The Red Pony: Jody Essay

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Jody is the young boy on whom the stories in this novel focus. The stories follow a rite of passage for Jody as he learns how to be responsible for animals and to experience the pain of losing an animal to death, and he begins to show signs of maturing into a man. Jody is often quiet and shy, but he soaks in all the conversations and emotions that are around him. He painfully watches his red pony grow more and more ill. In the end, he also finds his pony on top of the hill, having run away to die. He sees the buzzards come down and begin to consume the dead pony. Later he watches his mare and a neighbor's stallion mate and then patiently awaits the new colt. The arrival of the colt is traumatic due to complications, and the mare must be killed. Jody learns about the cycles of death and birth through witnessing the lives of the animals around him. It is not just the animals that teach him, though. Jody is very aware of Gitano's impending death, more so than anyone else around him. He is a curious boy and has deep insights into the emotions of those around him. When he sees Gitano's sword, he senses that he must keep a secret. When he hears that Gitano has gone up into the mountains, he knows why Gitano has gone there. Likewise, Jody is also very sensitive to his grandfather's feelings. He knows that his father has broken his grandfather's spirit, and Jody tries to repair

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