the distinctive property of a complex sound
It brought her to Number 7 Carpenter’s Road and the door with the blue glass; it helped her to resist scratching the screen as in days gone by; it hid from her the true motives for her charity, and, finally, it gave her voice the
timbre she wanted it to have: free of delight or a lip-smacking “I told you so” with which the news of Sula’s illness had been received up in the Bottom—free of the least hint of retribution.
written instructions from a doctor to a druggist
I got a
prescription. Nathan usually goes for me but he...school don't let out till three.
something that treats or prevents symptoms of disease
Now Nel was going back there alone and Sula was waiting for the
medicine the doctor said not to take until the pain got really bad.
uninterested because of frequent exposure or indulgence
bored as she sucked her teeth.
rise and move, as in waves
billowed around her light then dark, full of presences without sounds.
dwell on with satisfaction
She wondered for an instant what Nellie wanted; why she had come. Did she want to
the quality of being definitely settled
The sealed window soothed her with its sturdy termination, its unassailable
a tract of land used for burials
Of the few who were not afraid to witness the burial of a witch and who had gone to the
cemetery, some had come just to verify her being put away but stayed to sing “Shall We Gather at the River” for politeness’ sake, quite unaware of the bleak promise of their song.
firmness of purpose
Others came to see that nothing went awry, that the shallow- minded and small-hearted kept their meanness at bay, and that the entire event be characterized by that abiding gentleness of spirit to which they themselves had arrived by the simple
determination not to let anything—anything at all: not failed crops, not rednecks, lost jobs, sick children, rotten potatoes, broken pipes, bug-ridden flour, third-class coal, educated social workers, thieving insurance men, garlic-ridden hunkies, corrupt
forsaken by owner or inhabitants
The rumor that the tunnel spanning the river would use Negro workers became an announcement. Planned,
abandoned and replanned for years, this project had finally begun in 1937.
a large bottle with a narrow mouth
Cider turned to ice and split the
jugs, forcing the men to drink their cane liquor too soon.
wishing evil to others
Other mothers who had defended their children from Sula’s
malevolence (or who had defended their positions as mothers from Sula’s scorn for the role) now had nothing to rub up against.
lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
Other mothers who had defended their children from Sula’s malevolence (or who had defended their positions as mothers from Sula’s
scorn for the role) now had nothing to rub up against.
the act of making a noisy disturbance
Some of them had a bottle of wine, which they drank at the feet of the glittering Mr. Ritter, making such a
ruckus the manager had to put them out.
a small area of ground covered by specific vegetation
On January second drab
patches of grass could be seen in the fields.
a tabular array of the days, usually for one year
During those days of waiting, he did not make his bed, or sweep, or shake out the little rag-braid rug, and almost forgot to slash with his fish knife the passing day on his
sadness resulting from being forsaken or abandoned
loneliness had dropped down some-where around his ankles.
protect, hide, or conceal from danger or harm
Said that Dessie had opened her door first and stood there
shielding her eyes from the sun while watching Shadrack coming down the road.
(often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent
Everybody, Dessie, Tar Baby, Patsy, Mr. Buckland Reed, Teapot’s Mamma, Valentine, the deweys, Mrs. Jackson, Irene, the proprietor of the Palace of Cosmetology, Reba, the Herrod brothers and
flocks of teengers got into the mood and, laughing, dancing, calling to one another, formed a pied piper’s band behind Shadrack.
a beam made of wood
At the mouth of the tunnel excavation, in a fever pitch of excitement and joy, they saw the
timber, the bricks, the steel ribs and the tacky wire gate that glittered under ice struck to diamond in the sun.
The earth, now warm,
shifted; the first forepole slipped; loose rock fell from the face of the tunnel and caused a shield to give way.
a cashbox with an adding machine to add up the bill
You could go downtown and see colored people working in the dime store behind the counters, even handling money with cash-register keys around their necks.
a woman whose husband is dead, especially if not remarried
Even the whores were better then: tough, fat, laughing women with bums on their cheeks and wit married to their mean-ness: or
widows couched in small houses in the woods with eight children to feed and no man.
out of condition
Without her mockery, affection for others sank into
noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
For even when China, the most
rambunctious whore in the town, died (whose black son and white son said, when they heard she was dying, “She ain’t dead yet?”), even then everybody stopped what they were doing and turned out in numbers to put the fallen sister away.