Winter’s Bone Chapters 34-35 Summary & Analysis

Daniel Woodrell

Winter’s Bone

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Winter’s Bone Chapters 34-35 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 34

Ree awakens to the sound of knocking at her door. She retrieves her shotgun before opening it and finds Mrs. Thump and her sisters waiting outside. Ree points the shotgun at Mrs. Thump, but Mrs. Thump ignores the threat and tells Ree to come with them so that they can fix Ree’s problems. Ree refuses to lower her gun and threatens Merab, Mrs. Thump, again, reminding Merab that she would have to be crazy to go anywhere with them.

Merab offers to take Ree to her sisters—an offer inspired by the need to put an end to the negative talk among the Dolly clans. Ree silences her misgivings and, unarmed and blindfolded, agrees to go with the sisters. With a sack over her head, Ree is driven to an unnamed location. Though the sisters promised not to harm her, Ree continues to believe they plan to kill her and prepares to meet her death without fear.

Merab removes the sack from Ree’s head and leads her through a wood toward a frozen pond. Once there, Merab points to a willow and tells her that Jessup’s body lies under it, tied down to an engine block. Ree notes that the vista forms a “living grave” (184) for her father. Ree uses an ax to shatter the ice that covers her father’s watery grave and has to feel around in the water for Jessup’s corpse. Once she has found him, she vomits and refuses to use a chainsaw to saw off his hands. Merab grows frustrated and offers to make the cuts herself. Ree loses her grasp on her father’s body once, when she feels herself splattered with his remains, but Merab reminds her that she needs both hands is she’s going to convince anyone he’s really dead. As she holds onto his corpse, Ree withdraws into herself until “She was on a distant tranquil shore where rainbow-colored birds sang and coconuts dropped bountifully to warm sand” (186).

Chapter 35

Ree returns home with Jessup’s hands and calls Deputy Baskin to tell him that she has the necessary evidence to prove her father is…

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