What is the overall theme of The Yearling? I really cannot figure it out..

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The 1939 winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's The Yearling tells the story of young Jody Baxter and his family in the scrub land of post-Civil War North Central Florida. The primary themes of the novel focus on Jody's rise from a boy into young manhood as he raises a pet fawn that grows into maturity alongside him. During his change from boyhood, he encounters many trials:

  • He takes part in "the violent world of the hunt"
  • His best friend dies
  • He takes over his father's work load after Penny Baxter is bitten by a rattlesnake and, later, injured
  • He weathers a terrible storm that destroys many of the family's crops
  • He feels betrayed by his parents
  • He is forced to destroy the fawn--the thing he loves most
  • And he survives several days alone on the river

It is a story of maturation that deals with loss and loneliness.

(I have taught The Yearling many times over the years, and I'm proud to say that Marjorie formerly taught at my alma mater, the University of Florida.)

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