I know the "drag something down/along/through something" means: to pull something or someone along with difficulty, for example because they are heavy.1

But in the text below, the word "time" confuses me:

What I needed was to be dragged through time.

I am wondering whether it means "I needed to be pulled along with difficulty through time" or something else.

The fuller text is:

I shimmied the length of a purlin, which took me to the framing beam at the barn’s edge. This was more dangerous in one sense—if I fell to the right, there would be no purlins to catch me—but the framing beam was thicker, and I could walk it like a tightrope.

That was how Dad and Shawn became comrades, even if they only agreed on one thing: that my brush with education had made me uppity, and that what I needed was to be dragged through time. Fixed, anchored to a former version of myself.

  • 2
    It's not an established idiomatic usage, so it really just means whatever makes sense to you in the specific context. Which here would seem to mean dragged/transported backwards through time [to a former version of myself]. May 27, 2018 at 11:49

1 Answer 1


Yes, you are right: drag means pull (someone or something) along forcefully.

But let me elaborate what it means in your context.

We have another metaphor here, your book is plenty of those.

Shawn and Dad like an older version of the speaker more than the actual one, in relation with her mind. Since she has become educated, she has also become uppity and they don't like it. If they had a "Brain Delorian" (some sort of time machine that applies only to mind and not body), they would drag her through time to recover the older version of her. Drag and not just go along with her, because she doesn't want to revert to her old self, the travel would be against her will.

  • On the other hand it means they would "drag her through the Tunnel Time"
    – Peace
    May 27, 2018 at 14:59
  • @Peace I don't get any difference between time and Tunnel Time in this context. I guess that you are right
    – RubioRic
    May 27, 2018 at 15:25

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