WORD LISTS

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chapter 1

April 10, 2013
Nick Carraway rents a summer house in Long Island where he befriends his mysterious neighbor Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire who hides behind an extravagant and decadent lifestyle.

Here are links to all our word lists for the novel: Chapter 1, Chapters 2–3, Chapters 4–5, Chapters 6–7, Chapters 8–9
reserved
He didn't say any more but we've always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that.
privy
The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men.
feign
Most of the confidences were unsought—frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon—for the intimate revelations of young men or at least the terms in which they express them are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions.
levity
Most of the confidences were unsought—frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon—for the intimate revelations of young men or at least the terms in which they express them are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions.
tolerance
And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit.
riotous
When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the
world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I
wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the
human heart.
scorn
Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction—Gatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn.
elation
No—Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
solemn
I was rather literary in college—one year I wrote a series of very solemn and obvious editorials for the "Yale News"—and now I was going to bring back all such things into my life and become again that most limited of all specialists, the "well-rounded man."
epigram
This isn't just an epigram—life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all.
reproach
His family were enormously wealthy—even in college his freedom with money was a matter for reproach—but now he'd left Chicago and come east in a fashion that rather took your breath away: for instance he'd brought down a string of polo ponies from Lake Forest.
supercilious
Now he was a sturdy, straw haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner.
fractious
His speaking voice, a gruff husky tenor, added to the impression of fractiousness he conveyed.
wistful
We were in the same Senior Society, and while we were never intimate I always had the impression that he approved of me and wanted me to like him with some harsh, defiant wistfulness of his own.
reciprocal
Her grey sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming discontented face.
wan
Her grey sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming discontented face.
compel
Before I could reply that he was my neighbor dinner was announced; wedging his tense arm imperatively under mine Tom Buchanan compelled me from the room as though he were moving a checker to another square.
unobtrusive
Sometimes she and Miss Baker talked at once, unobtrusively and with a bantering inconsequence that was never quite chatter, that was as cool as their white dresses and their impersonal eyes in the absence of all desire.
complacency
There was something pathetic in his concentration as if his complacency, more acute than of old, was not enough to him any more.
extemporize
She was only extemporizing but a stirring warmth flowed from her as if her heart was trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words.
subdued
A subdued impassioned murmur was audible in the room beyond and Miss Baker leaned forward, unashamed, trying to hear.
hardy
I couldn't guess what Daisy and Tom were thinking but I doubt if even Miss Baker who seemed to have mastered a certain hardy skepticism was able utterly to put this fifth guest's shrill metallic urgency out of mind.
turbulent
I saw that turbulent emotions possessed her, so I asked what I thought would be some sedative questions about her little girl.
sedative
I saw that turbulent emotions possessed her, so I asked what I thought would be some sedative questions about her little girl.
contemptuous
I knew now why her face was familiar—its pleasing contemptuous expression had looked out at me from many rotogravure pictures of the sporting life at Asheville and Hot Springs and Palm Beach.
anon
"I will. Good night, Mr. Carraway. See you anon."
libel
Nick uses the word libel here to be funny and to emphasize that he is not ready for marriage.
"That's right," corroborated Tom kindly. "We heard that you were engaged."
"It's libel."
peremptory
Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no longer nourished his peremptory heart.
bellows
The wind had blown off, leaving a loud bright night with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life.
intimation
Nick's descriptions show how observant he is—not only does he pick up on "intimations," he also sees things that are almost "imperceptible," hears murmurs that have been "subdued," and often tries to guess what others are thinking and feeling.
But I didn't call to him for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone—he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling.

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Wednesday April 6th 2016, 9:22 PM
Comment by: Steven Smocer (NY)
Awful and annoying.
Tuesday April 12th 2016, 8:52 PM
Comment by: Carmelo M. (NY)
it takes way to long never ends
Thursday April 14th 2016, 3:35 PM
Comment by: Joshua M. (WA)
"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine" Obi-wan Kenobi
Wednesday April 27th 2016, 3:41 PM
Comment by: Alec Y. (TX)
"Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda
Thursday May 5th 2016, 6:19 PM
Comment by: Jessica M. (TX)
I am probably the only one who thinks this is fun...

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