WORD LISTS

"Self-Made Boys" by Anna-Marie McLemore, Chapters 23–28

October 28, 2022
Based on the classic novel The Great Gatsby, this work follows the story of Nicolás Caraveo, a seventeen-year-old transgender boy who moves to New York and meets his mysterious neighbor Jay Gatsby, another transgender boy with an extravagant and decadent lifestyle.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Letters–Chapter 6, Chapters 7–14, Chapters 15–22, Chapters 23–28, Chapters 29–40
languorous
“Who else? You have some little friend at work who’s dumber and better-looking than I am? You think I’m too ugly for the society pages?” Tom’s expression was good-natured enough. It was the languorous self-deprecation of a man who’d never been too ugly, too short, too poor, for anything.
deprecate
“Who else? You have some little friend at work who’s dumber and better-looking than I am? You think I’m too ugly for the society pages?” Tom’s expression was good-natured enough. It was the languorous self-deprecation of a man who’d never been too ugly, too short, too poor, for anything.
renounce
Once and for all, renounce this man who hates everything I am and who would hate everything you are if only he knew you.
demure
But Daisy Fay kept her demure silence.
stoic
I met Gatsby’s eyes, but the stoic set to his face told me nothing.
rile
“Why do you let him rile you like that?”
apathy
Jordan had neither Tom’s cruelty, nor Daisy’s apathy, nor Gatsby’s senseless optimism.
harbinger
“We’re the awful harbingers of everyone intermarrying, Jordan, haven’t you heard?”
reverberate
Still, the questions reverberated in me. How did I not know? How did I not know you?
consensus
Both rumor and newspaper print debated where Jordan was from, without clear consensus.
dissuade
She was raised in Boston, where Massachusetts cold dissuaded her neither from the golf course nor from going out dancing.
elude
She might stay away so long that the name Fleurs-des-Bois would elude her memory, the town she grew up in as vague and distant as the name of an old friend she hadn’t seen in years.
brooding
“Is this what all the young men do these days?” Martha Wolf called from the driver’s seat. “Go on long, brooding walks in a downpour?”
curator
Martha could tell even from the scent whether a bottle had been faked, sure as a museum curator could tell a forged painting.
incorrigible
How much of her family knew; if she even knew for sure how much of her family knew, or had guessed. If they saw her as fashionable in her tailored jackets, her lipsticks brighter than the deep Bordeaux of the typical shade, and thought she was some incorrigible daughter, just a different variety than the ones in beaded dresses and pink side lacers.
curt
His firm grip on me, the curt way he’d patted his hand twice against my back, the hold that was more strong than intimate.
pique
I’m absolutely furious at Tom and his little fit of pique.
exhortation
He stands outside my bedroom door with his exhortations. “Oh, come on, Daisy."
placate
But I refuse to be placated about how he's treated you.
spiteful
It will be such work teaching Tom not to be so spiteful.
deplorable
But I'm glad his deplorable behavior at least had the welcome benefit of throwing you and Jay together.
impulsive
Guests put on bathing costumes for the beach, but the pool always seemed to be a more impulsive decision. They jumped in wearing gowns and fine suits.
tulle
As I surfaced, the blue brightened, the sun pleating into layers as delicate as tulle.
chignon
I know it's too curly and full for a French bob. But there are such neat little tricks. If I put my hair in a chignon, I can style the pieces in the front to give that same sort of look.
silo
“Where I’m from, we tell directions by barns.”
“You mean, ‘take the road after the third silo,’ ‘turn after two red barns and a green one,’ that kind of thing?”
self-effacing
With a hand to his chin, he gave a self-effacing laugh.
iteration
Like the iterations of a fractal, I understood how Gatsby could wear such a haunted expression at his parties and still want to have them.
incompatible
He was now a version of himself so utterly incompatible with North Dakota dust and blood-tainted mud that he might think of these things as belonging to someone else.
seethe
The whole train home, I thought of these men’s reckless optimism, and I seethed against it.
idealism
How could I condemn the idealism of men on Wall Street and yet think so highly of Gatsby’s infinite romantic faith?
partial
Everyone is partial to their own reasons for despising other people.
dauntless
But there was no judging their dauntless cheer without judging Gatsby’s.
upstanding
“It doesn’t make you look innocent to accuse an upstanding man,” he said.
ermine
Men in top hats and bowlers who thought any land ribboned with silver ore belonged to them. Women in emerald green and ermine.
naive
Her smile was fond and pitying, and I despised myself for being both cynical and naïve.

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