"Where the Red Fern Grows" Analysis

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Do you remember your first dog? Also, do you remember the devastation you felt when this beloved animal died? Billy, an adolescent, in Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls saves up money for two years all in the hope of purchasing two coon hounds. After getting these dogs, Old Dan and Little Anne, he endures many exciting adventures with them but in the end Old Dan is killed by a vicious mountain lion. Soon after Dan’s death Anne dies along with him because she cannot bear the loss of her brother. In this book Billy learns the truth about life; that when having an important responsibility you gain a sense of maturity and adulthood.

Billy shows maturity when he tries to save the money for the dogs. First he showed discipline and a sense of responsibility when he had to save the 50 dollars to buy his dogs. Billy saved money for two years working odd jobs and also working at his grandpa’s general store. He didn’t spend any money while saving and collected everything that would help he kept pennies and any other type of currency. After saving the money he secretly left his house and walked nearly 10 miles through the woods to town. While in town he went to the post office to receive his pups. He also went to the stores in town and purchased items for his family with his own money. Billy going to town on his own and showing the discipline and more importantly, the maturity to buy his dogs furthermore proves the point that having an important responsibility gives you a sense of adulthood.

When Billy competes against other men and dogs in the coon hunting competition he shows a main transition from being a child to becoming a man. After hunting for a year Billy signs up for a hunting tournament, competing against men who are both older and more experienced hunters. While at the competition a major symbol of him growing up is that before his first hunt his father and grandfather pour three cups of coffee instead of two. This shows that Billy’s elders don’t see...
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