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Q: what does the sentence "A small unusual devil seemed to have entered into her." mean? ‘He’s left his book,’ said Phrynne, on a new tack. ‘I wonder what he’s reading,’ continued Phrynne. ‘Foxe’s Lives of the Martyres, I expect.’ A small unusual devil seemed to have entered into her. But Mrs Pascoe knew the answer. ‘It’s always the same,’ she said contemptuously. ‘He only reads one. It’s called Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World. He’s been reading it ever since he came here. When he gets to the end, he starts again.’ ‘Should I take it up to him?’ asked Gerald. It was neither courtesy nor inclination, but rather a fear lest the Commandant return to the lounge: a desire, after those few minutes of reflection, to cross-examine. ‘Thanks very much,’ said Mrs Pascoe, as if relieved of a similar apprehension. ‘Room One. Next to the suit of Japanese armour.’ She went on tipping and banging. Q: what does the sentence "A small unusual devil seemed to have entered into her." mean?
Jan 1, 2016 10:01 AM
Answers · 5
In the Middle Ages, in Western culture, it was seriously believed that madness was caused by demonic possession. Satan, or devils, or demons, entered into the person and took possession of the person's soul. People would then try to cure the person by means of religious rituals called "exorcism" or "casting out devils." The New Testament, the fundamental religious book of Christianity, refers to Jesus curing people by "casting out devils." Because it is mentioned in the New Testament, I am sure there are fundamentalist Christians in the United States today who believe in demonic possession and exorcism. I don't believe in it, and nobody I know believes in it. However, the idea survives in common sayings or idioms. When I was disobedient as a child, my mother would say to me "I don't know what's gotten into you." It was just a phrase, she wasn't seriously thinking about demonic possession! People will say someone "has the devil in his eyes" or "her eyes" or "has an impish spirit" meaning they are planning mischief. "The Exorcist" was a hit film of the 1970s. Was the film seriously suggesting that exorcism was real? Like "The Da Vinci Code," I think it was merely a horror story of the supernatural, which only played with the theme.
January 1, 2016
Continuing: without having read the book I can't tell for sure. The book appears to be "Dark Entries" by Robert Aickman, and from the Amazon description it seems to be a Gothic or horror tale. Normally, "A small unusual devil seemed to have entered into her" would be a joke. It would mean "she is joking, or teasing, or about to play a small prank. She doesn't usually do things like that." In a horror tale of the supernatural, it MIGHT be "foreshadowing" bad things to come.
January 1, 2016
Read definition 4. That should explain it.
January 1, 2016
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