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joh2001smile

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,
This is from Mutiny On The Bounty by John Boyne. The narrator is a navy officer. Does the 'place' mean geographical location or official rank, i.e. position?
Context:
A sea-battle had left me without my left leg and although my life was not threatened, I was forced at the age of fifty-five to return to a quieter life, one that involved the solace of grandchildren and the satisfaction of a place upon the Admiralty board, selecting officers, choosing captains, assigning great tasks for worthy men.
 
  • Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    In this context, he is being placed on a shore job. It is a very subtle piece of writing. The author introduces the paragraph by showing that the old Salt was forced to spend time with his grandchildren [rather than spend it out at sea where he might slash some enemies' throats, no doubt] The the author completes a comparison--forced to endure the grandchildren and having a "satisfaction" of a place. I wonder how satisfied he was going to be. And the author has told us that the officer would be ready for sea duty if they called on him because "even though his left leg was gone, his life hasn't been threatened." I have a hunch that he would have told the Admiralty Board, "My sea bag is packed. I am ready to go. I'm in mint condition for the sea."

    Thanks for this question.
     
    Last edited:

    joh2001smile

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    In this context, he is being placed on a shore job. It is a very subtle piece of writing. The author introduces the paragraph by showing that the old Salt was forced to spend time with his grandchildren [rather than spend it out at sea where he might slash some enemies' throats, no doubt] The the author completes a comparison--forced to endure the grandchildren and having a "satisfaction" of a place. I wonder how satisfied he was going to be. And the author has told us that the officer would be ready for sea duty if they called on him because "even though his left leg was gone, his life hasn't been threatened." I have a hunch that he would have told the Admiralty Board, "My sea bag is packed. I am ready to go. I'm in mint condition for the sea."

    Thanks for this question.
    Thank you, Harry, I see it quite differently and wonder where I am wrong:

    I lost my left leg in a battle, although my life was not threatened, I had to return to a quieter life and spend the rest of my life with my grandchildren and enjoy the satisfaction of place as soon as the Admiralty board selected other proper men to take the place of me.
     

    joh2001smile

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    In this context, he is being placed on a shore job. It is a very subtle piece of writing. The author introduces the paragraph by showing that the old Salt was forced to spend time with his grandchildren [rather than spend it out at sea where he might slash some enemies' throats, no doubt] The the author completes a comparison--forced to endure the grandchildren and having a "satisfaction" of a place. I wonder how satisfied he was going to be. And the author has told us that the officer would be ready for sea duty if they called on him because "even though his left leg was gone, his life hasn't been threatened." I have a hunch that he would have told the Admiralty Board, "My sea bag is packed. I am ready to go. I'm in mint condition for the sea."

    Thanks for this question.
    Besides, I can see no comparison here, it is 'and' instead of 'or' here, i.e. ' the solace of grandchildren AND the satisfaction of a place'
     
    Last edited:

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Thank you, Harry, I see it quite differently and wonder where I am wrong:

    I lost my left leg in a battle, although my life was not threatened, I had to return to a quieter life and spend the rest of my life with my grandchildren and enjoy the satisfaction of place as soon as the Admiralty board selected other proper men to take the place of me.
    He has a place upon the Admiralty Board. This means he has a position, he holds a seat on the board. He is the one making the selections.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    joh If you start with the premise that no career military man wants to be put out to pasture before his time. The author here has his character make it sound like a good deal to be able to have a regular pace to life and dote on the kiddies. But, note the word "forced" for life with the kiddies; but preferring "satisfaction" with the place [new assignment]. If you read those clauses side-by-side can there be any doubt that he meant forced to the place as well. He had to make it sound like he really appreciated,was satisfied with, the wonderful job the Admiralty gave him
     

    joh2001smile

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Harry,
    Thank you for your message and further explanation. I got it. The mistake I made in the first place was about the meaning of 'upon'. I had read it as 'as soon as'.
     
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