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LIT 4930: Florida Lit and Culture


Class 17:The Yearling

    Read chapters 19-27

    DUE: Post 9 – group A, Response group B

Class Objectives:

    Analyze chapters 19-27 of the novel


Notes and Discussion Questions:

    About half way through the book, Jody gets something of his own, the fawn. How would you describe the relationship between Jody and the fawn? What is the significance for the story?

    Examine the precarious balance between life and death in these middle chapters. Penny's near-death, Fodder-wing's actual death; the death of the deer to save Penny, and the survival of the fawn.

    Chapter nineteen opens in September, with signs of bad weather. What role does "nature" or Florida weather play in the plot of human lives here?

    According to Jody, what makes a “proper tale” (277)? How do tales function in the novel?

    As the story recounts the historic rainfall, it lists the place names affected. Where are these places?

    P. 298 Jody says, "I hate things dyin'" and Penny replies, "Nothin's spared, son, if that be ary comfort to you." Unsurprisingly this does not comfort him. What does this exchange mean? How might the fawn fill a spiritual need for Jody?

    The narrator tells us that the Forresters will shoot whether or not they can use the game, whereas Penny will not shoot something unless he can use it (293). Use examples from chapters 19-21 to discuss the perspectives on hunting and farming conveyed by these two families in the novel. What does the novel seem to suggest about the morality or ethics of these approaches? How do you know?

    In chapter 22, the narrator explains that Jody “marvel[s] at the metamorphosis of live creatures in whom he had felt interest and sympathy, into cold flesh that made acceptable food” (327). Discuss this metamorphosis. What does The Yearling ultimately say about animals and animal consumption?

    Chapter 24 begins the planned extermination of wolves from the scrub. Why? How do the Forresters and Baxters differ in their approaches to this extermination? Why?

    Why does Jody find his interaction with the ferry-man’s son disconcerting?

    The narrator tells us that when Jody listened to his father talk with Boyles, “the talk filled another hunger, back of his palate, that was seldom satisfied” (385). What kinds of “hunger” are addressed in the novel? How do the characters satisfy (or not) these hungers?

    In chapter 26, Penny tells Jody that hunting Old Slewfoot is different this time. What is different about this hunting excursion and how do you know?

    The narrator says that Jody thinks of women as “breeds, like dogs . . . .two women could say the same words and the meaning would not be the same, as the bark of two dogs, one menacing and the other friendly” (413). What does this have to do with narrative point of view? What does it tell us about Jody?

    Thinking about Cresswell’s theoretical descriptions of place attachment, why does Grandma Hutto decide to move to Boston instead of rebuilding her home?


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