Study Guide

The Yearling Genre

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings


Young Adult Literature; Coming of Age; Family Drama

Young Adult Lit

What book could be more perfect for young adults than one about a kid becoming a young adult? Um, how about a book about a kid becoming a young adult, and a little fawn becoming a yearling? Yeah, that'd be great.

Coming of Age

If someone asked you what The Yearling was about, you might say something like, "Why, sir, it's about a boy and a fawn growing up together."

See? The whole thing is focused on Jody and Flag's coming of age. Even the title is trying to tell us how important that is to the story: "Psst! Hey, you! It's me, the title! Look at me! I'm a word for a deer on his way to becoming a full-fledged buck, but I can also be used to refer to a young person stepping into adulthood! Oh—and wanna buy a watch? They're real Rolex, I promise!"

Family Drama

Based on the family drama it contains, we're pretty sure that The Yearling could be made into a soap opera—an emotionally-scarred mother withholding affection from her only son, a father who loves him desperately, and the son himself, who runs away from home, only to return a changed man. Throw in some amnesia and a few unexplained pregnancies, and you've got yourself a pretty good daytime show!

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