Study Guide

Out of the Dust Chapter 108

By Karen Hesse

Chapter 108

Thanksgiving List

  • In poetry, a catalogue is a list of items that all share something in common. That's the technique this chapter uses.
  • In this case, we're reading Billie Jo's list of things she's thankful for this Thanksgiving. You might be thinking, "That's cool and everything, but why are we stopping the story to read a list?" Whoa, Nellie—if you slow down and read it a little more carefully, you'll see that the story doesn't stop. This list lets us know that some really awesome stuff has actually gone down.
  • For one thing, the environment on a whole is way better than it was. The wind smells sweet, the grass is growing, and cattle are wading in the river; even their food isn't covered in dust anymore. Daddy has cleaned and retuned Ma's piano, and there are days when Billie Jo's hands don't hurt a bit.
  • Evidently, Billie Jo sent the picture to Lucille, the wife of the man she met on the train—and Lucille sent her a thank-you note in response.
  • The pond and the windmill are working so well that Daddy planted poppies on Ma and Franklin's grave, just like the ones that gave him hope during the war. In all, Billie Jo has a newfound sense of her home's beauty and solidness in her life.