Salvage the Bones Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones

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Salvage the Bones Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 11—The Eleventh Day: Katrina

The family continues to makes preparations in the house and to watch television. They receive a threatening automated phone call informing them of a mandatory evacuation: “If you choose to stay in your home and have not evacuated by this time, we are not responsible. You have been warned. And these could be the consequences of your actions” (217). When they hear that they could die, “the hurricane becomes real” (217).

When Esch awakes, she and Skeetah move to the back of the house. They try to recall their mother’s voice and Skeetah reminds Esch that her last words were for them “to look after each other” (222). Skeet also tells Esch that she looks like their mother. They are startled by the sound of a dog barking “somewhere out in the storm” (222). While they are listening, a tree crashes onto the house and rips a hole in their parents’ bedroom. Claude runs out to the living room with the rest of them and Esch says that China knew about the tree because she barked and looked up at the ceiling before it fell onto the house. Skeetah denies this.

The family is later awakened by water coming into the living room. They don’t quite know where the water is coming from, but when they look out of the window, “there is a lake growing in the yard” (226). They also notice their Dad’s truck floating by. The water is rising rapidly, and reaches up to their waists as they climb into the attic. They all make it in safely and Claude checks the clear plastic bag he had hidden in his pants earlier. In it are pictures he has saved. It isn’t long before Esch announces that there is water in the attic. Skeet starts beating the inside of the roof to make a way out. Randall, using the chain saw he was sitting on, cuts a hole in the roof.

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