her face was like an unfolding map of tragic country

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
He told an abridged version of the story that began when Campion had crashed into Hap’s pumps. He sketched his escape from Stovington a week ago. Harold glared dully down at his hands, which were plucking up bits of moss and shredding them. But the girl’s face was like an unfolding map of tragic country, and Stu felt bad for her.
Source: The Stand by Stephen King
Context: Stu met with Harold and Frannie who were on their way to Stovington, in serarch for authority.

The bolded phrase means Frannie' face was contorted with pain as Stu's story of escape from Stovington is unravelled, right?

Thank you.
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Is the girl in pain? Who is telling the "version of the story"? What's the connection between "He", "Campion", "Stu" and "the girl"? We don't have a reason for the girl's face to look anything other than normal.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    tragic country = Stephen King's grasp of effective English usage

    But the girl’s face was like an unfolding map of tragic country, and Stu felt bad for her.

    Is it copied absolutely correctly? It seems like it probably has a grammar mistake.

    I don't know what unfolding means and why it's used here.

    Whatever it was, it was bad and she wasn't pleasant to look at in her current condition.
     
    Last edited:

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    This is one to let go. You are never going to need to use it and I cannot say with any certainty what he intends it to mean!
     

    Scott AM

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    But the girl’s face was like an unfolding map of tragic country, and Stu felt bad for her.

    The bolded phrase means Frannie' face was contorted with pain as Stu's story of escape from Stovington is unravelled, right?
    That's how I read it, yes.

    Is copied absolutely correctly? It seems like it probably has a grammar mistake.
    I don't know what unfolding means and why it's used here.
    "Tragic country" = a similar usage to "bad country" or "rough country". Not to be confused with "a tragic country". I think King is trying to compare her face to a map. As the story unfolds (like a map), her face shows more and more disappointment and pain. Perhaps not the most intuitive way to phrase it, I agree.
     
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