Hunters in the Snow

Tub Character Analysis

As his name suggests, Tub is fat, slow, and the butt of Kenny and Frank’s jokes. He is the story’s protagonist, but he has none of the heroism or charisma of a traditional leading character. Although he is the story’s most sympathetic character, Tub is more pathetic than admirable, unable to stand up to Kenny’s bullying and gratefully accepting Frank’s friendship after Kenny is out of the picture, even after Frank has failed to stick up for him. Tub has kids but doesn’t have the self-possession or maturity one expects from a responsible adult. He is ostracized for being overweight, but this is not what he is ashamed of: he is ashamed of his “double life”—his compulsive overeating when alone—so he lies to Kenny and Frank and diets in front of them, pretending he is overweight because of his “glands.” Unlike Kenny, Tub is neither malicious nor aggressive, but he does snap when pushed: first, from fear, when he shoots Kenny in self-defense, and second, from anger, when, unable to take any more abuse about his size, he grabs Frank by the collar. Tub is the only character in the story who shows any real loyalty: he expects Frank to stick up for him, and when Frank confesses to him that he is leaving his wife and children for a fifteen year-old babysitter, Tub says that, as Frank’s friend, he’ll always be on his side. Tub’s intentions are good, but his theory of friendship seems misguided when one considers Frank’s treatment of him—making fun of him under Kenny’s influence, and only switching his loyalty to Tub once Kenny has been shot.

Tub Quotes in Hunters in the Snow

The Hunters in the Snow quotes below are all either spoken by Tub or refer to Tub. 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

“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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“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:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“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:
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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Tub Character Timeline in Hunters in the Snow

The timeline below shows where the character Tub appears in Hunters in the Snow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Hunters in the Snow
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
For an hour, Tub has been waiting on the side of the road in heavy snow. One driver nearly... (full context)
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
Suddenly, a truck comes sliding around the corner, blaring its horn. Tub waves it down and the truck comes towards him but doesn’t slow down as it... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
The truck comes to a halt and Tub picks up his sandwiches and approaches the driver’s window. The driver, later identified as Kenny,... (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... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...they’ve hunted twice before and come up empty handed, but which they’re trying again despite Tub’s desire to try a new spot. (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... (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... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
After two hours and no sign of deer, they stop for lunch by a creek. Tub eats only an egg and a stick of celery because he is trying to lose... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
...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 with Frank and Kenny, Tub... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
With daylight 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... (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.... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
When Tub reaches the truck, Kenny has already started driving away, and Tub has to run to... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
...and in 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... (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 post, then... (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... (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 himself, telling Frank that Kenny “made me.”... (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... (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 Frank head towards the farmhouse. They have to knock twice before the farmer answers.... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
...is a woman with a sleeping 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... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...there are no available ambulances. The woman gives them some directions for a shortcut, which Tub writes down. The farmer tells them where to find some boards to carry Kenny on... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
...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, but rather lying on his... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
...have a “male nurse” at the hospital. “That’s the spirit,” Frank says, as he and Tub hoist Kenny onto the boards. Kenny screams and kicks in pain at the movement. Frank... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...to the Japanese,” who, he says, “can make a hell of a truck.” Frank and Tub are alone up front together for the first time, and Frank apologizes to Tub again... (full context)
Friendship and Cruelty Theme Icon
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
...brings some coffee over, and Frank says, “Just what the doctor ordered.” Frank concedes to Tub that he doesn’t pay attention enough and explains that he’s been preoccupied. Then, Frank says... (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... (full context)
Narcissism, Neglect, and the Dereliction of Duty Theme Icon
Back on the road again, Tub realizes that he has left the directions to the hospital at the tavern. Frank reassures... (full context)
Secrets and Deception Theme Icon
Soon, Frank and Tub are too cold to continue again. They pull over at a roadhouse. While they are... (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... (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... (full context)