The following is from The African Queen by C. S. Forester

Yet even as the hot wave of fervour swept over her, she pulled herself up with scorn of herself for daydreaming. Here she was alone in the Central African forest, alone with a dead man. There was no possible chance of her achieving anything.

Does the bold mean 'rebuke herself'?

2 Answers 2


I think it is just a continuation of the "wave" metaphor. The wave (like an ocean wave) breaks over her and she goes underwater. She pulls herself up from beneath this wave (as you do with your arms underwater) and returns to the surface of practical reality.

  • My initial understanding was something along that line and then, unfortunately, I looked up the dictionary and there was another meaning, 'rebuke.' All of sudden I wasn't sure of it anymore. Thank you for clarifying it.
    – whitecap
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 19:11

She stopped herself from having those thoughts / emotions / daydreams.

The metaphor is to pull on the reigns of a horse to make it stop.

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