"Maybe you should take a few things out of your pocket before you go," said Mr. Carr.

Alfred replied, "What things? What are you talking about?"

"You have a compact and a lipstick and two tubes of toothpaste, Alfred."

"What do you mean? Are you calling me a thief?" His face got red, and he knew he looked insulted. His boss nodded his head and Alfred became frightened.

Source: adapted from Discovering Fiction: An Introduction, Chapter 12.

I don't get the meaning of "he knew he looked insulted" clearly. Does it mean that Alfred knew that he looked like a fool and from his appearance everyone could guess he is a thief?

  • How do you get fool from insulted? Is being insulted a violation of honor, and only fools allow their honor to be violated?
    – TimR
    Aug 7, 2018 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


It means that Alfred knew that his expression made it clear that he was offended that someone would consider him being a thief. It does not mean he looks guilty, just that he doesn't like being called it.


You have misquoted this. It is important to quote exactly as the original is easier to understand.

"What do you mean? Are you calling me a thief?" Alfred's face got red and he knew he looked insulted. Sam Carr's eyes were shining behind his glasses and his lips were moving underneath his gray mustache. He nodded a few times and Alfred became frightened.

Alfred is young man, a teenager, who works at a drug store for Sam Carr, the manager. He has been stealing from the store and in his pocket are a few small items, like a tube of toothpaste. Sam has asked Alfred to "turn out his pockets".

The text says that Alfred looked insulted. This is because it is insulting to call someone a thief. But I would have written "Alfred knew he looked guilty". Perhaps the writer uses "insulted" because it is a more common word than "guilty".

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