The Red Pony
by John Steinbeck
The Red Pony Men and Masculinity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Paragraph)
"Well," he said with pride—"Well, I guess he can bite all right." The two men laughed, somewhat in relief. Carl Tiflin went out of the barn and walked up a side-hill to be by himself, for he was embarrassed. (1.38)
Apparently real men don't laugh at the silly quips of boys and their horses. In all seriousness though, isn't Carl being a bit dramatic? Going off up alone up a hill because of a little embarrassment? He could definitely afford to loosen up once in a while.
Before today, Jody had been a boy, dressed in overalls and a blue shirt—quieter than most, even suspected of being a little cowardly. And now he was different. Out of a thousand centuries they drew the ancient admiration that a man on a horse is spiritually as well as physically bigger than a man on foot. They knew that Jody had been miraculously lifted out of equality with them, and had been placed over them. (1.50)
A man on a horse is considered to be superior to some average shmuck just walking around on his own two feet. So Jody gets instant points, despite the fact that he had nothing to do with the fact that he owns the pony in the first place. We mean, it was a gift.
"I tell you you can't stay," Carl said angrily. "I don't need an old man. This isn't a big ranch. I can't afford food and doctor bills for an old man. You must have relatives and friends. Go to them. It is like begging to come to strangers." (2.67)
In Carl Tiflin's mind, a man is someone who fends for himself and his family. For Gitano to just appear out of nowhere and demand he be allowed to stay on their ranch, well, that's just unmanly behavior. And an old man should know better. Right Carl?