- Dingy (adjective): of a dark, dull, or dirty color or aspect; lacking brightness or freshness.
- Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/dingy?s=t
- Taken from: A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell
- “It came into Mrs. Hale’s mind that the rocker didn’t look like Minnie Foster– The Minnie Foster of twenty years before. It was a dingy red, with wooden rungs up the back, and the middle run was gone and the chair sagged to one side”
- Throughout the story, while discovering that Minnie Foster is guilty of her husband’s murder, Mrs. Hale reminisces back and forth between the Minnie Foster she once knew and the now Mrs. Wright. In the midst of going back and forth, Mrs. Hale acknowledges a red rocker that she describes as dingy. It may tend to be overlooked but within the definition of “lacking brightness”, we can also compare this to Mrs. Wrights life. In addition, to it becoming a dirty color, it also represents the time that has gone by from the last time Mrs. Hale knew of her.
5 May 2018
-Throughout the novel “Quicksand” by Nella Larsen many interesting vocabulary words appear that aren’t commonly used in day to day language. For example the word Grandeur which appears in chapter 12, when the author writes “Helga Crane felt no regret as the clifflike towers faded. The sight thrilled her as beauty, grandeur, of any kind always did, but that was all.” (Larsen 93). Grandeur (Noun) is defined as, splendor and impressiveness, especially of appearance or style. This word was used to express how beautiful the sight was, and it’s important to understand its meaning because it will throw off the entire sentence structure not knowing what it means since it’s kind of just thrown into the middle of the sentence. You miss out on the significance of the word and why it was used in that particular context, understanding it makes the sentence more rich and detailed which helps with visualizing what the author is trying to get across and with analyzing the text.
“Grandeur.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster,
Lulled (verb) –
Quicksand chapter 8, page 75.
“Again she had had that strange transforming experience, this time not so fleetingly, that magic sense of having come home. Harlem, teeming black Harlem, had welcomed her and lulled her into something that was she was certain peace and contentment.”
As we know Helga can’t stay in one place for a long time. And this place she moved to was better and she felt comfortable as a child who gets lulled by his/her sleep.
Adroit, adjective: having or showing skill, cleverness, or resourcefulness in handling situations.
We saw the adverb form of this word (adroitly) about halfway through chapter 7 of Quicksand. It was used to describe how Ms. Hayes-Rore changed subjects during a conversation in a smooth way during their train ride from Chicago to New York.
“The girl wished to hide her turbulent feeling and to appear indifferent to Mrs. Hayes-Rore’s opinion of her story. The woman felt that the story, dealing as it did with race intermingling and possibly adultery, was beyond definite discussion. For among black people, as among white people, it is tacitly understood that these things are not mentioned—and therefore they do not exist. Sliding adroitly out from under the precarious subject to a safer, more decent one, Mrs. Hayes-Rore asked Helga what she was thinking of doing when she got back to Chicago.”
Avidity (noun) – keen eagerness or consuming greed.
From “The Complete Fiction of Nella Larson” by Nella Larsen, “Quicksand” Chapter 15 Page 112
“And she was shocked in with which Olsen beside her drank it in.”
Here, the author uses the word avidity to describe how Olsen is eager, while Helga is annoyed and feels shamed by the performance she went to see at Copenhagen vaudeville hall.