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Free Study Guide-The Red Pony by John Steinbeck-Free Online Book Notes
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

The Red Pony is set amidst the high mountains of Salinas, California. Towards the west is the uninhabited and mysterious Great Mountains and towards the east are the Gabilan Mountains, which are gentle and densely inhabited by people.

The main setting of this short novel is a ranch that is isolated from the outer world. The house of the Tiflin Family stands in the middle of the ranch with a bunkhouse, a chicken yard, and a large vegetable patch nearby. The house is surrounded by the brush line, where there is round green tub from which the animals can drink water. The brush line leads up to the stubble fields and on to the hill-top, from which the town of Salinas and the fields of the great valley are clearly visible.


LIST OF CHARACTERS

Major Characters

Jody Tiflin

The main character and protagonist in the novel. As a youth, he is curious and eager to know about life. He undergoes many experiences in the novel to help him mature into a young man. Jody understands the relationship between human beings and breaks down the barrier between two generations by spending time with his grandfather.

Carl Tiflin

Jody's father, who hates weakness and sickness. Since he is a practical man and a strict disciplinarian, Jody grows to be responsible and independent.

Billy Buck

An expert and skillful cowhand, who helps Jody mature into a young man. He serves as Jody's mentor, teaching him all about raising horses. Unlike Jody's father, Billy Buck understands the boy and answers all his questions.

Minor Characters

Mrs. Tiflin

Jody's soft-spoken and understanding mother. She is a simple lady, who is always busy in the kitchen. She also encourages Jody's studies.

Gitano

An old man with a skinny but straight body. He has come from Salinas and wants to stay at the ranch until his death, for it is near his birthplace.

Old Grandfather

Mrs. Tiflin's father, who was the leader of his group during the settling of the west. He has come to stay with the Tiflins for a few days. He compares the stiffness and unity of the people in the past to the soft and smug people of the present.

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