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Please, help me. I am reading a novel and found something I cannot understand:

He was not aware that he ever stopped crying. In his sleep a voice echoed down the long dark barrel of a cannon. In the morning, he awoke suddenly to a flutter of wings.

In the sentence, I know the meaning of "awoke" and "to a flutter of wings". But I find it hard to make the connection between the two.

In other words, how did he get up? I looked it up thorough Google, but it seems just a flutter of wings, meaning the quick movement of wings.

What should I know to understand? Is there a deep meaning of the preposition "to", or something else?

  • There is nothing deep there. Please leave out He was not aware that he ever stopped crying. In his sleep a voice echoed down the long dark barrel of a cannon. In the morning…. Focus on the final phrase: … he awoke suddenly to a flutter of wings. That should be … he awoke suddenly, to a flutter of wings or … he awoke to a flutter of wings. If you know the meaning of awoke and to a flutter of wings how is it hard to connect the two? Further, would you rather post some detailed research or take that Question somewhere like English Language Learners? – Robbie Goodwin Dec 14 '17 at 22:06
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The meaning of "flutter of wings" is for birds or insects to move or flap their wings quickly without flying; or to fly lightly with quick beats of wings.

Now the meaning of sentence is that he heard something that suddenly disturbed him, and he woke up quickly to escape from that disturbance: "he woke suddenly to a flutter of wings".

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This quote is from the book Wringer. In the book, Palmer is required to join an annual pidgeon shoot where he basically has to kill pidgeons. He doesn't want to do this, but he is forced to. Now, Palmer refused to attend this event, but when he woke up, he felt that he was somehow dragged to it. The "flutter of wings" refers to when the pidgeons were released and all of the ten year old boys went out to break the wounded pidgeons' necks. That's a nice novel you picked out there; I certainly loved reading it.

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You wake up from sleep when the alarm bell rings to bell ringing noises daily.

Likewise nothing was seen or heard or felt in sleep before the sudden disturbing wake up noise from taking off/flying pidgeons' wings shook him out of sleep.

Preposition "to" in short says about the fluttering noise that continued even after he got up from sleep. " A noise made by" part is omitted as understood when it is said that he woke up to (a noise made by the) flutter of wings.

  • you are a genius. – Woo Choi Dec 13 '17 at 10:36
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This quoet is from book wringer. Now the meaning of sentence is some thing hard doesn't happen before so he suddenly disturbed and he woke up fastly to escape from that disturbe "he woke suddenly to a flutter of wings".

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