Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones

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Salvage the Bones Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 8— The Eighth Day: Make Them Know

It’s “fight” day and the tension is high. Randall and Skeet argue because Randall thinks Skeet shouldn’t be fighting China and Esch feels like someone has “been beating Medea kills her brother” (154). Junior follows Esch around, asking her if she is going to the fight because Skeet says he can only go if Esch agrees. She does.

Skeet is outside washing China and she is enjoying it. She licks him, happy. In response to her affectionate behavior Skeet says, “You came back to me.” (156). Randall and Skeet argue again about getting China into this fight, and Randall reminds Skeet that he promised to pay for his basketball camp with the money from selling the pups.

Walking through the woods towards the place for the fight they meet Marquise’s cousin’s dog, Boss, and he is huge. He has seen a lot of fights and has won most of them. There are a few fights before the match between Boss and Kilo. During their fight, Kilo causes a huge gash in Boss’s back. The group declares the match between Kilo and Boss a tie and Rico begins threatening Skeetah, demanding a puppy. Randall urgently tries to remind Skeet that China’s a mother and that he’s risking the puppies, but Skeet sees China as no different from the other dogs. “We all fight” (169), he says.

Before Skeet sends China in to fight Kilo, Esch watches and listens while he whispers something in China’s ear. In the second round of fighting between China and Kilo, Kilo rips one of China’s breasts and all of them are ready to declare Kilo the winner, but Skeet won’t allow it. During the third round, Skeet calls “barely louder than speaking. ‘Make them know’ China hears…She is fire.” (175). China makes Kilo scream and the fight is over. She is declared the winner.

Chapter 8 Analysis:

The reference to Medea at the beginning of the chapter is a troubling one and seems to ominously…

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