This book is a classic. It opens with Jody leaving a log cabin to hoe in the corn field. A huge bear named Slewfoot kills the Baxter family sow. Old Julia, the family hound is badly wounded and the bear escapes into the wild.
The scenery depicts man as one with nature. Jody comes from a traditional society where he experiences great outdoor living. Penny discusses the bear hunt and the character Lem trades a New England gun to Penny in exchange for a feist. Before dawn, a fox enters the house after having been chased by a dog. After the morning breakfast, Buck Forrester rides Jody home by horse.
Jody returned home from the Forrester's home to find out that Penny killed a deer. Jody and Penny headed to the sinkhole to chat. Next day, they hunted deer and traded for supplies. The Baxter's major concern was deer-hunting for survival.
The sinkhole reminds us further of the survival motif. Jody falls ill and is not certain whether or not the culprit is the brierberry. Jody shoots a deer on a fishing trip. Grandma Hotto is a stock character with a jovial personality. Penny teases Jody about liking Eulalie Boyles- a neighbor. When Eulalie sticks her tongue out at Jody, he throws a potato at her. Oliver and Lem fight over a girl named Twink. Jody awakens sore after a fight. Oliver loses the fight and Penny is proud of Jody's valiant participation . Jody bids goodbye to Oliver and returns home to find the hogs missing.
Penny is bitten by a rattlesnake. Buck stays with the Baxter's until Penny recovers. He tells Jody that Fodderwing has died. Another part of Jody's initiation into adulthood is seeing two bears fighting over a female bear. The Baxters enjoy much and persevere through heavy rains. Slewfoot kills a hog and the family decides to kill all of the hogs for the winter food.
The Forresters, Penny and Jody hunt. They kill 2 deer, bears and capture 10 cubs. Next the Baxters go to Volusia to visit Grandma Hutto. The book has survival of the fittest themes; whereby, bigger animals kill the smaller ones. Jody is the only surviving child of the Baxter family.
The theme of the book concerns a family's struggle to survive and thrive in the wilderness. Survival of the fittest rules. People must kill animals to survive. Wild animals threaten the homes of families routinely. Overall, the work is a good read for young people. It is written in an easy conversational style of writing. This work is assigned in middle school or high school as required reading.
In past reviews, people have speculated that if The Yearling were to have been published in today's times, would it still have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature. For me, I would have to say that that would be a resounding yes. I say so because the novel captures, with vivid simplicity, a bygone American era via the stark usage of the literaty resources available to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings at the time, quite simply, the values, environment and language which surrounded her. Being … more