In The Yearling, is Grandma Hutto Jody's blood relative?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Grandma Hutto is a friend who lives nearby the Baxters. As her son Oliver is often away, Jody and Penny sometimes share the game they catch with her so she will not have to go without fresh provisions. Grandma is not Jody's blood relative, but he wishes that she was. He says,

"I wisht Grandma was really my Grandma."

Grandma has a nice cottage; when Jody and Penny go to visit her, she puts them to bed "in a room as white as the snow," and they lie in a bed made up with "immaculate sheets." Jody notes that Grandma "live(s) nice;" her home, adorned with the simple but lovely amenities of culture and comparative financial well-being, stands in sharp contrast to the Baxter home, which is much more spare and elemental. Penny tells Jody,

"...don't think hard o' your Ma for not doin' like Grandma. Your Ma ain't never had nothin' much to do with, and I'm to blame for that, not her. She cain't he'p it, livin' rough."

In addition to the difference in living conditions betweeen Grandma Hutto's home and his own, however, Jody notices the discrepancy between Grandma's temperament and his mother's. Grandma is much more positive and affirming, making Jody feel welcome and significant, while his own Ma tends to carp at him constantly, and be much more dissatisfied with his behavior. Jody says facetiously,

"I'd jest like to take Grandma home to live with us. But we'd have to make Ma mind her" (Chapter 11).
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The Yearling

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