It's not clear.
- For Teachers
Harry sprang toward the flame door, but Voldemort screamed "SEIZE HIM!" and the next second, Harry felt Quirrell's hand close on his wrist. At once, a needle-sharp pain seared across Harry's scar; his head felt as though it was about to split in two; he yelled, struggling with all his might, and to his surprise, Quirrell let go of him. The pain in his head lessened -- he looked around wildly to see where Quirrell had gone, and saw him hunched in pain, looking at his fingers -- they were blistering before his eyes. (Harry Potter)
Which one does ‘his’ indicate, Harry or Quirrell?
It's not clear.
I don't expect to enhance my popularity much by saying that I find J.K. Rowling a very poor writer. I much prefer the films - I prefer CGI to her rather clunky prose, and her imagination is extraordinary. I've only read the first book, and I had a sinking feeling by the end of the first paragraph.
Though I am not a J.K. Rowling's fan either, I think it was Harry, because the story is told through the eyes of Harry Potter and the accent is put on his feelings and experiences.
Last edited by englishhobby; 14-Feb-2013 at 09:54.
If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up.)
Given that both Harry and Quirrell could see the hand, it doesn't really matter, does it?
I've said many times that there are outstanding writers who don't necessarily tell a great story, and great story tellers whose writing ranges from very good to absolutely awful. It's rare to find both in one person. JK is a great story teller, and I find her writing most adequate to tell her stories. I loved every book and every movie.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
For what it's worth, I think it's Quirrell.
Thus far it's clear. And as it's Quirrell that has just been described as looking at his fingers, I guess 'before his eyes' refers to Quirrell's.The pain in his [H] head lessened -- he [H] looked around wildly to see where Quirrell had gone, and saw him [Q] hunched in pain, looking at his [Q's] fingers...
But as Barb says, it doesn't really matter.