I’m reading the short story “The ticket” in the magazine “Prism International”, written by Emil A. Draitser. It’s a story about a boy named Roma, who wants others stop looking him as a baby.

(Link - click to INTERN to download the magazine, story “The ticket” is at page 27)

In the paragraph below Roma got spanked by his mother, he couldn’t stand it anymore and tried to escape. Unfortunately, his first and biggest obstacle was a door locked with a metal hook:

“… It was hardly daybreak when he slipped out of bed, quietly got dressed, grabbed his satchel and made his way to escape. A door locked with a metal hook blocked his path. The Iron Goose from a fairy tale stood guard at all entrances and exits. His heart beat heavily in his chest like a lead ball in a wooden clapper.

Roma tried to push the hook out of the goose's beak with his finger. It didn't work. He grasped the cold goose-neck and yanked up. The goose honked but did not give in. Then Roma quickly squatted, raised his shoulders, leaned with his legs, and jerked his whole body upwards. …”

The bold parts are strange to me, I think that the author describes the door locked with a metal hook as an iron goose from the boy's perspective, but I don’t know why the author doesn’t use any quote marks (“”) to signal that it’s just the boy’s imagination. Or are the words “goose”, “goose’s beak” actually slang to describe a door with a hook?

I’m not sure about what I found on Google, I thought that old door with a hook looks like a small goose or has a goose symbol on it. But the keyword “door with metal hook” or “door hook goose beak” doesn’t give my any answers that I hope for. None of them has anything related to a goose.

  • 3
    There's no rule in English that you have to use quote marks to signal that something originates with the character's imagination. It's entirely up to the writer.
    – Peter Shor
    May 31 at 18:19
  • Sorry, do you know what does "goose's beak" and "goose-neck" look like? Is it something like this? : link
    – Shodo_Lam
    Jun 1 at 3:43
  • 2
    Can you clarify your question? Are you asking only about the author’s stylistic choice, or also about what the Iron Goose actually is? Is the holding in the quoted section yours or part of the original typography?
    – Spagirl
    Jun 3 at 11:16


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