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Take-home test for The Yearling
Answer the following questions using complete sentences. You may use your book, your
literary journal, past assignment questions, class handouts, and notes you made during our
book club discussion for the test, but you may not get help from anyone else (parents/other
students/the internet). If you have questions, please check with your teacher. You may type
your answers, using the typical Veritas format. The more complete your answer, the better
chance you have of scoring well. I’ve given you an example on #1 of the kind of complete
answers I’ll be looking for. Think each question through and try to give the most complete
answer you can.
1. This story was published in 1938. What was happening in America in the 1930s which
may have influenced Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to write a story about poor people
struggling to survive?
In the 1930’s, America was in the midst of the Great Depression. Widespread poverty
caused fear and despair. Unemployment was high and families struggled to have enough
to eat. Parents feared for the future of their children. These circumstances may have
influenced Marjorie Rawlings to want to write a story about simple people struggling to
survive under harsh conditions.
2. What does Jody want out of life at the beginning of the novel? What fear or emotion
does he struggle with throughout the novel? How do you know (give examples from the
3. Describe Jody’s relationship with these characters. What does Jody want out of these
a. Penny
b. Fodder-Wing
c. Oliver Hutto
d. Flag
4. What happens to each of these relationships between Jody and each character?
a. Penny
b. Fodder-Wing
c. Oliver Hutto
d. Flag
5. Compare and contrast Jody and Fodder-wing. How are they similar? How are they
different? In what ways might Fodder-wing be considered a “foil” to Jody?
6. How is wealth measured in the world of this story? (Think about the differences between
the Baxters’ circumstances and the Forresters’) How does this compare with the ways
wealth is measured today?
7. The Yearling is an example of the coming-of-age genre of literature. A coming-of-age
novel chronicles a person’s passage from childhood into adulthood. Over the course of
the novel, what things does Jody experience that help move him closer to adulthood?
Describe at least 3.
8. When Jody returns home at the end of the novel, Penny says, “You’ve done come back
different. You’ve takened a punishment. You ain’t a yearlin’ no longer.” At what point
in the story do you think Jody has made the final step toward adulthood? Explain your
9. Why might we describe the ending of this story as “bittersweet?”
10. What does Penny mean when he tells Jody, “Boy, life goes back on you?”
11. Symbolism is a device often used by authors when they wish to communicate an idea in a
subtle way. They create a character or event or item in the story to represent that idea.
In The Yearling, what do the following things represent and why do you think so?
a. Flag -
b. Baxter’s Island -
The scrub –
d. Slewfoot –
e. The flutter-mill -
12. Give a thorough description of the following people. Include any changes that occur
throughout the course of the novel:
Jody Baxter-
Penny Baxter-
Ora Baxter-
the Forresters-
13. Define personification and give two examples of personification from The Yearling . List
the page numbers where these examples are found. (Write out the example; don’t JUST
list the page.)
14. Define simile and give two examples of a simile from The Yearling. List the page
numbers where these examples are found. (same rules as in #14)
15. Define metaphor and give two examples of a metaphor from The Yearling. List the page
numbers where these examples are found. (same rules as in #14)