...as he keeps his bad eye – the eye that he thinks of as his secret eye – on Elaine.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by precious-po, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. precious-po New Member

    Hi everyone.
    Question about a quote from "The Whales" by Evie Wyld

    "Terry who has been leaning over them to get a look, gyrates around his walking stick. What his mating dance lacks in accuracy it makes up for in energy and the other three look on in silence while he makes the noise of a boombox with his lips pressed together. Jimmy's fingers stretch out towards the ground in embarrassment as he keeps his bad eye – the eye that he thinks of as his secret eye – on Elaine." - I have no idea what the words "bad eye" mean. Maybe you have any ideas?
  2. roxcyn

    roxcyn Senior Member

    American English [AmE]
    Bad eye - not fully functional or not as good as the other eye.
  3. precious-po New Member

    Thanks for your answer but I've not mentioned that it seems that in this text "eye" doesn't mean an organ of vision)
  4. tepatria Senior Member

    Onondaga, Ontario
    Canadian English
    As he is keeping that eye on Elaine, we must presume he is looking at her, so this does refer to an eye that, as roxcyn said, does not function as well as the other eye.
  5. exgerman Senior Member

    English but my first language was German
    He can mean one of two things---either the eye is weak and doesn't focus at the same distance as the other (amblyopia) or the eye is turned so that it look in a different direction (strabismus). These two conditions often occur together, and each can be called "lazy eye".

    With strabismus, the person seems to be looking in one direction but one of his eyes is actually looking in another.That's why Jimmy thinks of it as his secret eye. He can use the eyes independently, suppressing the signals from the one or the other..
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  6. precious-po New Member

    Oh, now It`s clear for me. Thank you very much for your help.

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