The Yearling (book)

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The Yearling
AuthorMarjorie Kinnan Rawlings
CountryUnited States
GenreYoung adult novel
PublisherCharles Scribner's Sons
Publication date
1938; 85 years ago (1938)
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages416 (mass market paperback)
Preceded bySouth Moon Under 
Followed byCross Creek 

The Yearling is a novel by American writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. It was published in 1938.[1]

It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1939, when the award was called "Pulitzer Prize in the Novel." It was the best-selling novel in the United States in 1938. In that year it had 14 printings and sold more than 250,000 copies.[2] It has been translated into many languages.

The book's title, The Yearling, comes from the word for a young deer that is about one year old.

The Story[change | change source]

The Yearling tells the story of a boy named Jody Baxter. He lives in Florida in the years after the American Civil War. He is the only living child of poor parents who had six other children who died when they were very young.

One day while Jody and his father are searching for their lost farm animals, his father is bitten in the arm by a rattlesnake. Father shoots a female deer, in order to use its liver to pull out the snake's poison. Father's life is saved. But the dead deer had a fawn, a young deer. Jody's parents let him keep the young deer. The boy and the deer, named Flag, grow together closely.

These are difficult times for farm families in Florida. Jody learns about these troubles. Flag causes a problem when he eats the corn that the family is growing for their own food. Jody's father tells him to go into the woods and shoot Flag, but Jody can't do it. When Jody's mother shoots and only wounds the yearling, Jody is forced to kill Flag.

Jody leaves home in anger. He suffers from hunger, loneliness, and fear on his journey to find an old friend who lives in Boston. In the last chapter, back home with his father, he realizes that he has joined "the world o' men". He knows that the time of his boyhood is over.[3]

After the Novel[change | change source]

A film was made of the book and was released to theaters in 1946. Gregory Peck played Jody's father. Jane Wyman played Jody's mother. Jody, himself, was played by the young actor Claude Jarman Jr..[4]

The story was turned into a Broadway musical in 1965, but it was not a success. It had only three performances.[5]

A Japanese anime version was released in 1983.[6]

In 1983 the film Cross Creek tells a story from the life of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the author of The Yearling. It is about the event that helped her to write the novel. The main actors were Mary Steenburgen, Rip Torn, Peter Coyote and Dana Hill.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. "The Yearling". Retrieved 2023-01-03.
  2. "Book Notes". The New York Times. November 9, 1938. p. 29. Retrieved January 3, 2023.
  3. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The Yearling.
  4. Brown, Clarence, The Yearling (Drama, Family, Western), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), retrieved 2023-01-03
  5. "The Yearling". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved January 3, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "The Yearling (TV) - Anime News Network". Retrieved 2023-01-03.
  7. Ritt, Martin (1983-10-27), Cross Creek (Biography, Drama, Romance), Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment, Universal Pictures, retrieved 2023-01-03