Author Archives: Linh Ngo


Transitive verb

Satisfied – to carry out the terms of (something, such as a contract)

The word Satisfied was used on page 6 of  “Quicksand” by Nella Larsen, is a fitted word to use to describe my topic of  racism, because no matter where Helga goes she is still not accepted by people. In the novel the word was used in the quotes “And then he had spoken of contentment, embellishing his words with scriptural quotations and pointing out to them that it was their duty to be satisfied the estate to which they had been called, hewers of wood and drawers of water” this show that the negros or mix race should have been satisfied with how they are treated in society.



indignant – feeling or showing anger because of something unjust or unworthy

I came across this word while reading “Quicksand” by Nella Larsen. It can be found in chapter 17, page 210.

“She might at least, thought Helga indignantly, have acted a little bit as if she…”

After understanding what this word means, I believe that Anne was thinking that Helga might be upset, and feeling angry on the inside. Another word she was assuming how Helga might have felted.



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Project 1 : Understanding Different Narrative Style Essay

  Part 1: Retelling (Final Draft)


“Hills Like White Elephants”

Ernest Hemingway

Page 2:

        Jigs was describing the beautiful scenery across the distance, she said “the hills and mountain appears to look like white elephants”, as she sat at the Spanish train station across from Jill’s. The man was hoping that his girlfriend was having a great time, but she doesn’t seem to be. She suddenly repeated herself again to get his attention, she said “the mountains looks like white elephants”.

The mountains appears to be bright as white elephants as described by Jigs. It was breathtaking and grabbed both of their attentions as they stared at it across from the distance. Jigs wanted to try some new drinks, and that’s all she felt like doing, is look at things and try new drinks. Jigs looked across the hills and notice how lovely they were to her. Although it seems as if they don’t really appear to look like white elephants to the man.

They continue to have another drink, as the warm wind blew the bead curtain against the table, Jigs and the man continue to enjoy their cold drinks. The man was trying to convince Jigs how simple it would be if she had the operation done, but Jigs insisted it wasn’t just a simple operation, and she looked at the ground where the tables legs rested on. He continue to comfort and explains how easy the operation is going to be if she had it done. Jigs was silent, she had too much on her mind, and didn’t say a word after that.  

The man was so convinced that this is all going to be a simple operation, and explains to her that all they’re going to do is put some air in, and it will all be alright afterward. Jigs was feeling nervous and pressure to having the operation. He insisted that she had this operation done, and promises that afterward they would be happy again, just like they did before. Jigs had a tough time processing the decision, and she doesn’t know what to do.

The man then tells her that this is the only thing that is keeping them from being happy. Without saying a word she look at the bead curtain, put her hand out and took hold of two of the strings of the beads, then she asked him “will everything be alright”, “and will they be happy after this”. He told her everything will be alright and they will be happy after she had the operation done.

Jigs was nervous and feeling pressure, but he remained her that everything will be alright, and that he knows a lot of people who had this done before. She was still not convinced about the operation, and asked him many question as she was afraid to having it done. At that point he decide to stop convincing her, and told her that she doesn’t need to have this done if she didn’t want to.

He calmly explains to her that he didn’t want her to do anything that she wouldn’t want. But he was still convince to tell her that it would be a simple operation. She feeling pressure that he really wants her to go have this operation. This operation seem to be the only thing that’s on the man mind. She now feels the motivation to have the operation done only if it meant to make the man happy. Jigs knows that he would be more happy and loves her more if she had it done.

Jigs was convinced if she had it done everything will be alright, and that he’ll love her like he loved when she say things are white like elephants, the man then said he’ll love it. But he can’t be worrying about that right now. she didn’t want him to worry about the operation, so she  insisted if she had it done that he’ll stop worrying about it. but it doesn’t appear that the man was worry about Jigs having the operation done, because he knows it was all a simple operation.

 Finally, Jigs had decided to get the operation done. She would get it done only because she doesn’t care about herself, and her own body. The man felt frustrated that she doesn’t care about herself. She repeated herself telling him that she doesn’t care about herself. He didn’t want her to say those things about herself. He told her that he cares about her, even if she doesn’t care for herself.

Jigs wants to get the operation done and over with so that they can be happy in the end, but he told her he didn’t want her to do it if she didn’t care about herself and her decision. She stood up and walked to the end of the station. Across on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains. The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grains and she saw the river through the trees.


Part 2: Thinking About Retelling (Final Draft)


The new version of “Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemingway is a third person omniscient narrative style. In the original version of “Hills Like White Elephants”, the author used a third person objective narration style. Which lets the narrator knows what the characters say, see, and do. On the other hand, a third person omniscient allows the narrator to have access to what the characters, say, see, do and think. So by changing it to a third person omniscient, it allow the narrator to have access oo knowing what the characters feeling and thoughts.

Comparing the differences between the old version and the new version is, the old version was written mainly in dialogue, which in my opinion makes it harder to read. On the other hand the new version is written so that is separated into smaller section, and is in third person which means the narrator is the only person in the story that is speaking. The new version is easier to understand because the narrator is telling us what is happening in the story. Rather then the first version the narrator was only telling us what the characters are saying and doing, and not really telling us what was happening within the story, and leaves us confuse to what the story is mainly about.

“Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemingway, is a third person objective narrative style, the narrator used the “fly-on-the-wall” technique to write the story. In the story it didn’t tell us what the characters were thinking, it only show what the characters do, see, and say in the story. Since the story was put together in the past tense we can assume that the author wrote the story base from memories, which makes it a bit confusing for the reader to piece the story together. The original version had lots of metaphor, and symbolic terms, which the new version lacks.

The theme that stuck out from the original version is the languages and communication style that was used. The story was converted into translation from spanish to english, and the author mainly did this for his english readers, mostly focusing on translating what jigs was saying. I choose third person omniscient as a narrative style for this story, because the original version was mostly written in dialogue, which was harder to read. An example would be making it harder to tell which character is speaking. On the other hands it was clear to tell when the narrator was speaking. The story was complicated to piece together, because we didn’t understand what the characters were thinking, and what was it they’re talking about, such as the operation. It’s kind of almost like recording a conversation between two people.

The narrator tells us the surrounding of the place, and what the characters say. But doesn’t allow us to know what’s going on between the two characters, or what was it the conversation was about. In the original version on page two, at the top quote  “‘Then what will we do afterwards?’‘We’ll be fine afterwards. Just like we were before.’‘What makes you think so?’” In this quote it didn’t allow the reader to understand Jigs emotion and feeling, or what’s going on in her mind. On the other hand, from the new version with the third person omniscient, “Jigs was nervous and feeling pressure, but he remained her that everything will be alright, and that he knows a lot of people who had this done before.” This gives more details to how Jigs was feeling during that conversation.



Eerily –  so mysterious, strange, or unexpected as to send a chill up the spine

sources :

I have encountered this word while reading “Quicksand” by Nella Larsen. You can locate this word on page one, at the bottom of the page. When the narrator said “So large that the spot where Helga sat was a small oasis in a dessert of darkness. And Eerily quiet.” The word was interesting because it was used in such a short sentences to describe what the atmosphere was like when reading it. After understanding what this word means I think that the narrator was describing where Helga was sitting, and what it felted like, as the “shadowy”, and a large spot of lights, making the atmosphere very mysterious, and gloomy. Its atmosphere was very strange and frightening, also another word that would describe it would be emptiness.

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Morsel – a small piece of food

I have encounter this word, while reading the “Hunger Artist” on page 1, on the second paragraph, it said “This was nothing but a formality, instituted to reassure the masses, for the initiates knew well enough that during his fast the artist would never in any circumstances, not even under forcible compulsion, swallow the smallest morsel of food; the honor of his profession forbade it. Not every watcher, of course, was capable of understanding this, there were often groups of night watchers who were very lax in carrying out their duties and deliberately hudled together in a retired corner to play cards with great absorption, obviously intending to give the hunger artist the chance of a little refreshment, which they supposed he could draw from some private hoard.” After understanding the definition of this word, it means to eat a small quantity of food.

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In this picture she eating a small amount of food.


Definition of neurasthenia – a condition that is characterized especially by physical and mental exhaustion usually with accompanying symptoms (such as headache and irritability), is of unknown cause but is often associated with depression or emotional stress, and is sometimes considered similar to or identical with chronic fatigue syndrome.

I have encountered this word while reading Charlotte Perkins Gilman “Why I Wrote The Yellow Wallpaper” (1913). This word was located on the first page second to last paragraph. “But the best result is this. Many years later I was told that the great specialist had admitted to friends of his that he had altered his treatment of neurasthenia since reading The Yellow Wallpaper.” To my understanding of the word it is a syndrome that is develop naturally, and it causes stress, depression, and even hallucinations. Which is similar to what the narrator from “The Yellow Wallpaper” has throughout the story. The narrator claim that her sickness was cause of nervous depression, which is similar to what neurasthenia is.

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This picture show what a person with neurasthenia might be imagining of in their head.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do?” From this sentences , the narrator kept trying to convincing her husband and everyone around her that she is ill. But her husband is a physician and found nothing wrong with her. The narrator seem to have a very wild imagination, and something just didn’t seem right.

“My brother is also a physician, and also of high standing, and he says the same thing.” This is another quote that proves that there is nothing wrong with her, and she is making an excuse to be sick so people can take care of her. Even her brother who is a physician also said the same thing as her husband. So we can tell that there is some untruthful behavior from the narrator, which makes me felt that the narrator isn’t reliable. The narrator doesn’t seem to have anything wrong with her, or this was all in her head.

“I think sometimes that if I were only well enough to write a little it would relieve the press of ideas and rest me.” This quote show to me that the narrator is unreliable because, she mention if she is well enough she is able to write, but so far she been writing about all of her complains about what design she didn’t like. The narrator ways of getting better from her illness is to do nothing at all, and rely on her husband john to take care of her. The narrator way to escape this depression is to write.

“Then he took me in his arms and called me a blessed little goose, and said he would go down cellar if I wished, and have it whitewashed into the bargain.” Her husband John despite thinking that his wife condition is not that serious but still does what she wants, because he is caring.

“John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him.” The narrator seem to be always complaining and exaggerating about how sick she is, and how her husband john is always not considering how ill she was. He was very much concern about her condition in general.

“My darling,” said he, “I beg of you, for my sake and for our child’s sake, as well as for your own, that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind! There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours. It is a false and foolish fancy. Can you not trust me as a physician when I tell you so?” This show how much her husband cares for her, despite the fact that her illness is based on her nervous depression. It felt to me like the little things that the narrator is depicting about the house, like the yellow wall paper and how she didn’t like it, and how much it disturbed her, which can be an excuse to why she feeling depress due to her surrounding.

The narrator later started to hide her journals writing from her husband, but she was still not happy about the fact that he still shows very little concern about her illness. The narrator seem to have a very wild imagination, which her husband was against. Her obsession with wall paper grew over time, and she couldn’t stop herself. Her possession with wallpaper, and pattern had trapped her, and causes her insanity.


Errand (archaic)

Errand – an oral message entrusted to a person

I have encountered this word from the reading “A Rose For Emily”. The word was located at I page 1/6, last paragraph, and it quoted,”Her eyes, lost in the fatty ridges of her face, looked like two small pieces of coal pressed into a lump of dough as they moved from one face to another while the visitors stated their errand.” After understanding the meaning of this word I can say that it means while the narrator was describing Emily dead corpse the people say their prayer towards Emily. Some what like a goodbye message.


Inextricable (adjective)

Inextricable – forming a maze or tangle from which it is impossible to get free.


I have encountered this word while reading the story of “A Rose For Emily”. It is located on section five, on the the last page, third paragraph, also on page 6/6. This word was in a sentences “What was left of him, rotted beneath what was left of the nightshirt, had become inextricable from the bed in which he lay; and upon him the pillow beside him lay that even coating of the patent and biding dust.” Now that I have understand the meaning of this word, inextricable means that you can’t escape from something. Just like it was said in the story “had become inextricable from the bed in which he lay;” is telling us that he can not be separated, or escape from where he is. Which can also be trying to say that he can not escape his death.

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Transitive verb

Eluded – to escape the perception, understanding, or grasp of, subtlety simply eludes them, victory continued to elude us


I encountered this word from the reading, called “Cinderella”, written by Jacob, and Wilhelm Grimm, also known as the Grimm Brothers. I encountered the word on page 2, the third to last paragraph. The word came from the sentences “However, she eluded him and jumped into the pigeon coop”. I came to an understanding that  this word means to escape, or avoid a bad situation. In the story the prince try to escort Cinderella on her way out, but by avoiding that she jumped into the pigeon coop. She eluded him because she didn’t want him to find out who she is. In this case eluded was used to describe Cinderella trying to avoid getting caught.