barbarity inflicted on that poor head


Senior Member

Does the colored sentence means he treated his head cruelly?
Here David shaves his head, his long hair.

There were curls of his long hair all over the bathroom. There were nicks in the skin where his hand had trembled and the razor slipped. The barbarity inflicted on that poor head, that poor head she loved to distraction, had made her want to scream.

It's part of "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry"by Rachel Joyce, British writer.
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Not intentionally, Maryam, but his shaky hands are causing him to nick his scalp with the razor. She thinks that such unskilled shaving is a "barbarity" - a bloody, terrible thing.


    Senior Member
    English - British
    There are several elements here. Sometimes the word 'head' is used to stand for the person, but that is not the case here. Rather, she personifies the head, almost as if it were an individual in its own right. She loves the head itself with a passionate love: 'that ... head she loved to distraction'.

    She empathises with the 'suffering' of the head itself and names the two things it has undergone: its long hair has been removed and the skin has been cut repeatedly in the process. Both these treatments she sees as barbarous.
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