In this story by William Faulkner, three children observe the of concern shown by their parents for the possible danger faced by an African-American woman who has washed the family clothes for many years. The woman fears that her husband is going to kill her because she is carrying a white man’s child. At the end of the story, we are left wondering whether he succeeds.
English Learner Vocabulary Help
General Comments on the Story
This is a good example of how stories can be changed in important ways by an editor. The 1931 magazine version of the story (known as That Evening Sun) is different to the book version published in the same year (known as That Evening Sun Go Down) in several ways. The most notable of these are that the magazine editor insisted on Nancy’s husband being called “Jubah” instead of “Jesus”, and Section VI was changed significantly to provide a clearer ending to the story. We have used the magazine version as the basis for our stories, as these changes make it a little easier to understand.
(v: lack, lacks, lacked, lacking) To have too little or none of. He lacked the courage to join the army.
(n: lack, noncount) The state of not having any or enough. The lack of food meant that we always went to bed hungry. 2000
(v: balance, balances, balanced, balancing) To make (something) steady by keeping weight equal on all sides; to make or keep steady. She balanced the jug of water on her head. The ballet dancer balanced on her toes. 1000
(n: bone pl bones) The hard substance forming the skeleton of man, animals etc. 2000
(n: bundle pl bundles) A group of things that are fastened, tied, or wrapped together. He made up a bundle of old clothes to give away. 4000
(n: coffin pl coffins) A box for a dead body to be kept, buried or cremated in. 5000
(n: ditch pl ditches) A long narrow hollow that is dug along a road, field, etc. and used to hold or move water. He climbed over the fence and fell into a ditch. 3000
(v: divide, divides, divided, dividing) 1. To separate into parts or groups. The wall divided the garden in two. 2. (with between or among) To share. We divided the sweets between/among us. 3. To find out how many times one number contains another. 6 divided by 2 equals 3. 1000
(n: dust, noncount) A fine powder made up of very small pieces of earth, sand, etc. The furniture was covered in dust.
(adj: dusty; dustier, dustiest) Filled or covered with dust. He cleaned the dusty shelf. 2000
(n: evil, noncount) The force of things that are morally bad. He believed that the world was full of evil.
(n: evil pl evils) Something that is harmful or causes injury to someone. They were talking about the evils of alcohol.
(adj: evil, eviler, evilest) Very bad; wicked; sinful. 3000
(n: hall pl halls) 1. A room or passage at the entrance to a house. 2. A long, narrow passage inside a building with doors that lead to rooms on each side; also called a hallway or corridor 1000
(n: Hell, singular) The place where, according to some religions, the devil lives and evil people go after they die.
(n: hell; noncount) A very difficult or unpleasant situation or experience. I left the job because the boss made my life hell. 1000
(n: insurance; noncount) An agreement in which a person makes regular payments to a company and the company promises to pay money if the person is injured or dies, or to pay money equal to the value of something [such as a house or car] if it is damaged, lost, or stolen. 1000
(n: jail pl jails) A place where people are kept when they have been arrested and/or are being punished for breaking the law; a prison. 4000
In some old stories you will see this word spelled as gaol. This spelling is not used in modern English.
(n: negro pl negroes) An old-fashioned word for a person who has dark skin and who belongs to a race of people who are originally from Africa. 12000
As this word can be offensive, we only use it where we feel that it is important to the meaning of a story.
(n: nigger pl niggers) A very offensive racist word for a person who has dark skin and belongs to a race of people who are originally from Africa. 7000
As this word is very offensive, we only use it where we feel that it is important to the meaning of a story.
(v: pave, paves, paved, paving) To cover [a street, path etc] with a material such as stone, tar, or concrete to form a hard, level surface for walking, driving, etc. 3000
(n: popcorn, noncount) Corn in the form of hard yellow seeds that burst open and become soft and white when they are heated. We watched a movie and ate a bag of popcorn. 9000
(n: razor pl razors) A tool or device with a sharp edge that is used to shave or cut hair from the face, body, or head. 5000
(v: reckons, reckoned, reckoning) To think or suppose something; to believe that something is true or possible. I reckon that we'll have to leave early. 1000
(n: scar pl scars) A mark that is left on your skin after a wound heals. The operation left a scar on his stomach. 4000
(v: scream, screams, screamed, screaming) 1. To suddenly cry out in a loud and high voice because of fear, pain, surprise, etc. 2. To say something in a loud and high voice because you are angry, afraid, etc. (กรีดร้อง) 3000
(v: shake, shakes, shook, shaken, shaking) To move back and forth or up and down with short, quick movements. (สั่น) 2000
(v: spit, spits, spat, spitting) To force something [such as food or liquid] from your mouth. (ถ่มน้ำลาย) 3000
(v: spill, spills, spilled, spilling) To cause or allow (something) to fall, flow, or run over the edge of a container, usually in an accidental way. (ทำให้หก) 3000
(n: stove pl stoves) A flat piece of kitchen equipment used for cooking on. She put the pot on the stove over medium heat. (เตาไฟ) 5000
Often set above an oven [a closed box-like space which is heated for baking or roasting food]. (เตาอบ) 3000
(n: supper pl suppers) A usually light meal taken at the end of the day. (อาหารมื้อเย็น) 3000
(n: watermelon pl watermelons) A large, round fruit that has hard, green skin, sweet, red, juicy flesh, and black seeds. (แตงโม)
(n: whiskey pl whiskeys; British wiskey) A strong alcoholic drink made from a grain such as corn, rye, or barley; usually contains 40-50% alcohol by volume. (วิสกี้) 3000
(v: wipe, wipes, wiped, wiping) To clean or dry something by using a cloth, your hand, etc. (เช็ด) 2000