In “The Petrified Man,” how is the man truly petrified?

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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In the beauty parlor Leona is talking about the petrified man and says, "But they got this man, this petrified man, that ever'thing ever since he was nine years old, when it goes through his digestion, see, somehow Mrs. Pike says it goes to his joints and has been turning to stone." A week later the ladies were talking about the rape and the Petrified man again and Leona comented that the Petrified man was not really petrified after all, but,        "Leota had begun to comb Mrs. Fletcher's hair. "I says to her, I says, 'I didn't notice you fallin' on his neck when he was the petrified man—don't tell me you didn't recognize your fine friend?' And she says, 'I didn't recognize him with that white powder all over his face. He just looked familiar,' Mrs. Pike says, 'and lots of people look familiar.'  The man simply stiffened his body and was covered in white powder to make him look as if he were petrified.