Author Archives: Giselle Martinez


defiant(adjective)- showing defiance.


On page 82 of Quicksand by Nella Larsen it says , “She felt a sharp stinging sensation and a recurrence of that anger and defiant desire to hurt which had so seared her on that past morning in Naxos”

After learning what the word meant, i think its important because it helps the characteristics of Helga and it gives a better understanding of what Helga is feeling. You get a better understanding of her character.


ostracized(verb) –¬†exclude (someone) from a society or group.

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IN chapter 11 of Quicksand by Nella Larsen it says, ” ‘It’s the principle of the thing that I object to. You can’t get around the fact hat her behavior is outrageous,treacherous, in fact. That’s what’s the matter with the Negro race. They won’t stick together. She certainly ought to be ostracized.”

After learning the definition of the word, I know now how Anne felt about colored people because  she saw Dr. Anderson danced with a colored woman and Anne felt so jealous and hatred toward the woman. The author shows how white people mistreated people of color and discriminated them.


vexed(adjective) –¬†annoyed, frustrated, or worried.


On chapter 14 it says, ” Helga’s own feelings were mixed; she was amused, grateful and vexed. It had all been decided and rragned without her, and also, she was a little afraid of Olsen.”

After knowing what this word means,  i have a better understand about how Helga feels around Axel Olsen.


placidly(adjective) –¬†pleasantly calm or peaceful; unruffled; tranquil; serenely quiet or undisturbed

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In chapter 12 of Quicksand by Nella Larsen it says, “She felt that it would be useless to tell them what she felt for the beautiful, calm, cool girl who had the assurance, the courage, so placidly¬†to ignore racial barriers and give her attention to people was not contempt but envious admiration. So she remained silent, watching the girl.”

Now that I know what this word means I know how Helga reacted to Anne’s opinions. I think its important to show how Helga responses to comments like Anne’s. Its also important to show how racist people where about colored and mixed people.


abhorrence(noun)- a feeling of repulsion; disgusted loathing


On page 92 of Quicksand by Nella Larsen it says, ” And the white men dance with colored women. Now you know, Helga Crane, that can mean only one thing.’ Anne’s voice was trembling with cold hatred. As she ended, she made a little clicking noise with her tongue., indicating an abhorrence too great for words.”

After searching the definition of the word I think the word is important. Anne is a friend of Helga. She is disgusted and hates colored people. Now this makes Helga insecure about her being bi-racial. It helps the reader understand how white people felt about black people.


ambling(verb)-walk or move at a slow, relaxed pace


On page 89 of Quicksand by Nella Larsen it says, “They danced, ambling lazily to a crooning melody, or violently twisting their bodies, like whirling leaves, to sudden streaming rhythm. or shaking themselves ecstatically to a thumping of unseen tomtoms.”

After searching this word I understand the author and how it connects to the book. I have a better understanding of how Helga was dancing. I have a better vision of Helga dancing with her friend.


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.


repugnance(noun) –¬†intense disgust


On page 57 of Quicksand by Nella Larsen it says, “She couldn’t have married him. Gradually,too, there stole into her thoughts of him a curious sensation of repugnance, for which she was at a loss to account.”

The author uses this word to describe Helga’s feelings for James Vayle, the guy she was suppose to marry. She ended up not marrying him because she didn’t love him. I think its important to understand some of the reasons she didn’t marry him.


facile(adjective) –¬†¬†:¬†easily experienced or displayed and often insincere


In chapter 3 of Quicksand by Nella Larsen it says, ” As she went slowly across the empty campus she was conscious of a vague tenderness for the scene spread out before her. It was so incredibly lovely, so appealing, and so facile.

After searching the definition, i know the author used this word to describe what Helga was seeing. I understand that description is important for the reader so they can vision it.


desiccated(verb)-  lacking interest, passion, or energy.

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In Quicksand by Nella Larsen it says, “On her side of the door, Helga was wondering if it had ever occurred to the lean and desiccated Miss MacGiiden that the most of her charges had actually come from the backwoods.”

The author uses this word to describe the character as boring and I think its important and useful about characteristics