The Red Pony Essay

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LTE: TRP “I guess that's how death works. It doesn't matter if we're ready or not. It just happens.”- Randy K. Milholland. ‘The Red Pony’ is an episodic novel by John Steinbeck, written in 1933. The stories in the book are tales of a boy named Jody Tiflin. The violent cycle of life and death is one of the most important themes in this story, and many lessons about life have been taught either directly or indirectly from this theme. No one can interfere with the violent cycle of life and death, you could try but in the end you will simply have to get over it. Lessons about life and death in “The Red Pony” are lessons about how cruel death can be to living things and how it can affect the surrounding people. Not only within the book, but this lesson has made an impact on me as well. Looking into certain elements in a scene can help provide a better understanding of the lesson. The setting and symbols in a particular scene relates to how death can act in cruel ways. In Ch.2, Pg.28 Jody sees a hawk flying in the sky as two blackbirds attack it. The setting is very significant in this scene since Jody was moving west when he saw the attack and people believe that unfortunate things/death happen in the west. After the hawk was killed, clouds moved in from the west once again, possibly a symbol as rain/water cleansing after death. Another important symbol is the “hawk”, because Jody’s pony is named ‘Gabillan’ which means hawk. The hawk being attacked by death represents a symbolic foreshadowing of the pony’s death later on in the story. This scene with the hawk and the blackbirds relates to how cruel death can be, the hawk was struggling to survive when it was outnumbered by blackbirds and suddenly became their prey. Setting and symbols are important in this scene since they support the lesson within the theme, explaining that death can be very violent. Knowing

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