All Over but the Shoutin’ Chapters 34-38 Summary & Analysis

Rick Bragg

All Over but the Shoutin’

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All Over but the Shoutin’ Chapters 34-38 Summary & Analysis

Part Three: Getting Even with Life 

Chapter 34 Summary: Gone South 

For the most part Bragg feels at home in Atlanta, and he is close enough to visit his family more often.  However, his visits are usually short because he is busy traveling for stories to other places less gentrified than Atlanta, such as New Orleans.  

Chapter 35 Summary: Abigail 

In this chapter, Bragg’s grandmother, known to the family as Miss Ab, dies of pneumonia.  Bragg goes home for the funeral.  His mother was not at the church service.  She stayed at home waiting “for the sadness to pass” (277).  Bragg leaves the funeral to sit with his momma. 

Chapter 36 Summary: Mrs. Smith, and family 

Bragg goes to South Carolina to cover abig national story about the abduction at gunpoint of two children by a black man.  At first, like all the reporters covering the story, he writes about the frantic search for the missing boys.   Only later does he realize that the story is a lie and thatSusan Smith, the young mother of the two boys, had purposefully drowned her children in a lake.   

Chapter 37 Summary: Monsters 

Bragg covers the bombing in Oklahoma City that killed so many children at the daycare center in the federal building there.  It is a story that Bragg wrote because his editors wanted him to, but he does not like to think about the horror and grief he witnessed.  

Chapter 38 Summary: Validation 

Bragg wins the Pulitzer Prize, the top award in his profession, and finally feels that he is a real success in journalism.  More importantly,he has made his mother proud:  “I don’t tell you a lot…but I’m very proud of you.  I look at you and know I didn’t do no bad job, not altogether” (293).

Chapters 34-38 Analysis 

This section of the book brings Bragg up to the greatest moment in his working life.  It also chronicles, through two particular examples, the tough stories he had to cover.  Both the murder of her children by a young mother in South Carolina and the tragic death of children in the Oklahoma City bombing affect Bragg and make him wonder about…

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