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The Red Pony

The Red Pony


by John Steinbeck

The Red Pony Death Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Part.Paragraph)

Quote #1

He felt an uncertainty in the air, a feeling of change and of loss and of the gain of new and unfamiliar things. Over the hillside two big black buzzards sailed low to the ground and their shadows slipped smoothly and quickly ahead of them. Some animal had died in the vicinity. Jody knew it. It might be a cow or it might be the remains of a rabbit. The buzzards overlooked nothing. Jody hated them as all decent things hate them, but they could not be hurt because they made away with carrion. (1.14)

Oooh, a little foreshadowing. Excellent. From the get-go, we know Jody's not a fan of buzzards, and apparently that's a totally normal way for a decent person to feel. After all, buzzards are the harbingers of death. So is the fact that he wales on the buzzard that eats his pony's eyeball just an indication of his decency? Probably not.

Quote #2

They marched past the cypress, where a singletree hung from a limb to butcher the pigs on… (1.35)

Jody probably hasn't experienced death before his beloved red pony bites it. Sure, he's seen pigs be slaughtered and the like, but that's unemotional. He's not friends with the pigs, and hey, they make for delicious eats. And that's the key here. Life on a ranch is full of death, but it doesn't hit home until Jody loses something he loves.

Quote #3

He saw a hawk flying so high that it caught the sun on its breast and shone like a spark. Two blackbirds were driving him down the sky, glittering as they attacked their enemy. In the west, the clouds were moving in to rain again. (1.140)

Jody's red pony Gabilan is named after the Eastern Mountains but the name Gabilan also means "hawk." In this scene, Jody witnesses a deathcapade in the sky as two blackbirds attack and, most likely kill a lone hawk. You don't have to be a brain wizard to put this foreshadowing together. The poor pony is gonna die. And of course, as the quote states, the rain is coming.

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