civilized salvation

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Senior Member
Hi, I cannot understand the meaning of the red part of the following sentence from "Fault Lines" by Barbara Kingsolver. Would you please explain it to me? Thanks a lot.

Lots of drivers have raised their hoods and are waiting for a tow truck, civilized salvation, hoping they still might make their appointments.
  • Prairiefire

    Senior Member
    US (Midwest) - English
    It's a unique phrase, not an idiom.

    'Salvation' refers to being rescued when your car is stuck;
    'Civilized' probably (I'm just guessing) refers to the fact that such a service usually allows the driver to avoid having to push his or her car out of the ditch, contrasting being towed to the manual labor that would make the driver all sweaty and disheveled and likely late for his/her appointment.


    English - England
    "Salvation" is a Christian concept meaning "The action of saving or delivering; the state or fact of being saved." (OED) In rough terms, it means "being promised a place in heaven." However, it also has the idea of being saved from something worse (hell).

    Here, the drivers have their hoods up to indicate that they have broken down, and are waiting for a tow-truck to come and save them.

    The adjective "civilised" is used to mean "a more practical and modern form of"
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