Hug fear to your mortal soul


Senior Member
Hello I am reading Mike Carey's "The Girl with All the Gifts" and found this phrase. The lines whre it occurs are,
"The woman was afraid. She hugged her fear to her mortal soul.
The monster broke her sword, and her spear, and it was about to eat her"
I am guessing it means to face your fears but I cannot understand the connection with mortal soul.
Thank you.
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I can't say I know what this means. You should have given the context, which seems to centre on a small child writing a composition in school. This is part of her composition, based on the Greek myths the child must have been hearing or reading about.

    My impression is that there was no hope for the woman against the terrible monster, so my own impression is that she became paralysed with fear. She could not throw off her fear.

    On the other hand, if you "embrace your fears" it apparently means that you accept them and face up to them: Learn How to Embrace Your Fears In the woman's situation, perhaps the only realistic way she could "embrace" her fear was to accept it and await death in a stoic fashion. Of course, the idea of an "immortal soul" would be an anachronism in ancient Greek mythology. Her soul was mortal, and she desperately hugged the fear to it, as though that's the only thing she had to protect it. We don't in fact get to see how she dealt with the fear, as a little girl comes along and rescues her.

    Then the beautiful woman hugged the little girl "to her mortal soul"...and that's where I give up in despair. I think it's simply an attractive-sounding phrase that the child-writer uses without much attention to meaning - "to her heart", perhaps.

    Edited: "immortal soul", "Greek myths"(not Geek myths as I originally wrote :rolleyes:)
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