What will Jethro do now that the war had ended? How does his decision reflect the Creightons' values in Across Five Aprils?
In the immediate aftermath of the war, Jethro
"went back to the fields and plowed the same furrows he had plowed for the past four years."
His dogged industriousness reflects the Creightons' respect for hard work, and their commitment to the land which sustains them. With the return of Shadrach and Jenny, however, Jethro's plans change. Shadrach is going back to college, and he and Jenny ask Jethro to go with them. Shad says,
"You've plowed long enough, Jeth; you're going to study now."
This decision reflects the Creightons' realization of the value of education. When Jethro expresses concern that he is needed on the farm, he is communicating a third value that is dear to the Creightons - love of family. Both the appreciation for the value of education and love of family are illustrated in the solution Shad describes; John and Eb will pick up the slack on the farm, and John actually wants Jethro
"to get an education and then later to help his own boys along the same road."
With that reassurance, Jethro makes the decision to take Shad and Jenny up on their offer. Accepting the responsibilities that go with it, he will go to the city with them to "get an education," which for him, is the fulfillment of a dream (Chapter 12).