English as a Second Language/Meaning

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Question
QUESTION: Hi there!

Actually we are reading book on a love story in our year 12 English class. Teacher gave us overview of important points of each chapter and told us to know them because we going to be writing essay for test on the book where questions can be about characters feelings and/or themes in the book.

Problem with one of the chapter overview is that the English used in it is very hi fi because its not my first language.. I am not understanding completely what the sentences mean.

Can you please write them in simple English so I can understand meaning please? Or may be like give me an overview of this in simple English so I can understand. ?

The overview is this:

Michael produces a highly ambivalent response in Samantha. One one hand, Samantha needs Michaelís love and affection for it constitutes a kind of healing for her; but on the other hand, the old childhood hurts and wounds which are activated by that very love may make her feel  extremely vulnerable and highly defensive. Michaelís capacity to express love in an undemanding, friendly and fair-minded way arouses a certain about of envy as well as unconsciously makes her feel vaguely inadequate which causes her to feel quite of bit of jealously and insecurity.

Samantha finds a quality of magic and enchantment in this relationship which she finds quite unsettling because the element of romantic idealism has a disturbing effect on her as it triggers all her defences against vulnerability and dependence, and constellates a skeptical and critical attitude in order to protect herself from hurt.

However, Samantha is really drawn to a quality of originality and spirit of which she might not have been fully aware but which attracts her like a flower does a bee. Although, She does seem very threatened by Michaelís mysterious quality of psychically understanding of her which makes her feel uneasy, exposed and defenceless.
I thank you in advance for you time and effort.
Anee

ANSWER: Hi Anee,

I'll try to rephrase the text for you and simplify the language a bit. I'm not sure which are the words you're struggling with so if you still have a hard time understanding the text feel free to get back to me, but tell me which are the words/expressions you're struggling with.



Samantha has mixed feelings when it comes to Michael. One one hand, Samantha needs Michaelís love and affection because that represents some sort of healing for her (I'm guessing Samantha had some emotional trauma in the past, and Michael's love may help her forget the past); but on the other hand, the old childhood hurts and wounds may make her feel  extremely vulnerable and highly defensive. Michael is able to express love in an easy, friendly and honest way that may make others envious. It also makes Samantha feel jealous and insecure.

Samantha finds the relationship magic, like a fairy tale, but also scary because it makes her feel vulnerable and dependent. It also makes her adopt a skeptical and critical attitude in order to protect herself from getting hurt.

However, Samantha is really attracted by the originality of the relationship, and even if she may not be aware of it, this attracts her like a flower attracts a bee (it's the kind of attraction Samantha can't resist). Although, she does seem threatened/scared by the fact that Michael is able to understand her physical needs, as that makes her feel uneasy, exposed and defenseless, in other words, vulnerable.



I hope this helps. Again, feel free to follow up if you still need help with this.

Amy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Amy!

Thanks so much for your quick response and making the whole thing a little bit simple for me.

I am having trouble understanding these words/phrases:

Extremely vulnerable
Highly defensive
Arouses envy
Vaguely inadequate
Jealous and insecure
Skeptical
Psychological understanding of her,

I will be greatful if you can help me one last time please.

Thank you

Answer
Hello again,



Extremely vulnerable: someone who can be hurt very easily (mostly emotional hurt)

Highly defensive: someone who feels the need (an exaggerated need) to protect herself

Arouses envy: makes others envious

Vaguely inadequate: somewhat insufficient, less than perfect or unsuitable

Jealous: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/jealous?s=t

Insecure: someone who needs constant reassurance that what he/she is doing is right;someone who lacks confidence, who is fearful, afraid

Skeptical: doubtful

Psychological understanding of her: M is able to understand what S psychological needs are (her feelings, what goes through her mind, what motivates her, what she may be afraid of, etc)


I hope this helps Anee.

Looking forward to more of your questions.

Best,

Amy

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker

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I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

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I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

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