Study Guide

The Yearling Tone

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Tone

Nature-Loving; Homey

What a Wonderful World

Nature is a big deal for the Baxters—in fact, it pretty much determines their day-to-day life, and even their survival. So it's no wonder that the narrator spends a lot of time describing nature, even after destructive events. When the storm passes, we still see how "the black-jacks flamed, the scrub oaks glistened. The fragrance of the purple deer-tongue filled the road" (24.113). And even when Jody is starving and in a daze after running away, we hear: "An early magnolia blossom was wax-white over him" (33.81).

Mother Nature can be mean, but she sure is purty.

Home is Where Your Deer Died

In spite of everything that happens, Jody always feels at home in the scrub forest, and especially in Baxter's Island: "The wind howled cozily around the house. On still nights of moonlight, the foxes could be heard barking on the hammock" (28.16). As his Pa tells him when he comes back, "There's men seems made for the land. […] I'd be proud did you choose to live here and farm the clearin'" (33.144). When Jody agrees, it's clear that he was made for the land—and that he's home.

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