Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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LONESOME DOVE ANALYSIS / NOTES
Dish Boggett is supposed to stay with Deets and guard the better horse. However, thoughts of Lorie pull him toward the Dry Bean for one last shot at impressing her. Deets is actually glad to see Dish take off, because the man’s restlessness makes him nervous. He knows that only a woman can cure his affliction.
The reader is then given access to Deets’ thoughts. The black man loves being under the quarter moon which he is convinced the Indians understand better than any white man. Gus has told him that the moon controls the tides, but Deets wishes he had enough schooling to figure out how that could be. Gus also told him the world is round, but Deets thinks that’s just a joke. Finally, he settles down in the ground shadows, confident that he will be ready for any vaqueros who try to take the herd.
Dish arrives at the Dry bean and finds Lorena at a table with Jasper Fant and Xavier. Jasper is a “skinny little waddie” from upriver, and Dish is just as jealous of him as he would be about any other cowboy who showed an interest in Lorie. They all are glad to see Dish, because they need a fourth for cards. However, Xavier is in a bad mood, because Jake has deprived him of his whore, a drawing card for men to come and drink. Furthermore, Xavier has come to love Lorena even though she shows not the slightest interest in him except when he wants to buy sex.
Dish is shocked when Lorena asks him where Jake is, because he now realizes
that he’ll have to just outlast Jake if he wants any chance at Lorie.
Dish then speaks to Jasper Fant about why Lorie has stopped being a sporting
woman, and they both feel resentment toward Jake. Jasper also tells Dish
that he plans to sign on with Captain Call for the trip to Montana.
This is an interesting look at a man who would have been disregarded as having any kind of intelligence. The truth is that Deets is a deep thinker and wonders about many things he never had the chance to learn. It changes any stereotypes the reader might have had about a black man. Captain Call trusts him more than any of the other hands, including Gus, and Deets is naturally more competent than the rest even though he expresses that competence very subtly.
As for Dish, he still feels the desperation of loving a woman who doesn’t love him back. However, he is determined to outlast Jake, believing Lorie will eventually see that Dish is a better choice. This ironic, because he does outlast Jake by the end of the novel, but Lorie still has no use for him.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017