engage in deep thought, consideration, or debate
wrestled with the question of whether or not to tell a man about his woman, and having convinced himself that he should, he then began to worry about Sethe.
troubled persistently especially with petty annoyances
vexed by the loss, the free and unasked-for revival of gossip by the man who had helped her cross the river and who was her friend as well as Baby Suggs’?
an early notification about a future event
Maybe he should have left it alone; maybe Sethe would have gotten around to telling him herself; maybe he was not the high-minded Soldier of Christ he thought he was, but an ordinary, plain meddler who had interrupted something going along just fine for the sake of truth and
forewarning, things he set much store by.
destroy completely by or as if by fire
Deeper and more painful than his belated concern for Denver or Sethe,
scorching his soul like a silver dollar in a fool’s pocket, was the memory of Baby Suggs—the mountain to his sky.
the quality of having a good name
It was the memory of her and the
honor that was her due that made him walk straight-necked into the yard of 124, although he heard its voices from the road.
sorrowful through loss or deprivation
But she hadn’t waited and he attended her funeral more put out with her than
a very intense and uncontrolled fire
Out on Bluestone Road he thought he heard a
conflagration of hasty voices—loud, urgent, all speaking at once so he could not make out what they were talking about or to whom.
convert ordinary language into code
But something was wrong with the order of the words and he couldn’t describe or
cipher it to save his life.
grant an exemption
Dispensing with that formality was all the pay he expected from Negroes in his debt.
lose the right to or lose by some error, offense, or crime
forfeit the one privilege he claimed for himself, he lowered his hand and left the porch.
the formal act of freeing from slavery
No more discussions, stormy or quiet, about the true meaning of the Fugitive Bill, the Settlement Fee, God’s Ways and Negro pews; antislavery,
manumission, skin voting, Republicans, Dred Scott, book learning, Sojourner’s high-wheeled buggy, the Colored Ladies of Delaware, Ohio, and the other weighty issues that held them in chairs, scraping the floorboards or pacing them in agony or exhilaration.
the feeling of lively and cheerful joy
No more discussions, stormy or quiet, about the true meaning of the Fugitive Bill, the Settlement Fee, God’s Ways and Negro pews; antislavery, manumission, skin voting, Republicans, Dred Scott, book learning, Sojourner’s high-wheeled buggy, the Colored Ladies of Delaware, Ohio, and the other weighty issues that held them in chairs, scraping the floorboards or pacing them in agony or
a hairdo formed by braiding or twisting the hair
Her hair, which Denver had braided into twenty or thirty
plaits, curved toward her shoulders like arms.
dig up for reburial or for medical investigation
No smashing with an ax head before it is decently
exhumed from the grave that has hidden it all this time.
an involuntary vibration, as if from illness or fear
There was no
tremor in her voice as she instructed them to keep the fire—if not, come on upstairs.
With that, she gathered her blanket around her elbows and
ascended the lily-white stairs like a bride.
censure severely or angrily
Her authority in the pulpit, her dance in the Clearing, her powerful Call (she didn’t deliver sermons or preach—insisting she was too ignorant for that—she called and the hearing heard)—all that had been mocked and
rebuked by the bloodspill in her backyard.
involving or likely to cause controversy
Now, eight years after her
contentious funeral and eighteen years after the Misery, he changed his mind.
temporary loss of strength and energy from hard work
The onslaught of her
fatigue, like his, was sudden, but lasted for years.
spur on or encourage especially by cheers and shouts
“That’s one other thing took away from me,” she said, and that was when he
exhorted her, pleaded with her not to quit, no matter what.
express criticism towards
upbraiding her, owing her, now he needed to let her know he knew, and to get right with her and her kin.
unaffected by the continuum from the past to the future
And since that was so—if her daughter could come back home from the
timeless place—certainly her sons could, and would, come back from wherever they had gone to.
noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
He thought it would make him
rambunctious, renegade—a drunkard even, the debtlessness, and in a way it did.
disturb, especially by minor irritations
“Not me. I’m going to stay
riled till somebody gets some sense and leastway act like a Christian.”
make off with belongings of others
Schoolteacher took away the guns from the Sweet Home men and, deprived of game to round out their diet of bread, beans, hominy, vegetables and a little extra at slaughter time, they began to
pilfer in earnest, and it became not only their right but their obligation.
having a difficult and contrary disposition
But each year, following the death of his son in the War, he grew more and more
a framework that supports climbing plants
Yonder, not far, was a grape
arbor Mr. Garner made.
set in motion, cause to start
commenced to walk backward, didn’t even look behind me to find out where I was headed.
moving quickly and lightly
First she’d be up and
spry in the morning and by the second milking she couldn’t stand up.
cause to be agitated or excited
All she had left was her heart and they busted it so even the War couldn’t
an overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration
He watched them with
awe and envy, and each time he discovered large families of black people he made them identify over and over who each was, what relation, who, in fact, belonged to who.
entry to another's property without right or permission
Maybe schoolteacher shot after him, shot at his feet, to remind him of the
meant or adapted for an occasion or use
Schoolteacher has changed his mind: “This one will never be
a carefully considered thought about something
cogitation right now is Sweet Home.”
prolonged unfulfilled desire or need
He thinks he hears sobbing that seems to come from Mrs. Garner’s window, but it could be anything, anyone, even a she-cat making her
reflect deeply on a subject
Tired of holding his head up, he lets his chin rest on the collar and
speculates on how he can hobble over to the grate, boil a little water and throw in a handful of meal.
make right or correct
“If I did you harm, I’m here to
a hard substance used for making soap and candles
Scripture Woodruff, Abie’s sister. Works at the brush and
engraving or carving in low relief on a stone
He give Vashti that to wear. A
cameo on a black ribbon.
a watery discharge from the mucous membranes
Paul D’s eyes were