have thrust upon you a greater burden of responsibility

taked4700

Senior Member
japanese japan
Hi,
I'm wondering if the logic of a sentence makes sense or not.

This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. It is a revolutionary world we live in, and thus, as I have said in Latin America and Asia, in Europe and in the United States, it is young people who must take the lead. Thus you, and your young compatriots everywhere, have had thrust upon you a greater burden of responsibility than any generation that has ever lived.

(*This is from "A tiny ripple of hope" by Bobert F Kennedy.)


I think the sentence in bold italic means that you force yourself to take more responsibility than any generation that has ever lived. But I think it would be illogical to force oneself to do something because to force implies to make somebody else excluding yourself do something that he is unwilling to do.

What do you say to this?

Is my logic queer?

Thanks in advance.
 
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  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    No, someone else or something else (rather than you yourself) has thrust upon you the responsibility.

    It might be helpful to point out that thrust is in the past participial form (because this is not obvious), so there is a kind of passive structure there.
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Natkretep.

    I think I've understood the logic.

    It seems to me that to have thrust upon you means to have someone give you a thrust.

    Am I right?

    Thanks in advance.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes.

    He thrust [past tense] the letter into her hand. = She had the letter thrust [past participle] into her hand (by him).
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The quote from Robert Kennedy is an allusion to Shakespeare (Twelfth Night):
    "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them".
    Some people have greatness thrust upon them = Some people are forced to accept a great (powerful, influential, highly responsible) role against their will or inclination.
     
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    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Se16teddy.


    It seemed that I hadn't understood what Natkretep said in the post #2.

    "Thus you, and your young compatriots everywhere, have had a greater burden of responsibilitythrust upon you than any generation that has ever lived." would be the deep structure as I judged in analogy of your sentence of "Some people have greatness thrust upon them"

    I have an input that Shakespeare and the Bible are the two we the non-English natives need to interpret meanings of speeches or books.

    Thanks again,
    taked4700
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them".
    Some people have greatness thrust upon them = Some people are forced to accept a great (powerful, influential, highly responsible) role against their will or inclination.
    Teddy, in the case of Twelfth Night, my interpretation is that the greatness was not unwelcome. The quotation is from a trick letter to Malvolio who thinks it is from the heiress Olivia, and he imagines greatness as being married to Olivia.

    Thank you, Se16teddy.


    It seemed that I hadn't understood what Natkretep said in the post #2.

    "Thus you, and your young compatriots everywhere, have had a greater burden of responsibilitythrust upon you than any generation that has ever lived." would be the deep structure as I judged in analogy of your sentence of "Some people have greatness thrust upon them"
    Taked, Kennedy borrows the structure from Shakespeare but modifies it for his own purpose. Instead of greatness, he talks about responsibility. 'Greatness' is generally something welcomed, 'responsibility' is usually less welcome.
     
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