The red airplane that Lily sees upon her return journey from Red Lake is the ultimate symbol of modern technology, and represents the inevitability of the future. Throughout the book, Lily bravely sets off into the unknown, eager to see what the world has to offer and to be a part of something more than what life on the ranch would allow. She actively seeks and embraces the future, but the plane also reveals that the future is coming even for those who, like Dad, hate and fear it. Lily chooses not to tell Dad about the plane because she knows it will upset him. Nevertheless, no matter how much Dad rails against modernity, he cannot stop it from quite literally flying overhead. As Lily says, the future is not going anywhere, and the only way to deal with it is to “climb aboard.” Beyond being unstoppable, the plane also suggests just how much new technology is going to change the fabric of society. Lily notes that a journey that took four weeks on horseback would be a quick hop in a plane; modern technology will connect the world in ways like never before, opening people’s eyes to opportunities and ideas that they could never have imagined previously.
The Red Airplane Quotes in Half Broke Horses
As I listened to Dad, I could feel myself pulling away from him. All my life I'd been hearing Dad reminiscing about the past and railing against the future. I decided not to tell him about the red airplane. It would only get him more worked up. What Dad didn't understand was that no matter how much he hated or feared the future, it was coming, and there was only one way to deal with it: by climbing aboard.
Cars were supposed to mean freedom, but all these people stuck in traffic on one way streets—where you weren't even allowed to make a U-turn to get the hell out of the jam—might as well have been sitting in cages. … Nothing had ever made me feel as free as flying and I was only a few hours away from getting my pilot’s license so I decided to take up lessons again. The airport had a flying school, but when I showed up one day, the clerk passed me an entire sheaf of forms and started yammering about eye exams physicals, takeoff slots, elevation restrictions and no-fly zones. I realized that these city folks had boxed off and chopped up the sky the same way they had the ground.