Red flowers in their season and scarlet berries in the winter-time were offered at his shrine, for he was a god who laid some special stress on the fierce impatient side of things, as opposed to the Woman's religion, which, as far as Conradin could observe, went to great lengths in the contrary direction.

It's from 'Sredni Vashtar' by Hector Hugo Munro.

What's the actual meaning of 'the fierce impatient side of things'?

It's beyond my understanding, regretfully.


In the short story in which this sentence appears, we learn that "the Woman" is in fact Conradin's cousin and guardian and that she spends much of her time forbidding Conradin to do various things (on account of his poor health), and that the "he" in the excerpted sentence is Sredni Vashtar, a ferret that Conradin has secretly purchased and hidden in a tool shed, and whom he now worships "with mystic and elaborate ceremonial."

The qualities of fierceness and impatience, quite natural to a ferret, also seem to be qualities that Conradin greatly admires for their wildness and extemporaneity, and freedom of action, whereas Conradin's cousin emphasizes the forces of restraint, predictability, and submission—all of which the imaginative Conradin detests.

Evidently, Conradin, who is ten years old, has come to believe that things in the world in general have a "fierce, impatient side" (which he equates with the ferret) and a repressed, orderly, calm side (which he equates with his cousin). But given that his cousin is constantly criticizing Conradin and telling him what to do, it would be a mistake to see the split in "religion" described in the example sentence as being between an unpredictable and bloodthirsty heathenism on the one hand and a gentle, patient Christianity on the other.


Here, the "fierce and impatient" side of things is contrasted with what must be its antitheses (the other side) in the "woman's religion", i.e., "gentle and patient".


side of things

Matters. Perspective. Topic in a discussion. As in:

a god who laid some special stress on fierce impatient matters.

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