Thescene manifests the loneliness and troubles that Ree Dolly facesduring her father’s predicament. It is evident that she isin-charge of all the affairs of the family because both her parentsare incapable of performing them. Her mother is ailing and her fatheris on the run to avoid a conviction for making methamphetamine. Thescene shows her as the dominant figure in the family and she istrying to convince the bondman that she will find her father’skillers. The scene reflects the thematic stance of the entire movieby showing Ree engulfed in the struggle to care for her family andalso deal with the legal woos of his father. The themes of poverty,declining morality, breaking family ties, and the ferocity of gossipare explicit quite dramatically.
Ree’sface in this scene is emotionally hollow and certainly mirthless.Even those she turns to as a source of advice and protection appearto be grappling with what seems to be a society on the brink ofexistence. In the rest of the film, local sheriffs frequent Ree’shome in anticipation that they will get some clue about Jessup’sdisappearance. The terrain of the land and the quiet forests are anindication of the bleakness of Ree’s village. It shows thatpoverty and decadence have rendered the village quite desolate fromthe rest of the world for being on the wrong side of the law. Customsand traditions that keep family closely knit together in theexecution of crime is also manifest in the scene. The logs offirewood, the fiddles, and banjos show rawness of the village.Listening carefully to Ree’s accent when she says, “I will findthem”, reveals a lot about her indifference to the customs andcultures that are partly to blame for the predicament that her familyis going through. Possibly these are the impediments of Ree’sbelief s in justice.
Familyties and traditions hold Ree’s family together and it isresponsible for they have maintained throughout their long historywith drug-m making. In fact, Teardrop, Ree’s paternal uncle isaddicted. He is also among many of Ree’s relatives that are worriedabout possible consequences after the arrest of Jessup. The shacklesof poverty are worth mentioning in this analysis because the woes ofRee’s family revolve around the fact that his father could not bereleased on bond. He, therefore, puts much of family property forbond including the house. It is unimaginable for a seventeen year-oldto face such challenges considering that she is a child herself. Thechallenges that poverty brings on her family’s life are scary evento adults. Nevertheless, she has to face it. She has to contend withthe fact that her belief in justice is conflict with entrenched clantraditions. Personal choices in this village are quite elusivebecause one must prove that they are committed to upholding thesecustoms. There are also fears that Ree might end up breaking thistradition prompting her kin to place her on strict surveillance andmonitoring.
Thescene also shows the dilemma that Ree faces in the entire film. Sheis under pressure to uphold family customs and at the same time findhis father who is on the run. Her family has a traditional code thatexpects them to be silent on family secrets. If she decides to betraythis code, she risks facing destitution. In the scene, she tells hisfather brother that she will find those who killed her father. Jessupis Teardrop’s only brother as Ree discloses in the scene. Theconversation reveals the hostility that Ree faces amid trying to findher father. Her kinfolk treat her with contempt to make her awarethat she should be very discreet about whatever she says to thesheriffs and the authorities. Later in the film, rumors will emergefrom that Jessup is dead. Teardrop also tells her that her father waskilled by people who thought he is a potential informer to theauthorities on their drug-dealing. some of her clan’s women whobeat her up. Unsurprisingly, they are led by the wife of the clanforeman. Indeed, it is not just Ree and her family that are introuble but the entire clan. Al members of the clan are in utterpanic because the law is gradually catching up with them. They haveturned to acts of sabotage so that Ree does not find his father as atactic to avoid being in contact with law enforcers and the courts.
Thescene reflects the main themes of the film. However, one has to watchit to understand them in detail. Just as she is seen struggling tosave her family’s property, Ree is also having an internal strugglewith her society which has subdued her to submission and alienatedher from her personal pursuits of justice. The rigid notions ofobligation that her clan’s customs impose on her are far from whatRee feels is the right thing to do in these circumstances.