At the finish of the novel, several months after the deaths the Old Dan and small Ann, Billy Colman and also his family members prepare to relocate out of their Ozark hill home and also pursue a brand-new life in town. Together the household packs up their buggy come leave, Billy pays one critical visit to his lover hounds’ graves—and sees that a beautiful red fern has sprouted between them. Follow to “old Indian legend,” the red fern an initial sprouted whereby a young boy and girl froze to fatality while shed in a blizzard—rumor has it that “only an angel” have the right to plant the seeds of the red fern in order to mark a “sacred” spot.

The red fern, then, comes to symbolize the sanctity of the spirit and the possibility of rebirth and also renewal in the challenge of death and also loss. See the sacred fern ~ above his dogs’ graves allows Billy come make tranquility with their deaths at last—an integral part of his coming-of-age journey and also his knowledge of the circle of life—and prepare to relocate on native his boyhood home and also his childish notions the life and death. “Part of my life is hidden there too,” the older Billy says of his dogs’ tombs at the finish of the novel. Through this, the sprouting that the red fern both externalizes and also symbolizes the “death” the a “Part that life” so the a new chapter deserve to begin and a new understanding that the civilization can take root and grow.




You are watching: Symbolism in where the red fern grows

The Where the Red Fern Grows quotes listed below all describe the symbol of The Red Fern. For each quote, girlfriend can likewise see the other characters and themes regarded it (each template is shown by its own dot and also icon, like this one:
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).Note: all web page numbers and citation information for the quotes listed below refer to the Yearling execution of Where the Red Fern Grows released in 1996.

"Don"t touch it, Mama," my oldest sister whispered. "It was planted by one angel."

Mama smiled and also asked, "Have friend heard the legend?"

"Yes, Mama," my sister said. “Grandma told me the story and also I believe it, too."

With a major look ~ above his face, Papa said, "These hills are full of legends. Up until now I"ve never paid much attention to them, but now i don"t know. Maybe there is something come the legend that the red fern. Probably this is God"s way of helping Billy understand why his dog died."

“I’m certain it is, Papa," ns said, "and I perform understand. Ns feel different now, and I don"t hurt any more."


Related Characters:Billy’s sisters (speaker), Billy’s mom / Mama (speaker), Billy’s father / Papa (speaker), Billy Colman (speaker), Old Dan, little Ann, Grandma
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Page Number and Citation:281Cite this Quote
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