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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Red Pony

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Almost the entirety of The Red Pony takes place on the Tiflin ranch, which lies between the Gabilan Mountains and the Great Ones. The Tiflins have a house, a few barns, a corral, a bunkhouse, and a...

Narrator Point of View

Sure, our friendly neighborhood narrator likes to keep his distance, but every once in a while, he'll cozy on up to a character and give us a glimpse into his or her thoughts. Take this moment, whe...

Genre

Full disclosure? The Red Pony is not what you might call a happily-ever-after story. It throws Jody into a relentless pit of woe (can you find that on Google Maps?) and makes no apologies for tryin...

Tone

Jody's a youngster, so he's got all kinds of things to look forward to. It's no wonder, then, that he's full of imaginative moments that look toward the future, like this one:Jody saw a black long-...

Writing Style

Steinbeck doesn't like to beat around the bush. He tells it like it is—no frills, and no nonsense. The dialogue between the characters is oftentimes direct and to the point. There's no time for l...

What's Up With the Title?

Ah, The Red Pony. A simple story of a boy and his pet and how they live happily ever after.Oh wait. That can't be right.With a title like The Red Pony you might expect to read a typical story of a...

What's Up With the Ending?

What's up with the ending? Nothing, actually. There's nothing up about this ending at all. It's a big ol' bummer, and we'll tell you why. But first, let's revisit. Jody's Grandfather has just told...

Tough-o-Meter

The Red Pony's not exactly a bucking bronco. It's got simple language, clear sentences, and not a whole lot of confusion. It's Jody's emotional and mental world that might trip you up, because it c...

Plot Analysis

Exposition (Initial Situation)The Gift that (Doesn't) Keep on GivingYoung, impressionable Jody Tiflin receives a present from his father that, for all intents and purposes, blows the boy's mind. Th...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Note: Here's the thing. If we think of The Red Pony as one giant coming-of-age story in four parts, we can think of each of those parts as a stage, or act in Jody's long journey to (almost) adultho...

Trivia

The Red Pony was not originally published as a novel. In fact, it actually appeared in three parts in magazines. The first two parts, "The Gift" and "The Great Mountains," were published in the Nor...

Steaminess Rating

No sex here, though the squeamish among you might want to avert your eyes during the scenes involving horse deaths. There's a lot of blood and guts and pus. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Allusions

The Great Crossing a.k.a. The Great Westering refers to the time when a brave lot of people moved west into uncharted territories. Many bands of explorers set out to see what America had to offer a...
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