The first time Mrs. Foster is described as nervous, Roald Dahl uses the word "pathological" to describe her fear, driving home how serious a nervous condition she has. It only applies to her ability to be on time for things, but it's so severe that, even if she's only going to be insignificantly late, she will enter into "hysterics" and her eye will start twitching "madly."
In the first stressful car ride to the airport, her husband describes her behavior as "fussing," and that evening, he acknowledges that her day must have been "anxious." When she is expressing her distress, she does it in "cries" and with her face "screwed up tight." When she is finally about to catch the plane and decides to leave without her husband, her face is "absolutely white" and she is actively "urging" the driver to "hurry" and get her to the airport on time.
Some of the words in the story “The Way up to Heaven” that portray Mrs. Foster as nervous or afraid are as follows:
1) Pathological fear (paragraph 1, page 1): The text...
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