There is no mistaking what the reality is. His desire to continue striving is Sisyphean and is the boulder that will eventually crush him. Hope is the emotional parasite.
Women are depicted in a quite different way from men – not because the feminine is different from the masculine – but because the 'ideal' spectator is always assumed to be male and the images of the woman is designed to flatter him.
A man's presence suggests what his capable of doing to you or for you. His presence may be fabricated, in the sense that he pretends to be capable of what he is not. But the pretense is always is always toward a power which he exercises on others. By contrast, a woman's presence expresses her own attitude to herself, and defines what can and cannot be done to her.
A people or a class which is cut off from its own past is far less free to choose and to act as a people or class than one that has been able to situate itself in history.