Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Perseverance

Blackberry-picking. Crawfish-catching. Coon-treeing. Mountain lion slaying. Is there anything this kid can't (or won't) do? In Where the Red Fern Grows, Billy comes across every possible roadblock...

Coming of Age

You want a quick way to gain some maturity? Get yourself a pet. And then wait for it to die. Yeah, nothing makes you grow up like some responsibility and tragedy. In Where the Red Fern Grows, Billy...

Loyalty

Well, you'd expect a species that earned the nickname "man's best friend" too be loyal. And boy, are these two little hounds loyal to Billy. Old Dan's loyalty might only be matched by his stubbornn...

Family

Billy doesn't get out much. His life pretty much revolves around his farm and his grandpa's shop. Naturally, his family has a huge impact on who he is—so it's sure lucky that he's got such a grea...

Poverty

Okay, so we're not exactly talking poverty on a Charles Dickens level, but this family sure doesn't have much. What's weird is that, in Where the Red Fern Grows, poverty ends up seeming like a bles...

Religion

Okay, so Billy doesn't exactly seem to be a church-going boy, but he sure is full of prayers. Over and over, Billy asks God for help when things get rough. In fact, God might as well be a member of...

Man and the Natural World

Family, dogs, and the woods: these are Billy's top loves (though the order is certainly debatable). The woods are practically a second home to him, and they offer a peace and serenity that is serio...

Education

Who needs an education when you've got a good pair of dogs and a forest right outside your door. Right? Not so much. While we were distracted reading about all Billy's hard work trying to get his d...

Women and Femininity

What place do women have in a young boys coming of age story? Well, Billy seems to be asking himself the same question. Where the Red Fern Grows is full of female characters—Billy has three young...
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top