stiff embroidery

sisse nar

Senior Member
Hi, all.

This is from <A death in the family> by James Agee.

"There was no flurry and no dawdling as there would have been with any other woman Rufus knew; none of the ceremony that held his grandmother’s shopping habits in a kind of stiff embroidery; none of the hurrying, sheepish refusal to be judicious in which men shopped. Hannah steered her way through the vigorous sidewalk traffic and along the dense, numerous aisles of the stores with quiet exhilaration."

I wonder what "stiff embroidery" mean. Is it only a analogy, or does it refer to a real embroidery?
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The quoted piece doesn't give me to understand there's any real embroidery, though the term may be used because the grandmother has fondness for embroidery. A metaphor-- her quiet exhilaration; no flurry, no dawdling, is compared with stiff embroidery.
    Last edited:
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