Study Guide

The Yearling What's Up With the Ending?

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

What's Up With the Ending?

Get out the tissues, because Rawlings is going straight for the tear ducts with this ending:

In the beginning of his sleep, he cried out, "Flag!"

It was not his own voice that called. It was a boy's voice. Somewhere beyond the sink-hole, past the magnolia, under the live oaks, a boy and a yearling ran side by side, and were gone forever. (33.156)

Psst. Here's a little secret: Flag isn't the only young creature who dies in The Yearling. That's right: this ending suggests that Jody, too, has died—at least, the boy version. In his place is Jody-the-Man, whose childhood, a.k.a. beloved boyhood pet, is now only a memory.

Great. If this is what adulthood is like, we'll just stay right here in our parents' basement.

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