Homework Help

Is the tone of The Red Pony misleading, straightforward or neutral when telling the...

user profile pic

jonniboi53 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 30, 2010 at 9:32 AM via web

dislike 0 like

Is the tone of The Red Pony misleading, straightforward or neutral when telling the story? 

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 11, 2012 at 3:54 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

The tone of the story is simple and straightforward, but there are signs of foreboding.

Tone is the author’s attitude toward the subject.  Although you could consider the tone misleading in that in the beginning you might think it is a nice story about a boy and a horse, there is plenty of foreshadowing to indicate otherwise.

Over the hillside two big black buzzards sailed low to the ground and their shadows slipped smoothly and quickly ahead of them. Some animal had died in the vicinity. Jody knew it. (ch 1, p. 5)

Jody is unsettled by the buzzards.  He hates them, and calls them indecent.  Therefore we have a clear indication from Steinbeck that there will be death in the story. 

Steinbeck also goes out of his way to tell the story in a simple, straightforward way.  Life on the ranch is not romanticized.  It’s a hard life.  Although Jody enjoys the pony, even its presentation to him is frill-less and ominous.  Jody was ordered out to the barn, and “felt a kind of doom in the air” (ch 1, p. 8).  That’s hardly the carefree story of a boy and his pony.

 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes