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Quote:

Over the rocks, in the crevice of which the candle burned, there was thrust out an evil yellow face, a terrible animal face, all seamed and scored with vile passions.

My questions are:

  1. The subject of the sentence is "an evil yellow face....vile passion", then what is the real predicate of the whole sentence? If "was" is the predicate, does "thrust" function as a noun?

  2. According to the context, "over the rocks", does "over" mean "In the rocks"? or "On top of the rocks"?

  3. Do "seamed" and "scored" mean the same thing as "wrinkled"?

thanks!

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  • An evil yellow face was projected [thrust out] onto the rocks... Nov 12, 2021 at 4:38
  • 2
    No: the subject is the existential dummy pronoun "there", and "an evil yellow face, a terrible animal face, all seamed and scored with vile passions" is a displaced subject.. The sentence contains preposing of the VP predicate “was thrust out”. The basic counterpart would be “… an evil yellow face, a terrible animal face, all seamed and scored with vile passions was thrust out”.
    – BillJ
    Nov 12, 2021 at 9:36
  • ᴍᴏᴅᴇʀᴀᴛᴏʀ ɴᴏᴛᴇ: Please do not answer in comments. Write an answer. It can even be an incomplete germ of an answer, but please put it in the right place. The Q&A system cannot cope with answers in comments, and will not mark the question as answered if you do that. Answering in comments circumvents the very facilities that allow our Q&A community to police itself and maintain site quality. If the question requires closing, then please vote to close.
    – tchrist
    Nov 12, 2021 at 14:11

2 Answers 2

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Over the rocks, in the crevice of which the candle burned, there was thrust out an evil yellow face, a terrible animal face, all seamed and scored with vile passions.

No: the subject is the existential dummy pronoun "there", and "an evil yellow face, a terrible animal face, all seamed and scored with vile passions" is a displaced subject.

The sentence contains preposing of the VP predicate “was thrust out”. The basic counterpart would be “… an evil yellow face, a terrible animal face, all seamed and scored with vile passions was thrust out”.

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Question 1

The head of the predicate (the "main" verb) is "was". "Thrust" is a past participle form, and it (along with the adverb "out", which modifies it) functions as a predicative expression, describing "an evil yellow face . . .". As BillJ has noted, with a more regular word order this sentence would be:

Over the rocks, in the crevice of which the candle burned, an evil yellow face (a terrible animal face, all seamed and scored with vile passions) was thrust out.

(I used parentheses to help clarify that the text within them is an appositive.)

This (using "to be" + past participle) could also be considered a passive voice construction.


Question 2

In the absence of any other context, I think that the preposition "over" here has its most common meaning. According to M-W:

—used as a function word to indicate motion or situation in a position higher than or above another
// towered over his mother
// flew over the lake
// rode over the old Roman road


Question 3

seam:

: to mark with lines suggesting seams

score:

: to mark with lines, grooves, scratches, or notches

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