Theme Of Violence In Salvage The Bones

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“The only person that deserves a special place in your life is someone that never made you feel like you were an option in theirs.” (Shannon L. Alder.) The nature of violence plays a key role in Jesmyn Wards “Salvage the Bones.” Whether if it was China “sacrificing” one of her puppies, the big brawl during Randall’s basketball game, or when the father pushed Esch into the water during the hurricane. Just like any other feeling that human beings have, there are some things that we often question during violent moments. Often times we ask ourselves “Why me?” “Why was I chosen to go through this?” or even “Am I really good enough?” Questioning our actions and developing a low-self-esteem and then start to go through emotional violence.

In one instance in Jesmyn Wards “Salvage the Bones,” Esch experience the most of emotional violence in the text. Often times she would experience it through family members, but most of it comes from her chaotic relationship with Manny. He uses Esch for his sexual pleasures only, but in Esch mind, she is thinking about it on a deeper and emotional level. She thinks that this is his way of being affectionate towards her and somehow “communicating” with her by handling things differently in some cases.
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This form of violence is portrayed by the protectors and older siblings. Esch older brother Skeetah recognizes the disrespect being thrown towards her and decides to take heed and defend his sister’s feelings. “Fuck Him,” Skeetah said, he spits this at Manny’s back; loud enough for Big Henry to hear.” Skeetah is displaying verbal violence, letting his sister hurt feelings fuel his anger for Manny even more. The outburst and attitude causes a fight to break out. Skeetah also got very defensive when his dog China came into the conversation. He became over protective when it came to his dog because she’s like a child to

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