Winter’s Bone

Thump Milton’s wife and the leader of a violent attack against Ree; she eventually brings Ree to her father Jessup’s body. Merab is tough but practical, and though her actions are brutal, the logic behind them is, to her, clear as day. Her devotion to her husband, to protecting the “old ways,” and to the preservation of her own reputation are all staunch and unmovable. In many ways, the only match to her stubbornness and allegiance to her clan is Ree herself.

Merab Quotes in Winter’s Bone

The Winter’s Bone quotes below are all either spoken by Merab or refer to Merab. 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 11 Quotes

“Ma’am, I got a real bad need to talk with Thump Milton…I need to, I really, really need to, ma’am. Please—I am a Dolly! Some of our blood at least is the same. That’s s’posed to mean somethin’—ain’t that what is always said?”

Related Characters: Ree Dolly (speaker), Merab, Thump Milton
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

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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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Merab Character Timeline in Winter’s Bone

The timeline below shows where the character Merab appears in Winter’s Bone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
Ree climbs to Thump Milton’s house, where an older woman in an apron, Merab, stands outside the front door. The woman calls out to Ree, and tells her that... (full context)
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
After almost an hour, Merab emerges from the house and tells Ree that Thump Milton will not speak with her.... (full context)
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Isolation and Independence Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
After a long time, Merab comes out from the house once again, this time with a cup of soup for... (full context)
Chapter 24
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
Ree approaches the house. Merab looks out the door, then emerges from the house holding a steaming mug. Two women... (full context)
Chapter 25
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...the ground beside her, and she places them in the pocket of her grandmother’s coat. Merab approaches Ree calmly, telling her that she was “warned,” and asking why she wouldn’t listen.... (full context)
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Megan crouches next to Ree and Merab and asks: “Whatever are we to do about you, baby girl?” Ree suggests that Megan... (full context)
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
Teardrop enters the barn and asks who was responsible for beating Ree. Merab insists that no man touched her; that she herself and her sisters are responsible for... (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
...and sees three women on the porch. She fetches her shotgun and opens the door. Merab and her sisters are out on the porch—they tell Ree to come with them, and... (full context)
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
...She tells them to stay inside the house, and leaves the shotgun for them, at Merab’s orders. The women bring Ree to their car, place a burlap sack over her head,... (full context)
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
When they arrive at their destination, Merab tells Ree that once the burlap sack is off her head, she should not try... (full context)
Silence and Secrets Theme Icon
Family, Destiny, and Inheritance Theme Icon
Violence and Decay Theme Icon
Women and Matriarchy Theme Icon
Merab hands Ree a chain saw—“How else you goin’ to get his hands,” she asks. Ree... (full context)