make right now the time

Papaw cheated on Bonnie with her best friend - Mamaw. Mamaw was thirteen and Papaw sixteen, but the affair produced a pregnancy. And that pregnancy added a number of pressures that made right now (italicized in the original) the time to leave Jackson: my intimidating, grizzled war-veteran great-grandfather; the Blanton Brothers, who had already earned a reputation for defending Mamaw's honor; and an interconnected group of gun-toting hillbillies who immediately knew all about Bonnie Blanton's pregnancy.
(J.D. Vance, 'Hillbilly Elegy')
Please tell me what's meant by made right now the time to leave Jackson. Thanks for your help in advance.
 
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  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It is time to leave Jackson now.
    It is time to leave Jackson right now.
    Now is the time to leave Jackson.
    Right now is the time to leave Jackson.
    Today is the time to leave Jackson.

    The pregnancy makes today the time to leave Jackson.
    The pregnancy makes right now the time to leave Jackson.

    Does that help?
     
    Thank you. Is it all the same if you use the verb be or the verb make together with the noun time? Isn't "make/made right now the time" an uncommon usage of the verb make in this combination? Doesn't the author want to give us a supplementary piece of information using the verb make in this context.? And what's more "right now" italicized? What supplementary piece of information does the author want to convey? Please help. Thanks again.
     
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    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Isn't "make/made right now the time" an uncommon usage of the verb make in this combination?
    No, I don't think so.
    Doesn't the author want to give us a supplementary piece of information using the verb make in this context.?
    The author is just saying that the pregnancy provided a number of pressures that meant that right now was the time to leave Jackson.
    And what's more "right now" italicized? What supplementary piece of information does the author want to convey? Please help. Thanks again.
    Probably to highlight the urgency of the situation.
     
    Thank you.
    I would like to rephrase your sentence
    The author is just saying that the pregnancy provided a number of pressures that meant that right now was the time to leave Jackson. as follows (if that is possible):
    The author is just saying that the pregnancy provided a number of pressures that meant that right now the time was made to leave Jackson.
    What I mean: didn't the added number of pressures "make right now the time"- that is the time is ripe - to leave Jackson? It seems to me that's the main reason they left Jackson. And it seems to me too that this is the reason the author used the verb make in combination with the noun time (instead of using the verb be in this context). But, maybe, I'm wrong.
    (edit)
     
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    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ... didn't the added number of pressures "make right now the time"- that is the time is ripe
    I understand what you are asking, but the answer is No. You are seeing the phrase "right now" as adverbial. A native speaker has no trouble seeing it as a noun phrase which is the direct object of the verb "to make".

    For your meaning to apply, we would need a dummy subject and a different word order

    And that pregnancy added a number of pressures that, right now, made it the time to leave Jackson.

    Although this has the same effect as the original sentence, it is grammatically quite different.

    It you look up "now" in the WordReference dictionary, you will see that it can be an adverb but it can also be a noun.

    now /naʊ/
    adv.
    1. at the present time or moment:
    I am now reading this definition.
    2. without further delay;
    immediately:
    Do it now or not at all.
    ...

    n. [uncountable* no article]
    10. the present time or moment:
    Up to now no one has volunteered.
    now - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    Summary

    The sentence structure tells a native speaker that "now", in this context, is a noun. The word "right" is an intensifier.

    For example:

    "I think that now is the time to leave Jackson" - means "we should leave in the near future"

    "I think that right now is the time to leave Jackson - means "let's get out of here quick!"

    The italics, although not strictly necessary, are there to provide further emphasis as to the urgency of the situation.
     
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    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    - And that pregnancy added a number of pressures that made this exact moment the time to leave Jackson.

    (I wouldn't write it that way, but that's the idea.)

    As mentioned earlier in the book, there was a very good chance he would be killed over what had happened. Rough justice, as they call it. That's how things worked there at that time.

    So there was no time to waste. He would be in serious danger as long as he remained there. The sooner he left (like now) the better.
     
    <Threads have been merged at this point by moderator (Florentia52)>

    The only other thing Bonnie South recalled was that, at some point in 1946, Papaw cheated on Bonnie with her best friend - Mamaw. Mamaw was thirteen and Papaw sixteen, but the affair produced a pregnancy. And that pregnancy added a number of pressures that made right now the time to leave Jackson: My intimidating, grizzled war-veteran great-grandfather; the Blanton Brothers, who had already earned a reputation for defending Mamaw's honor; and an interconnected group of gun-toting hillbillies who immediately knew all about Bonnie Blanton's pregnancy.
    (right now italicized in the original)
    (J.D. Vance, 'Hillbilly Elegy')
    Hello there,
    please, what do you take made right now the time to leave Jackson to mean in this context. Please help. Thanks in advance.
     
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    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It is just another way to say that right now was a good time to leave Jackson because there were a lot of pressures, including the pressure of the pregnancy.

    There appears to be no end to the convoluted story of Papaw and Mamaw. I am impressed by your endurance, Cub Pilot.
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    'right now' is in italics because it obviously doesn't refer to the time at which the author is writing, but to the past time about which he is writing, and the italics provide this distancing.

    'the time' means 'the right time' ('It's time to go to bed', 'Now is the time to speak up' etc. etc. Normal usage); 'right now' was one possible option , in terms of when to leave; the pressures 'made' 'right now' the time - that is, they ensured that the right time was 'right now'.
     
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