flung wide its cloak and stepped down


Senior Member
Hello everyone,

The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind a spent and exhausted world.
Willa Cather

Does "flung wide its cloak and stepped down" describe a sunset and simply mean that the sun left the fields, i.e. there were no sunlight on the fields any more?
If yes, why did it "fling wide"? To me it implies the opposite. i.e. the sunlight came to the fields (like when the day begins).

Thank you.
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    At midday, the sun subtends an angle of 0.53° in the sky, but when it's setting it illuminates clouds covering anything up to 45°. These red clouds are its "wide-flung cloak". For example:
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