John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony
“It would be a dreadful thing to tell anyone about it, for it would destroy some fragile structure of truth. It was truth that might be shattered by division.”
The Red Pony was published by Steinbeck in three parts over three years, so each of the chapters tells its own story but in the same voice. It is the story of a young boy who is growing up on a farm in California, very near the story of Tortilla Flat. The novel has a simple, cowboys and Indians feel but hits on some pretty poignant “coming of age” type themes. As I was reading this book, I was able to relate to some of what the young boy was going through because of some paralleling circumstances I was facing in Perú with a sick puppy I had fallen in love with. The style of writing compared to Tortilla Flat is very different, with a more serious and narrative approach. This novel is less about imagery and more about an honest and relatable story.