happiness in pleasure—I mean in heartless, sensual pleasure—such as dulls intellect...

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Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 20

Quotation: “... Mind, I don’t say a crime; I am not speaking of shedding of blood or any other guilty act, which might make the perpetrator amenable to the law: my word is error. The results of what you have done become in time to you utterly insupportable; you take measures to obtain relief: unusual measures, but neither unlawful nor culpable. Still you are miserable; for hope has quitted you on the very confines of life: your sun at noon darkens in an eclipse, which you feel will not leave it till the time of setting. Bitter and base associations have become the sole food of your memory: you wander here and there, seeking rest in exile: happiness in pleasure—I mean in heartless, sensual pleasure—such as dulls intellect and blights feeling. "
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. It's obscure to me. I try to interpret it below. Is it correct?

... seeking rest in exile: seeking happiness in pleasure - or rather, you feel depressed, pleasing your senses (especially satisfying your sexual appetite) - such as ruins you both intellectually and emotionally.
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Not quite - heartless here means emotionally detached - having sex with someone you don't love or care about.

    ...seeking happiness in the type of loveless sexual pleasure which ruins you...
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    But I have a question about "such as dulls". Is it to be read "[seeking... pleasure in pleasure such] [as dulls intellect...]? I mean do "such" and "as" go independently here? Or can "such as" stand as a subject on its own, without being followed by a noun, apart from the idiom meaning "those who", which seems unlikely to me?

    Thanks.
     
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    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hi, I don't think "such as" can 'stand alone'; it must be followed by an example (noun or '-ing' form of verb). In Irelia's OP, "heartless, sensual pleasure " is an example of the category which the preceding "pleasure" includes, in my interpretation. ("dulls" and "blights" are the third person singular present of the verbs 'to dull' and 'to blight, describing what such pleasures do - they dull intellect and blight feelings. The singular is used because 'pleasure' here is an uncountable (and abstract) noun.)
     
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    Irelia20150604

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I think "as" here is a pronoun which means "that/who/which", as in M-W dictionary:
    1 : THAT, WHO, WHICH ― used after same or such <in the same building as my brother> <tears such as (=that) angels weep ― John Milton> and chiefly dialect after a substantive not modified by same or such <that kind of fruit as (=that) maids call medlars ― Shakespeare>

    happiness in pleasure—I mean in heartless, sensual pleasure—such as (=that) dulls intellect and blights feeling.

    cross-posted
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    But an example should follow "such as", not precede it. Right? I don't remember having come across such a usage where the example preceded it.
     
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