Study Guide

Animal Dreams Chapter 18

By Barbara Kingsolver

Chapter 18

Ground Orientation

  • Loyd and Codi are taking a road trip to spend Christmas at Santa Rosalia Pueblo, where his mother lives.
  • Yep, this is serious. Loyd's taking Codi to meet his mom.
  • Codi has been sleeping badly, helping to make peacocks, and writing the history of Grace.
  • As they drive, Loyd tells Codi about giving up cockfighting for good. Turns out he's given the whole business over to his friend Collie Bluestone.
  • Codi is kind of alarmed. She's like, Dude, you know I'm not staying just because you gave up cockfighting for me and you're going to introduce me to your mom, right?
  • Loyd tells Codi no offense, but he gave it up because she was right, not to impress her.
  • Codi asks Loyd about his brother Leander. He tells her they were identical, that their mom and older sisters used to say they were like the mythical "war twins," and that their family also treated them as they were just one boy.
  • Codi says that she and Hallie feel that way sometimes.
  • Loyd says he doesn't usually talk about Leander.
  • Loyd changes the subject to his dog Jack and tells Codi about how the dog ended up belonging to him.
  • Loyd's dad intended to drown Jack along with the rest of the litter, but he was drunk and missed Jack by mistake.
  • Codi asks what happened to Leander, and Loyd tells her that after they left the Pueblo, Leander started getting in trouble. Then, one night, he got in a fight in a bar and died of "Puncture wounds [and] internal hemorrhage" (18.42).
  • Those are the same words that Codi used to describe the deaths of fighting cocks. In other words, Loyd gave up the cockfighting because of Leander, not because of Codi.
  • Loyd and Codi drive through the Navajo reservation, where Loyd is allowed to go, because even though he is Apache and Pueblo, not Navajo, he used to spend every summer on the Navajo lands doing farm work for his Aunt Maxine Shorty.
  • It's really beautiful here.
  • Loyd and Codi camp out in the back of his truck and get snowed on. They wake up to see "Spider Rock"—which is where Spider Woman was said to live with the war twins.
  • Codi and Loyd look at awesome petroglyphs, and then they go see another one of those crazy prehistoric villages that are cut into the cliffs.
  • Loyd asks Codi if she ever thinks about being a mother, and she almost tells him that if he liked it then he shoulda put a ring on it. But instead she's like, Yeah, sure, whatever.
  • Codi asks Loyd a question. With all his different backgrounds, what does he feels like he is? And he's like, "Pueblo," without even pausing.
  • Codi says that she's a nobody from the nothing clan, which is pretty sad.
  • Loyd shows Codi a place where he and Leander used to play as kids. It's got their handprints on it, touching on the wall.
  • Loyd also tells Codi about the clay pot he found here once and illegally gave to his mother.
  • Codi and Loyd move on the Jemez Mountains, and Loyd talks about his "noisy and short" marriage to Cissie Ramon, and about his life working orchards.
  • It turns out that Loyd's Tia (Aunt) Sonia left him a peach orchard in Grace.
  • Codi talks about her time in Crete with Carlo, and about how she felt like an outsider. Loyd says she's scared to claim anything she loves.
  • Later, Loyd takes Codi to a volcanic stream, and she joking/not joking asks him if he was ever in love with Hallie. But he can't even remember what Hallie looks like, and Codi's like, Dude, score.
  • Speaking of Hallie, Codi reads her last letter, and Hallie is maaaaaad at Codi.
  • Remember when Codi was all sad and she said he sister was like God? Not okay with Hallie. Hallie tells her that "what keeps you going isn't some fine destination, but the road you're on, and the fact that you know how to drive" (18.225). In other words, you use what you've got, and you do what you can, and that's it.
  • Codi's take on this is that Hallie is living life, while she's been sort of circling around looking for it.

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