Salvage the Bones Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones

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Salvage the Bones Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 9—The Ninth Day: Hurricane Eclipse

Esch is woken by the sound of her father throwing up. He asks her to get Randall. Skeet is not in the house and Esch assumes that he is with China. After the fight, he cleaned and bandaged China very carefully. Claude doesn’t want to leave the toilet because he says he can’t stop throwing up, but Randall and Esch drag him back to bed where Randall will give him a trash can to vomit in. They suspect that the bit of beer he has been drinking has mixed poorly with his medication and is what made him sick. Randall tells him they will take instructions from him about preparing for the hurricane.

Randall and Esch start working outside and Skeet says he can’t help because he needs to clean and treat China after getting a few supplies. Randall asks him to pick up more canned goods, but they have no money. It’s insinuated that Skeet will steal the food.

Randall and Esch get to work on boarding up the windows. Junior and Esch wash up the water jugs. They also have to fill the truck’s gas tank, and cook whatever food there is in the refrigerator. They eat eggs, rice and bologna and drink all the milk. Then they need to park the truck in the clearing by the pit. Skeet returns with two large bags of dog food while Randall, Esch and Junior are sitting outside. They unload cans of peas and potted meat and two dozen bags of Ramen. They comment on how little food Skeetah brought back and he tells them that the shelves in the store were practically cleared. Big Henry offers them some food from his house because they “ain’t got to eat dog food”. However, Sketch says that dog food is “salty. Taste like pecans. And if worse comes to worst, we can eat like China” (193).

Chapter 9 Analysis:

As the story goes on, conditions for the Batiste family are only getting worse. Their father is badly injured and sick as a result of his alcohol dependency when they learn…

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