Just as the Dolly clan’s ancestors worked as moonshine makers and runners, its current members are cooks and dealers of crystal meth, or crank, as it’s referred to throughout the novel. The street name, crank, represents the wired state of mind it induces in its users; every time a character in the novel uses crank, the tension and sense of imminent danger ramps up immediately. Ree is constantly surrounded not just by manufacturers of the drug but users of it, and her refusal to become a user differentiates her from the vast majority of her friends and relatives. Throughout the novel, crystal meth represents a few different things: a sign of both the physical and moral decay of the community Ree and her family are a part of, a narrative shorthand for or indicator of impending violence, and a symbol of the ways in which the heart of the trades and secrets of the Ozarks remain unchangeable.
Crystal Meth / Crank Quotes in Winter’s Bone
“He cooks crank.”
“Honey, They all do now. You don’t even need to say it out loud.”