At the beginning of The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Jody has a tendency to shirk his responsibilities, and he sometimes fails to complete his chores. What do these characteristics...

At the beginning of The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Jody has a tendency to shirk his responsibilities, and he sometimes fails to complete his chores. What do these characteristics illustrate about Jody?

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liesljohnson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's true that Jody shirks his responsibilities, sometimes failing to finish his chores. Talking about how slowly Jody does his chores, his mom says, "'To see him hoe, you'd think he was a snail.'"

Jody is also a bit lazy. Here he is at the beginning of Chapter 3:

"Jody opened his eyes unwillingly. Sometime, he thought, he would slip away into the woods and sleep from Friday until Monday."

We notice that Jody is thoughtful, a dreamer, and likes to seek out places for quiet reflection. He longs for a pet to ease his loneliness--he wants a companion. But his family says no; they can't afford the extra food.

Despite all this laziness and immaturity, Jody tries to please his parents and obey their orders, such as when they tell him to get ready to go hunting, or to wash his hands before sitting down to a meal.

Jody is immature and innocent. His laziness and dreaminess paint the picture of a naive boy who lacks knowledge about the world.

Read the study guide:
The Yearling

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