In Out of the Dust, the birth of the baby affects Billie Jo deeply. What are the feelings that she needs to "walk off"? 

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In February of 1935, Billie Jo and her fellow students discover that a strange family has moved into the small classroom. The mother of this family is pregnant, and her husband, Buddy Williams, does not want her to sleep in the cold truck, "[n]ot with the baby coming so soon."...

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In February of 1935, Billie Jo and her fellow students discover that a strange family has moved into the small classroom. The mother of this family is pregnant, and her husband, Buddy Williams, does not want her to sleep in the cold truck, "[n]ot with the baby coming so soon." Later that month, Billie Jo arrives at the school and learns that the mother is giving birth in the classroom. This triggers Billie Jo to begin thinking about Ma's birth, which resulted in both her own death and the death of her son, Franklin. Billie Jo prays that she will hear "the sound of a baby crying into this world, and not the silence my brother brought with him."

When she finally does hear the baby's cries, Billie Jo feels that she needs to "walk off" the mixed feelings that she is experiencing as a result. She is relieved that the other family's baby has been successfully birthed, but also incredibly sad to reflect on her own tremendous loss. For a girl as young as Billie Jo, the act of childbirth must seem like a particularly mysterious and unfair process: why did the birth of one child take away two lives, while the birth of another did not? The deaths of Billie Jo's mother and brother were an unjust part of living in a poor, rural area; it is this mix of confusion, anger, and sadness that Billie Jo is attempting to "walk off."

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