She tried to hang on to her despair

kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Hi everyone
I am confused and can't understand what's meant by "She tried to hang on to her despair about Valerian" in the following passage from Tar Baby by Toni Morrison:
FYI Margaret is talking about her husband Valerian. He hasn't been him this happy in years. So why despair?
She tried to hang on to her despair about Valerian, but it was hopeless. He was tickled to death by the sight of four cyclamen blossoms, so happy he was considering putting down mirrors for the ants. He’d gone around all morning beating up other plants, especially his miniature orange trees which had come with no blossoms or fruit. He had even drafted a letter to the consulate asking whether a B-class visa could be arranged for a local employee of his. And he spoke of Michael’s visit as though it were a reality.
 
  • LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    Margaret has demons of her own, besides Valerian's problems, and also has periods of confusion and forgetfulness. Perhaps this is related? I'm not sure. It has been a long time since I read Tar Baby, and I found it difficult even then. You may just have to keep reading and find out through the book. This isn't something that can be figured out simply by having a command of the English language.
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Margaret has demons of her own, besides Valerian's problems, and also has periods of confusion and forgetfulness. Perhaps this is related? I'm not sure. It has been a long time since I read Tar Baby, and I found it difficult even then. You may just have to keep reading and find out through the book. This isn't something that can be figured out simply by having a command of the English language.
    Thanks LVRBC. You're right. Meanwhile, please tell me how do you rephrase above sentence? Does it mean what it says? What's your definition for "hang on"?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    She tried to continue to feel despair ...
    Seeing him happy was making her want to let go of her despair, but she didn't want to let go of it, she wanted to hold on to it.
     
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