1. Diminution – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin, pg 280

Def: noun – reduction in the importance of/toward something or of size/power

Example: “…to meet Lucy without betraying the smallest increase of dislike to her;–and even to see Edward himself, if chance should bring them together, without any diminution of her usual cordiality.”

My Example: “When Marianne met Mr. Willoughby, she fell deeply in love with him, causing a diminution of appreciation for Colonel Brandon’s efforts to win her heart.”

  • Ardent – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin, pg 37

Def: adj – to be characterized by intense emotion

Example: “To her, it was but the natural consequence of a strong affection in a young and ardent mind.”

My Example: “Mrs. Bennet has an ardent mindset on marrying her daughters off. If anything happens to her daughters, she is utterly devastated, and so overreacts frequently.”

  • Avowal – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin, pg 57

Def: noun – a statement asserting the existence or the truth of something

Example: “In such a case, a plain and open avowal of his difficulties would have been more to his honour I think, as well as more consistent with his general character…”

My Example: “Mr. Darcy first told Elizabeth his avowal of his affection towards her; unfortunately, it does not go well for him as Elizabeth learnt about his actions. So, he writes an in depth apology and explanation for his actions that upset Elizabeth.”

  • Abstruse – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin, pg 72

Def: adj – difficult to penetrate; incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge

Example: “But I had no inclination for the law, even in this less abstruse study of it, which my family approved.”

My Example: “Christopher’s dad in The Curious Incident finds the mother’s actions to be abstruse since they lived middle class and were able to raise Christopher well with a workaround. She left that to live in London in an apartment.”

  • Philippic – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin, pg 167

Def: noun – a speech of violent ranting and bitterness

Example: “Mrs. Ferrars looked exceedingly angry, and drawing herself up more stiffly than ever, pronounced in retort this bitter philippic, “Miss Morton is Lord Morton’s daughter.” Fanny looked very angry too…”

My Example: “Elizabeth could not contain her bitter feelings towards Mr. Darcy after he confessed to her, and so she went on with a crushing philippic, shutting him down immediately.”

  • Indefatigable – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin, pg 9

Def: adj – showing sustained enthusiastic action with unflagging vitality

Example: “…her mind became capable of some other exertion than that of heightening its affliction by melancholy remembrances, she was impatient to be gone, and indefatigable in her inquiries for a suitable dwelling in the neighborhood of Norland…”

My Example: “Marianne has an indefatigable love for Mr. Willoughby throughout their time together, until Mr. Willoughby arranges a marriage with another woman for money.”

  •  Uncavalier- A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, pg 122

Def: adj – not a brave or courteous gentleman (not cavalier)

Example: “Y’know, I really shouldn’t let you in after the treatment I have received from you this evening! So utterly uncavalier!”

My Example:

“Although Colonel Brandon shows he will take action on his emotions and commitments, Mr. Willoughby is uncavalier, and avoids confrontation with Marianne for a very long time, until its too late to talk.”

  • Sotto voce – A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, pg 151

Def: adv – to speak in a soft tone

Example: “Doc, you better go in. DOCTOR [sotto voce, motioning to the Matron]: Nurse, bring her out”

My Example: “Lucy and Elinor often speak to one another in sotto voce, for they both admire the other for different reasons, but also because they frequently talk about Lucy’s adoration for Edward.”

  • Abscond – A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, pg 37

Def: verb – to steal or have stolen something with little worth

Example: ” What’s in the back of that little boy’s mind of yours? That I am absconding with something, attempting some kind of treachery on my sister?”

My Example: “Jessica from The Merchant of Venice absconds some fold and jewelry from Shylock ans dresses as a man all to meet with Lorenzo while a different suitor fails the casket test.”

  1.  Dissonant – A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, pg 59

Def: adj – unharmonized; things that don’t go together well

Example: “Dissonant brass and piano sounds as the rooms dim out to darkness…”

My Example: “As seen throughout The Glass Menagerie, Amanda and Tom are dissonant personalitis – Amanda wants to live through her children’s success and keep them close, which Tom is desperate to escape the suffocating family and live for himself.”

  1. Venerable – The Bedford Introduction to Literature by Micheal Meyer: The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop, pg 755

Def: adj – a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character

Example: “He hung a grunting weight,

Battered and venerable

And homely.”

My Example: “Colonel Brandon is a venerable and honorable person, as he’s already of high status from the army, and also learns to love romantic literature for Marianne so they have common ground to discuss.”

  1. Credulous- The Bedford Introduction to Literature by Micheal Meyer: “Heaven” – is what I cannot reach! by Dickinson, pg 1056

Def: adj having or showing too great a readiness to believe things.

Example: “The credulous – decoy –

Enamoured – of the conjure -…”

My Example: “The previous credulous women that Mr. Wickham has conned and left all told their townsfolk about their experiences once his newest elopement with Lydia is shared.”

  1. Tumult – The Bedford Introduction to Literature by Micheal Meyer: Kubla Khan; or, a Vision in a Dream by Samuel Tayor Coleridge, pg 1321

Def: noun – a loud, large mass of people

Example: “And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean..”

My Example: “Christopher was overwhelmed when on the train, hiding in the baggage area to escape the tumult and the police officer.”

  1. Chide – The Bedford Introduction to Literature by Micheal Meyer: When I consider how my light is spent by John Milton, pg 1339

Def: verb – to scold or rebuke; to berate

Example: “…My true account, lest He returning chide;

“Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?”

My Example: “Lady Catherine attempts to chide Elizabeth for neither confirming nor denying her and Mr. Darcy’s feelings, but Elizabeth walks away soon after she begins, cutting her off.”

  1. Toilsome – The Bedford Introduction to Literature by Micheal Meyer: Indian Names by Lydia Huntley Sigourney, pg 1347

Def: adj – involving tedious work

Example: “…With toilsome step and slow,

On through the trackless desert path…”

My Example: “Victor Frankenstein spent 2 years of toilsome, methodical research/creation in order to complete the Daemon.”

  1. Perfidious – list word

Def: adj- untrustworthy; unfaithful

Example: “If someone accuses you of being perfidious, you should probably be offended.”

My Example: “Mr. Wickham is perfidious; at first he seems very polite and misunderstood, but his true colors are revealed by Mr. Darcy and confirmed by his intentions with eloping.”

  1. Vapid – list word

Def: adj – unstimulating; offering little appeal

Example: “It was nice music in the musical, but vapid comedic timing.”

My Example: “Christopher found his mother’s apartment to be vapid, as it’s very cramped and has no room for his preferred activities like gardening, stargazing, etc.”

  1. Exacerbate – list word

Def: verb – to make a situation worse

Example: “The exorbitant cost of land in urban areas only exacerbated the problem.”

My Example: “Stanley exacerbated Blanche’s mental crisis by sexually assaulting her, and manipulating his wife to send her to a mental institution.”

  1. Querulous – The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, pg 30

Def: adj – complaining; a tendency to talk too frequently, to the point of annoyance

Example: “AMANDA looks baffled, then hurt As the familiar inquisition resumes he becomes hard and impatient again. AMANDA SLIPS back into her querulous attitude towards him.”

My Example: “Gratiano is very querulous, as he’s a good talker, but is rude/crude frequently, to the point that Bassanio invites him to Belmont under the conditions of him having high self-control over his mouth.”

  • Turgid- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, pg 18

Def: adj – large; lofty in style

Example: “He tears the portières open. The upstage area is lit with a turgid smoky red glow.].”

My Example: “Because Victor Frankenstienchose large body parts to make attaching them easier, he failed to realize the turgid creature would have abnormal proportions, making them more terrifying.”

  • Unobtrusive – The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, pg 27

Def: adj – not obtrusive; undesirable/ goes unnoticed

Example: “In high school, Laura had been as unobtrusive as Jim had been astonishing.”

My Example: “Elinor is considered unobtrusive when compared to her sister Marianne, who has the more tasteful beauty and figure of the two. However, that doesn’t stop Edward from realizing she’s both beautiful and a resilient but kind personality.”

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