Her body'd be rambling and loose in the joints

< Previous | Next >

EEMIA

New Member
français-France
Hello, everybody,
I have trouble understanding a passage from Kathryn Stockett's novel, The Help. The context is the following : the narrator remembers walking with her black maid Constantine to Constantine's place, when she was a little girl in Mississippi. After walking for 20 mn or so, they would see a root-seller, waiting on the road with his bags full of roots "open for bargaining". And then :

"[…] by the time we poked around those a minute, Constantine's whole body'd be rambling and loose in the joints. Constantine wasn't just tall, she was stout. She was also wide in the hips and her knees gave her trouble all the time."

Well, really, I don't know what happens to Constantine's body. Based on what follows the tricky passage, I'd tend to suppose that she is so tired (being fat and weak in the knees) that she kind of slumps down. Is that so ?
Thanks in advance for your lights.
EeMia
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Your guess is as good as anything I can come up with, EEMIA.

    Perhaps it's language from the Gulf states of Alabama and Mississippi, where Stockett comes from.
     
    Last edited:

    EEMIA

    New Member
    français-France
    Thanks a lot, sdgraham, for your quick reply. I must now work out an acceptable translation, but that's another issue...
    EeMia
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Yes, the book was published in French translation a couple of years ago. I take the phrase in question to mean that her movements showed poor muscle-tone and were imprecise.
     

    EEMIA

    New Member
    français-France
    It has been published, yes, but the translation avoids some of the tricky passages or deals with them in a casual manner, as is often the case. And so, it doesn't help if and where you really want to understand what is meant.
    Thanks again?
    E
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top