The Yearling (N225)
The Yearling (N225)
Jody Baxter, his father, Penny, and his mother, Ora, live on an island of high, good land surrounded by the Florida scrub. It is a meager existence, often filled with hardship, but the Baxters get by on what they have. Jody and his father have a special relationship, sharing a common love of nature and the simple pleasures of life. Penny is indulgent, allowing Jody to ?kick up his heels? while he can. ?The day?ll come,? Penny thinks, ?he?ll not even care to.?
In contrast to the quiet, peaceful lives of the Baxters, their nearest neighbors, the Forresters, are loud, argumentative, and prone to being troublemakers. Jody finds their zest for life and their free and easy ways appealing. But relations between the Baxters and the Forresters are strained when Penny and Jody intervene in a fight between Lem Forrester and Oliver Hutto, a friend of the family.
When the Baxters? hogs are missing, Penny and Jody venture into the scrub to search for them, suspecting that the Forresters are responsible. On the hunt Penny is bitten by a rattlesnake and nearly dies. While he is recovering from the snakebite, Penny allows Jody to take in a motherless fawn and raise it as a pet. Ora protests, but concedes to Penny. Jody names the fawn Flag, and the deer becomes Jody?s constant companion. Flag also becomes a main source of joy for Jody when hardship strikes. A long storm floods the scrub, killing much of the wildlife and destroying the Baxter?s crops. The animals that don?t die from the flood are soon taken by a plague. As a result, hungry wolves prowl the scrub and kill the Baxter?s heifer calf.
Jody and Penny team up with the Forresters to rid the scrub of the menace of the wolves. During a successful hunt, the party comes upon a group of bear cubs. Thinking quickly, Penny arranges that the cubs be captured live and sold. The money from the resulting sale, and the birth of a new heifer calf, promise a joyful Christmas for the family. The Baxters make plans to go to Volusia for a community Christmas celebration and stay with the Huttos.
But disaster strikes once again. Old Slewfoot, a marauding black bear, returns to the Baxter farm and kills the new calf. Penny becomes obsessed with killing the bear. Penny and Jody, caught up in the hunt, almost miss the celebration, and arrive in Volusia on Christmas Eve. But the celebration at Volusia turns to horror when the Forresters seek revenge on Oliver Hutto. The rift between the Baxters and the Forresters widens.
In the spring, during planting, Penny strains himself removing a stump. He is bedridden, and Jody must take over much of the work. But Flag, now nearly grown, begins eating the young green shoots as fast as they appear. Jody tries in vain to keep the deer from the crops, but Penny recognizes what must be done if the family is to have any crops at all in the coming year. It is then that Jody feels betrayed by his father. However, as things do not improve, Jody sees what he has to do.
The Yearling is a story about a special relationship between a father and a son, covering a year in the life of an adolescent who is ?betwixt and between,? no longer a boy, but not yet a man.
#411 The Scarlet Letter
?. . . in the view of Infinite Purity, we are sinners all alike . . .
the holiest among us has but attained so far above his fellows
as to discern more clearly the Mercy which looks down,
and repudiate the phantom of human merit
which would look aspiringly upward.?
The Scarlet Letter is set in the Massachusetts Bay Colony sometime between 1640 and 1650. Hester Prynne has traveled alone to America to prepare a home for herself and her husband. In her husband?s long absence Hester commits adultery and gives birth to a child. In accordance with the town?s strict biblical law, Hester is punished, though leniently for that time in the colony. She is sentenced to stand for several hours on the town?s scaffold exposed to public shame and to wear a scarlet ?A? for the rest of her life. Hester?s partner in sin, a prominent member of the community, remains silent about his own guilt, and Hester refuses to reveal his identity.
Meanwhile, Hester?s long-absent husband, Roger Chillingworth, returns on the very day Hester must endure her public humiliation. He decides to remain silent concerning his own identity but determines to seek revenge on Hester?s lover. He discovers the guilt-ridden man?s identity, and by posing as a physician draws close to his victim and undermines the man?s health and will to live. The Scarlet Letter examines the web of interaction between these characters and the themes of guilt, perception, and redemption.
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