Hunters in the Snow

by Tobias Wolff

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How does the setting and atmosphere motivate the actions of the men in "Hunters in the Snow"?

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The setting of the winter storm is important to motivating the actions of the characters in "Hunters in the Snow" because the harsh conditions cause the hunters to take morality into their own hands. Additionally, the hunters naturally fall into sort of a pecking order, in which Kenny becomes the leader of the group and takes over. Because they are alone in the storm, there becomes a need to want to conform with the group. This is seen when Kenny begins bullying both Tub and Frank. We then see Kenny grow upset and shoot a signpost and a neighbor's dog, and he then turns the gun towards Tub, who shoots him first. It seems that both Tub and Frank are driven by this feeling of being alone and in the wilderness because they feel as though they need to be tough in order to survive the setting. Therefore, it seems as those the characters abandoned the moral compass because of the environment and atmosphere created by the setting.

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