But in "Hunters in the Snow", lies, betrayal and insensitivity have overshadowed the good aspects of one another. This situation is played out in a snowy surrounding, as if the whiteness of the place makes a stark background to the evil that's brewing among the three friends. Each of the three buddies tries to look for a deer to shoot, each not really keen on doing so, and this accounts so much for their failure (other hunters as told in the story would have their deer "strapped to the hoods" of their jeeps and cars) as not having seen a deer to shoot.
Tub, the first character introduced in the story is a sensitive person who battles a gluttony problem and hides it with apparent efforts to diet. Sensitivity in a person, though a positive trait makes that person vulnerable to others and makes him violent at times. Tub fires off at a Kenny for shooting at old dog after their failure to shoot any deer, "What did he ever do to you" Both Frank and Kenny, rib him for being fat, knowing that
"Nobody knows. That's the worst of it, Frank. Not the being fat, I never got any big kick out of being thin, but the lying. Having to lead a double life like a spy or a hit man. Like when I make a big deal about only having an orange for breakfast and then scarf all the way to work. Oreos, Mars Bars, Twinkies. Sugar Babies. Snickers". And when Tub shoots Kenny, out of weakness and fear that he would end up like the unfortunate dog, he could only say, "I had to".
Among the three friends, Frank probably has the capacity to be understanding about the extreme sides of his two friends - Tub's sensitivity and Kenny's toughness. Instead, this insight to the truth made him perverted and manipulative. When Tub was horrified with Frank's confirmation of an affair with a fifteen-year old girl, he makes for a philosophical pitch against conformity, "You can't just put people into categories like that, Tub. That's why the whole system is wrong. And that's why this country is going to hell in a rowboat." Frank even likens his young girlfriend with Shakespeare's Juliet, an indication of his intellectual capacity "Fifteen. She'll be sixteen in May. May fourth, three twenty-seven p.m. Hell, Tub, a hundred years ago she'd have been an old maid by that age. Juliet was only thirteen." Frank also pitches for Tub's sympathy for his relationship trouble and to appease his guilt towards his plans of leaving his wife. He does by taking advantage of Tub's food weakness - and succeeds because Tub also needs Frank to expiate himself from shooting their friend. The two takes their time at another roadhouse, not really in a hurry to carry their bleeding friend to a hospital. Instead, Frank orders
Tobias Wolff's's "Hunters in the Snow"
platefuls of pancakes, butter and syrup to further corrupt Tub and make him an accomplice in his deceit. When at the end, and on the wheel, he says "I'm going to the hospital" to the bleeding Kenny's hope of making it alive - he commits the final betrayal, with Tub's connivance.
Kenny, the apparent