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I am having a bit of difficulty with this sentence:

"The monster's eyes were rolled back in his face"

Does this mean that the monster's eyes are set back deep in his face (like a sunken eye socket), rolled upwards, or does it have a different meaning?

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  • Does this answer your question? What does "roll your eyes" mean? Oct 30, 2020 at 17:17
  • With monsters, ordinary natural limitations do not necessarily apply, and the wording does not preclude the sense that the eyeball has sunk deeper into the head. Such an anatomically impossible move was part of the "warp-spasm" transformation attributed to the Irish hero Cúchulainn in the Táin Bó Cuailnge. Oct 30, 2020 at 17:48
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    I gave you a +1 here...even a Mod saw fit to answer. Oct 30, 2020 at 21:57
  • Yes, "rolled back" is not the same as "rolling your eyes", and "in his face" is unusual. I think an editor should have caught that, as @MichaelHarvey commented.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 31, 2020 at 8:23

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This would be more definite with a description of what the monster actually was.

It probably means exactly what it says: the monster's eyes were rolled back, that is, upwards so far that the irises could no longer be seen.

Rolled-back eyes

Image from LookLikeAZombie.com.

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  • Thanks! I was just unsure if the sentence meant either that his eyes were deeper in his face (like a sunken eye socket), or like what you suggested: that the eyes were rolled up. Oct 30, 2020 at 17:02
  • I would rather say that the monster's eyes, like those of the woman in the picture were rolled back in its head. Oct 30, 2020 at 18:23

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