The Sociological Aspects in William Rawls' "Where the Red Fern Grows"

Essay by ahnkadragonUniversity, Bachelor's April 2002

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"Glory and victory were waiting for them, but sadness waited too. And close by was the strange and wonderful power that's only found where the red fern grows(WTRFG)." Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is an adventurous tale about a boy growing up in the Ozark Mountains and the relationship that he has with his two dogs. This coming of age story begins when a man encounters a dog fight while walking home from work. He watches the fight and is surprised when he spies a mangey old redbone hound actually putting up a terrific fight against the much healthier pack of dogs surrounding the hound. The fight finally ends when the man takes off his coat and starts swatting at the pack of dogs who now have the redbone hound backed into a bush. The man calms the old dog down and is surprised at what he finds.

The dog is very beat up and travel worn and wears a crudely made collar lovingly scribbled with the name 'Buddy.' This dog reminds the man of his own childhood during the Great Depression and the two dogs that he owned and loved. As he cares for, and feeds the old redbone stray, he starts to remember his exploits as a child growing up in the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma and how much he loved his own dogs.

The real story begins when the man, who is named Billy Coleman, begins to recount his childhood. He remembers that when he was 10-years old he was stuck by the 'terrible disease of puppy love.' We learn that though he wants a pair of coon hunting pups badly, his family just cannot afford to buy them for him no matter how badly Billy wants them. However, Billy does not let this...