The Red Pony - Essay Questions

  1. Compare and contrast Carl Tiflin and Billy Buck. How do their attitudes towards Jody differ? What does their treatment of Jody, Gitano, and Grandfather reveal about their personalities?
  2. Jody considers the mountains to the west mysterious and foreboding while he describes the Gabilan Mountains to the east as light and jolly. Explain what the two mountain ranges represent for Jody in the story.
  3. Compare and contrast the black cypress tree to the green watering place at the brushline. How do these places function in each of the stories and what is their significance in Jody's experiences?
  4. Consider Jody as a young page/squire in training undertaking quests in order to achieve knighthood. What are the four challenges he faces in each story? How does he respond to or overcome each one? Has Jody earned his knighthood by the end of the book? Explain why or why not.