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'Boots squealing above the whine of the truck.'

It's from a short story. The name is 'The silence', it's by Murray Bail. I checked the words but I couldn't understand. This is the whole paragraph:

'Up stood Joe. Boots squealing above the whine of the truck. He climbed on a petrol drum. To the right the truck was making a dust storm against the sky.'

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  • Can you give us the source of the sentence? That is technically not a complete sentence, because it does not have a subject and a verb correctly conjugated for the subject, but it might be a sentence fragment used in a literary context.
    – stangdon
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 17:55
  • It's from a short story. The name is The silence.
    – Olivia
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 17:59
  • I added a link yto the source. It's mistranscribed, but there's not much difference between squeak and squeal in this context anyway. Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 18:24
  • Shouldn't it be "Boot", singular?
    – Joachim
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 18:24
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    If I was reading that short story, I think my "willing suspension of disbelief" would have a hard time buying into the idea that Joe's boots are so squeaky they make more noise than a truck engine! Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 18:29

1 Answer 1

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The truck is making a sound that is quite high-pitched, and described as a whine (it has roughly the pitch of a human voice). But the boots are making a very high pitched sound, described as a "squeak". You can hear the boots even though the truck is noisy, probably because the sound the boots make is high pitched

If you hear A over B, it means that A can be heard even though B is noisy.

What we can't tell from this fragment is why the boots are squeaking, or why the truck is whining. It may be that the boots are new and the leather is rubbing, which makes a high-pitched sound. It may be that the trunk is at high "revs" which makes a "whine". The truck may be far away, which is why it is not too noisy.

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