Where the Red Fern Grows: Perseverance

Topics: Great Depression, American films Pages: 2 (596 words) Published: April 28, 2014
Claire Bush
Captain Smith
ELA III Period 5

Where the Red Fern Grows:

Perseverance…steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. Starting from the very beginning of this book we see the determination and willpower, when Billy manages to earn enough money to buy his dogs. From berry-picking, crawfish-catching, to coon-treeing and mountain lion-slaying, there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do to get what he wants. This quote from Chapter 3, Paragraph 17, “I caught crawfish with my bare hands [...] I tore my way through the blackberry patches until my feet were scratched raw and red from the thorns,” truth is found in the theme of determination, because once again… he pushed through it all, he always had.

Seeing as this book was set during the Great Depression, money was very hard to earn. Thousands of families could not be provided for, but Billy, putting in everything he had, made enough money to buy his dogs on his own. Billy demonstrates great perseverance in getting his dogs - he worked odd jobs for two years to save up enough money to buy the hounds, then walks through the night to pick up the dogs he had been waiting so long for. He then comes across every other dilemma possible throughout the telling of the story, and he meets every one of them full force—including the quandry of losing them tragically, but he shows us in the book that there is a fine line between perseverance and stubbornness, and Billy often finds himself teetering along both sides. Nearly every action by Billy and his dogs is work of determination. Many times while hunting, Little Ann does not divagate from the trail of a coon, whereas Old Dan never gives up the chase - Billy has to make him turn away.

“To him it made no difference how long the road, or how rough or rocky. His old red feet would keep jogging along, on and on, mile after mile. There would be no...
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