with a bit of French and German, very much up aloft

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(the last para., page 294, chapter 14) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):

‘The first girl I had, I began with when I was sixteen. She was a school-master’s daughter over at Ollerton, pretty, beautiful really. I (Mellors) was supposed to be a clever sort of young fellow from Sheffield Grammar School, with a bit of French and German, very much up aloft. She was the romantic sort that hated commonness. She egged me on to poetry and reading: in a way, she made a man of me.'

I have worked out that from Sheffield Grammar School refers to graduating from the school or studying in the school, even though in a Chinese version, it's translated as graduate from the school. But what does
up aloft mean please? Is up a preposition here?
Thank you in advance
 
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  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    In British English "grammar school" includes certain types of high schools. At age 16 he was either studying at the school or very recently graduated from it; it doesn't matter which.

    "Up aloft" means "lofty, elevated, a social or intellectual better." It was the quality that satisfied the girl's desire for a lover who was not "common."
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    BrE speakers would not talk about 'graduating' from a school, as there is no 'graduation ceremony' or diploma involved usually in the UK. We attend school and then we leave school. In other words, we don't make a big distinction between attending and completing school, although it is assumed that most pupils will stay on till 16 at least.

    A grammar school (in the UK, Australia etc) is a school that has a more academic syllabus and is often selective in terms of the pupils admitted and is sometimes contrasted to a comprehensive school.

    If I was translating the text, I would just say Mellors went to or attended Sheffield Grammar School. The main point is that he was a bright boy who could get into a grammar school.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you so much. I have re-read a relevant paragraph far earlier than this one, and found that Mellors was still studying in the school when he was 16.
    And now I feel up is an adjective, while aloft an adverb. Is that right please?
    And who felt Mellors to be up aloft? Mellors himself, or others?
     
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    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    No. She regarded him as above the common sort of boy: clever, attending the grammar school, knowing something of foreign languages. How he thought of himself is not stated and is irrelevant. What mattered was what the girl thought.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    A schoolmaster's daughter would think of herself as socially superior to the blacksmith's son. This girl didn't like 'commonness' but because Mellors was a grammar school boy she associated with him despite his very humble ('common') social origins. He had to have been very clever to get a scholarship, a free place, to the grammar school, exactly like Lawrence himself.
    Other grammar school non- scholarship pupils paid fees and had parents who could afford the school fees until the age of 18 and then afford the university education which might be expected to follow.
    Presumably Mellors scholarship lasted only until he was 16, the minimum school leaving age at that time (I think). Even if the scholarships had lasted until 18, many poor families could not afford to keep a person at home who wasn't bringing in money, so many left school to help support the family especially if they had younger siblings.
    Mellors was 'up aloft' compared with others of his age and class. His education and brilliance ensured that status in the eyes of this girl.
     
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