I'm having difficulty understanding this piece of Stephen King's "The Stand":

He was Bible-reading with her in the living room, but he looked nervous and anxious to get away. Nick could guess why. Her fever had given her a rosy, girlish glow that went jarringly with her bereavement. Perhaps the minister had been afraid she was going to make a pass at him. More likely, though, he had been anxious to gather up his family and melt away over the fields.

The aforementioned woman is suffering a catching virus which only recently killed her husband. The roads of the town are blocked by military blockposts, people can try escaping via woods or fields.

As far as I understand "go with something" means ​to exist at the same time or in the same place as something; to be found together. But I'm not sure of the import of "went jarringly with". What does it mean?

And the dictionary says that make a pass at somebody means to try to start a sexual relationship with somebody. But I don't think it means this in the given text? How do you interpret this text in given context?


Went jarringly with means the two things do not go well together, or are inappropriate next to each other. This might be a simple as two colours that clash, or someone delivering bad news in an excited tone of voice.

In this instance being recently widowed does not fit with having a "a rosy, girlish glow" a description that might be more appropriate for a girl attending prom, or on her wedding day, or even a first date rather than being visited by a priest shortly after the death of her husband.

The second sentence leads on from the first. Why does this woman look like someone ready to go on a date? Nick is suggesting a possible explanation that fits both her appearance and the minister's discomfort, outside the real one of the widow's illness and the priests concern about the spreading Super-Flu.

Make a pass here means what it usually does, to begin establishing a relationship that may lead to casual sex.

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