1

THE STAINS OF RUST SEEMED TO MAP BLOOD SEAS ON THE BLACK, pocked surface of Mock's Vane. A century old, it squatted on the point of an old pike that had been bolted to the outer top of the Hold's wall. Monstrous and misshapen, it had been cold-hammered into the form of a winged demon, teeth bared in a leering grin, and was tugged and buffeted in squealing protest with every gust of wind.

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson, sentence No 2.

It's understood that what was meant is that the vane was protesting. But, grammatically, if the object is tugged and buffeted in squealing protest, who's in the state of protest, the object or the one who does the actions?

0

Monstrous and misshapen, it had been cold-hammered into the form of a winged demon, teeth bared in a leering grin, and was tugged and buffeted in squealing protest with every gust of wind.

This can be reduced to:

It (i.e., Mock's Vane)...was tugged and buffeted in squealing protest with every gust of wind.

So it is the Mock's Vane that is 'being tugged and buffeted in squealing protest'. The wind, which is doing the tugging and buffeting, is not what is squealing in protest.

  • I suppose it could also be reduced to: It was a dark and stormy night, and Mock's Vane was badly in need of some WD-40. But, grammatically, you're right – the object is the thing that protests. – J.R. Sep 10 '18 at 10:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.