her eyes were heavily shadowed

eli7

Senior Member
Persian (Farsi)
In the book "Mary Higgins Clark", there are two sentences I cannot understand. What is it trying to say? some of the expressions are strange to me.

The shell-edged mirror to the left of the kitchen door was an incongruous touch in the massive, oak-beamed kitchen. She stared into it now. Her eyes were shadowed. Normally a shade somewhere between aqua and blue, they reflected back at her wide-pupiled and expressionless.
 
  • Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    'Shadowed' literally means 'in shadow', though it is a rather poetic way of saying so. There are a lot of metaphorical meanings it might have in other contexts, but I would say it is simply the effect of the brow ridges shielding the eyes from light, i.e. there is less light on them then the rest of the face.

    It's worth knowing that 'shadow' has negative connotations in literature a lot of the time. To say that 'there is a shadow over something' generally means there is a feeling of unease or evil there. So in this situation, with the shadow being on the eyes, it may have the additional meaning of having seen unnerving and difficult things and being very tired and overwrought. I can't say that for sure since I don't know the plot of the book very well.
     

    eli7

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    Thank you. "a shade between aqua and blue" refers to the color of the shadow? Shadow is normally dark or black. Isn't it?!
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Aside from this, the book is not "Mary Higgins Clark." The book is A Cry in the Night. It was written by Mary Higgins Clark.

    In English, titles of books are normally put in italic type (like the title above). When you write by hand, or cannot use italics for some other reason, underline. Titles of shorter works, such as articles in newspapers or magazines, are put in quotation marks.
     

    eli7

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    Thank you Egmont, :) sure.
    Thank you Yondlivend


    Should I start a new thred for "shell-edged and oak-beamed"?
    :)

    << Moderator note.
    Yes, indeed, you should have started a new thread.
    Unfortunately you didn't.
    Posts that responded to your off-topic question have been deleted.
    panjandrum >>
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Her eyes were shadowed. Normally a shade somewhere between aqua and blue, they reflected back at her wide-pupiled and expressionless.
    There are two ways to look at this, and I can't tell which is correct, just from this small excerpt.

    It could be that it's to be taken literally: her aqua-blue eyes actually appear darker in color due to the lighting in the room.

    OR

    The shadows and their effect on her usually blue eyes is caused by some internal emotion that makes her expression troubled - shadowed with a darker effect. Is it due to melancholy, pain, sadness, anger, uncertainty, despair?

    I can't tell which from what you've given us.
     

    eli7

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    I can't tell which from what you've given us.
    Ok. Here is the more complete one.

    Her chestnut-brown hair had darkened to near-black during the pregnancy. It felt drab and lifeless as she stuffed it under the woolen ski cap. The shell-edged mirror to the left of the kitchen door was an incongruous touch in the massive, oak-beamed kitchen. She stared into it now. Her eyes were shadowed. Normally a shade somewhere between aqua and blue, they reflected back at her wide-pupiled and expressionless.Her cheeks were drawn.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Her chestnut-brown hair had darkened to near-black during the pregnancy.
    It felt drab and lifeless as she stuffed it under the woolen ski cap.
    You know how people who are feeling great, feeling at the peak of their health have rosy cheeks and sparkling, twinkling eyes?

    Sometimes when you're pregnant, you go through a period of time when you don't feel so good and also don't look so good. That seems to be the case here.

    If eyes can sparkle - but not really because it's only the appearance of a sparkle, then eyes can also have shadows in them, but not really, too.

    You're reading the character's point of view of herself here. Note the beginning of your second sentence: It felt drab and...

    Then she stares at herself in the mirror. In the character's mind, her features are reflecting the way she's feeling. The word shadowed is often used this way in AE.

    One very interesting thing, though. Because her eyes are dilated, I'd also say it actually was a darkened space here, so shadowed can be taken both literally and symbolically. Some may argue the author was being literal only. I like the two-pronged effect of her word choice.

    If I'm wrong, it's still a brilliantly written way to show that the air around the character was dark. She told the reader the eyes were wide-pupiled - an effect of not being in a brightly-lit place.
     

    nimafarahi

    Senior Member
    persian
    What is the meaning of Shadow here?
    " Her dark eyes were two shadows" from the book" The sisters Hemingway"
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's about a six-year-old girl taking a walk with her mother. I doubt she's skeletal but it's not impossible, of course. I think the author is using it as a way to say her eyes (or her whole self) were mysterious and partly unexplainable. She had just finished "talking" to a tree and telling her mother what it had said. And her mother believes it really happened. If so, she's not a normal child.

    According to her mother: "she could see what others could not"
     
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