Esch, Randall, Big Henry, and Junior sit with Skeetah around the fire; Esch allows herself to imagine that China will return, and that when she does, she will look at Esch and recognize her as a fellow mother. Skeetah snaps the sick puppy’s neck despite Randall and Esch’s protestations, and then jumps into a swimming hole to wash the parvo germs off. The family consists of Daddy, his daughter Esch (the narrator), and his sons Randall, Skeetah, and Junior. Fifteen-year-old Esch watches as her older brother Skeetah ’s prize fighting dog, China, gives birth to a litter of puppies. This tragedy caused her father to become an alcoholic, and as a result the siblings—herself, Randall, and Skeetah, who are both older than her, and Junior—have extraordinarily strong bonds and interdependencies between them. Reading -- Salvage The Bones chapters 1-4 Summarizer: Your job is to prepare a brief summary of today’s reading. Esch craves attention and escape as a result of her chaotic and claustrophobic family life; during sex, she gets both the physical release of contact and the imaginative release of allowing herself to pretend she is one of the characters in the myths she loves. At the park, Randall, Manny, and some other boys are playing basketball. A big-hearted novel, set in the lead-up to Hurricane Katrina, about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real. Randall sounds the alarm, and as everyone begins fleeing through the woods, Esch struggles to keep up. willing to provide for China, rather than themselves. Esch and Skeetah try to climb over to the house first and open a window, but Esch falls into the rushing water with the puppies; two wash away, and though she saves one by tucking it into her shirt, it dies. Rico wants one, but as the number of puppies is dwindling, Skeetah is reluctant to promise one to Rico. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - Struggling with distance learning? Skeetah’s mother is dead and, in many ways, China is a mother figure to him as much as she is a child or daughter figure. She is clearly an exceptionally strong dog—a fact that Skeetah doesn’t want the other local boys from the dog fights to forget, as his livelihood and his reputation depend so much on China’s reputation. This passage shows the ways in which Esch and her family have had to allow others to ravage their land in order to survive, and demonstrates the mechanisms of race and class, which keep families like Esch’s stuck in cycles of rural poverty, isolation, and the gradual fall into disrepair. As soon as it is waist-high, he climbs down out of the attic and wades off into the woods against his family’s protestations. Simultaneously, inside the shed, an exhausted China attacks and kills one of her puppies after it gets too close to her food bowl. Struggling with distance learning? Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Back at home, Skeetah sics China on the white people’s dog, and she wounds it badly. help you understand the book. Rico, in a show of dominance, starts a fight with Skeetah; down on the court, Randall’s coach ejects him from the game when he realizes Randall’s family has caused a disturbance. Esch knows that to reveal a secret (and a vulnerability) that is this important and intense in the all-male world she occupies would to be to turn her family “to stone”—in other words, Esch believes that her secret would paralyze and alienate her brothers and her father, leaving her feeling even more remote and isolated than she already does. This passage reflects the fears that Esch is dealing with in this chapter. From the religious associations in Esch’s head to Skeetah’s role in helping bring the puppies into the world, China’s first litter seems to be an auspicious brood. Salvage the Bones is situated in the days leading up to—and the aftermath of—Hurricane Katrina, a destructive Category 5 hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast of the United States in August of 2005. "Jesmyn Ward is an extraordinary writer. Ward's paragraphs are like songs, lifting us even as the authenticity of this world and these characters keeps the ground in clear sight. Your group discussion will start with your 1-2 minute statement that covers the key points, main highlights, and general idea of today’s reading assignment. Skeetah, in particular, who Esche seems closest too in many ways, has a peculiarly nurturing side to him, and in fact the novel opens with him helping his dog, China, give birth to a litter of puppies. - Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, The house is all boarded up, and Randall and Esch teach Junior how to hunt for eggs in the grass; after they gather up a bunch, they set them in a pot to boil. China swims off into the woods after the other two puppies, for once not heeding Skeetah’s calls. LitCharts Teacher Editions. When Esch looks out the window, she sees water rushing towards the house. I was in the water with them." -Graham S. Esch and her family live lives that are deeply enmeshed in the natural world. Esch and Junior help Skeetah and Manny mix up the cow wormer for China and feed it to her. Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Stegner Fellowship, a John and Renee Grisham Writers Residency, and the Strauss Living Prize. Salvage the Bones study guide contains a biography of Jesmyn Ward, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Search String: Summary | Find books by time period, setting & theme, Read-alike suggestions by book and author. Our, LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in. At Big Henry’s, many friends and neighbors are gathered together; the house has suffered damage to the roof but is otherwise intact.