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Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows


by Wilson Rawls

Where the Red Fern Grows Analysis

Literary Devices in Where the Red Fern Grows

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory


The story starts in present day—meaning roughly the 1960s—but most of it takes place about a half-century earlier. We aren't given an exact date by Rawls, but get out your calculators and you'l...

Narrator Point of View

Since this is a story about Billy Colman's experiences with a pair of hunting dogs, you'd think it'd be super handy to have Billy as the narrator, right? Well it is, but don't get too excited. Bill...


Coming of AgeSure, Billy ages 2 years over the novel, but most of that takes place in the first 3 chapters. His real coming of age starts happening once he's got those cute little puppies in his ho...


This book may be set in the country, but it's no lighthearted romp through the backwoods. The whole time, in fact, the narrator is staring into a fire and remembering the good ol' days. You can't g...

Writing Style

Well, howdy there! Time to get down to brass tacks and suss out this here writin' style. Our friend Billy is a country boy who is plainspoken and straight to the point. To further highlight Billy's...

What's Up With the Title?

For those of you keeping track, the phrase "red fern" doesn't appear until the seventh paragraph of the last chapter. And it only comes up 12 times. Twelve times in over 200 pages! Hm. It's almost...

What's Up With the Ending?

So everything is wrapped up, the fat lady is about to sing, and the Colmans are on their way to town. We get a neat little transition from country to city and, for Billy, boyhood to manhood. The re...


This book is pretty straightforward, so you shouldn't have any trouble. Take this totally random sentence:As I ate, Papa sat down at the table and started talking man-talk to me. (6.32)Got it? Of c...

Plot Analysis

Puppy LoveBilly wants a pair of hunting dogs more than anything, but his family is too poor to buy them for him. So, he earns the money himself. Slowly. Through two years of berry-picking and roden...


Wilson Rawls thought books were just, ahem, "girl stories." Then his grandma sent him Call of the Wild. Turns out books aren't so girly after all. (source) Born Woodrow Wilson Rawls, he understanda...

Steaminess Rating

Nada, zip, zilch. This is as tame as you can get. Aside from Billy getting a kiss on the cheek from his mom, we've got nothing to report here.


The Bible, Angel Gabriel (9.43)Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes (10.12)Cherokee Tribe (2.11, 5.53)Daniel Boone (2.18, 11.86)Ford Model T (14.43)Jack Dempsey (5.41)

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