© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Red Pony

The Red Pony

by John Steinbeck

Duty Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Billy Buck sat down on the steps, because he was a cow-hand, and it wouldn't be fitting that he should go first into the dining room. (1.1)

For all the work he does with the Tiflins, it really seems like he's part of the family. But he also understands that it is his duty to respect the unwritten rules of the house. One of which, apparently, is that he is to wait until the family enters the dining room before he does. Kind of weird, right? But it is what it is.

Quote #2

"Jody, tonight see you fill the wood-box clear full. Last night you crossed the sticks and it wasn't only about half full. Lay the sticks flat tonight. And Jody, some of the hens are hiding eggs, or else the dogs are eating them. Look about in the grass and see if you can find any nests."

Jody, still eating, went out and did his chores. (1.19-1.20)

What a good boy. Even though he screwed up his chores the night before, he's going out now to fix his mistake. And he doesn't even wait to finish eating before he goes, the poor guy. Carl should be proud. Though I doubt he cares much as long as the job gets done.

Quote #3

"You'd better go to bed, Jody. I'm going to need you in the morning."

This wasn't so bad. Jody liked to do the things he had to do as long as they weren't routine things. He looked at the floor and his mouth worked out a question before he spoke it. "What are we going to do in the morning, kill a pig?" he asked softly.

"Never you mind. You better get to bed." (1.24-1.26)

Jody has no idea as of now, but his father is going to present him with an incredible blurse in the morning—the gift and responsibility of the red pony. But that's for tomorrow. For tonight, Jody is just excited that something is happening that shakes up his routine.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement