The Red Pony
Growing up Tiflin is not easy. But just like everyone else on this rock, Jody can't choose his parents. In The Red Pony, he's got a hardworking dad, a dutiful mom, and a skilled ranch hand to look up to. But they're all far from perfect. Carl can be tough-minded and cruel; Ruth wavers between strong homemaker and weak daughter. And Billy makes a mistake that alters the course of Jody's life forever. Family, Jody learns, is fallible.
Questions About Family
- Why do you think Carl Tiflin is the way he is? Is he too gruff for your taste, or do you think he's a good dad?
- Where's Gitano's family? Why might he want to come back to the ranch to die with strangers, so to speak?
- Is Billy part of the family? Or just an employee through and through?
Chew on This
If Carl had been a better dad to the boy, Jody would have taken Gabilan's death a lot better than he did.
The only person who comes remotely close to giving Jody a comfortable sense of family is Billy Buck.