The Red Pony Essay Research Paper Literary — страница 2

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did and hid the disemboweled bird in the bushes. Gitano, an old paisano, came to the Tiflin?s ranch, asking if he could live the rest of his life there because his old home was on their ranch. Carl did not want him to stay, but allowed him to stay the night and for breakfast the next morning. Jody questioned Gitano about the mountains and Gitano said they were full of splendor and magnificence. This satisfied Jody because his father and Billy Buck always told him that the mountains were full of danger. Gitano left before breakfast on Easter, Carl?s old horse. Carl compared Gitano to Easter by saying that they were both old and useless and should be put out of their misery. Billy responded by saying that they should be able to live the rest of their lives in peace (pp 45-46). Jody

understood this and began to grow in his understanding of death. Carl, on the other hand, did not want to acknowledge sickness or death. Steinbeck again used imagery and symbolism throughout this chapter. The story began on a hot summer day, a time of serious dryness and a time of struggling. This is not only symbolic of Jody?s struggling with grief for the loss of his red pony, but also of the old paisano, thin and old and tired. Carl Tifflin wanted Jody to be very disciplined, but like most children, he was rebellious. When Jody felt sad, upset, or ashamed, he went to the mossy green tub filled with spring water and washed himself as if cleansing himself of a sin (pg 37). Jody found that in the morning, the mountains were pink, and he found peace in them. In the evening,

however, they turned to a dark purple with many shadows, and they frightened him. In the third story, "The Promise," Jody walked home from school, with an imaginary army behind him. He caught many "prisoners" in his lunch pail. When Jody arrived home, he was summoned to the barn. His father told him that since he had taken such good care of Gabilan, he would be allowed to take their mare, Nellie, to be bred at a neighbor?s farm. Jody agreed that he would work as hard as he could and be responsible for taking care of Nellie. He started doing his chores with more efficiency, he was more responsible, and he started to sway his shoulders with more importance as he walked (pg 56). Jody became very doubtful of Nellie bearing a colt and asked for Billy?s assurance

over and over. Jody also asked about the birth of a colt. Billy told him that if the colt was turned around backwards, the mother and/or her baby could be torn apart (pg 62). This was foreshadowing what was to happen later in this chapter. Jody begged to be present for the delivery. After talking to Billy, Jody sat underneath the black cypress tree, the symbol of death, and imagined that Nellie would have a black stallion named Black Demon. When he found himself under the tree, he ran to the spring water and washed himself. Jody became weary from waiting, but Billy assured him that the colt would be safe and strong and that it would be a good colt. He did not make any promises to Jody, because of what had happened in the past. Late one evening in February, Billy told Jody that

the colt was ready to be born. As they went into the barn, Billy sensed that something was wrong. He found that the colt was positioned wrong and tried to turn it around, but it was impossible. He decided to sacrifice the mare to save the colt. Jody watched as Billy killed Nellie, cut open her stomach, and pulled out the colt alive. Billy dropped the colt at Jody?s feet and said, "Here?s your colt." (pp 72-73). Steinbeck showed in this scene that death is the inevitable outcome of birth, for everything that is born must eventually die. Jody felt guilty because he believed that he was responsible for Nellie?s death and Billy?s grief. He got his colt, but only through the sacrifice of others. This was a sign that Jody was maturing, that he was thinking about how others

felt and not just about his own feelings. This chapter opened up in the early spring, a time of growth for Jody as well as nature. Steinbeck foreshadowed the death of Nellie by the "prisoners" Jody caught in his lunch pail. Jody captured toads, lizards, grasshoppers, a newt, and a snake, all ingredients that might be used by witches to make a curse. Nellie gave birth and died in February, a time of death and barrenness. The juxtaposition of the tub of spring water and the black cypress tree also pointed out that everything in life is destined to death. The final chapter, "The Leader of the People," is the climax of The Red Pony. As Jody sat and watched a flock of pigeons in the black cypress tree, he threw a rock, making the whole flock of white birds rise