ignominy (noun)- public shame or disgrace
In chapter 5 of Quicksand by Nella Larsen it says, ” ‘Your mother wasn’t married, was she? I mean, to your father?’ ‘I- I don’t know’ stammered the girl, feeling pushed down to uttermost depths of ignominy.”
I think this word is important because you can feel Helga’s emotions. She felt ashamed when her uncle’s wife had said something to Helga about her mother’s personal life, I think its important because it helps the reader understand the time period and how Helga doesn’t like her.