insist on having one's opinions and rights recognized
When once or twice Sethe tried to
assert herself—be the unquestioned mother whose word was law and who knew what was best—Beloved slammed things, wiped the table clean of plates, threw salt on the floor, broke a windowpane.
lacking zest or vivacity
Listless and sleepy with hunger Denver saw the flesh between her mother’s forefinger and thumb fade.
hesitant or lacking confidence; unsettled in mind or opinion
It was April and everything alive was
an overwhelming defeat
“Don’t box with me. There’s more of us they drowned than there is all of them ever lived from the start of time. Lay down your sword. This ain’t a battle; it’s a
give encouragement to
heartened by that easy encounter, she picked up speed and began to look deliberately at the neighborhood surrounding her.
a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
With that education pat and firmly set, she dispensed with
rancor, was indiscriminately polite, saving her real affection for the unpicked children of Cincinnati, one of whom sat before her in a dress so loud it embarrassed the needlepoint chair seat.
not marked by fine distinctions
With that education pat and firmly set, she dispensed with rancor, was
indiscriminately polite, saving her real affection for the unpicked children of Cincinnati, one of whom sat before her in a dress so loud it embarrassed the needlepoint chair seat.
She did not know it then, but it was the word “baby,” said softly and with such kindness, that
inaugurated her life in the world as a woman.
a medicine that strengthens and invigorates
One remembered the
tonic mixed there that cured a relative.
lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
Maybe they were sorry for the years of their own
having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance
In any case, the personal pride, the
arrogant claim staked out at 124 seemed to them to have run its course.
And the older woman
yielded it up without a murmur.
influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
Washing, cooking, forcing,
cajoling her mother to eat a little now and then, providing sweet things for Beloved as often as she could to calm her down.
an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
She would hire herself out somewhere, and although she was afraid to leave Sethe and Beloved alone all day not knowing what
calamity either one of them would create, she came to realize that her presence in that house had no influence on what either woman did.
annoy continually or chronically
Growled when they chose; sulked, explained, demanded, strutted, cowered, cried and
provoked each other to the edge of violence, then over.
Sethe was worn down, speckled, dying, spinning, changing shapes and generally
an act of shocking cruelty
It was “the lowest yet” who gave her a disgust for sex and against whom she measured all
be or do something to a greater degree
Sethe’s crime was staggering and her pride
outstripped even that; but she could not countenance the possibility of sin moving on in the house, unleashed and sassy.
improperly forward or bold
Sethe’s crime was staggering and her pride outstripped even that; but she could not countenance the possibility of sin moving on in the house, unleashed and
consent to, give permission
Sethe’s crime was staggering and her pride outstripped even that; but she could not
countenance the possibility of sin moving on in the house, unleashed and sassy.
of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof,” and nobody needed more; nobody needed a grownup evil sitting at the table with a grudge.
with one leg on each side
It displeased him a bit because he preferred his figure
the act of gratifying a desire
Privacy was an adult
indulgence, but when he got to be one, he seemed not to need it.
an actively expressed feeling of dislike and hostility
It made him the most visible and memorable person at every gathering, and cartoonists had fastened onto the theatricality of his white hair and big black mustache whenever they depicted local political
extremely exciting as if by alcohol or a narcotic
heady days were gone now; what remained was the sludge of ill will; dashed hopes and difficulties beyond repair.
an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority
Nothing since was as stimulating as the old days of letters, petitions, meetings, debates, recruitment, quarrels, rescue and downright
avoid or try to avoid fulfilling, answering, or performing
Yet it had worked, more or less, and when it had not, he and his sister made themselves available to
do away with
The Society managed to turn infanticide and the cry of savagery around, and build a further case for
feeling great delight
They saw Denver sitting on the steps and beyond her, where the yard met the road, they saw the
rapt faces of thirty neighborhood women.
a tiny piece of anything
Sifting daylight dissolves the memory, turns it into dust
motes floating in light.
take temporary possession of a security by legal authority
Keane and his friend, a Sergeant Rossiter,
confiscated a skiff and the three of them floated in Mobile Bay.
a small boat propelled by oars or by sails or by a motor
Keane and his friend, a Sergeant Rossiter, confiscated a
skiff and the three of them floated in Mobile Bay.
exit from a ship, vehicle, or aircraft
Keane and Rossiter
disembarked at Memphis to look for their commanders.
characterized by oppressive heat and humidity
It has no sheets, and because the roof windows do not open the room is
a plant occurring in crusty patches on tree trunks or rocks
Where the memory of the smile under her chin might have been and was not, a latch latched and
lichen attached its apple-green bloom to the metal.