Hunters In The Snow Analysis

1314 Words 6 Pages
Tobias Wolff's, “Hunters in the Snow”, has kept college students debating on whether it was mindlessness or malice that was Kenny’s doom since its 1980 release. Tub, Frank, and Kenny are all friends, but Kenny has the tendency to tease them about personal matters. Tub accidentally shoots Kenny and they decide to take him to the hospital, but along the way Tub and Frank bond and decide that they do not want Kenny around any longer. After Kenny was accidentally shot, Tub and Frank decide to murder him when they discover the many injustices they have both suffered due to Kenny.
Tub was always sensitive and self conscious of his weight, and Kenny’s teasing made it worse to the point where Tub’s emotions became a ticking time bomb. Kenny remarks,
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Tub asks Frank, “You want to talk about it?” To which Frank replies, “Just between us Tub?” Tub reassuringly responds, “Sure, Frank. Just between us” (167). Frank will then proceed to confess his feelings for the young girl he loves that Kenny was bugging him about. Arnaud Carré along with other authors conducted an experiment called "The Basic Empathy Scale in Adults (BES-A): Factor Structure of a Revised Form.” Carré says empathy is an important part of both emotional functioning and interpersonal cognition, making individuals attentive to mental states as well as emotions of other people (Carré ). Tub and Frank understand one another's feelings, meaning they contain a capacity for empathy. Tub confides in Frank and says, “What I said that about my glands, that wasn't true. The truth is I just shovel it in” (169). Tub confesses his eating disorder which is his greatest secret, and Frank openly supports him. Carré writes in order for people to be responsive to the emotional states of others needs, they have to be aware of their own emotions (Carré ). They talked about and understood their own, as well as each other’s issues, there is no reason they did not have an understanding of how Kenny was …show more content…
The narrator vividly describes Kenny’s physical state as, “[He] had tried to get out of the Truck but he hadn't made it. He was jack-knifed over the tailgate, his head hanging over the bumper. They lifted him back into the bed and covered him again. He was sweating and his teeth chattered” (168). Even though Tub and Frank can clearly see that Kenny is dying, they do not worry or rush. In the final line the narrator says, “They had taken a different turn a long way back” (170). If Wolff had wanted the reader to think that it was an accidental murder he would have said a wrong turn. The dictionary describes wrong as incorrectly, in a wrong direction, while different is defined as unalike (The Merriam-Webster Dictionary). It implies that Tub and Frank chose to go in that direction, thus killing

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