Tag Archives: glossary



nemesis – I came across this wa formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent

  • The team was defeated by its old nemesis.

ord while reading “How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)”
by Junot Diaz. It is found on page 2, quoted “Hope that you don’t run into your nemesis, Howie, the Puerto Rican kid with the two killer mutts.” after knowing what this word means i think another word for nemesis can be enemy or competition even. In this quote the narrator is saying he hope “you” don’t run into Puerto Rican kid with the killer mutts, he might be saying watch out for the competition.

this word is also a meaning of a Greek goddess.



canisters – an often cylindrical container for holding a usually specified object or substance

  • a filmcanister

I came across this word while reading “how to date a brown girl” by Junot Diaz. This word was found on the second page, it quoted “A local girl won’t need stories about the neighborhood but the other ones might. Supply the story about the loco who’d been storing canisters of tear gas in his basement for years, how one day the canisters cracked and the whole neighborhood got a dose of the military-strength stuff” I understand that the narrator is talking about tear gas being stored in the basement.

Image result for canisters



Virulent  (adjective) – actively poisonous; intensely noxious

Sources – http://www.dictionary.com/browse/virulent

Found on page 108, chapter 18. “In her opinion,Helga had lived too long among the enemy, the detestable pale faces. She understood them too well, was too tolerant of their ignorance stupidities. If they had been Latin, Anne might conceivably have forgiven the disloyalty. But Nordics ! Lynchers ! It was too traitorous. Helga smiled a little, understanding Annie’s bitterness and hate, and a little of it cause. It was a piece with that of those she so virulently hated.”


This word was used to describe how Anne was a person and how she affected Helga emotionally. Earlier in the novel, Helga asked Anne why it was bad for a black woman to be with Dr. Anderson. Anne said that the Negro should stick together. Towards the end of the novel, Helga finally sees how toxic her friendship with Anne was. It made it harder for Helga to love herself and accept that she’s biracial and embraces it. 



Inefficiency – the quality or state of being inefficient

The word inefficiency which was found on page 9, it quoted  “It had grown into a machine. It was now a show place in the black belt, exemplification of the white rain’s magnanimity, refutation of the black man’s inefficiency” in this quote the word was used toward a black man which stated black man aren’t capable and useless, this just show racism in my opinion. This is saying that black man is not capable to do things, example work, or being successful in society.



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.

sources: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indignantly


Image result for feeling angry



refuse to accept or be associated with. Reject.

source: dictionary.com

word is found in chapter 14 “Quicksand”

”In America Negroes sometimes talked loudly of this, but in their hearts they repudiated it.”

here Helga Crane is justifying her new life was now pleasing to her as it satisfied her “self-importance”, but to her the Negroes embrace the idea of being themselves on the surface not within their hearts as she believed they wanted to be more like the “whites” rather than black.



having little or no money

source: dictionary.com

found in chapter 13 “Quicksand”

”with that sensation of lavish contentment and well-being enjoyed only by impecunious sybarites waking in the houses of the rich”

This was perhaps describing Helga her self as the one who is not quite affluent  but still Indulges in luxuries of the rich.