Winter’s Bone Chapters 28-30 Summary & Analysis

Daniel Woodrell

Winter’s Bone

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Winter’s Bone Chapters 28-30 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 28 

The women of Rathlin Valley visit Ree as she recovers, offering their sympathies as well as a variety of pain medication. The women all agree that such a violent act was inherently wrong. According to their Dolly moral code, such a beating was never necessary for girls, and especially not their own kin.

Chapter 29

As Ree lies in bed, she begins to mentally prepare for the house’s foreclosure. She plans to move her family to a cave, and she imagines furnishing it so that it resembles home. Ree’s brothers take care of her, and ask her for further details about what happened. Sonny also asks Ree to tell him the names of her attackers, “For when grow up” (147), but Ree redirects the conversation to avoid answering him. Under medication, Ree dreams restlessly; in her dreams, the affirmation “I ain’t never goin’ to be crazy” (147) becomes a continuous refrain.

After Ree awakens and takes more pain medication, she spies Uncle Teardrop looking out the window with his rifle. In her drug-induced stupor, Ree admits to Teardrop that she is ashamed of her dad for snitching because it broke the moral law all Dollys live by. Teardrop responds: “Well, he loved y’all. That’s where he went weak” (149). Teardrop tells Ree that people can be tough until one day they break; he refers to her mother, Connie, and Jessup as examples of how resilient people can suddenly break. As Teardrop speaks to Ree, she knows that Sonny is listening from his bed, “hearing words he’d be feeding on the rest of his life” (149).

Ree asks Teardrop if other Dollys are shunning their family because of her father’s betrayal; Teardrop assures her that the Dollys are old blood with their own moral code, but time can change things. Moreover, Teardrop reassures Ree that people have noticed her and her “sand” (150), and know that she does not resemble her father. In response, Ree admits that she has always been afraid of Teardrop. Rather than being offended, Teardrop claims that her trepidation demonstrates her intelligence. Ree falls asleep on the couch…

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