Winter’s Bone Essay: Pride and Charity


Claim: In “winter’s Bone,” Daniel Woodrell shows the great impacts of charity deeds and people’s pride to the society, which forms the main thematic concern of the narrative.

Reason: The narrator presents various characters in a manner that shows that charity and pride are the dominant themes in the narrative. This is true because unreasonable self conceit which is manifested in their contempt of others and treating them in an unfair manner is evident. These characters are portrayed to exhibit a lot of sense in their own worth, either through self respect; self esteem that is noble, character elevation, bearing that is dignified and proud delight in a sense that is good. The reason why these two are major thematic concerns is because; others show pride or disdainful behavior in their treatment of others. Charity, another theme in the novel is evident in the way various characters show their attitude of understanding and kindness towards others through various acts of generosity. Charity is also seen in the way certain characters are benevolent to others who seem to be less fortunate than others. Material contributions are also provided to the needy. This makes the most suitable thesis for this novel to be that Pride and Charity are dominant themes in the novel (Woodrell 32).

Body: Reasons

A portrait of the desperate and poor South that is luminescent is used in which a draft of Ree Dolly who is 16-year old and blessed   with “Abrupt green eyes,” is used, an unlikely heroine. In a nut shell, Ree is too young to escape the Orzaks, through joining the army. She has to care for her two brothers who are younger and ahs a mother who is mentally ill after her father who used to cook Methamphetamine who was called Jessup disappeared. This is the first instance in which charity is seen in the novel through the character of Ree. Through his recent arrest on charges of drugs, Jessup had to pay bond to get out of jail through using collateral which is the family home, though with a court date that was set within duration of one week with Jessup nowhere to be fond (Woodrell 154).The best example of pride is through Jessup’s character in the novel. Ree offering to find him is a charitable venture as she was not expecting any reward of any kind. Otherwise, their house would be repossessed. The writer of the novella also captured certain instances of the near-religious pervasive criminal mania in the rural communities that are steeped in the culture of drugs, The Christian foundations and organizations help in providing charity services to the drug addicts and substance abusers which helps in their reformation, thus transforming the community in the novel towards a better destined living. Through the prose by the author, which is lyrical and often dialogic at times, an unwieldy narrative though alluring is created? It gives room for the writer to draw various moments of tenderness that is unexpected from scripts that are predictable. A good example of how dominant the theme of charity is in the novel. The fearsome, criminal uncle to Ree whose faith in kinship shines in a bleak’s face and existence that is flawed pride is evident in the novel (Woodrell 167)

Rees Dolly has to struggle through her high and adult school life in the hills that are stricken by poverty in Ozarks. At the age of 17, her struggle to provide daily care for her two brothers and mother who is ill without expecting anything in return best shows her acts of charity. Her mother’s needy state is her being ill and Ree offered to whatever that she could to bring comfort to her life despite her ill-health condition. Her father best shows how pride and egocentrism can bring about downfall to someone’s life and family. This is evident from the way he became a meth addicts despite various warnings and advices fro concerned parties as well as family members. Ree later on realizes that her father’s egocentrism and pride had already brought so much trouble to the family as the family home had been put as bond. Ree takes a charity duty to search for his proud father and bring him back to his family for a court date that was upcoming (Woodrell 204).The thwarting by mother family members, majority of whom are in the cooking crank business at every turn exhibits their utter pride and how this contributes to a series of other occurrences of pride and egocentrism. Light always outshines darkness. This is evident in the way Ree finally succeeds in her fight for saving the family. This brings about self pride but in a positive way due to what she already achieved against all odds. Through this pride, a result of charity alongside other virtues gives her more confidence to teach her brothers how to shoot a shotgun, and even do boxing, just like her father had done earlier on. Negative pride is seen in the instance whereby a male friend assaults her after feeding her mushrooms that were hallucinogenic. She however beats the odds with courage and spunk (Woodrell 220).


In conclusion, the author depicts a world that is harsh in spare, though evocative prose in which survival responsibilities give Rees direction and meaning ultimately. It is through pride and charity deeds by this character and other major character that the literature work is a success. Woodrell describes his characters with much emphasis on their ability to perform charity work and how their pride affects their interactions in the narrative to bring about flow and other thematic concerns.Therefore, according to my earlier suggestion, the narrative would not have been a success or make the impact it has made had it not been for dominant use of charity and pride in characterization and story flow.




Work Cited

Woodrell, Daniel. Winter’s Bone, Back Bay Books: 2010: Pp 1-224. Print.


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