Why does the stranger remind Winnie of funeral ribbons?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Basically, the stranger evokes in Winnie all of the uncomfortable emotions of dread that the macabre inspires. According to the story, the stranger gestures with 'long, thin fingers.' This imagery evokes all the charm of a cadaver's bony hands. His tall body appears to move continuously, jerkily, and with the grace of a marionette. He is described as almost bearing an appearance of being suspended in the twilight. This otherworldly creepiness is what reminds Winnie of 'the stiff, black ribbons they had hung on the door of the cottage for her grandfather's funeral.'

Although Winnie cannot fault the stranger's smile or friendly manner, there is something unsettling about the stranger. He is human, yet, his mannerisms are strangely incongruent with typical human movements. In short, he is as creepy as death.