Salvage the bones discussion questions answers

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salvage the bones discussion questions answers

Literary Fiction by People of Color - book discussions: Discussion: Salvage The Bones Showing 1-50 of 186

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Writer Jesmyn Ward reflects on survival since Katrina


Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides. Close to Home. Ward was home when the storm made landfall; she and her family were not aware that the storm was a Category 5 until the night before it hit. Which guides should we add? Request one!

February 15, 2012

Esch invokes the myth of Medea and Jason throughout the novel not only because it figures heavily in the book she's reading, but also because it offers a framework through which she can make sense of her relationship with Manny. Like Jason, Manny is fated to betray his lover, and like Medea, Esch will seek revenge by confronting and harming her lover; she also uses motifs like water to process her own pregnancy and its relationship to the coming storm. Departing with the legend of Medea, however, Esch will ultimately accept her lover's infidelity and rise above it, accepting help from loved ones around her. In many ways, Esch emerges as the victor of the conflict between her and Manny, because whereas he is cowardly and immature in avoiding the responsibility that accompanies his infidelity, Esch resists disrupting his life for sheer revenge, proving that she is too mature for the kind of dramatic and petty acts like storms and bloodshed, for example that define Greek mythology. Clairvoyance and prediction play a huge role in the novel. At the start of the novel, both Skeetah and Daddy are the designated prophets of doom, as Daddy warns his children of the hurricane and Skeetah continually notices the foreboding tone surrounding the Pit. Often, Esch actually imbues her inanimate environment with the supernatural power of vision; for example when she describes Mama Lizbeth and Papa Joseph's house as a "blind house with closed eyes" 71 , she is hyper-attuned with who can see and who cannot.

A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn't show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn't much to save. Lately, Esch can't keep down what food she gets; she's fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull's new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child's play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that make up the novel's framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family-motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce-pulls itself up to face another day. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.

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