A sliver of a man could be seen looking out at them, a man with long black hair parted in curtains around a sallow face and black eyes

—Harry Potter

It feels like it's a depiction of his hair rather than actual curtains. But what does it mean? Is it a a usual idiom to describe hair or some rhetorical trick by Rowling?


I think the word curtain is used very smartly here. Not only it talks about black hair falling on the face like curtain (see, hair is long enough as mentioned) but also serves as hindrance. That's because one of the meanings of curtain is a barrier to vision. Probbaly those long black hair, falling down to man's face looking like curtain and also obstructing the view of his face for others.

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