

    Hi, furthermore,, why the author compare Sep 11 to " every hero needs a villain, and goodness needs evil as its grinding stone.babalaa,,,

    It is difficult for me at this point..

    Thanks
     
    Last edited:

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I think she's comparing positive changes that people made (the hero) with the tragedy of September 11 (the villain). The whole sentence is a long metaphor.
     
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