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In recognizing that I have been fairly outspoken regarding Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior, I did want to take a moment to discuss a scene that I thought was particularly well done and from a literary standpoint, one of the more effective moments in the novel.

This time they both shouted, Cub begging her to stop. But she didn’t, even though this flinging felt murderous to a mother who’d cradled feeble infant necks and sheltered soft fontanelles. Dellarobia felt reckless, turning and turning, swinging that child until she lost her feet again. She lay panting.  Cub looked both outraged and deeply anxious, basically positive that she’d lost her mind.

This moment between Cub and Dellarobia was well written, as it expertly chronicles and mirrors the idea of Dellarobia’s personal growth in relation to the monarchs. In trying to save this lamb, it is symbolic of not only the butterflies she has desperately tried to save and study, but also her relationship with Cub.  Perhaps if Cub had responded differently here, Dellarobia would have considered her marriage worth saving.  Instead, Cub essentially thinks she has gone mad.  The lamb itself is this emblamatic gesture of Delllarobia’s newfound freedom and knowledge.  Cub doesn’t understand the effort put behind trying to save it and foster it against the harsher elements of her community and rural life. In failing to understand and be sympathetic of the need to save the lamb, Cub sort of seals the fate of the marriage.

It’s an excellent moment, as even the reader is capable of seeing this chasm between the two of them, that this marriage is now separated be the expanse of newfound knowledge.  In short, I just thought it was a rather excellent moment, and one of the few scenes where I felt Kingsolver paid close attention to her characters and to the literary function of her text, rather than the environmental.  It would have been nice to have seen more of these moments included within the text, as it would have enhanced the environmental perspective by making it more personal and tangible for the reader.

 

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