The Red Pony is a coming of age story about ten-year-old Jody Tiflin. A major conflict in the novel is that between life and death.
In each of the four stories that comprise the text, Jody learns some new complex feature about the nature of death and its relation to people or animals in his life. Most notably, in the first story, his horse, Gabilan, dies after being left in the rain one afternoon. No matter what his role model, farmhand Billy Buck, does to save Gabilan, it does not make a difference and the horse dies. In this story, Jody realizes that death inevitably comes to all things, even things you care for and love and even when people you trust lead you to believe otherwise. The inescapable, sometimes heartbreaking, force of death is therefore established early on, and the stories that follow build on this general awakening of Jody's to add layers and depth to the question of how to live.
The traveler Gitano and Jody's grandfather are each either old or dying, speak of faraway...
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