Tag Archives: word #3


Compulsion (Noun) ->>>> the state of being forced to do something.

I found this word from “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka

This was nothing but a formality, instigated 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;

This word was used to describe that the artist would not (even if forced to do so) take a small piece of food into his mouth. I was able to understand the meaning of this quote even before looking up the word, by using the key phrases around the word like (forcible) , but still this is one of the few times I encountered this word.

Source ->>>> https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compulsion


  • Imperviousness (noun): not capable of being affected or disturbed
    • Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impervious
    • Taken from: A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
      • “It was as if she demanded more than ever that recognition of her dignity as the last Grierson; as if it had wanted that touch of earthiness to reaffirm her imperviousness.”
    • Although Emily has no money to her name, she continues to hold her head high and effortlessly demands the respect she believes to deserve. The author’s use of the word imperviousness is to stress Emily’s foothold in the town and her indifference towards what others think of her.


Cabal (noun) – the contrived schemes of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government); also a group engaged in such schemes.

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cabal

From “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

“We were a little disappointed that there was not a public blowing-off, but we believed that he had gone on to prepare for Miss Emily’s coming, or to give her a chance to get rid of the cousins. (By that time it was a cabal, and we were all Miss Emily’s allies to help circumvent the cousins.)”

Here, the author uses the word cabal to show how all the people were trying to help Miss Emily avoid her cousins. Since cabal means to unite, the townspeople united to find a way to make the cousins leave.



Alderman, noun: a member of a municipal legislative body, especially of a municipal council.

Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/alderman

We encountered this word multiple times while reading “A Rose for Emily.” The first time it appears is in the fourth paragraph of the first section, which details how the members of the new town government wanted Miss Emily to pay taxes in the town. Here’s an excerpt of the paragraph:

“When the next generation, with its more modern ideas, became mayors and aldermen, this arrangement created some little dissatisfaction. On the first of the year they mailed her a tax notice. February came, and there was no reply. They wrote her a formal letter, asking her to call at the sheriff’s office at her convenience. A week later the mayor wrote her himself, offering to call or to send his car for her, and received in reply a note on paper of an archaic shape, in a thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink, to the effect that she no longer went out at all. The tax notice was also enclosed, without comment.”


Calligraphy (noun) – beautiful artistic handwriting

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/calligraphy

In “A Rose for Emily”, it says, “A week later the mayor wrote her himself, offering to call or to send his car for her, and received in reply a note on paper of an archaic shape, in a thin, flowing calligraphy in faded ink, to the effect that she no longer went out at all.”

In that quote from “A Rose for Emily”, the word calligraphy is used to identify the handwriting of the Miss Emily and help visualize the note that she wrote back in response to the mayor that it was nicely written.


Encroached (verb) – to enter by gradual steps or by stealth into the possessions or rights of another

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encroached

From “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

I came across this word while reading “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. It appears around the beginning of the reading when the author describes the relation between the neighborhood and the garages/cotton gins, it caught my interest because I had an idea of what it meant but didn’t know it’s exact definition so it made me curious to find out what the writer was trying to illustrate in the story.

“But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps-an eyesore among eyesores.”

After reading the definition of the word I better understand the context of how the author was using it in that part of the text. As seen in the quote, it’s used to describe how the garages and cotton gins slowly invaded the neighborhood, changing it in a way it wasn’t before.




Definition-sharp in tone or manner


I found this in A Jury of her Peers by Susan Glaspell on page 271. The quote was “There was a laugh for the ways of women, a warming of hands over the stove and then the county attorney said briskly; “Well lets go right out to the barn and get that cleared up”.” Knowing the definition just made it more realistic for me to envision the story in my head.


Triumph(noun): 1. the act, fact, or condition of being victorious or triumphantvictory; conquest. 2. a significant success or noteworthy achievement; an instance or occasion of victory.


The Story of An Hour by Kate Chopin, “There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory.”  In this statement, Mrs. Mallard was happy that finally, something good will come to her yet she was not unaware of what would come next, she was unaware of that she was going to die.