The Yearling Themes & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 96 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Yearling.
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Rite of Passage to Adulthood

The rite of passage is one of the most popular themes in literature because it spans every culture and is an experience embedded in the memory of every living adult. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings presents the touching story of a young deer that is much more than the tale of a boy and his mischievous pet.

This is essentially a story of Jody Baxter's year as a "yearling" --- as his father explains, the year in which a male deer stands between being a fawn (child) and being a buck (adult). Although the deer, Flag, is the actual yearling in the novel, it is Jody's maturing that we are watching. Deer and boy grow and learn and develop in parallel fashion.

The rite of passage always involves challenges and milestones. Learning to hunt successfully, and eventually being drawn into the circle of hunters, is...

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This section contains 1,465 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Yearling Study Guide
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