How can we understand "a torn man"? I found it in Love Is a Fallacy.

I sat down in a chair and pretended to read a book, but out of the corner of my eye I kept watching Petey. He was a torn man. First he looked at the coat, with even more longing in his face. Then he turned away, but with not so much resolution this time. Back and forth his head swiveled, desire waxing,resolution waning. Finally he didn't turn away at all; he just stood and stared with mad lust at the coat.

Does it mean that the man is easy to change his mind?

  • 2. torn - disrupted by the pull of contrary forces; "torn between love and hate"; "torn by conflicting loyalties"; "torn by religious dissensions" TFD < WordNet 3.0 thefreedictionary.com/torn
    – Kris
    Dec 24 '13 at 11:49

It may depend on the context, but often the word "torn" is used when describing someone as stuck between two situations or decisions, with each side strongly "pulling" at him.

"A torn man" can refer to situations such as a man unable to decide between two women, or perhaps daily has his work contend with time together with his family.

Edit: Looking at the quote, it seems here that Petey is stuck (or "torn") between two decisions: should he do the right thing and leave the coat alone, or give in to his desires and take the coat for himself?

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