Parker’s Back

parker's backU.S. writer Flannery O’Connor was a deeply religious woman. Many of her stories deal with man’s sometimes violent struggle against, and toward, the power of God. The main character in this story is a simple minded, poorly educated farm worker. He is selfish, doesn’t believe in God, and says that he hates his wife. His one love in life is tattoos, through which he seeks to prove his manhood. After a series of events he learns how important his wife really is to him and almost finds religion. Then his wife, who is a religious bigot, spoils it all. In the process, she may well have ruined both their lives.

English Learner Vocabulary Help

The words and expressions in our Simplified English story which are not in our Intermediate level 1800 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

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arrow(n: arrow pl arrows) A thin, straight stick with feathers at one end and a point at the other, which is fired from a bow. 3000

blond(n: blond pl blonds) A person who has yellow or very light brown hair. 5000
The word is always spelled blond when used for a boy or man, but it is commonly spelled blonde when used for a girl or woman.

broom(n: broom pl brooms) A brush that has a long handle that is used for sweeping floors. 5000

cannon(n: cannon pl cannons) A large gun that can shoot over a great distance. 6000

flirt(v: flirt, flirts, flirted, flirting) To behave in a way that shows a sexual attraction for someone but is not meant to be taken seriously. 6000

gamble(v: gamble, gambles, gambled, gambling) 1. To play a game in which you can win or lose money or other things you own. 2. To bet money or other valuable things on an outcome, such as a horse race. 3000

hay(n: hay, noncount) Grass or other plants, cut and dried for use as food for farm animals etc. 3000

holy(adj: holy, holier, holiest) 1. To do with a god or a religion. 2. Religious and morally good; following the rules of religion. 2000

horizon(n: horizon pl horizons) The line where the earth or sea seems to meet the sky. 5000

icepick(n: icepick pl icepicks) A very sharp tool used to break up, or pick at, ice.
Before the days of refrigerators, these were commonly used in homes to separate and shape the blocks of ice used in ice boxes.

idol(n: idol; pl idols) 1. A picture or object that is worshiped as a god. 2. A greatly loved or admired person. 6000

jealous(adj: jealous) 1. Feeling or showing that you want to be like another person or have something that another person has; envy. 2. Feeling or showing unhappiness or anger because you think that someone you love [such as your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.] likes or is liked by someone else. 4000

lap(n: lap pl laps) The area between the knees and the hips of a person who is sitting down. 3000

loaf(n: loaf pl loaves) An amount of bread that has been baked in a long, round, or square shape. 4000

melon(n: melon pl melons) A large, round, sweet, juicy fruit that has a hard skin and many seeds. 9000

owl(n: owl pl owls) A bird that usually hunts at night and that has a large head and eyes, a powerful hooked beak, and strong claws. 5000

panther(n: panther pl panthers) A large, usually black wildcat similar to a leopard. 11000
In the U.S.A., also called a cougar or puma.

parade(n: parade pl parades) A line of people, vehicles etc moving forward in order, often as a celebration of some special event. 3000

peach(n: peach pl peaches) A round, sweet fruit that has white or yellow flesh, soft yellow or pink skin, and a large, hard seed at the center. 7000

porch(n: porch pl porches) 1. An long, open structure on the outside of a building that has a roof. Also called a 'veranda' or 'verandah'. 2. A covered entrance to a building. 4000

pregnant(adj: pregnant) [of a woman or female animal] Having a baby or babies developing inside the body. 2000

reflect(v: reflect, reflects, reflected, reflecting) 1. To show the image of something in a mirror or on a shiny surface. 2. To show something; to make something known.
(n: reflection pl reflections) 1. An image that is seen in a mirror or on a shiny surface. He saw the reflections of the clouds on the lake. 2. Something that shows the effect, existence, or character of something else. The high crime rate is a reflection of the violence of our society. 2000

rubbing(v: rub, rubs, rubbed, rubbing) To move something [such as your hand or an object] back and forth along the surface of something else while pressing. 2000

sharp eyed(adj: sharp eyed) Having very good eyesight or a strong ability to notice things.

sharp-tongued(adj: sharp-tongued) Tending to say things to people about about their errors and weaknesses in an unkind way.

sleeve(n: sleeve pl sleeves) The part of a shirt, jacket, etc., that covers all or part of your arm. (แขนเสื้อ) 3000

soul(n: soul pl souls) The spirit; the non-physical part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever. (วิญญาณ) 3000

spear(n: spear pl spears) A weapon that has a long straight handle and a sharp point. (หอก) 5000

spider web(n: spider web pl spider webs) A network of sticky threads made by a spider and used as a resting place and a trap for food. (ใยแมงมุม)

tattoo(n: tattoo pl tattoos) A picture, word, etc., that is drawn on a person's skin by using a needle and special ink. (รอยสัก) 6000

(n: torch pl torches) 1. A long stick with material at one end that burns brightly. (คบไฟ) 2. A small portable light worked by an electric battery. Also called a 'flashlight' in American English (ไฟฉาย) 3000

torch flashlight

tractor(n: tractor pl tractors) A large vehicle that has two large back wheels and two smaller front wheels and that is used to pull farm equipment. (รถแทรกเตอร์) 4000

vanity(n: vanity pl vanities) The quality of people who have too much pride in their own appearance, abilities, achievements, etc.; the quality of being vain. (ความหยิ่ง) 8000

whirlwind(n: whirlwind pl whirlwinds) A very strong wind that covers a small area and moves in a spinning motion over the surface of the Earth and can damage buildings, trees, etc.; a tornado. (พายุทอร์นาโด) 9000

worship(v: worship, worships, worshiped, worshiping) 1. To honor or respect someone or something as a god. (สักการะ). 2. To love or honor someone or something very much or too much. As a kid I worshiped my brother. Our society worships money. (เคารพ) 4000

yard(n: yard pl yards) 1. The area of ground around a house, usually covered with grass or plants. (สนาม) 2. An area of enclosed (fenced) ground used for a special purpose. (ลานบ้าน) 3. An old British unit of length equal to three feet or 0.9144 meters. (หลา) 2000

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