WORD LISTS

"Bodega Dreams," Vocabulary from Book 1

November 6, 2013
The conflicting notions of staying true to your cultural heritage or embracing assimilation are examined in Ernesto Quiñonez's "Bodega Dreams".

Learn these word lists for the novel: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3
rely
And I wanted to be able to do that, to rely on myself for my own happiness.
deny
His eyes bulged in their sockets and when he laughed there was no denying the resemblance.
tenement
After a few months, the City of New York would send a crane with a ball and chain to wreck the gutted tenements.
delinquent
To the white teachers we were all going to end up delinquents.
emigrate
The whole time I was at Julia de Burgos, I had no idea the school was named after Puerto Rico’s greatest poet, had no idea Julia de Burgos had emigrated to New York City and lived in poverty while she wrote beautiful verses.
immigrate
Most of them were young, the sons and daughters of the first wave of Puerto Ricans who immigrated to El Barrio in the late forties and the fifties.
convert
Her face could envelop you, almost convert you.
exude
Nancy exuded a purity rarely found among the church girls.
genuine
She was as genuine as a statue of a saint you want to light candles to, steal flowers for, or pray in front of.
clique
I knew that if I went to Sapo and said some guys wanted to jump me, he’d round up a crew for me, a clique from 112th and Lex or from another block.
malcontent
The Futurists had been a malcontent group of artists at the beginning of the century who loved speed and thought war was good, the “hygiene of humanity.”
palpable
And for a small while, those dreams seemed as palpable as that dagger Macbeth tried to grab.
supernova
And when that short-lived light went supernova, it would leave a blueprint of achievement and desire for anyone in the neighborhood searching for new possibilities.
prefer
I would have preferred to have waited a year or two after we graduated, but it didn’t work out that way.
privilege
I remember how cool you thought it was that you were singled out and had this special privilege.
mundane
When I asked her to marry me, her pastor, Miguel Vasquez, had warned her that if she married me—a worldly person, a mundane—she’d lose the privilege of playing the tambourine in front of the congregation.
dignity
And in obtaining it, he took shortcuts and broke some laws, leaving crumbs along the way in hopes of one day turning around and finding his way back to dignity.
tolerate
It was something Sapo had to tolerate, a clause he had to accept if he was going to work for Bodega.
ghetto
South Bronx, South Central, South Chicago, Overtown down in Miami, they’re all the same bastard ghetto.
ingenuity
They said we had no ingenuity because we were Puerto Ricans.
ambush
So one day we all put on our Sunday best and ambushed Gracie Mansion.
charisma
And Mayor Lindsay, the biggest fraud this fucken city has ever known, but with enough charisma to charm Hitler, sent his fucken city officials and his police goons after us.
humanitarian
I run the most humanitarian housing management company in New York City.
compel
“I’m only half Rican, my father is from Ecuador,” I felt compelled to tell Bodega.
leprosy
And, Chino, don’t talk to me cuz you got leprosy, ma man.
goodwill
I could picture Bodega in an Armani suit, all legal and respectable, his renovated buildings in the background, his name no longer Bodega but something else, something politicians want on their side, a commodity of goodwill.
intention
You know me, I’m just a soul whose intentions are good.
engulf
Sapo finished his flan real quick, his big Sapo mouth engulfing every spoonful.
depict
On the walls were cheap religious pictures depicting the Devil being slain by the angel Michael.
desperation
It was a place that knew hunger and desperation.
subsidize
On the Upper East Side an apartment facing the East River would be priceless, but this is Spanish Harlem, where most rents are subsidized by Section Eight.
panoramic
Regardless, the panoramic scenes are the same from any neighborhood: red-orange sunrises, blue-black moonlit nights.
remorse
Her face seemed less angry and I thought I even detected some remorse.
reluctant
I knew he was reluctant to pull his hand away from his stomach, but he agreed, nodding his head and grimacing in pain.
summon
“Metropolitan Hospital,” I said to the driver, but Victor summoned a bit of reserve energy.
persecute
“This girl,” I asked, “is she from some country where they persecute Pentecostals or something?”
fidelity
Blanca laughed and then preached to Negra about fidelity, which meant Negra was thinking of getting back at Victor in yet another way.
earnest
As she spoke with Negra, I listened to her sweet, earnest voice in the darkness of the bedroom and I felt happy.
beckon
Nazario beckoned with his hand for Bodega to join him so they could talk in private.
maraca
That was okay, because it was a hot spring night and El Barrio had turned into a maraca and all the people had come out transformed as seeds.
clarity
Once I’d done that, I could continue my life with Blanca in total clarity.
segregated
There were racially segregated tenements that never rented to blacks or Latinos.
manifesto
They wrote up a manifesto called the “Thirteen Point Program and Platform.”
conviction
She liked his ideas, his conviction, his optimism.
poignant
The wood was old and the paint was cracking, giving the Nativity scene a poignant look of absolute poverty.

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Wednesday November 13th 2013, 1:17 PM
Comment by: lola S. (Spain)
OH MY GOD
Tuesday November 19th 2013, 10:06 PM
Comment by: jt (Greece)
THANK YOU

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