Literary Analysis Of Hunters In The Snow By Tobias Wolff

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“Hunters in the Snow” by Tobias Wolff is a tale that depicts the complexity of human relationships and the struggle for power amidst the burdens of sin and deception. The three main characters, Tub, Kenny, and Frank have a hierarchy within their friendship, and the reader sees this balance of authority shift throughout the story. The two men almost end up leaving Tub behind when the trip begins, and Tub’s inability to catch up to them is a struggle that follows him throughout the story. The external conflict of the character’s physical altercation, and the internal conflict, which is Tub’s selfish struggle for recognition and power within the group, begin to resolve themselves when Kenny is seen as the dead weight. Through the author’s development …show more content…

The characters in “Hunters in the Snow” are complex, flawed individuals who exemplify the unsavory facets of human nature. The three main characters, Tub, Kenny, and Frank, are assumed to be a group of friends, however, the text makes it apparent that the trio are not close friends, but rather familiar acquaintances competing for the top spot in the group’s pecking order. Tub, the protagonist, has always been at the bottom of the food chain compared to Frank and Kenny, as his issues with his weight had always been an easy target for their ribbing and harassment. Tub is a middle-aged, overweight man who puts on the façade of a man …show more content…

The reader sees the story through an all-knowing narrator’s eyes, rather than offering insight through a certain character’s view. The omniscience is shown in the final paragraph of the piece, “But he was wrong. They had taken a different turn a long way back.” By using this language, the narrator is articulating Tub’s and Frank’s betrayal of Kenny, and how they are leaving him to die. This point of view is effective in illustrating humanity’s desire for ascendancy in “Hunters in the Snow”, because the reader is seeing the conflict unfold from a broader perspective. The audience is seeing the story as a whole, instead of limiting the narrative to one character’s eyes. Omniscience allows the reader to form his or her own judgements regarding the character’s thoughts and motives. Tub becoming Frank’s new best friend, while abandoning all empathy and acknowledgement for Kenny would not be as powerful if the reader had not been spectating the event. The suspense created during the build-up of the conflict- as well as the thoughts invoked by the resolution- can only be accomplished by this vast point of view, as it enables the reader to ponder the characters and the complexities of their

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