Salvage the Bones

by Jesmyn Ward

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How do Skeetah and Manny view Esch in chapter 3 of Salvage the Bones? Do they see her for who she is?

In chapter 3 of Salvage the Bones, both Skeetah and Manny are unaware of the huge change in Esch's life now that she is pregnant. Skeetah's view of his sister is unchanged, while Manny sees Esch as a casual sex partner, with whom he is not contemplating a serious romantic relationship.

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In Jesmyn Ward's novel Salvage the Bones, Esch discovers that she is pregnant at the end of chapter 2. In chapter 3, her relations with her brother Skeetah remain unchanged. Skeetah even asks Esch about her relations with Manny, but she will not answer him. He does not understand the reason for her silence and does not notice the strength of her reaction to his decision to kill one of the puppies, who is sick and may infect the rest of the litter. Skeetah is too wrapped up in his own affairs to perceive any change in his sister.

Manny also fails to see the change in Esch. He is attracted to her and touches her while they are swimming in the pond, but anything that goes on between them must, as far as he is concerned, be purely sexual and conducted out of sight. He has never kissed her, and, when she tries to touch his chest, he asks if she is crazy. Manny has never seen Esch for who she really is or been interested in what she is thinking and feeling, and the gap between the two of them has only grown now that she is carrying his child.

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