Study Guide

The Yearling Tough-o-Meter

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Tough-o-Meter

(3) Base Camp

The actual plot of The Yearling is pretty simple. What nudges this book up into the tree line is that digging through the layers of country dialogue and detailed descriptions can get just a little tough. First of all, whenever anybody speaks—which is pretty often—you get to decipher gems like this: "She'd rare worse'n if I had me a varmint" (12.68). Huh?

And secondly, it's like a botany class up in here, what with all the names of plants getting thrown around in the descriptions: "The tar-flower was in bloom, and fetter-bush and sparkleberry" (1.7). Have you ever seen a fetter-bush? 'Nuff said.

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