Hunters in the Snow

by

Tobias Wolff

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Frank Character Analysis

Frank is, in many ways, the most powerful of the three friends, profiting from Kenny and Tub’s evident dislike of each other by switching sides when it is convenient. He believes that “[t]here are all these forces” which “you just have to go with.” Kenny calls this Frank’s “hippie bullshit,” but it could equally be seen as Frank’s philosophy of opportunism and his slightly Machiavellian passivity. Likewise, he could be seen as the most romantic and passionate of the three men—he tells Tub he is in love with his “whole being”—but Frank’s supposed sensitivity is what leads him to the selfish and destructive plan to desert his wife, Nancy, and their children, in pursuit of the underage Roxanne Brewer, who is a fifteen-year-old babysitter. His response to Tub’s confession about his compulsive overeating is also morally dubious. He orders Tub four plates of pancakes and watches with evident pleasure as Tub eats them all. Frank says it is “[b]eautiful,” as if indulging Tub’s damaging habit gratifies Frank’s aesthetic sensibility.

Frank Quotes in Hunters in the Snow

The Hunters in the Snow quotes below are all either spoken by Frank or refer to Frank. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Hunters in the Snow published in 2008.
Hunters in the Snow Quotes

He looked like a cartoon of a person laughing, except that his eyes watched the man on the seat beside him. “You ought to see yourself,” the driver said. “He looks just like a beach ball with a hat on, doesn’t he? Doesn’t he, Frank?” The man beside him smiled and looked off.

Related Characters: Kenny (speaker), Tub, Frank
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

They started off across the field. Tub had trouble getting through the fences. Frank and Kenny could have helped him; they could have lifted up on the top wire and stepped on the bottom wire, but they didn’t. They stood and watched him. There were a lot of fences and Tub was puffing when they reached the woods.

Related Characters: Tub, Frank, Kenny
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:

The snow was light but the drifts were deep and hard to move through. Wherever Tub looked the surface was smooth, undisturbed, and after a time he lost interest. He stopped looking for tracks and just tried to keep up with Frank and Kenny on the other side.

Related Characters: Tub, Frank, Kenny
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

The snow was shaded and had a glaze on it. It held up Kenny and Frank but Tub kept falling through. As he kicked forward, the edge of the crust bruised his shins.

Related Characters: Tub, Frank, Kenny
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

“I came out here to get me a deer, not listen to a bunch of hippie bullshit. And if it hadn’t been for dimples here I would have, too. […] And you—you’re so busy thinking about that little jailbait of yours you wouldn’t know a deer if you saw one.”

“Drop dead.”

Related Characters: Frank (speaker), Kenny (speaker), Tub, Roxanne Brewer
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

“I hate that post,” he said. He raised his rifle and fired. It sounded like a dry branch cracking. […] “I hate that tree,” he said, and fired again. […] “I hate that dog.” […] Kenny fired. The bullet went in between the dog’s eyes. […] Kenny turned to Tub. “I hate you.”

Related Characters: Kenny (speaker), Tub, Frank, Farmer’s Dog
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:

“You get anything?” he asked.

“No,” Frank said.

“I knew you wouldn’t. That’s what I told the other fellow.”

“We’ve had an accident.”

[…] “Shot your friend, did you?”

Frank nodded.

“I did,” Tub said.

“I suppose you want to use the phone.”

“If it’s okay.”

Related Characters: Tub (speaker), Frank (speaker), Farmer (speaker), Kenny
Page Number: 27-28
Explanation and Analysis:

“You fat moron,” Frank said. “You aren’t good for diddly.”

Tub grabbed Frank by the collar and backed him hard up against the fence. […] “What do you know about fat,” Tub said. “What do you know about glands.” As he spoke he kept shaking Frank. “What do you know about me.”

Related Characters: Tub (speaker), Frank (speaker)
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

“Tub, don’t you see how you’re dividing people up into categories? He’s an executive, she’s a secretary, he’s a truck driver, she’s fifteen years old. Tub, this so-called babysitter, this so-called fifteen-year-old has more in her little finger than most of us have in our entire bodies. I can tell you this little lady is something special.”

Related Characters: Frank (speaker), Tub, Roxanne Brewer
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

“Nobody knows. That’s the worst of it, Frank. Not the being fat […] but the lying. Having to lead a double life like a spy or a hit man. This sounds strange but I feel sorry for those guys, I really do. I know what they go through. Always having to think about what you say and do. Always feeling like people are watching you, trying to catch you at something. Never able to just be yourself.”

Related Characters: Tub (speaker), Frank
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

“No wiping,” he said. Tub kept at it. The syrup covered his chin; it dripped to a point like a goatee. […] Tub took the fork in his left hand and lowered his head and started really chowing down. “Clean your plate,” Frank said when the pancakes were gone, and Tub lifted each of the four plates and licked it clean. He sat back, trying to catch his breath.

“Beautiful,” Frank said. “Are you full?”

“I’m full,” Tub said. “I’ve never been so full.”

Related Characters: Tub (speaker), Frank (speaker)
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

Right overhead was the Big Dipper, and behind, hanging between Kenny’s toes in the direction of the hospital, was the North Star, Pole Star, Help to Sailors. As the truck twisted through the gentle hills the star went back and forth between Kenny’s boots, staying always in his sight. “I’m going to the hospital,” Kenny said. But he was wrong. They had taken a different turn a long way back.

Related Characters: Kenny (speaker), Tub, Frank
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hunters in the Snow PDF

Frank Character Timeline in Hunters in the Snow

The timeline below shows where the character Frank appears in Hunters in the Snow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Hunters in the Snow
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
...hysterically. “He looks just like a beach ball with a hat on,” Kenny says to Frank (the man in the passenger seat), and Frank smiles. (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Telling the men that they could have killed him, Tub gets in the car, causing Frank to slide over to the middle seat. Frank reasons that Tub should be “mellow,” since... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
When they arrive at the woods, Tub says that he’s cold and Frank tells him to “stop bitching” and “get centered.” Kenny mocks Frank for using the word... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...of them set off towards the woods. Tub, who is less nimble than Kenny and Frank, finds it difficult to get through fences and the snow, but instead of helping him,... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
...he is trying to lose weight. Kenny teases Tub for being on a diet, and Frank, much to Kenny’s glee, tells Tub that he so fat that he hasn’t “seen [his]... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
...woods and start hunting along a creek, looking for tracks. They split up, Kenny and Frank on one bank and Tub alone on the other. In an effort to keep up... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...woods but come to a no hunting sign. Kenny wants to ignore the sign, but Frank insists that they ask the farmer who owns the land for permission to hunt on... (full context)
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
They head back to the truck and Tub lags behind Kenny and Frank again—so far behind that he can’t even their voices anymore. Tired and dispirited, Tub sits... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
...need of repainting, Kenny goes in alone to get the farmer’s permission. Meanwhile, Tub tells Frank that Frank has “a short memory,” because he has evidently forgotten that Tub “used to... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...and snarling back, until the dog retreats in fear, “peeing a little as he went.” Frank says that the dog is “Fifteen years if he’s a day.” Kenny says it is... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
...“This will be the first season since I was fifteen I haven’t got my deer.” Frank tells Kenny that he can’t blame the deer, but that “There are all these forces... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...Kenny starts saying he “hate[s]” things—a post, then a tree—and shooting them with his rifle. Frank tells him to “Knock it off,” but Kenny merely looks at Tub and smiles. Tub... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Kenny crumples onto the snow. Tub calls Frank’s name, but Frank doesn’t react. Kenny, rocking on the snow in pain, says it was... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Frank, as if in disbelief, says to Tub, “You shot him.” Tub, weeping, attempts to exculpate... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Tub suggests they call an ambulance, but Frank isn’t sure, asking, “What are we going to say?” Tub replies that they will say... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...bleeding in the snow but taking his rifle in case Kenny “get[s] ideas,” Tub and Frank head towards the farmhouse. They have to knock twice before the farmer answers. He asks... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
In the farmhouse, there is a woman with a sleeping child. While Frank goes away to phone the ambulance, Tub confesses to the farmer that Kenny shot his... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Frank returns with the news that the nearest hospital is fifty miles away and there are... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
It is entirely dark outside now and the wind is up. Frank retrieves the boards while Tub looks for Kenny. Kenny is not where they left him,... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
Frank returns with the boards and Kenny makes a joke about hoping that he doesn’t have... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Frank lifts Kenny back onto the boards and into the bed of the truck and covers... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Snow and wind get into the car through the broken windshield, and soon Frank’s fingers are too cold to drive. They stop at a tavern where they see dead... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
In the tavern, the waitress brings some coffee over, and Frank says, “Just what the doctor ordered.” Frank concedes to Tub that he doesn’t pay attention... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
Tub shakes his head and starts to guess how young the babysitter is, but Frank interrupts him, saying she’s “Fifteen.” Tub, shocked and disapproving, says that “she doesn’t have breasts.”... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...tried to escape. They lift him back into the truck and he complains: “It hurts, Frank.” Frank says it wouldn’t hurt if he “stayed put,” and tells him to say the... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...again, Tub realizes that he has left the directions to the hospital at the tavern. Frank reassures him that he can remember the way. (full context)
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
Soon, Frank and Tub are too cold to continue again. They pull over at a roadhouse. While... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
Tub asks Frank if he thinks he is “disgusting.” Frank responds by ordering Tub four plates of pancakes,... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Back at the truck, Kenny’s blankets have blown off again. Frank says that they should use the blankets themselves. Kenny is still repeating “I’m going to... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
On the road again, Tub tells Frank what the farmer told him: that he had asked Kenny to shoot the dog. Rather... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...the stars, saying to himself that he is going to the hospital. He isn’t, though; Frank accidentally took “a different turn a long way back.” (full context)