Throughout Out of the Dust, Billie Jo experiences new growth in her life. This new growth is clear when looking at what she learns and how she changes. Her relationship with her father improves, she learns to accept new people and what they have to offer, she learns to be happy, and she learns that you can’t run away from your problems.
When the novel begins, Billie Jo and her father are distant. Their relationship gets even worse after the accident when Ma isn’t there to connect them. “I don’t know my father anymore,” Billie Jo says, “I am awkward with him.” (p. 76) However, after Billie Jo runs away and meets the man on the train, she realizes just how important family is and that her and her father need to be together while they get over Ma’s death. She recognizes this, and thinks, “My father stayed rooted, even with my tests and my temper, even with the double sorrow of his grief and my own, he had kept a home until I broke it.” (p. 202) This is when Billie Jo understands that her father has loved her all along, and that she belongs with him.
After she returns home and meets her father again, Billie Jo “call(s) him Daddy for the first time since Ma died.” (p. 205) They walk together and she talks to him. The quote “As we walk together, side by side, in the swell of dust, I am forgiving him, step by step,” shows how their relationship has strengthened. They are finally walking together, as a family. Eventually, Daddy is able to speak to Billie Jo about something personal to him as Billie Jo looks through her boxes. He tells her about when he was a boy, and how he always wanted to run away. Billie Jo realizes at that moment that they have much in common, and they have grown into a better relationship with each other.
Another way Billie Jo grows is that she learns to accept other people into her life, and take what they have to offer. Billie Jo isn’t sure at first if she should let Mad Dog into her life. She is angry when he knows something that she...