- Trivial (adjective): of very little importance or value; insignificant:
- Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/trivial
- Taken from: The Story of An Hour by Kate Chopin.
- “A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial. She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead. “`
- Although it might have seemed trivial to search this word up, I’ve never actually had a clear definition of the word, so it was interesting to actually bother searching it up. In the story, Chopin uses it to describe Mrs. Mallard’s perceptions of her own feelings. It reveals a slight internal conflict between her feeling new and liberated, and guilt from not mourning her husband longer. However, by describing her doubt as trivial, the reader is able to understand how her newfound freedom overpowers any other emotion she may feel.
Snatch, noun: a brief, fragmentary, or hurried part.
We encountered the plural form of this word in the second chapter of Quicksand. It is used to describe the activity that Helga hears outside her door while she hides in her room.
“In the corridor beyond her door was a medley of noises
incident to the rising and preparing for the day at the same
hour of many schoolgirls—foolish giggling, indistinguishable
snatches of merry conversation, distant gurgle of running water,
patter of slippered feet, low-pitched singing, good-natured
admonitions to hurry, slamming of doors, clatter of various
unnamable articles, and—suddenly—calamitous silence.”
Spurning (verb) – to reject with disdain
From “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka
I came across this word while reading “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka. It appears at the beginning of the reading on the first paragraph towards the bottom when the author is illustrating the hunger artist and how the audience perceives him. It caught my interest because I’ve never seen use of the word before and was curious as to how it correlates to the overall image the author is trying to describe as to better undestand the text and it’s meaning.
“…as he sat there on scattered straw—spurning a chair—in black tights…”(Kafka).
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, the author is discribing how the hunger artist would sit on scattered straw rather then on a chair, rejecting the comfort it would bring and embracing an uncomfortable minimalistic lifestyle to express his art.
Vigil (noun) – an event or a period of time when a person or group stays in a place and quietly waits, prays, etc., especially at night.
From “A Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka
“Sometimes there were nightly groups of watchers who carried out their vigil very laxly, deliberately sitting together in a distant corner and putting all their attention into playing cards there, clearly intending to allow the hunger artist a small refreshment, which, according to their way of thinking, he could get from some secret supplies.”
Vigil is used here to describe the nightly activities of the watchers. This shows that these groups of people go out at night and watch the hunger artist, even though they don’t understand the art.
Emaciated (adjective): bony, thin. Someone who is dangerously skinny and skeletal-looking can be described as emaciated. It’s probably how you’d start to look after a few weeks in the wilderness with only berries and bugs for dinner.
From: A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka
” While for grown-ups the hunger artist was often merely a joke, something they participated in because it was fashionable, the children looked on amazed, their mouths open, holding each other’s hands for safety, as he sat there on scattered straw—spurning a chair—in black tights, looking pale, with his ribs sticking out prominently, sometimes nodding politely, answering questions with a forced smile, even sticking his arm out through the bars to let people feel how emaciated he was…” Ths statement means that everyone was so amazed by seeing him how skinny he was because he did not eat any bite food or sip of drink for a long time period. And for children, he was a monster looking person in the cage.