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Out Of The Dust
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  • 1. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse Background notes about the novel, The Great Depression, and The Dust Bowl.
  • 2. Out of the Dust
    • Setting: Oklahoma; 1934-1935; The Depression; The Dust Bowl
    • Characters:
      • Billy Jo
      • Ma (Polly)
      • Pa (Bayard)
      • Louise
      • Mad Dog
      • Miss Freeland
      • Aunt Ellis
      • Arley Wanderdale
  • 3. The Depression
    • The Depression- economic slump that began in the U.S. in 1929 with the stock market crash.
    • Many countries were in an economic depression during the 1930s.
  • 4. The Depression
    • Farming suffered because crop prices dropped.
    • President Franklin D. Roosevelt created The New Deal, programs designed to recover the economy and provide relief for the unemployed, e.g., social security.
  • 5. The Dust Bowl
    • The Dust Bowl was a series of dust storms that affected the American and Canadian farmlands from 1930-1936.
  • 6. The Dust Bowl
    • Cause: drought and erosion of soil
    • Effects: agricultural and ecological damage
    • 2.5 million residents in Plains states, including Oklahoma, migrated westward to flee the dust storms during the 1930s.
  • 7. Style
    • The entire novel is written as Billie Jo’s diary of free verse poems.
    • Free Verse: a style of poetry that has no rhyme nor meter (beat).
  • 8. Protagonist
    • A protagonist is the principal character who is the leader of a cause or brings about important change.
    • Billie Jo is the protagonist in Out of the Dust .
  • 9. Imagery
    • Poetry contains imagery, or descriptive language that evokes one or more of the five senses (sight, touch, smell, taste, hear) to create a mental image of something.
  • 10. Theme
    • A theme is a story’s insight about life.
    • Themes in Out of the Dust :
      • Loss
      • Forgiveness
      • Survival
      • Family
  • 11. Symbol
    • A symbol is an object or action that means something more than its literal (actual) meaning.
    • One symbol in Out of the Dust is dust itself.
      • What could dust symbolize in the story-- just based upon your knowledge of the history of the 1930s?