04GoldaD's Reviews > The Yearling

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
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Oct 28, 11

Read in October, 2011

I read The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings for Honors English. It is 400 pages and it's set in Florida in 1938. It is told in third person limited, past tense. I thought it was way too long and sometimes boring, so I rated it 2 stars.
The main characters are Jody, a young boy who loves to hunt. His father, Penny Baxter and his mother, Ma Baxter. Fodder-wing is Jody's best friend and Flag is Jody's beloved pet fawn.
Jody lives in the woods a few miles from other houses or buildings. They live closest to the Forresters, who are a lively and riled family. Jody's best friend is Fodder-wing Forrester, and he loves showing Jody his new pets and what he has named them. Penny is hard working and strong, but has a rather small frame, like Jody. They work hard to plant and fetch water and Ma Baxter works hard cooking and sewing. One day while hunting Jody and Penny shoot a deer and come across the deer's baby fawn. Jody begs to keep it as a pet. Fodder-wing suddenly dies, but not before naming the little fawn Flag. Jody loves Flag and takes care of him, but Flag starts to eat the crops and damage other things. After his Ma tries to shoot him and misses, Jody is forced to shoot him himself to put Flag out of his misery. His Pa becomes sick and Jody does a lot of the hard work. Jody becomes a man and his father lives.
I liked how detailed it was in some parts. "Somewhere beyond the sink-hole, past the magnolia, under the live oaks, a boy and a yearling ran side by side and were gone forever." I also liked this line, "Wild honey bees hummed in the small lacelike flowers of the St. Augustine grapes."
I didn't like the more gruesome parts when they were hunting. Like "Flag quivered a moment, then lay still." Or "Laid here open, end to end, and only ate a mouthful."
One theme of this story is Humans can create strong bonds with animals. The intended audience is teenagers and older. The main issue in the book is Jody keeping Flag safe and making sure there's enough to eat. This book is different than any others because it uses heavy slang and very old-fashioned. Although I liked parts of this book, I would NOT recommend it. There are so many other better books out there!
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