Which is correct, "be embodied in" or "be embodied within"?

There is hope for the future of the great river, and it is embodied within the reverence with which she is still held. (from a documentary film, Ganges, by Darren Flaxstone)

Reverence is in people's heart, in this sense. It is a feeling, which has no extension. Therefore, is it not more natural to say that hope is embodied in the reverence?

  • Your quote doesn't say embodied with, it says embodied within – Andrew Leach Oct 31 '13 at 11:36
  • ngram suggests in and not within, which sound to me a bit like a pleonasm. – mplungjan Oct 31 '13 at 12:32
  • An edit has completely changed this question. – Andrew Leach Oct 31 '13 at 12:49
  • @AndrewLeach It's okay. The edit was needed and the question is fine now. – Kris Oct 31 '13 at 14:13

Within is used in this particular context to stress the fact that it is "very much in" the reverence. That fact is the essence of this sentence.

| improve this answer | |

Well, my home is near her shores, just before she flows out into the Bay of Bengal.

Ganges is, lets say, revered by the whole Hindu population of the world. So seen this way: ...hope...is embodied "within" the reverence with which she is still held by the people.

"within" just conveys the fact she has a place somewhere in the hearts of the people. Using "in" would be inappropriate.

Example:‘Elvis is in the building.’(clear) vs ‘Elvis is within the building.’(somewhat hazy). See here:http://www.differencebetween.net/language/differences-between-in-and-within/

| improve this answer | |
  • Reverence is within the heart, hope is in the reverence. Just because reverence is within the heart, does not mean hope has to be within the reverence. – benlogos Oct 31 '13 at 14:47
  • That hope is somewhere within the reverence, is also plausible. Don't you think so? Because with the pollution that is being done to the river, her future is grim indeed. – Avishek Dutta Oct 31 '13 at 15:28
  • Yes , it is POSSIBLE for "hope" to be within "reverence". – benlogos Oct 31 '13 at 15:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.