In Red Ryder Nails the Hammond Kid the main character is trying every idea he can to make sure that on Christmas he will receive a BB Gun. Numerous events affect the plots outcome and Ralphie's idea of Christmas later in life. The plot has a fast pace because of the upcoming event of Christmas.The bitter winter in Northern Indiana makes the plot seem more realistic and close to home. Ralphie's plans to receive a BB Gun for Christmas makes the plot seem more child like and festive because his knowledge of the holidays. Overall Ralphie's plans help to show his sincerity for wanting the Red Ryder BB Gun.
Point of View
The point of view in this story is that of Ralphie the main character. His point of view starts with himself later in life and then thinking back to his youth. Ralphie's point of view expresses the desire he has for the BB Gun and the opposition he is shown when he pronounces his wishes. His point of view is filled with excitement, joy, and at times frustration. Ralphie feels as if the entire world is against him and his quest to receive the Red Ryder BB Gun. " Was there no end to this conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?" page 488.
The character development in this story is minimal in the supporting characters as well as the main character Ralphie. The other characters are only described by their personalities and physical appearance if at all. The story does a nice job of displaying minor characters and their physical appearance." ...waddling under the weight of frost-covered clothing like tiny frozen bowling balls with feet" page 477. The story also shows characters in a humorous light which makes the tension that is made between Ralphie and his peers seem lesser. Ralphie is the most explored character in the story. Ralphie's inner thoughts are focused primarily on how to get the Red Ryder BB Gun and all the amazing adventures he will have when he gets it.
The setting of this short story changes numerous times. The setting goes from Manhattan to Northern Indiana. The majority of the story though stays in the confines of Ralphie's house or the town around him. Since the story is being told as a memory the story jumps from point to point without any segway. One of the major points in the story takes place in the kitchen of Ralphie's boyhood home which further shows that his house is a majority setting. The story is also set in the dead of winter which gives a feeling of eagerness for the holidays.
ThemeThere are two main themes in this short story. One theme is denial which is seen most when adults are present. The next theme that occurs numerous times is desire. Desire shows up in Ralphie's numerous plans and ideas that he creates in his mind. When Ralphie professes his wish for a BB Gun he is denied by an adult who always says "You'll shoot your eye out, Kid!". A third theme is the concept of gift giving and the varities that it comes in. Ralphie believes that the only way to give gifts is on Christmas Eve and that the rest of the neighborhood was unfortunate because they opened their gifts on the morning of Christmas.