Winter’s Bone Chapters 10-12 Summary & Analysis

Daniel Woodrell

Winter’s Bone

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Winter’s Bone Chapters 10-12 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 10

Ree, Harold, and Sonny listen to the howls of coyotes while standing at the bus stop before school. Harold suggests they feed the coyotes so that the animals will not eat them out of hunger. Though Ree tells Harold there’s little chance of that, Sonny simply responds that they should shoot them. While Harold says that he would not shoot the wolves since they look like dogs, Ree tells them that although feeding the coyotes would seem like a kindness, it would only serve to bring them closer to danger from humans.

Ree boards the bus with her brothers and flirts harmlessly with the elder bus driver. After they reach the school, Ree says goodbye to her brothers, dismisses her former teachers’ gazes, and hitchhikes toward Hawkfall, despite Uncle Teardrop’s warnings. Once there, a woman greets Ree but claims she does not recognize the name of her hometown, because it “Might just about as well be Timbuktu to us” (50). The woman, who introduces herself as Megan, later admits that she recognizes Ree from family reunions and takes her to Little Arthur to further inquire after Jessup.

Little Arthur had visited Ree’s home the previous spring to cook meth. During his stay, he gave Ree mushrooms and they got high together. While she asks Little Arthur about Jessup’s current whereabouts, she recalls that hazy, drug-induced day when they “joined” in her “puddling embrace of gods and wonder” (55) which left her kneeling in the forest with ripped panties. Little Arthur denies any knowledge of Jessup’s location and tells her to leave unless she wants to do drugs with him.

After Ree and Megan leave, Ree is overwhelmed by the sudden realization that everyone knows her father has been killed but are refusing to speak to her about it. In response to Ree’s distress, Megan advises her to visit the patriarch, Thump Milton, who lives up the hill. Megan asks Ree to avoid mentioning her involvement, however, due to Thump Milton’s fearsome reputation.

Chapter 11

Ree walks up the hill toward Thump Milton’s and finds a robust woman watching her approach. The woman asks…

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