irritable as if suffering from indigestion
The green of the marble reflecting on their faces made them look
marked by keen caution and watchful prudence
The man looked at the children warily.
"Wary" also means "openly distrustful and unwilling to confide"--both definitions fit the situation, because the risk of being reprocessed makes the man cautious about stepping out of line, and the questions make the man distrustful of the children's intentions. With nothing to hide or confide, the man is not completely unwilling to talk, but to protect himself, he decides to report the children.
located far away spatially
His voice sounded old and strange and
act of turning to for assistance
“Now, my dears,” the words continued, “I shall of course have no need of
recourse to violence, but I thought perhaps it would save you pain if I showed you at once that it would do you no good to try to oppose me.
repetitive and persistent
The number words pounded insistently against Meg’s brain.
"Insistent" also means "demanding attention"--both definitions fit the multiplication table, which is repetitively rhythmic to help young children memorize it, but IT is now reciting the numbers in order to focus the attention of the children and take away all of their independent thought.
to, toward or at one side
She tried looking at the mouth, at the thin, almost colorless lips, and this was more possible, even though she had to look
obliquely, so that she was not sure exactly what the face really looked like, whether it was young or old, cruel or kind, human or alien.
providing enjoyment; pleasantly entertaining
It’s lucky for you that you amuse me, my dear, or I shouldn’t be so easy on you. The boys I find not nearly so
not of natural origin; prepared or made artificially
“Of course our food, being
synthetic, is not superior to your messes of beans and bacon and so forth, but I assure you that it’s far more nourishing, and though it has no taste of its own, a slight conditioning is all that is necessary to give you the illusion that you are eating a roast turkey dinner.”
lacking stimulating characteristics; uninteresting
He seemed to be looking directly at Calvin as he spoke, and yet Meg was sure that the
bland blue eyes could not see, and that someone, something else was looking at Calvin through Charles.
"Bland" here is a synonym of "opaque" ("not transmitting light") and "vacant" ("void of thought or knowledge"), which are used in these descriptions: "The pupils grew smaller and smaller, as though he were looking into an intensely bright light, until they seemed to close entirely, until his eyes were nothing but an opaque blue" and "Charles Wallace stopped and turned slowly to look at Calvin with his cold, vacant eyes."
an idea that is implied or suggested
“But you’re being spoken through, aren’t you, just like Charles Wallace? Are you hypnotized, too?”
“I told you that was too primitive a word, without the correct
The Prime Coordinator does not like the negative connotation that Calvin has for the word "hypnotized"--according to IT, "for you, as well as for the rest of all the happy, useful people on this planet, I, in my own strength, am willing to assume all the pain, all the responsibility, all the burdens of thought and decision."
a panic or extreme discomposure
“I’ve been in such a
swivet—It may not do any good, but at least I can try.”
a figure operated from above with strings by a puppeteer
Then his whole body twirled wildly, and went rigid. He started his
marionette’s walk again.
marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning
His voice took on the dry,
pedantic tones of Mr. Jenkins.
kill in large numbers
It is so much kinder simply to
annihilate anyone who is ill.
put up with something or somebody unpleasant
endure such discomfort they are simply put to sleep.”
threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
There was something
ominous to Meg in the very compactness of the room, as though the walls, the ceiling, the floor might move together and crush anybody rash enough to enter.
stemming from evil characteristics or forces
Then Charles Wallace giggled, a giggle that was the most
sinister sound Meg had ever heard.
sounded or spoken in a tone unvarying in pitch
Charles Wallace’s strange,
monotonous voice ground against her ears.
being effective without wasting time or effort or expense
And that’s why everybody’s so happy and
cause to turn away from a previous or expected course
“Yes. Every once in a while there’s a little trouble with cooperation, but it’s easily taken care of. After today he’ll never desire to
in a quiet and tranquil manner
“Charles!” Meg pleaded. “Let me in to Father!”
“Why?” Charles asked
Normally, Charles has a placid personality, which is strange for a five-year-old. Here, his placidity is strange because he can read and brighten his sister's moods, but under the spell of IT, he doesn't care that Meg is upset and pleading to see their father.
twist and press out of shape
She looked out of the column, and there was Charles Wallace in the cell, an alien expression
distorting his face.
marked by casual disrespect
“Hi, Pop,” came an
highly offensive; arousing aversion or disgust
IT was the most horrible, the most
repellent thing she had ever seen, far more nauseating than anything she had ever imagined with her conscious mind, or that had ever tormented her in her most terrible nightmares.
unhealthy vapors rising from the ground or other sources
For everywhere she looked, everywhere she turned, was the rhythm, and as it continued to control the systole and diastole of her heart, the intake and outlet of her breath, the red
miasma began to creep before her eyes again, and she was afraid that she was going to lose consciousness, and if she did that she would be completely in the power of IT.