Nervous little hands

Hands, pp. 5. “A boy clad in a blue shirt leaped from the wagon and attempted to drag after him one of the maidens, who screamed and protested shrilly. The feet of the boy in the road kicked up a cloud of dust that floated across the face of the departing sun. Over the long field came a thin girlish voice. ‘Oh, you Wing Biddlebaum, comb your hair, it’s falling into your eyes,’ commanded the voice to the man, who was bald and whose nervous little hands fiddled about the bare white forehead as though arranging a mass of tangled locks.”

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Wing has been so rattled by people that, when bid to do the impossible by them –comb his non-existent hair– he tries to oblige. The mention of the “thin girlish voice”, to which Wing is obedient, reminds of his adjuration to George Willard that he “shut [his] ears to the roaring of the voices.”

Berry pickers appear in the beginning of The Thinker also. In that instance, Seth Richmond wishes he could be a part of their apparently carefree existence.

Something to keep an eye on is the relationship of hands to other body parts, here with the forehead, hair and eyes.

Joe Welling’s hands are described as “nervous” and running through his hair (58)


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