"Bodega Dreams," Vocabulary from Book 3

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

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. acquitted
    declared not guilty of a specific offense or crime
    And Bodega would, too, confident that Nazario would get him acquitted or at least a light sentence.
  2. reclaim
    reassert one's right or title to
    Sapo was right, Bodega was gone and his dreams had dissolved like a wafer in water; his buildings would be reclaimed by the city, which would raise our rents.
  3. betray
    deliver to an enemy by treachery
    But the neighborhood had been betrayed.
  4. humble
    marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful
    It seemed as if everyone had set aside everything and had gone to pay Bodega their humble respects and show their appreciation.
  5. offensive
    the action of attacking an enemy
    The service was held at the redbrick Methodist church on 111th Street and Lexington Avenue—the same church the Young Lords had stormed and taken over, and from which they had launched their great offensives: clothing drives, free breakfast, door-to-door clinics, free lunches; they even picked up the trash the Sanitation Department always neglected.
  6. ardent
    characterized by strong enthusiasm
    He thought Veronica was as madly in love with him as he was with her, and as ardent as he to advance the status of Puerto Ricans.
  7. attainable
    capable of being accomplished
    It was a time when hope for El Barrio seemed fertile, and love at last seemed attainable.
  8. represent
    bring forward and present to the mind
    The entire Latin continent was represented, including the thin waist of Central America and all the islands that decorated it like a string of pearls.
  9. monarch
    a nation's ruler usually by hereditary right
    Everyone was there like in some pageant for a dying monarch.
  10. scatter
    distribute loosely
    At the cemetery, the crowds gathered like moss around the plot, where a Jesuit from San Cecilia, with the sign of the cross, scattered earth over the coffin.
  11. inconsolable
    sad beyond comforting
    Nene stood there, dignified, but cried and cried, inconsolable.
  12. interminable
    tiresomely long; seemingly without end
    Afterward everyone lowered their heads for an interminable moment of silence.
  13. accomplished
    successfully completed or brought to an end
    Only by killing Willie and laying all the blame on him could that be accomplished.
  14. smirk
    smile affectedly or derisively
    He smirked as if embarrassed that he’d been caught, and then smiled lightly at the detectives and brought up his hands for them to cuff.
  15. retaliation
    action taken in return for an injury or offense
    On my way back to Spanish Harlem, I figured that it wasn’t Fischman that had set that fire in retaliation for Salazar’s death.
  16. anthem
    a song of devotion or loyalty
    Like the anthem in Bodega’s new country.
  17. evolve
    undergo development
    Our people are evolving into something completely new.
  18. mourning
    state of sorrow over the death or departure of a loved one
    Its music and people had taken off their mourning clothes.
  19. elude
    escape, either physically or mentally
    He had represented the limitless possibilities in us all by living his life, striving for those dreams that seemed to elude the neighborhood year after year.
  20. transitory
    lasting a very short time
    But in that transitory moment when at last the pearl was about to be handed to him, like Orpheus or Lot’s wife, he had to look back to find Vera.

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