What does 'across the level' mean here, and 'striking off across' mean

With a short laugh he threw it down on the bed, and pulling on his old black hat, he went out, striking off across the level.

On the Divide by Willa Cather

1 Answer 1


The word "level" appears four times in that story. The first appearance is at the beginning, where it appears in the first sentence "... the level Nebraska plain...".
In the sentence you quote, it means that he walked across the land, which is very flat.

  • is it always the case, I mean is "level" synonymous with "plain" ? or is a case of a writer trying to be creative with the language?
    – Fermichem
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 8:29
  • @Fermichem en.wiktionary.org/wiki/level#Noun 9. (Britain) An area of almost perfectly flat land.
    – user96061
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 11:35
  • What does 'striking off across' the level mean? Does it mean just - he went outside?
    – Vitaly
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 11:39
  • 1
    It means he left. "strike" can mean "(intransitive) To set off on a walk or trip." en.wiktionary.org/wiki/strike#Verb
    – user96061
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 11:55
  • @boris thanks alot
    – Fermichem
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 12:10

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