Hunters in the SnowSMJ
By: Tobias Wolff Plot-
Plot-"Hunters in the Snow" starts off with three friends who are walking through the woods searching for some deer or other game to kill. They eventually find some deer tracks and follow them into a no hunting area. After asking for permission from the land-owner, they lose the tracks. Kenny, one of the hunters, gets angry that they lost the tracks and shoots a tree, sign, dog and goes to shoot one of his fellow hunters, Tub. In, defence Tub shoots Kenny before he could fire at Tub. Tub and the third hunter, Frank, rush Kenny to the hospital, having to stop at two places to warm up from the cold climate. At each places they talk about each other's problems and mistakes then get back on the road to try to get Kenny to the hospital. They eventually take a wrong turn in the woods leaving Kenny enough time to bleed out and die.
Setting- This short story takes place around present day and during the winter in a climate similar to Alaska. This setting was chosen to emphasize the extreme-ness of the weather and it allowed for some good, deep-down dialogue when Frank and Tub are warming up in the taverns on the way to the hospital. "...but it was no warmer and after a time both Frank and Tub were bitten through and shaking." (Wolff 13)
Theme- Everybody has problems, that can come back to bite them if they are not careful
Tone- Tobias Wolff feels depressed and a little bit angry towards the audience. "Tub had been waiting for an hour in the falling snow. He paced the sidewalk to keep warm..." (Wolff 1) "... 'I'm going to the hospital,' Kenny said. But he was wrong. They had taken a different turn a long way back." (Wolff 15)
Irony- 1: When Kenny shoots the dog, the audience is very surprised and kind of sad about it but later it is discovered that the owner of the land told him to shoot the dog.
2: Tub complains about being cold near the beginning of the story and Kenny and Frank tell him to stop complaining. Later in the story, Kenny complains about being cold the entire ride to the hospital. "'I'm cold,' Tub said. Frank breathed out. 'Stop bitching, Tub. Get centered.' 'I wasn't bitching.' 'Centered,' Kenny said..." (Wolff 2)
Characterization- Kenny is a very humorous man and he takes his hunting very seriously. He has a problem with his temper. Frank is very vague and a little bit emotional. He has a problem with the relationship he has with his wife. Tub is overweight, pretty emotional, and can think/react quickly. He has a problem with his eating habits. "'This is the worst day of hunting I ever had, bar none'...'This will be the first season since I was fifteen I haven't got my deer.'" (Wolff 5) "'Like when I make a big deal about only having an orange for breakfast and then scarf all the way to work.'" (Wolff 14) "Frank hadn't moved since Kenny killed the dog... Frank roused himself. 'Kenny,' he said... 'you shot him,' he said to Tub." (Wolff 6)
Point-of-View- The point-of-view for "Hunters" in the Snow is third-person limited. Wolff chose this because it added some drama into the story and it gave the characters some mysteriousness at times and at other times some emotion.
Foreshadowing- Kenny asks the others to ask him how he wanted to die which foreshadows his death. "'You ask me how I want to die today,'" (Wolff 2) Kenny almost runs over Tub near the beginning of the story which foreshadows Tub killing Kenny/ Kenny dieing. "'You almost ran me down' Tub said. 'You could've killed me'" (Wolff 1)
Conflict- Man vs. Nature: The entire story, the hunters were battling through the cold, snowy weather. "Tub had been waiting for an hour in the falling snow" (Wolff 1) "...but it was no warmer and after a time both Frank and Tub were bitten through and Shaking." (Wolff 13) Man vs. Himself: Tub gets angry at himself because of how he is overweight and how he tells people that he is on a diet but he really isn't. "'Like when I make a big deal about only having an orange for breakfast and then scarf all the way to work.'" (Wolff 14)
Figurative Language- Personification: "Frozen reeds stuck out, barely nodding when the air moved." (Wolff 3)
Simile: "Every time he barked he slid backwards a bit, like a cannon recoiling." (Wolff 4-5)