The Red Pony
by John Steinbeck
The Red Pony Men and Masculinity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Paragraph)
"Old things ought to be put out of their misery," Jody's father went on. "One shot, a big noise, one big pain in the head maybe, and that's all. That's better than stiffness and sore teeth." (2.103)
Nice, Carl. Doesn't he realize what lesson he's teaching his kid here? It seems to Shmoop that he's imparting the not so wise lesson that old people should be… shot. Okay, maybe we're exaggerating, but isn't that the gist?
He frowned quickly. "How do you know there was a letter?"
She nodded her head in the boy's direction. "Big-Britches Jody told me."
Jody was embarrassed.
His father looked down at him contemptuously. "He is getting to be a Big-Britches," Carl said. "He's minding everybody's business but his own. Got his big nose into everything." (4.25-4.28)
Just when you think Carl may have an ounce of compassion in him, he goes and says a mean thing like this. Mrs. Tiflin was merely teasing when she called Jody "Big-Britches," but Carl takes it a step further and straight up insults the kid. And all Jody did was receive a letter, for Pete's sake.
A race of giants had lived then, fearless men, men of a staunchness unknown in this day. Jody thought of the wide plains and of the wagons moving across like centipedes. He thought of Grandfather on a huge white horse, marshaling the people. Across his mind marched the great phantoms, and they marched off the earth and they were gone. (4.113)
Ah, the good old days. When men were men and women were… stuck on wagons while their husbands shot buffalo and fought off attack parties. But we digress. The point here is that in the olden days, when there were big projects to tackle, like moving westward across the continent, the men were manly. But those days are gone, so Jody's going to have to look for new models of masculinity.