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Tobias Wolff: Hunters in the Snow Essay

Tobias Wolff’s “Hunters in the Snow” brings together three self-centered, immature men who lead themselves into a situation that cannot end happily. After Tub, Kenny, and Frank set out of an adventurous day of hunting, they soon find themselves in a position that none of them could have imagined. After a day of low life decisions, disgusting remarks, and a bad joke gone wrong. Frank and Tub find themselves taking Kenny to the hospital. Throughout “Hunters in the Snow” the narrator shows how the actions of these immature self-centered men decisions lead them into a situation that cannot end happily; therefor, make the story an example of literary fiction.

Throughout the story Kenny and Frank act more as animals that humans in their self-centered jokes focused on Tub. Tub is constantly being left behind blaming it on a personal gland problem which Kenny and Frank take no part in hearing. At one point in the story a senseless joke by Kenny goes a little to far leaving Tub threatened. Tub then responds with a shot to Kenny’s stomach with his rifle.

At the end of the story Tub and Kenny are nothing short of apathetic while taking Kenny to the hospital. They tell Kenny to keep repeating to himself that they are going to make it to the hospital. They then stop at a diner to enjoy themselves a hot meal and place to warm up, leaving Kenny in the bed of the truck while it is freezing. When they exit the diner they notice that the blanket they had wrapped Kenny in had blown off of him, they jokingly mentioned him obviously not needing the blanket so they took the blanket and used it in the truck for themselves. The narrator makes late mention of an earlier wrong turn which leaves this story with an indeterminate ending.


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