Wu Ting
How would you explain this sentence? At seven this morning, after a brief rainstorm, Lev Trotsky lifted his suitcase, stepped across the puddles in the brick walk, and left the Blue House for the last time. He and his wife climbed into the back of the car with Lorenzo the guard, his rifle lying across their knees, and Van in the front passenger’s seat, also armed. The driver sat very straight, as if his body were pierced like a Hindu’s with a thousand nails of guilt. How would you explain the last sentence: as if his body were pierced like a Hindu’s with a thousand nails of guilt? The Hindus sometimes make their bodies pierced with real nails? Thanks! PS: It’s from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.
Aug 4, 2014 12:50 PM
Answers · 2
Supposedly, yes. There are all sorts of myths in the West about Indian mystics apparently transcending physical pain by lying on beds of nails, and similar practices. But the reality of it isn't important here: it's just an image, used to describe the driver's posture. This discomfort was due not to the physical assault of nails, but to the psychological pain of guilt , visible throughout his body.
August 4, 2014
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