The Printable KISS Grammar Workbooks The Theodore Dreiser Page
(Code and Color Key)

From The Lost Phoebeby Theodore Dreiser
Noun Absolutes Ex # 2
Analysis Key

1. “Laws! Laws!” (DO) sighed Mrs. Race, there being no one present [#1]

{with whom} to share her astonishment [#2] [Adv. to "share" as she went {to her 

kitchen}]. |

2. He took down his soft crush hat (DO) [Adv. to "took" after he had dressed

himself (DO)], a new glint {of interest and determination} *being* [#3] {in his eye}, and

taking his black crook cane [#4] {from behind the door}, [Adj. to "behind the door" where

he had always placed it (DO)], started out briskly to look [#5] {for her} {among the 

nearest neighbors}. |

3. On she moved {before him}, a will-o'-the-wisp [#6] {of the spring}, a little flame

*being* [#7] {above her head}, | and it seemed [Adv. to "seemed" as though {among

the small saplings} {of ash and beech} and {*among* the thick trunks} {of hickory and elm}

that [#8] she signaled {with a young, a lightsome hand}. |

4. Another night [NuA], {because of this first illusion}, and [Adv. to "looked" because his

mind was now constantly {on her}] and [Adv. to "looked" *because* he was old

(PA)], he looked {out of the window} [Adj. to "window" that was {nearest his bed}

and commanded a hen-coop (DO) and pig-pen (DO) and a part (DO) {of the

wagon-shed}], | and there, a faint mist exuding [#9] {from the damp} {of the ground},

he thought [DO he saw her (DO) again]. |

1. "There being no one" is a noun absolute that functions as an adverb to "sighed." In it, "there" is the subject, and "no one" is a predicate noun to "being." "Present" is a post-positioned adjective to "no one," i.e., a reduction of "who was present."
2. "Astonishment" is the direct object of the infinitive "to share." The infinitive functions as an adjective to "whom." [It this sounds strange, compare it to "with whom she could share...," in which the subordinate clause obviously modifies "whom."
3. "Glint ... *being*..." is the core of a noun absolute that functions as an adverb to "took."
4. "Cane" is the direct object of the gerundive "taking." The gerundive modifies "he."
5. The infinitive "to look" functions as an adverb (of purpose) to "started out."
6. "Will-o'-the-wisp" is an appositive to "she."
7. "Flame *being* is a noun absolute that functions as an adverb to "moved."
8. Note how the preceding string of prepositional phrases resulted in a redundant subordinate conjunction here. I doubt that Dreiser would have written "it seemed as though that she signaled...." Normally, it would be either "it seemed as though she signaled..." or "it seemed that she signaled...."
9. "Mist exuding" is a noun absolute that functions as an adverb (of circumstance) to "thought."