Study Guide

Animal Dreams Chapter 23

By Barbara Kingsolver

Chapter 23

The Souls of Beasts

  • Doc has finally realized that he's dying of Alzheimer's. He's bedbound and basically delirious, so naturally Codi tries to get in some last-minute questions about their past.
  • Doc's surprisingly coherent, and he confirms Codi's understanding of the family story.
  • Doc says that "if you change the present enough, history will bend to accommodate it" (23.36)—which is one of those things that sounds really true, but isn't.
  • Codi asks Doc to help her find the place where she buried the baby.
  • The school board sends Codi a letter telling her that she's the awesomest and asking her to stay on another year.
  • Codi goes over to Loyd's house, and they talk about the complexities of train driving for a while, then get down to what they get down to.
  • Codi tells Loyd about all her new discoveries, but she still doesn't tell him about the baby.
  • Codi reads all of Hallie's letters. In the last one, Hallie says she doesn't think she ever wants to go back to America.
  • That night, Codi dreams about the popping blindness again, but she isn't scared of it anymore, because she knows what it is.
  • Codi keeps on dreaming. She dreams that she's carrying her baby, but her baby is as old as it would have been if it had lived—seventeen years. Hallie keeps telling her to put it down.

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