All Over but the Shoutin’ Chapters 39-42 Summary & Analysis

Rick Bragg

All Over but the Shoutin’

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All Over but the Shoutin’ Chapters 39-42 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 39 Summary: 1.3 acres 

Bragg tells us that he “kept my promise to my mother on November 2, 1996.  I took every dollar I had and bought her a house, a good house, the first thing of any real value she has ever owned” (308-9).  This is Bragg’s way of paying his mother back for all of her sacrifices raising him and his brothers.  It is a very important milestone in his life. 

Chapter 40 Summary: The same 

This chapter is Bragg’s message to his deceased father about his mother’s new house and how it represents a kind of healing for him.  He reviews the issues he had hating his father for how he treated his wife and his sons.  Bragg also repeats his hypothesis that his father’s tour in the Korean War damaged him in ways that he could never cope with, except by escaping into a bottle.

Chapter 41 Summary: Who we are 

After Bragg’s mother moves into her new house, his two brothers have a major fight in the yard. Bragg tells us, “My little brother came to see her.  He was drinking, a little.  We had all asked him not to come there, when he was…My big brother, Sam, drove up about the same time…I guess they had to fight. They had to, because of who we are’ (321-22).  Bragg’s mother leaves the house for a week, and Bragg feels bad.

Chapter 42 Summary: Safe in the dark 

In the final chapter, Bragg recalls that he used to sleepwalk as a small child and how his mother always found him and made him feel safe.  

Chapters 39-42 Analysis 

These finally chapters recapitulate much of what the author has described earlier.  He finally achieves his goal of buying his mother a house.

However, his two brothers fight over his younger brother’s drinking, and Bragg wonders if he did the right thing.  “I heard about it two days later.  I don’t know if saying it broke my heart is strong enough.  It made me sick” (322).

Soon after this incident, his big brother Sam and his mother are again working side by side on the new place,…

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