Red Pony Essay

The lack of a flowing transition between the isolated stories is as significant as the apparent repetition of thematic subject matter.What Steinbeck appears to be suggesting is that the maturation process is not always a fluidly linear one, but is rather more staccato with stops and spurts that return to visit elements before moving forward again.

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The events that are about to unfold will teach him those very lessons, and they will mark the first steps toward adulthood.

Slowly but surely, Steinbeck hints at a sense of revolt stirring inside of Jody, another of the initial signs that a child is beginning to move away from his parents, moving toward independence.

This is the most famous section of the novel and also the most heartbreaking as it is ends in tragedy for the horse.

“The Great Mountains” relates the story of a an old man who has returned to the Salinas Valley to die with as much honor as possible for a poor old man.

The old man traces his life in the valley back to the days when it wagon trains carried the families would settle the region.

His life is now lived mostly in the memories of those more exciting days as it winds to an end."It didn't occur to him to disobey the harsh note." Jody washes his face and turns away from his mother "shyly." When he sits down at the table, he scrapes away "a spot of blood from one of the egg yolks." With these words, Steinbeck presents the innocence of Jody.Not only is Jody obedient and shy but he is unaware of mating; he is presexual.The first mention of this occurs as Jody smashes a muskmelon with his heel. He knows it is wrong, and he tries to hide the evidence by burying the cracked melon.However, just a couple of paragraphs later, Steinbeck mentions that Jody was feeling "a spirit of revolt" once he joined his friends at school.To further insinuate the transition that Jody is about to experience, Steinbeck then has Jody climb up the hill and look back at the ranch from an elevated position, where "he felt an uncertainty in the air, a feeling of change and of loss and of the gain of new and unfamiliar things." At this same point in the story, Steinbeck brings in the image of two buzzards, which signal death.Although Jody may be unfamiliar with some aspects of nature, he is not unaware of the cycle of life and death.“The Leader of the People” is another take on the theme of aging just the third section is a counterpart to the first section about Jody struggling to care for an animal.In this case, the old man at the center is Jody’s grandfather.The four stories connect most evidently in the character of Jody and the fact that two of the stories involves horses and two involve the passing of members of the older generation is significant in ways that may not be immediately apparent from the loose structure.Essentially, is a standard coming-of-age story about young boy learning the hard lessons necessary to mature into a young man.


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