the dodging bodies


Senior Member
Hi everyone
Please kindly tell me what is meant by "the dodging bodies and shopwindows glaring hot" in the following context from "Libra" by Don Delillo:
Location: New Orleans
They lived in a three-story building in an alley that opened onto Canal Street, the dodging bodies and shopwindows glaring hot. The building had arch entranceways with decorative crests. That's what Marguerite liked most. It was otherwise a sad show.
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  • The people ("bodies") were swerving to avoid something (probably other people) and both they and they shop windows were extremely hot.
    At the time, Canal Street was the major shopping street for New Orleans. The sidewalks during the day would be crowded, and people walking quickly would need to avoid (or "dodge") other pedestrians who were either coming the other way, or standing still while looking in shop windows, or perhaps waiting for a bus or streetcar.

    New Orleans is an extremely humid city, and I can tell you from personal experience that in the summer it is stiflingly hot. Since Canal Street is a very wide street without trees, there would be no shade, and the hot sunlight could be described as "glaring."
    The shop windows are reflecting the glaring, hot sunlight so the windows themselves are also a source of heat and glare.