The title of chapter 10 of Educated (by Tara Westover) is: shield of feathers.
I could n't find any relationship between the title and the text itself.
Does "shield of feathers" have an idiomatic meaning?
Or it simply means some feathers which attached to a shield, like an Aztec shield of feathers.
The last part of chapter 10 may be significant.
My own memory of Shawn begins in the kitchen, perhaps two months after the second accident. I am making corn chowder. The door squeaks and I twist at the waist to see who’s come in, then twist back to chop an onion.
“You gonna be a walking Popsicle stick forever?” Shawn says.
“You need a chiropractor,” he says.
“Mom’ll fix it.”
“You need a chiropractor,” he says again.
The family eats, then disperses. I start the dishes. My hands are in the hot, soapy water when I hear a step behind me and feel thick, callused hands wrap around my skull. Before I can react, he jerks my head with a swift, savage motion. CRACK! It’s so loud, I’m sure my head has come off and he’s holding it. My body folds, I collapse. Everything is black but somehow spinning. When I open my eyes moments later, his hands are under my arms and he’s holding me upright.
“Might be a while before you can stand,” he says. “But when you can, I need to do the other side.”
I was too dizzy, too nauseous, for the effect to be immediate. But throughout the evening I observed small changes. I could look at the ceiling. I could cock my head to tease Richard. Seated on the couch, I could turn to smile at the person next to me. That person was Shawn, and I was looking at him but I wasn’t seeing him. I don’t know what I saw—what creature I conjured from that violent, compassionate act—but I think it was my father, or perhaps my father as I wished he were, some longed-for defender, some fanciful champion, one who wouldn’t fling me into a storm, and who, if I was hurt, would make me whole.