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I’m reading Tokyo Ghoul right now and I’ve come across this line:

グールが生まれながらにして得ることのない人の快楽…その代わりに、これが与えられたんだ。食欲に呑まれそうだ。

My intuition, which the English translation confirms, is that 「食欲に呑まれそうだ」is the antecedent of 「これ」. However, I don’t see how “seems like being consumed by hunger” can be what is given to ghouls in the stead of human happiness. Had the sentence been written in the form of「食欲に呑まれること」I would have no confusion whatsoever, but I simply don’t see how it makes sense to use the resemblance-marking そう here.

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    Watch out for the difference between 呑まれるそうだ and 呑まれそうだ... – mamster Aug 26 '18 at 14:19
  • @mamster I can confirm that the quote is 呑まれそうだ, without the る. – lightweaver Aug 27 '18 at 1:52
  • Yes, my point was that 呑まれそう is not the resemblance-marking そう. – mamster Aug 27 '18 at 21:27
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I haven't read Tokyo Ghoul, so I might be missing some context, but the way I read this sentence, これ refers to the pleasure of satisfying hunger, in exchange of some other human pleasures.

And because the pleasure of satisfying hunger is so incredible, the desire to eat (食欲) is almost overwhelming the speaker, who I assume is a ghoul, and that's what そう (about to) is referring to.

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