Out Of The Dust Literary Analysis

Words: 561
Pages: 3

How can seemingly small details have a much deeper meaning? Karen Hesse’s historical fiction novel Out of the Dust is about the theme of Man vs. nature. The story begins in Joyce City in the Oklahoma Panhandle during the great depression, when Billie Jo, a fourteen year old daughter of a farmer wants to play piano at a concert hall. Her Ma distractedly agrees to let her play. Meanwhile, there is a dire drought and Billie Jo’s father is having trouble growing crops. Later, a dreadful accident happens in which Billie Jo burns her hands and Ma gets burns all over her body. After that, Ma dies giving birth to Franklin, who also dies. Her dad’s crops get even worse and Billie Jo decides to leave. However, she realizes that she needs her father and that her father needs her, so she comes back home. After coming home, she meets Louise, her Daddy’s new partner. She at at first doesn’t like Louise, but gradually accepts her. The book ends when her family is healed. Three important symbols in Out of the Dust are piano, water, and fire. Playing the piano symbolizes escape and helps Billie Jo be free from her stress. While playing piano at the palace, Billie Jo feels, “How supremely heaven playing piano can be”(14). This quote shows that Billie Jo loves playing piano. This is important because things that you really enjoy doing allow you to …show more content…
After the accident with Billie Jo’s hand, she finds, “[She] couldn’t play.”(65). This matters because fire ruins Billie Jo’s favorite thing. Also, she can’t escape the stress caused by the fire because she can’t play. While giving birth to Franklin, “Ma died…”(69). In other words fire kills Ma. While killing Ma, it also is very bad for Daddy, who loses his wife. After Ma’s death, Billie Jo finds, “...[her] brother died…”(70). Franklin’s death is bad for everyone. This highlights just how much fire symbolizes