"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chapters 8–9

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
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definitions & notes only words
  1. incessantly
    without interruption
    I couldn't sleep all night; a fog-horn was groaning incessantly on the Sound, and I tossed half-sick between grotesque reality and savage frightening dreams.
  2. redolent
    serving to bring to mind
    There was a ripe mystery about it, a hint of bedrooms upstairs more beautiful and cool than other bedrooms, of gay and radiant activities taking place through its corridors and of romances that were not musty and laid away already in lavender but fresh and breathing and redolent of this year's shining motor cars and of dances whose flowers were scarcely withered.
  3. ravenous
    extremely hungry
    He took what he could get, ravenously and unscrupulously—eventually he took Daisy one still October night, took her because he had no real right to touch her hand.
  4. unscrupulous
    without principles
    He took what he could get, ravenously and unscrupulously—eventually he took Daisy one still October night, took her because he had no real right to touch her hand.
  5. stratum
    people having the same social or economic status
    I don't mean that he had traded on his phantom millions, but he had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was a person from much the same stratum as herself—that he was fully able to take care of her.
  6. tranquil
    not agitated
    The afternoon had made them tranquil for a while as if to give them a deep memory for the long parting the next day promised.
  7. profoundly
    to a great depth psychologically
    They had never been closer in their month of love nor communicated more profoundly one with another than when she brushed silent lips against his coat's shoulder or when he touched the end of her fingers, gently, as though she were asleep.
  8. melancholy
    characterized by or causing or expressing sadness
    Just as Daisy's house had always seemed to him more mysterious and gay than other houses so his idea of the city itself, even though she was gone from it, was pervaded with a melancholy beauty.
  9. vestibule
    a large entrance or reception room or area
    He went out to the open vestibule and sat down on a folding-chair, and the station slid away and the backs of unfamiliar buildings moved by.
  10. benediction
    a ceremonial prayer invoking divine protection
    The track curved and now it was going away from the sun which, as it sank lower, seemed to spread itself in benediction over the vanishing city where she had drawn her breath.
  11. interminable
    tiresomely long; seemingly without end
    Even when the East excited me most, even when I was most keenly aware of its superiority to the bored, sprawling, swollen towns beyond the Ohio, with their interminable inquisitions which spared only the children and the very old—even then it had always for me a quality of distortion.
  12. divot
    a piece of turf dug out of a lawn or fairway
    Usually her voice came over the wire as something fresh and cool as if a divot from a green golf links had come sailing in at the office window but this morning it seemed harsh and dry.
  13. garrulous
    full of trivial conversation
    I suppose there'd be a curious crowd around there all day with little boys searching for dark spots in the dust and some garrulous man telling over and over what had happened until it became less and less real even to him and he could tell it no longer and Myrtle Wilson's tragic achievement was
    forgotten.
  14. forlorn
    marked by or showing hopelessness
    This was a forlorn hope—he was almost sure that Wilson had no friend: there was not enough of him for his wife.
  15. pneumatic
    relating to or using air or a similar gas
    He stopped at the garage for a pneumatic mattress that had amused his guests during the summer, and the chauffeur helped him pump it up.
  16. fortuitous
    occurring by happy chance
    A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.
  17. amorphous
    having no definite form or distinct shape
    A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about...like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.
  18. protege
    a person who receives support from an influential patron
    The chauffeur—he was one of Wolfshiem's protégés—heard the shots—afterward he could only say that he hadn't thought anything much about them.
  19. adventitious
    associated by chance and not an integral part
    Someone with a positive manner, perhaps a detective, used the expression "mad man" as he bent over Wilson's body that afternoon, and the adventitious authority of his voice set the key for the newspaper reports next morning.
  20. pasquinade
    a composition that humorously imitates somebody's style
    When Michaelis's testimony at the inquest brought to light Wilson's suspicions of his wife I thought the whole tale would shortly be served up in racy pasquinade—but Catherine, who might have said anything, didn't say a word.
  21. surmise
    a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence
    From the moment I telephoned news of the catastrophe to West Egg village, every surmise about him, and every practical question, was referred to me.
  22. addendum
    textual matter that is added onto a publication
    Yours truly
    MEYER WOLFSHIEM

    and then hasty addenda beneath:

    Let me know about the funeral etc do not know his family at all.
  23. reverent
    feeling or showing profound respect or veneration
    He drew me into his office, remarking in a reverent voice that it was a sad time for all of us, and offered me a cigar.
  24. elocution
    an expert manner of speaking involving control of voice
    Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it...5.00-6.00
  25. provincial
    lacking sophistication or worldliness
    Then he went into the jewelry store to buy a pearl necklace—or perhaps only a pair of cuff buttons—rid of my provincial squeamishness forever.
  26. squeamish
    excessively fastidious and easily disgusted
    Then he went into the jewelry store to buy a pearl necklace—or perhaps only a pair of cuff buttons—rid of my provincial squeamishness forever.
  27. rasp
    a harsh, grating tone or noise
    On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight and I erased it, drawing my shoe raspingly along the stone.
  28. pander
    yield to; give satisfaction to
    Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
  29. transitory
    lasting a very short time
    Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
  30. commensurate
    corresponding in size or degree or extent
    Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

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