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The Ox-Bow Incident

Walter Van Tilburg Clark

Study Help Essay Questions

1. Compare and contrast Art and Gil Carter; would either one behave differently by himself?

2. How important are social pressures in determining what happens in the story?

3. What are Major Tetley's motivations for acting as he does?

4. Does The Ox-Bow Incident suggest that men are inherently good or bad? Or something else?

5. Do you share Art Davies's conviction that he is to blame for what happened, even more guilty than Major Tetley?

6. Of what importance are setting and climate to this story? Could it happen in a mountainless state and/or in summer?

7. In what ways is The Ox-Bow Incident unlike conventional cowboy stories?

8. Do you applaud or condemn Sheriff Risley's decision to ignore the crimes of the posse? Why?