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The Yearling Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Introduction Background Discussion Starters. The Yearling Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The Yearling: Introduction. Life is hard for the Baxter family. . The Yearling: Introduction. The family’s Florida farm endures . a five-hundred-pound prowling bear.

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The YearlingMarjorie Kinnan Rawlings



Discussion Starters

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The YearlingMarjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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The Yearling: Introduction

Life is hard for the Baxter family.

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The Yearling: Introduction

The family’s Florida farm endures

a five-hundred-pound prowling bear

crop-damaging floods

rowdy neighbors and stolen pigs

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The Yearling: Introduction

The woods and swamps are filled with





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The Yearling: Introduction

But, for twelve-year-old Jody, life is easy and carefree. His father, Penny, encourages his daydreaming.

He believes boys should be free to enjoy childhood.

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The Yearling: Introduction

But life can be lonely in the remote forest where Jody lives. The nearest neighbors are miles away.

Jody thinks a pet will make him happy.

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The Yearling: Introduction

One day a giant bear kills the family’s female hog.

And then all of the farm’s pigs disappear.

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The Yearling: Introduction

Jody and his father are searching for the missing pigs, when his father is bitten by a rattlesnake.

Penny saves himself by killing a deer and using its organs to draw out the poison.

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The Yearling: Introduction

When they realize the deer has left a fawn…

…Jody thinks it will be the perfect pet.

But can a wild animal survive for long in the human world?

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The Yearling: Background

Like her characters in The Yearling, writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings lived an isolated life.

She felt she could succeed as a writer only by submerging herself in the lives of her characters.

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The Yearling: Background

Research for her novels took her on trips—even bear hunts—to the scrub country of inland Florida.

Rawlings lived with a family in the remote wilderness to experience life’s daily struggle.

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The Yearling: Background

Rawlings worked diligently to capture the unique language of the scrub country.

hit’s = it’s

allus = always

kin = can

Her characters speak with a distinct vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar.

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The Yearling: Background

The Yearling’s Baxter family lives on Baxter Island—a clearing of pines surrounded by a river and marshes.

It is an isolated existence.

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The Yearling: Background

The family lives hand-to-mouth.

Survival depends on hunting.

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The Yearling: Background

Learning to hunt successfully was a rite of passage for boys in the backwoods of 1800s America.

Joining a circle of hunters often signified the transition from boy to man.

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The Yearling: Background

In the course of a year, we watch Jody Baxter grow from a carefree boy to a responsible young man.

Like many boys in those days, he learns his family needs his help to survive life’s struggles.

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The Yearling: Discussion Starters

  • Discuss (1)

  • Jody is an only child who longs for companionship. His friend Fodder-wing is surrounded by six noisy brothers.

  • What do you think are the benefits and disadvantages of each type of family life?

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The Yearling: Discussion Starters

  • Discuss (2)

  • Jody dreams of having a pet. His preferences include a raccoon, a bear cub, and a fawn.

  • What kind of animal would you prefer if you lived in an area as remote and risky as the Florida scrub country of the 1870s? Why?

  • What kind of animal do you think would make a good pet where you live today? Why?