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A Boy and his Horse Steinbeck John The Red Pony 1965 NewYork NewYork Penguin Books USA Inc 100p Cmon mom Can I keep it PLEEEAAASEE I promise Ill take good care of it Ill feed it and train it and itll teach me to be responsible Its possible that all children have used this line on their poor defenseless parents atleast once Owning your first pet is like a right of passage For the first time children who are always under the care of another now have something under their care The life of an animal now depends on their actions Steinbecks The Red Pony is full of rites of passage such as this It portrays the coming of age of a young boy on a ranch through his experiences observations and relationships with the world around him Steinbecks writing style is enjoyable but the book preaches life lessons that are much deeper than what on the surface seems like leisure reading The book is broken down into four sections each revolving around a new sobering experience which Jody a farm boy encounters and the lessons he carries away from it Jody is young and na He doesnt yet understand that the world is an imperfect place where things fall apart and come to an end Over the course of the book he deals with consequences of his actions and the concept of loss In the first section Billy Buck the young farmhand and strong influence on Jody convinces Jodys father to give him a horse to teach him responsibility Jody is ecstatic and filled with fascination at this beautiful new creature However when the horse is left in the corral during a rain shower he never fully recovers from a chill Jody is crushed when his beloved pony dies He takes out his anger on the world around him blaming Billy for leaving the pony out in the cold and lashing
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