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The Yearling Book Report

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The Yearling Book Report

By: Rose M. Sulik

In The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the author portrays the experiences of life in the backwoods of Florida in the late 1800s. Here, life is simple, but survival is difficult. The roaming wildlife and lush landscape provide many adventures for a young boy, such as Jody Baxter. Along with the adventures, there are responsibilities. The novel illustrates how Jody’s sense of responsibility helps him to resolve his conflict between meeting his own need to raise the fawn, and meeting his family’s need for survival.

Raising his pet fawn contributed largely to Jody’s enjoyable childhood. As the only living child of Jody’s parents, Jody was isolated. After losing six kids, his mother, Ora, had become unapproachable and was always serious and not fun. Because of his father, Penny, was always out maintaining the survival of the family, he was also too busy to play. Physically and mentally, this left the boy lonely. Jody had always felt jealous of his friends because they all had a large collection of pets. He always wanted one for his own, but his mother declared no because it would only mean there would have to be another mouth to feed and there wasn’t even enough food as it was for just themselves, let alone a pet. When hunting one day, Penny gets bit by a rattlesnake, and to get the poison out to save his father, Jody needs to kill a doe to retrieve two of her organs. This leaves the killed doe’s fawn behind. It filled the empty spot in Jody’s heart when his parents gave in and let him set out to find the fawn and keep him. After losing his dear friend, Fodder-Wing, after he died, the fawn is named ‘Flag’, and he becomes Jody’s new best friend. Flag gives Jody a new friend and practically a new life. Flag tagged along with Jody everywhere, and like any other pet, he depended on Jody. The fawn would give Jody his appreciation by following him and brushing against him yearningly, and this would give Jody the feeling that he was being needed, and loved. Jody adored the opportunity to have Flag with him, and part of their moments being with each other became a few of his most enjoyable and unforgettable moments in his childhood.    

Survival in the backwoods of Florida is difficult, and Jody must work with his parents for this purpose. There are continuous problems during the tough times that the Baxter’s are coming to, and everything they own has to be guarded because it is getting stolen. It all comes down to when someone steals the pigs, and Jody and his father have to go out to look for them, and Penny gets bit by the rattlesnake. When Jody kills the doe to use its organs to withdraw out the poison, Jody comes to his senses and finally understands that no matter how unfair life and death is, it’s making sure that the need to survival is understood. Jody is commanded many chores like, plowing and harvesting the field for crops and other farm plants, help hunt with Penny to provide meat, help his mother to prepare dinner, and help split wood to help his family with survival. When Penny is injured and sick in bed, Jody must help out even more especially when Flag is destroying the crop. It was tough in the backwoods of Florida when it came to survival. It was all lessons for Jody as a kid of what he would manage as a man. He needed to handle this as well, however, it was pesky.



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(2016, 12). The Yearling Book Report. Retrieved 12, 2016, from

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