Writing Techniques in The Red Pony

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The techniques in The Red Pony typify the style that won Steinbeck immense popularity. Rising to prominence at the height of the Depression, Steinbeck seemed to reflect the mood of the era with his bare lines of simple prose.

Steinbeck derives his literary power from his use of symbolism for ironic effect. The symbolic images in the plot allow the reader to perceive the significance of an event on a much deeper level than do the characters. The pony in The Red Pony, for example, functions as a symbol of Jody's boyhood and innocence as well as a symbol of his future. When the pony dies, the reader experiences a sense of loss, because the pony's death represents Jody's loss of innocence. But while the reader understands that Jody's life has been dramatically altered by the death of the pony, Jody, ironically, grieves for his pony without the ability...

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This section contains 251 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Red Pony Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Red Pony from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.