Drowning Ruth - Part 1, Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Christina Schwarz
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Part 1, Chapter 4 Summary

Ruth is four in April 1920, when Amanda leaves, to none of the neighbors' surprise. Women recall her being uppity at Mathilda's birth and abandoning her and Ruth when the old people die. Amanda enjoyed having Mama all to herself during pregnancy. Hearing the gossip while slitting open his mail with an inferior pocketknife—having lost his monogrammed silver one—Clement wonders if Amanda has always been crazy as well as na├»ve.

Amanda meets Clement when he helps subdue delirious Private Buckle. He is enthusiastic about his revolutionary invention, a vacuum box for sterilizing instruments. Visiting her parents, she brings the influenza that despite her best efforts drowns them in their bed. She remembers her father both disciplining her and teaching her arithmetic. Amanda wishes that she could die for bringing this horror on them. Mathilda does not object...

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This section contains 859 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Drowning Ruth Study Guide
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