What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
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Storyboard Description

Rex had been disappearing for days at a time, only coming home to bring a bag of groceries, never giving a good explanation as to where he’d been or where he got the money for the food. He would go on about his plans to make money that never went anywhere and Rose Mary would sometimes get a check in the mail for her property in Texas. They would eat the same things for days when money allowed them to. Brian and Jeannette became experts at foraging for food, so this is what they would do when there was no food at home. While at school, they didn’t have lunches so they would root through the garbage once the other students had thrown away their food and eat what was left. The winter was particularly frigid, and the house had zero insolation, forcing the Walls family to find ways to keep warm like foraging for coal and wood. Not only were the Walls’ freezing, but the water was too, sometimes this forced them to get water by melting snow or asking their neighbours for some. In January, Rose Mary decided it was time to splurge on a trip to the laundromat, where the children made sure to take their time so they didn’t have to go back out in the cold. One of the days, Lori was prodding the fire and poured a little kerosene on the wood to help keep it going, this resulted in a small explosion that only harmed her. For the first time that winter, Jeannette learned what a thermostat was while working at a classmate’s house.

Storyboard Text

  • "Don't be so picky. Just slice off the maggoty parts. The inside's fine (Walls 172)."
  • "Mom, the ham's full of maggots (Walls 172)."
  • Rex Walls would disappear for days at a time, and when he would arrive home he would have groceries alongside him. 
  • When a large sum check came in, they bought a large canned ham that they ate for a week. They had no refrigerator which required them to leave it on the counter, this resulted in maggots taking over. This bothered everyone but Rose Mary.
  • Since they often went with no food in the house, while at school Jeannette and Brian would take what was left of the other kids lunches out of the garbage and eat it in the bathroom.
  • "It's a thermostat. You move the lever to make the house warmer or cooler (Walls 179)."
  • With the winter being particularly cold, Brian and Jeannette would go searching for any wood or scraps of coal they could find to heat the house, this of course was useless because the house wasn't insulated.
  • Once January rolled around, the Walls had not washed their clothes in about two months and Rose Mary decided it was time to splurge and go to the laundromat. It was so warm that no one wanted to leave. The kids took their time folding laundry to spend as much time in the warmth as possible.
  • While Jeannette was at a classmate's house, their father noticed her staring at a box on the wall. He explained to her that it was a thermostat, that is could control the temperature of the house. Jeannette had never heard of such a thing and was amazed, she dreamed of having a thermostat of her own for several nights afterword.
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