What are some key or evocative details that are shown throughout the novel? What larger question does the novel ask the reader to consider?

Expert Answers
Karyth Cara eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The initial chapter gives a thematically and symbolically significant scene of evocative detail.

evocative, adj.: to produce, bring forth or call strong images, memories or feelings to mind

A scene with "evocative detail" is one in which the details are so powerful, whether for their beauty, disgust, horror, attraction or repulsion, that they call forth strong mental images, personal memories or deep feelings--either good or bad--in the reader.

The scene describing the dual birthings, Esch’s mother's final birthing and China, the dog's, birthings, is evocative for its depiction of the brutality of nature and its shocking impact on witnesses to nature's blind power: the runt is overlooked by its mother and Esch vomits at the sight of China's changed anatomy. This is thematically and symbolically significant because it is with Esch's pregnancy and China's absence that the narrative ends. Esch acknowledges to Randall that Manny is the father of her child to whom she will give birth soon and Skeetah braves the dangers of Katrina's receding waters to search for China, feeling like he has failed her. 

The final chapter has many scenes with evocative details, such as when Skeetah declares his determination to go in search of China and when Randall and Esch walk past Manny huddled in the pick-up truck and when Esch, thinking of how China will acknowledge her as a mother, sits with Randall and Junior to guard Skeetah as he waits for China to return home.

Read the study guide:
Salvage the Bones

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question
Additional Links