broken on the altar of Elizabeth’s father’s church...

sobhan

Senior Member
PERSIAN
That was a hard truth, but who else was closer to the boy? <…> Elizabeth had been the first on scene when Gideon’s mother went missing. It might have ended there, but she’d also found Julia Strange broken on the altar of Elizabeth’s father’s church, the body so vulnerable in its desecration she’d almost wept.They’d never once met; and yet Elizabeth, even now, felt a kinship between them, a thread that twisted through thirteen years and found its embodiment in the small boy left behind. <——-Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)——->

What does "broken on the altar of Elizabeth’s father’s church, the body so vulnerable in its desecration she’d almost wept." mean?
Source: Redemption Road
Author: John Hart
 
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  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    What is being described is apparently her body, mangled or otherwise showing signs of serious violence -- such that the body as whole could be described as "broken" -- was literally found atop the altar of that church.

    The body seemed defenseless, exposed, vulnerable, unprotected -- due probably to a combination of its position and location as well as its pitiable condition.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Broken on the alter of" something is almost always meant metaphorically, that the broken thing has been (metaphorically) sacrificed to whatever the altar is dedicated to.

    Here the words appear to be meant literally. The body was "broken", well described by bibliolept as showing signs of serious violence, and the place it was found was on the altar of Elizabeth's father's church; presumably Elizabeth's father is the minister. However, this literal meaning sounds to me so unusual that I do wonder whether it is meant metaphorically after all. Was the body actually found in a church?

    "The body so vulnerable in its desecration" describes her thoughts when she saw the actual body. It looked so vulnerable to her.
     

    sobhan

    Senior Member
    PERSIAN
    "Broken on the alter of" something is almost always meant metaphorically, that the broken thing has been (metaphorically) sacrificed to whatever the altar is dedicated to.

    Here the words appear to be meant literally. The body was "broken", well described by bibliolept as showing signs of serious violence, and the place it was found was on the altar of Elizabeth's father's church; presumably Elizabeth's father is the minister. However, this literal meaning sounds to me so unusual that I do wonder whether it is meant metaphorically after all. Was the body actually found in a church?

    "The body so vulnerable in its desecration" describes her thoughts when she saw the actual body. It looked so vulnerable to her.
    Apparently yes, Uncle. she was the first one who has been on the scene.
     
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