In life, investigation can lead to many paths of discovery. In Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell, Ree’s investigation of her father’s bones leads her to discover new life skills that she never realizes throughout the novel. Investigation of a specific topic can lead to the discovery of more significant qualities in life.
Self-reliance is one characteristic that Ree discovers. When Sonny and Harold ask about the hanging meat, Ree replies, “never. Never ask for what ought to be offered” (5).
Indirectly, Ree learns that she does not want anyone, even herself, to beg for something that is already been offered to them. For example, Sonya brings them food for the family, which is been offered to them. Ree politely thanks her and takes the supply of food. Also, when Sonny and Harold came back with the cops, Ree tells them that they “need to do no ridin’ around with the law” (11). In other words, Ree wants everybody she cares about safe and not riding around with anyone she does not like.
Basically, what Ree discovers that she rather be protected from people she does not like. Overall, Ree’s self-reliance proves that her investigation comes to a discovery about herself.
Ree detects the significance of her own family. For example, Blonde Milton wants to take Sonny from Ree and she gets feisty over that statement. This shows that Ree cares about her brothers. In response to Blonde Milton’s offering, Ree shouts back, “Sonny’n Harold’ll die livin’ in a fuckin’ cave with me’n Mom before they’ll ever spend a single fuckin’ night with you” (77).
Also, Ree tries to complete her task of saving her property by finding her father’s bones. Throughout the journey, Ree tries hard to get as much information as she can by going to different areas to search for the location of her father’s body. As Ree gets closer to finding the bones, she knows that she will be safe and will not be kicked out of the property by the cops. The significance of Ree’s family shows how much she discovers about herself.
Ree finds out that her responsibility is her most significant quality. One responsible action is when Ree has to take care of her family. Since her mother is on medication from her nervous breakdown, Ree has to do all the chores around the house such as cooking meals, doing the laundry, and getting logs for the fire. Since her father is gone, Ree has all the responsibilities to take care of herself and her family. In addition to taking care of her family, Ree teaches Sonny and Harold life skills so they cannot become dead to wonder. For example, Ree teaches her brothers how to cook spaghetti. While Ree was gone, Sonny and Harold cooks for them and their mother. When Ree gets back from the cave, she notices that her brothers’ dish seems exotic and demonstrates how to cook actual spaghetti. Also, Ree teaches her brothers how to use a gun. After her argument with Blonde Milton, Ree feels that “maybe now it’s time you (her brothers) do [shooting]” (78). Ree’s responsibility demonstrates that her actions in life will benefit her in the future.
Investigation can lead to many discoveries in life. Ree finds out that the investigation of her father’s bones leads to the discovery of her own life skills in the world. Many of the personality traits can be found by the investigation of a certain subject. People who investigate will learn life lessons that they never knew they had within them.