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Winter's Bone By Daniel Woodrell Essay

1287 words - 5 pages

Amy UpdegraveEnglish 106Dr. Carrie MyersMarch 19, 2014Winter's Bone, by Daniel Woodrell examines the hardships and challenges of Ree Dolly to save the family homestead located deep within the frozen hollows of the Ozark Mountains.A mentally-ill mother, and a crystal meth peddling father on the run from the law force 16 year old Ree into the roles of caregiver and head of household for her mother and two younger siblings, Sonny and Harold. A visit from the local sheriff reveals her father put up the family house and land for his bond. Should he not appear for his court date set the following week, all will be lost, driving Ree and her family to homelessness. Vowing to find her father, dead or alive, Ree encounters both close and distant relatives who vehemently deter her from her search. Despite her traumatic experiences, Ree continues to care for and teach her younger siblings how to fend for themselves and care for their mother so Ree may one day escape the intolerable living conditions of her backwoods community to join the Army. In doing so, Ree evolves into not only a sister, but a mentor as well. If Harold were to write a letter to Ree, he would be thankful for the care Ree has given him and the self-reliance she instilled in him.Dear Ree,I know you ain't wantin' me and Sonny to turn out soft and all, but I figured there'd be no reason I can't at least sit here and put it down on paper how glad I am that you've been around makin' sure our bellies have had their fill when the land and the kindness of the kinfolk across the creek have allowed for fillin'. 'Course I remember how you say, "Never. Never ask for what be offered" (Woodrell Pg.5), and I sure don't go lookin' for no handouts from anyone.I gotta tell you, Ree, for bein' a girl and all, you ain't half bad. I mean, tough as nails I'd say. When I come down the lane after school 'n see you out there next to the shed, wearin' Mamaw's old rag of a coat, just gruntin' and swingin' away at those logs to turn 'em into splits so we can keep ourselves all toasty 'n warm, it sometimes gets me feelin' bad 'bout the troubles me and Sonny give you. Like that time we had to wear stinky socks to school, remember that? Sonny started complainin', then I started complainin' with him, until I figured out complainin' ain't gonna get me fresh smellin' socks, and so I said, "They don't really stink that bad, Ree" (Pg.8). Remember that?Yeah you sure did have your hands full with us. That time me and Sonny ran out the house to catch the bus after ole' man winter wrapped his icy fingers 'round this little valley of ours. Wind was whippin' so cold I swear I had icicles hangin' from my ears! You told us to put our stocking caps on before headin' out that mornin', but we didn't listen and sure enough we were both snifflin' and coughin' by sundown. You weren't too happy 'bout that. Scoldin' us all stern and sayin', "I told the both of you to put your goddam stocking hats on, didn't I? Didn't I say that?" (Pg.16).I...

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