Winter’s Bone

Jessup Dolly Character Analysis

Ree’s father, a well-known crystal meth cook. Though he is not physically present in the novel, his absence drives the narrative. Before the start of the novel, in order to get himself out of jail after a recent incarceration—presumably for cooking methamphetamine—Jessup put up as his bond his house and land, a vast swath of ancient, valuable timber woods. It’s eventually revealed that Jessup was murdered for betraying other meth cooks to the police, and the gruesome exhumation of his corpse by Ree and the Thump women is the emotional climax of the book.

Jessup Dolly Quotes in Winter’s Bone

The Winter’s Bone quotes below are all either spoken by Jessup Dolly or refer to Jessup Dolly. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Back Bay Books edition of Winter’s Bone published in 2007.
Chapter 3 Quotes

Ree nearly fell but would not let it happen in front of the law. She heard thunder clapping between her ears and Beelzebub scratchin’ a fiddle. The boys and her and mom would be dogs in the field without this house. They would be dogs in the field with Beelzebub scratchin’ out tunes and the boys’d have a hard hard shove toward unrelenting meanness and the roasting shed and she’d be stuck along side them ‘til steel doors clanged shut and the flames rose. She’d never have her own concerns.

Related Characters: Ree Dolly, Sonny Dolly, Harold Dolly, Connie Dolly, Jessup Dolly, Deputy Baskin
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 10 Quotes

“He cooks crank.”
“Honey, They all do now. You don’t even need to say it out loud.”

Related Characters: Ree Dolly (speaker), Megan (speaker), Jessup Dolly, Little Arthur
Related Symbols: Crystal Meth / Crank
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 11 Quotes

To have but a few male names in use was a tactic held over from the olden knacker ways…Let any sheriff or similar nabob try to keep official accounts on the Dolly men when so many were named Milton, Haslam, Arthur or Jessup… Jessups, Arthurs, Haslams and Miltons were born to walk only the beaten Dolly path, live and die in keeping with those bloodline customs fiercest held.

Related Characters: Ree Dolly, Sonny Dolly, Harold Dolly, Jessup Dolly, Uncle Teardrop, Thump Milton
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 16 Quotes

“Somethin’ real wrong was goin’ on, and since then I’ve gone over it and over it in my head and think I finally get why he didn’t even nod my way. He was protectin’ me, see, by ignorin’ me. That’s when I understood your dad had loved me. I understood it from how he’d looked away.”

Related Characters: April (speaker), Ree Dolly, Jessup Dolly
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 34 Quotes

“We’ll carry you to your daddy’s bones, child. We know the place.”

Related Characters: Merab (speaker), Ree Dolly, Jessup Dolly
Related Symbols: Jessup’s Hands
Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Jessup Dolly Character Timeline in Winter’s Bone

The timeline below shows where the character Jessup Dolly appears in Winter’s Bone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
Ree thinks of how her father, Jessup, didn’t split enough wood for a strong fire before he left home several weeks ago,... (full context)
Chapter 3
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
...the Dolly clan has ever seen. Regardless, Baskin says, he is not here to bust Jessup on crank-cooking charges. Jessup’s court date is a week away, and Baskin is unable to... (full context)
Chapter 4
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...doing up at the house earlier, and Ree tells her that he was hunting for Jessup. Sonya tells Ree that she doesn’t know of Jessup’s whereabouts. Sonya leaves, and Ree and... (full context)
Chapter 5
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Ree decides to start her hunt for her father’s whereabouts with her uncle Teardrop, Jessup’s older brother, “though [he] scare[s] her.” Ree walks down the railroad tracks the three miles... (full context)
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...prison. Ree tells Victoria that she is looking for her father. Victoria tells Ree that Jessup isn’t at the house, but invites her inside and offers her coffee. (full context)
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
...Ree explains her dire situation to Victoria, and tells her that they need to “run [Jessup] to ground and get him to show.” As she says this, Teardrop comes out of... (full context)
Chapter 6
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
...the hospital, he’d driven to a nearby tavern to show off the “glamorous” bullet hole. Jessup, Ree notes, is “tough” but “not much on planning.” (full context)
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...her mother Connie finally lost her mind when Ree was about twelve, after learning about Jessup’s girlfriend, April. Ree remembers that April taught kindergarten and owned a “pretty yellow house down... (full context)
Chapter 9
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...childhood, and about watching her mother get dressed up to go out on dates while Jessup was in jail. Her mother had once been beautiful and engaging, and had an affair... (full context)
Chapter 10
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...Little Arthur that she is looking for her father. Arthur insists that he hasn’t seen Jessup since the spring, when he’d come up to Rathlin Valley for a weekend. While staying... (full context)
Chapter 12
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Ree falls asleep, thinking of what might have become of Jessup. She wonders if he is dead and buried, or, if he’s dead, if he was... (full context)
Chapter 14
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
...Milton tells Ree that the house is the last place “[he] or anybody” has seen Jessup. Ree protests, telling Blond Milton that her father was known for never blowing up labs... (full context)
Chapter 16
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...looking for her father, and April tells Ree that though she “quit keepin’ company” with Jessup “a good while ago,” she “might know a thing or two” as to his whereabouts.... (full context)
Chapter 17
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
...she hears the sound of a familiar motor. She looks over her shoulder and sees Jessup’s Capri coming down the road. Ree attempts to wave the car down, but whoever is... (full context)
Chapter 20
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
...she awakens, Uncle Teardrop is standing over her. He tells her that the authorities found Jessup’s car; it was set on fire and “burnt down to nothin’,” though Jessup was not... (full context)
Chapter 23
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
...wants. He introduces himself as Mike Satterfield, and explains that he holds the bond on Jessup, who is now being classified as “a runner.” Ree insists that her father didn’t show... (full context)
Chapter 25
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...Milton returns, and tells Teardrop to explain himself. Teardrop insists that he never asked after Jessup or went looking for him, and that though “what Jessup [did] was against [their] ways,”... (full context)
Chapter 26
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
...to answer for her. He explains that her father is dead because he “turned snitch.” Jessup couldn’t handle the blow of another busted lab, and so began talking to Sheriff Baskin,... (full context)
Chapter 29
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
...wants to keep an eye on her. Ree tells Teardrop that she feels “shamed” that Jessup turned snitch. Teardrop tells Ree that Jessup loved her and her brothers, and “that’s where... (full context)
Chapter 32
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
...two of them nearly get into an altercation—Teardrop demands to know “who [Baskin] told about Jessup.” Baskin pulls a gun on Teardrop, who shows Baskin his own rifle, then calmly drives... (full context)
Chapter 34
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...Merab gives Ree an axe, and tells her she will need it to open the ice—Jessup, Merab says, “ain’t deep.” Ree walks out onto the ice and hacks at the surface... (full context)
Chapter 35
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
...like [she] earned this with blood.” The sack is full of cash, the remainder of Jessup’s bond, posted by the stranger with no name. Satterfield tells Ree that though she’s not... (full context)
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
Mike leaves, and Teardrop tells Ree that he now knows who killed Jessup. Ree embraces Teardrop, and then he leaves. Ree sits down on the top step of... (full context)