Study Guide

The Yearling Strength and Skill

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Strength and Skill

In the world of The Yearling, having skills and being strong aren't just cool bonuses to make you look extra good in your selfies—they're pretty much essential to survival. If you can't hunt effectively, or aren't strong enough to spend weeks chopping and hauling firewood, then you're pretty much out of luck, unless you have someone else (preferably a big strong man) to do it for you. And even if you do have someone else (lucky you!), you'd better have some sort of skills to make a fair exchange for their labor, like cooking or cleaning.

Questions About Strength and Skill

  1. Does a character's appearance tell us something about his skills and strength? Think of Buck Forrester. What about Penny Baxter?
  2. Which skills did Jody already have in the beginning of the book? Which did he develop throughout the book? What does he still lack?
  3. Which is more important in the scrub—mental skills and strength or physical skills and strength? Why?

Chew on This

Penny's body was never strong—it was his will and his drive to work hard, that made him able to do strenuous farm chores.

Penny did his son a disservice by not teaching him more about how to work on the farm when he was younger. He shouldn't have let him play around so much.

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