if this robbery my livelihood ... wasn't criminal enough...

Dilky Pathirana

Senior Member
Sinhala - Sri Lanka
Hi,

Can somebody explain me the meaning of "And if this robbery of not only my livelihood but my very sense of being wasn't criminal enough,"

Here comes the full context:

"But I had spent all my adult life living for the night. I didn't want anything to do with the day. And if this robbery of not only my livelihood but my very sense of being wasn't criminal enough, I had been left like a virgin bride at the altar. Left in a cowardly way, without notice. <-----Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->" - Peel My Love Like an Onion by Ana Castillo.

Many thanks :)
 
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  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Sorry but this isn't context, which means what is going on, what's the story about. Who is this woman and what is her situation? This information makes it easier for us to give you the best possible answer.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    "And as if [ABC] weren't (or wasn't) enough (or [adjective] + enough), XYZ!"
    ABC = something bad, a misfortune
    XYZ = an additional misfortune
    "As if spilling ink on my desk weren't bad enough, he slammed the door on his way out." (Two actions that annoyed me.)
     

    Dilky Pathirana

    Senior Member
    Sinhala - Sri Lanka
    Sorry but this isn't context, which means what is going on, what's the story about. Who is this woman and what is her situation? This information makes it easier for us to give you the best possible answer.
    This was written in first person. So that narrator speaks her self. She is a cripple. She has polio in one leg. She is talking about the desperation in her life. How she had to work for low wages to overcome the difficulties in her life. And still this extract is from the very beginning of the book. I can't figure out the full tragedy of her life yet.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    And if this robbery of not only my livelihood but my very sense of being
    Here she talks about a robbery, and calls it "this robbery". So it refers to one specific "robbery" that she has mentioned before this sentence.

    Who robbed her? What was stolen? How was her "livelihood" stolen"? How was her "sense of being" stolen?

    All of these questions must be answered, to know what the bold means. And all of them are answered in some other text, before this in the book.
     

    Dilky Pathirana

    Senior Member
    Sinhala - Sri Lanka
    Here she talks about a robbery, and calls it "this robbery". So it refers to one specific "robbery" that she has mentioned before this sentence.

    Who robbed her? What was stolen? How was her "livelihood" stolen"? How was her "sense of being" stolen?

    All of these questions must be answered, to know what the bold means. And all of them are answered in some other text, before this in the book.
    Thank you for the reply !

    Could kindly help me to understand what does this line mean?

    but my very sense of being wasn't criminal enough,"

    What does she mean by "it wasn't criminal enough"??
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    You still haven't explained the context, but it may be irrelevant for understanding the structure of the sentence. I guess the novelist may have not yet made the situation entirely clear but will do so further on in the book.


    And if this robbery of not only my livelihood but my very sense of being wasn't criminal enough, I had been left like a virgin bride at the altar.


    It's an exclamation, in this case expressing anger. This robbery was criminal, but the fact that I had been left at the altar made it even worse. (I can't tell from this sentence whether she was literally left "at the altar".

    Compare:

    As if his breaking off our engagement wasn't bad enough, he emptied our joint savings account and disappeared.
     

    Dilky Pathirana

    Senior Member
    Sinhala - Sri Lanka
    You still haven't explained the context, but it may be irrelevant for understanding the structure of the sentence. I guess the novelist may have not yet made the situation entirely clear but will do so further on in the book.


    And if this robbery of not only my livelihood but my very sense of being wasn't criminal enough, I had been left like a virgin bride at the altar.


    It's an exclamation, in this case expressing anger. This robbery was criminal, but the fact that I had been left at the altar made it even worse. (I can't tell from this sentence whether she was literally left "at the altar".

    Compare:

    As if his breaking off our engagement wasn't bad enough, he emptied our joint savings account and disappeared.
    Thank you for the reply!

    Context starts like below:

    "But i had spent all my adult life living for the night. I didn't want anything to do with the day. And if this robbery of not only my livelihood but my very sense of being wasn't criminal enough, I had been left like a virgin bride at the altar."
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I found an excerpt from the first chapter ("Uno"). You're right - we don't know exactly what she's talking about, since it's a sort of 'stream of conscience' monologue.
    I can only speculate from other accounts I read, that 'something' has deprived her of her livelihood, which was flamenco dancing (despite being crippled by polio).

    Later on she tells us how her mother wanted her to get work as a checkout girl. I suspect that the event that made her unable to earn a living by dancing was the break up of a relationship with another dancer in the troupe, a man she nicknames 'Turd' (excrement).
    She had suffered a deep emotional loss too, and thus felt she no longer had an identity, as I interpret 'sense of being'.
    On top of the financial difficulty, she had suffered emotional and psychological loss.
    As you read on, you'll understand more. :)
     

    Dilky Pathirana

    Senior Member
    Sinhala - Sri Lanka
    I found an excerpt from the first chapter ("Uno"). You're right - we don't know exactly what she's talking about, since it's a sort of 'stream of conscience' monologue.
    I can only speculate from other accounts I read, that 'something' has deprived her of her livelihood, which was flamenco dancing (despite being crippled by polio).

    Later on she tells us how her mother wanted her to get work as a checkout girl. I suspect that the event that made her unable to earn a living by dancing was the break up of a relationship with another dancer in the troupe, a man she nicknames 'Turd' (excrement).
    She had suffered a deep emotional loss too, and thus felt she no longer had an identity, as I interpret 'sense of being'.
    On top of the financial difficulty, she had suffered emotional and psychological loss.
    As you read on, you'll understand more. :)
    Hi, thanks a lot for the reply :) yeah i understood everything that you have mentioned here.

    But my very doubt here is what does she means by "but my very sense of being wasn't criminal enough,"

    Does it mean that her conscious was not filled with that much of a guilt before all of these sudden happenings in her life?

    I need this for some of my literal work , that's why :)

     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No, your analysis is way off I'm afraid. It's "not only...but". Read Hermione's post #9 more carefully.

    And if this robbery of not only my livelihood but my very sense of being wasn't criminal enough

    This man robbed her of two things:

    And if this robbery [(i) of my livelihood and also (ii) of my very sense of being] was not criminal enough...
     

    Dilky Pathirana

    Senior Member
    Sinhala - Sri Lanka
    No, your analysis is way off I'm afraid. It's "not only...but". Read Hermione's post #9 more carefully.

    And if this robbery of not only my livelihood but my very sense of being wasn't criminal enough

    This man robbed her of two things:

    And if this robbery [(i) of my livelihood and also (ii) of my very sense of being] was not criminal enough...
    Ok many thanks for the effort, i got it :)
     
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