Winter’s Bone Important Quotes

Daniel Woodrell

Winter’s Bone

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Winter’s Bone Important Quotes

1. “Never ask for what ought to be offered” (Chapter 1, p. 5).

Ree imparts these words of wisdom to her brother, Harold, when he suggests asking their neighbors and relatives for food. Ree’s reprimand articulates a significant aspect of the Dolly family code they live by. It emphasizes family ties and responsibilities, but Ree also intends to instruct her younger brother in the self-respect and dignity that regulates the Dolly family.

2. “Ree’s grand hope was that these boys would not be dead to wonder by age twelve, dulled to life, empty of kindness, boiling with mean” (Chapter 2, p. 8).

Throughout the novel, the reality of growing up a Dolly haunts Ree. She recognizes that Dolly children grow up in an environment that leaves them hardened by hunger and need. Moreover, many Dolly children grow up outside of the “square law,” and, therefore, lived lives characterized by violence and drugs. These realities often led children to become dulled and angry, and Ree hopes that her brothers will avoid that fate.

3. “Ree needed often to inject herself with pleasant sounds, stab those sounds past the constant screeching, squalling hubbub regular life raised inside her spirit, poke the soothing sounds past that racket and down deep where her jittering soul paced on a stone slab in a gray room, agitated and endlessly provoked but yearning to hear something that might bring a moment’s rest” (Chapter 3, p. 10).

Ree often listens to albums such as The Sounds of Tranquil Streams, and these are the sounds she describes here. Sounds that help her imagine different places and different ways of life calm Ree, and she finds serenity in removing herself from her environment completely. It’s a form of escapism that helps her distance herself from the harsh realities that weigh her down daily. Interestingly, the image of injecting these sounds into herself suggests that Ree uses music in the same way others use drugs.

4. “Those stones had probably been piled by direct ancestors and for a long while she tried to conjure their pioneer lives and think if she saw parts of their lives…

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