Study Guide

Animal Dreams Chapter 14

By Barbara Kingsolver

Chapter 14

Day of the Dead

  • One of Codi's students, Rita Cardenal, is dropping out of school because she's pregnant with twins.
  • Codi is super mad about it and decides to teach sex ed to all of her classes, even though it's probably against the rules.
  • Codi doesn't care about the rules, partly because of her Billy Idol haircut, and partly because she's only hanging around in Grace for a year, anyway.
  • Hallie sends Codi a letter telling her she should fight to save Grace from the mining company, but Codi's all like, Naaah, I'm not the type.
  • Codi thinks about how everyone in Grace is about to be a refugee, since without the orchards, there won't be jobs there anymore.
  • Rita calls up Codi and tells her that when she went to see Doc about her pregnancy, he suddenly "gets all creeped and makes this major scenario" (14.37). Because that's how the kids talked back in the '80s.
  • It's pretty clear that Doc forgot where he was in time, thought Rita was Codi, and tried to talk to her about her pregnancy. But Codi doesn't see it.
  • Codi apologizes to Rita and tells her about her dad's Alzheimer's. Rita thinks Codi is going to take over as doctor when Doc dies, but Codi is like, No way.
  • Codi heads out to tell Doc he's screwing up at work. She picks up a black-and-red afghan that she and Hallie used to play with and takes it from the house.
  • Codi ends up asking Doc if he's mad that she never became a doctor. She tells him about the moment when she quit. She was delivering a baby when it started to get scary, and she lost her nerve and walked away.
  • Doc tells Codi that he loses his nerve all the time, and she starts to cry.
  • Codi says she never really wanted to be a doctor, anyway—she just thought it would be a cool thing to do.
  • Once Codi's left the house, she reads her letter from Hallie. It's scary—the contras have been sabotaging and burning up farm equipment.
  • Hallie has been giving lectures on pesticides and going on dates with a literacy teacher named Julio.
  • On Halloween, Codi goes trick-or-treating with Emelina and her boys.
  • Emelina is an awesome mom, and Codi loves being around her. Spending time with Emelina's kids is sort of like getting a second chance at growing up in Grace.
  • November 2nd is All Souls' Day, which is the town's big holiday. They all go out to decorate the graves with crazy amazing sculptures and flowers and have graveyard picnics.
  • Codi remembers that when they were little, she and Hallie got to go to the Day of the Dead celebration with Viola and J.T., but at some point Doc stopped letting them.
  • Codi and Viola talk about the dam. A lawyer says they can file a class action lawsuit against the mining company, but it'll take ten years.
  • Codi goes wandering in the graveyard, where she finds a bunch of people named "Nolina." Hey, that's a lot like her name: Noline. Then she finds one named "Homero Nolina," and things get weird.
  • Viola isn't too keen on telling her about the Nolinas, but finally she tells Codi that they used to live on the north end of town, and that they were always the outsiders in the Gracela clan.
  • One of the Gracela sisters had auburn hair. Who else do we know with auburn hair? Could it be Codi Noline perhaps? How odd.
  • Codi asks Viola why one of the gravestones has the same name as her dad, and Viola tells her she'd better ask Doc about that.

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