seem at instant image of guilelessness

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
The blue flowers which she lifted towards him and her young blue eyes seemed to him at that instant images of guilelessness: and he halted till the image had vanished and he saw only her ragged dress and damp coarse hair and hoydenish face.

https://www.freeonlinebooks.org/displaybook1.php?chapter_id=14&id=1486

Hello, I don't understand the sentence highlighted. Should I change the order of this sentence ," ...seemed images of guilelessness to him at that instant."?
But I don't understand what images of guilelessness" means in this case. Images of Honesty? Does it imply the images are true?
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Let's get rid of the last part of the sentence and let's put in some punctuation:

    "The blue flowers which she lifted towards him, and her young blue eyes, seemed to him, at that instant, images of guilelessness"

    It simply means that at that instant, the flowers and her eyes seemed to him to be images of guilelessness.

    In this context, "guilelessness" means "sincere".
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Guile means trickery, deceit, so to be without guile is to be, as Dimcl says, sincere, open, honest, frank.

    Guilelessness is the quality of being sincere, open, honest, and frank.
     
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