to make effort over yourself


What does "to make effort over yourself" mean? The sentence is the following:"Mr.Kelada stopped with his mouth open.He flushed deeply.You could almost see the effort he was making over himself." This sentence is from "Mr.Know All" by Somerset Maugham.Mr.kelada and Mr.Ramsey bet on Mrs.Ramsey's pearl chain.They are checking whether the pearls are real or imitation.But when they are checking Mrs.Ramsay's face becomes white and she's about to faint.
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Hi, ekacho.

    You could almost see the effort he was making over himself."
    I understand this to mean that Mr. Kelada was making an effort to control his emotions or his reaction to something. Perhaps Mr. Kelada is trying to control his anger or embarrassment over something that somebody said.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Although I do not recognize the phrase "the effort he was making over himself", the context indicates that Mr Kelada was trying hard to conceal his feelings. I think the author meant that Mr Kelada was struggling to conceal his feelings. He knew more about the item than he wanted to admit. Mr Kelada did not want to lie about the value or authenticity of the item he was inspecting, but he decided to do that rather than cause embarrassment of some kind to either Mrs Ramsay or to Mr Ramsay.

    I have not read the whole story, just a few sentences. I suspect that Mrs Ramsay knew it was a very expensive item of jewellery and she concealed its value from her husband. Mr Ramsay thought it was cheap or a fake. Rather than tell Mr Ramsay that it was genuine and valuable, he lied, agreeing with Mr Ramsay, saying it was a cheap fake worth eighteen dollars. If he had told the truth, it would have created difficulties for Mr & Mrs Ramsay.

    Note that the next morning the hundred dollars that Mr Kelada forfeited was anonymously refunded to him. But still the expert Mr Kelada had "lost face" by (falsely) admitting he was wrong to have originally valued it highly.

    Cross-posted with Owlman.
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