Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

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In Where the Crawdads Sing, why doesn't Kya return to school?

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In Delia Owens' novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, the character of Kya chooses to leave school because, in her view, she has a better chance of learning things by watching birds and collecting shells. Kya finds the world of nature to be a more richly rewarding school than school itself. Thus, ironically, she leaves school to enrich her educational opportunities. After Kya leaves school, she has a joyous reunion with her beloved birds: "Above the roar of pounding waves, Kya called to the birds." Whereas Kya was unable to speak in school, where she suffered from acute social discomfort, she feels joyous and open to learning while she is in nature. Owens uses the scene in which Kya briefly tries out going to school only to reject it as a way of showing how unconventional and courageous Kya is. She is also rebellious and independent, as her decision to leave school prompts a critical response from adults. A man wearing a fedora hat comes searching for her, but even he gives up after a while. Kya is left with the musical "cawing of the crows."

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