How do the narrator's first impressions of Jerry's ability in "A Mother in Mannville," by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, change?

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kathik | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In "A Mother in Mannville," by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the narrator is a writer who is staying in a cabin that belongs to a nearby orphanage. She asks for a boy to do some work for her while she is there--someone to chop wood for the fire especially. When the boy, Jerry, shows up, she is not impressed. He is small in stature, and the narrator does not think he will be strong enough to chop wood. She expects him to do a poor job.

"I visualized mangled and inadequate branches for my fires." (Rawlings 2)

Jerry, though, surprises her. When he finishes up and comes back to the cabin to let her know he has to get back to the orphanage, she finds a large stack of wood, which she realizes is an amount that a man might have done. Jerry has chosen the wood carefully, and his work is excellent. The narrator definitely underestimated Jerry and is now very pleased with him.

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