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Out Of The Dust

Essay by   •  March 7, 2011  •  326 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,684 Views

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The main charter in the novel Out of the Dust, by Karen Heese is 14-year-old Billie Jo Kelby, who lives with her family in the gritty farmlands of Oklahoma. The family struggles to enlarge and continue living from the drought-stricken farm. During the story, she had to face many heart-wrenching problems that no child should face while growing up. One of Billie Jo's activities that comfort her was playing her mother's piano. Billie Jo's mother, Polly, was pregnant. Although everyone in the family looked forward to the birth, none was more anxious than Billie Jo's father, Bayard Kelby, who hopes this birth, will finally give him the son he has been waiting for. Late in the pregnancy, an accident occurs. Billie Jo's father carelessly leaves a bucket of kerosene near the fireplace. During the preparation of a meal, the bucket bursts into flames. Billie Jo's mother rushes outside the house to escape the fire. Billie Jo, unaware that her mother has turned to come back into the house, flings the burning kerosene outside, covering her mother with the burning fuel. Horrified, Billie Jo futilely attempts to smother the flames with her bare hands, badly burning herself in the process. Her mother's injuries weren't that bad but just a few days later, she dies while giving birth. The newborn, Franklin, also dies soon after. Pa and Billie Jo both blame each other for Ma's death. The two do not speak for the majority of the book. At the end of the book Billie Jo runs away. While on a train, she meets a man who teaches her that family is more important than anything. After this encounter, Billie Jo goes back home to her father and they finally speak again. Billie Jo then continued her life with her father by her side. They made it through without a loving mother and wife. Billie Jo showed a lot of great strength throughout the period of the book.

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