The Yearling Social Sensitivity

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Social Concerns

The relationship of people and animals to one another and to the land is one of the basic themes of The Yearling. Issues of loyalty and betrayal, survival, death, and loneliness are raised repeatedly as the characters interact with nature. The central question is whether humanity must necessarily be in conflict with nature, or whether the beauty of nature can be reconciled with the cruelty of life. The Yearling shows that life is hard, that suffering and sacrifice are to be expected and accepted, and that the loss of innocence is an inevitable part of growing up.

Social Sensitivity

Readers of The Yearling may be offended by Rawlings's portrayal of women. Ma Baxter, for example, is the one member of the family who is consistently cold and severe. Her son considers her insensitive, and her husband scolds her like a child. She is pictured as an...

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