The End of Old Horse Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 18 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The End of Old Horse.
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Language and Meaning

Ortiz uses language, and in particular obscene language, to represent the confused emotions that his characters are feeling. The narrator of this story shows his awareness of the special power of obscene language in the beginning of the story, when he notes that his younger brother Gilly liked to swear and that he did too, only not as much. At that point in the story, the use of obscenity just seems like a way for a younger boy to act older, like Gilly imitating Tony.

As the story progresses, though, it becomes clear that obscene language is not so much a posture, a way of acting cool, as it is an act of desperation, of venting emotions that one cannot show in any other way. When he first learns of Old Horse's death, Gilly does not swear, but instead becomes silent, in an attempt to stop...

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This section contains 911 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The End of Old Horse Study Guide
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The End of Old Horse from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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