WORD LISTS

"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chapters 4–5

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
repute
In addition to all these I can remember that Faustina O'Brien came
there at least once...and Miss Claudia Hip with a man reputed to be her
chauffeur, and a prince of something whom we called Duke and whose name, if I ever knew it, I have forgotten.
resourceful
He was balancing himself on the dashboard of his car with that resourcefulness of movement that is so peculiarly American—that comes, I suppose, with the absence of lifting work or rigid sitting in youth and, even more, with the formless grace of our nervous, sporadic games.
punctilious
This quality was continually breaking through his punctilious manner in the shape of restlessness.
proprietor
So my first impression, that he was a person of some undefined consequence, had gradually faded and he had become simply the proprietor of an elaborate roadhouse next door.
retribution
His right hand suddenly ordered divine retribution to stand by.
threadbare
The very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned "character" leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued a tiger through the Bois de Boulogne.
valor
"Major Jay Gatsby", I read, "For Valour Extraordinary".
gilt
We passed Port Roosevelt, where there was a glimpse of red-belted ocean-going ships, and sped along a cobbled slum lined with the dark, undeserted saloons of the faded gilt nineteen-hundreds.
obscure
In a well-fanned Forty-second Street cellar I met Gatsby for lunch. Blinking away the brightness of the street outside my eyes picked him out obscurely in the anteroom, talking to another man.
denizen
"This is one of his sentimental days. He's quite a character around New York—a denizen of Broadway."
engrossed
They were so engrossed in each other that she didn't see me until I was five feet away.
aspire
Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night.
dispense
He had waited five years and bought a mansion where he dispensed starlight to casual moths so that he could "come over" some afternoon to a stranger's garden.
heady
A phrase began to beat in my ears with a sort of heady excitement: "There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired."
rout
At first I thought it was another party, a wild rout that had resolved itself into "hide-and-go-seek" or "sardines-in-the-box" with all the house thrown open to the game.
suppressed
He waited, looking at me with suppressed eagerness.
tactless
But, because the offer was obviously and tactlessly for a service to be rendered, I had no choice except to cut him off there.
defunct
His head leaned back so far that it rested against the face of a defunct mantelpiece clock and from this position his distraught eyes stared down at Daisy who was sitting frightened but graceful on the edge of a stiff chair.
abortive
His eyes glanced momentarily at me and his lips parted with an abortive attempt at a laugh.
conscientious
Gatsby got himself into a shadow and while Daisy and I talked looked conscientiously from one to the other of us with tense unhappy eyes.
incredulous
"She's embarrassed?" he repeated incredulously.
serf
Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.
vestige
They were sitting at either end of the couch looking at each other as if some question had been asked or was in the air, and every vestige of embarrassment was gone.
confound
But there was a change in Gatsby that was simply confounding.
exultation
He literally glowed; without a word or a gesture of exultation a new well-being radiated from him and filled the little room.
defiantly
There was a small picture of Gatsby, also in yachting costume, on the bureau—Gatsby with his head thrown back defiantly—taken apparently when he was about eighteen.
pompadour
"The pompadour! You never told me you had a pompadour—or a yacht."
nebulous
He was now decently clothed in a "sport shirt" open at the neck, sneakers and duck trousers of a nebulous hue.
vitality
There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams—not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion.
fluctuating
Daisy's "fluctuating" voice mirrors her fickle affections, in contrast to Gatsby's single-minded devotion.
I think that voice held him most with its fluctuating, feverish warmth because it couldn't be over-dreamed—that voice was a deathless song.

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