Hunters in the Snow

Kenny Character Analysis

Bullying, cunning, and brutal, Kenny is the ringleader of the friend group, but he is a genuine friend to neither Frank nor Tub. He obviously dislikes Tub, whom he mocks mercilessly for being fat, and, though he recruits Frank to gang up against Tub, he seems to have little regard for Frank either, threatening to betray Frank’s shameful secret about his illicit infatuation with “a certain babysitter.” Kenny has his mind set on violence and cruelty, and, unable to find a deer to shoot, he takes out his frustration by shooting the farmer’s dog. But he is not only aggressive, he is also sly: he doesn’t tell Tub and Frank that the farmer actually asked him to shoot his old, sick dog, and, pretending to shoot it out of hatred, he makes Tub think he is going to shoot him, too. Kenny’s prank backfires, literally and dramatically, when Tub shoots Kenny in self-defense. Although there is nothing redeeming about Kenny and some justice in his fate, by the end of the story one feels sorry for him: severely wounded, freezing, and reduced to reciting the sentence “I’m going to the hospital,” Kenny is totally neglected by Tub and Frank who, carried away by their revived intimacy, have unwittingly (or, perhaps, half-wittingly) taken a wrong turn on the way to the hospital.

Kenny Quotes in Hunters in the Snow

The Hunters in the Snow quotes below are all either spoken by Kenny or refer to Kenny. 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:
Quotes explanation long mobile

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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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“You asked him to?” Tub said. “You asked him to shoot your dog?”

“He was old and sick. Couldn’t chew his food anymore. I would have done it myself but I don’t have a gun.”

Related Characters: Tub (speaker), Farmer (speaker), Kenny, Farmer’s Dog
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Kenny Character Timeline in Hunters in the Snow

The timeline below shows where the character Kenny 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
...Tub picks up his sandwiches and approaches the driver’s window. The driver, later identified as Kenny, is laughing hysterically. “He looks just like a beach ball with a hat on,” Kenny... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
...to slide over to the middle seat. Frank reasons that Tub should be “mellow,” since Kenny was simply kidding around, but Tub continues, saying that the men are also an hour... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...warm up, they stop twice for coffee before they arrive at the woods in which Kenny wants to hunt—a location they’ve hunted twice before and come up empty handed, but which... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
...Tub says that he’s cold and Frank tells him to “stop bitching” and “get centered.” Kenny mocks Frank for using the word “centered,” and Frank tells Kenny that he talks too... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
The three 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... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
...only an egg and a stick of celery because he is trying to lose weight. Kenny teases Tub for being on a diet, and Frank, much to Kenny’s glee, tells Tub... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
...leave the 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... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...failing, they decide to head back, walking along Tub’s side of the creek. Almost immediately, Kenny spots some deer tracks leading from the creek into the woods, which Tub’s footprints clearly... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
They follow the tracks into the woods but come to a no hunting sign. Kenny wants to ignore the sign, but Frank insists that they ask the farmer who owns... (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,... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
When Tub reaches the truck, Kenny has already started driving away, and Tub has to run to catch it. He jumps... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
At the farmhouse, which is old and in need of repainting, Kenny goes in alone to get the farmer’s permission. Meanwhile, Tub tells Frank that Frank has... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Kenny re-emerges from the farmhouse with his thumbs up. As they are starting off towards the... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
...follow them into the woods but in the falling darkness they eventually lose the tracks. Kenny swears in frustration and says that “This will be the first season since I was... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Kenny and Tub follow. As they are approaching the farmhouse, Kenny starts saying he “hate[s]” things—a... (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... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...says to Tub, “You shot him.” Tub, weeping, attempts to exculpate himself, telling Frank that Kenny “made me.” Frank tells Kenny that he’s going to be okay—that he is “lucky,” even—because... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...we going to say?” Tub replies that they will say “what happened”: that he shot Kenny in self-defense. Kenny objects, but Frank tells him to calm down. (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Leaving Kenny bleeding in the snow but taking his rifle in case Kenny “get[s] ideas,” Tub and... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
...child. While Frank goes away to phone the ambulance, Tub confesses to the farmer that Kenny shot his dog. Much to Tub’s surprise, the farmer replies that he had asked Kenny... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...which Tub writes down. The farmer tells them where to find some boards to carry Kenny on and says he’ll turn on the porch light for them. (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...outside now and the wind is up. Frank retrieves the boards while Tub looks for Kenny. Kenny is not where they left him, but rather lying on his stomach up the... (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 a “male nurse” at the hospital.... (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 him with... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...at a tavern where they see dead deer strapped to the hoods of parked vehicles. Kenny, still lying in the back but with his blankets having blown off, says he is... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Upon returning to the car, they discover Kenny in a bad way. He is sweating, shivering and straddling the tailgate having tried to... (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... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...the road again, Tub tells Frank what the farmer told him: that he had asked Kenny to shoot the dog. Rather than being horrified at the mistake, Frank is tickled by... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Kenny is lying beneath the stars, saying to himself that he is going to the hospital.... (full context)