Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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LONESOME DOVE BOOK NOTES
This chapter concerns the thoughts and feelings of Newt and the bond he seems to have with Deets. Newt is still dwelling on the excitement of the north and what he will see there. He has made friends with Sean O’Brien and discovered that Sean hates his own father, which puts a different spin on the fact that Newt has never known his. Of course, it makes him yearn even more for Jake to talk to him, since he still believes Jake Spoon might be his father. Jake has his own problems and shows little interest in Newt. Newt also realizes as he sits around the campfire that the men resent Jake for taking Lorena away from them. It also occurs to Newt that the only things these men do around the campfire are play cards, tell stories, and speculate about whores.
Deets, meanwhile, has a sense of foreboding about starting on such a long journey. He believes that they won’t arrive until fall. He watches Newt chop wood, hoping he won’t cut his own foot off while he dreams about the journey. Deets muses about the relationship he has with the boy who questions him about everything. However, Deets doesn’t tell him everything he knows, especially that “even when life seema easy, it keeps on getting harder.” He often feels sad and understands that many men in these parts simply blow their heads off, because they can’t take enough happiness from just the sky and the moon to carry them over the sad times.
Suddenly, Newt takes a bad swing and nearly hits Deets with a piece of mesquite.
He’s embarrassed, because he had been thinking about what it would be
like to spend an afternoon with Lorena. Deets never scolds him or looks
accusingly at Newt. It’s almost as if Deets can read his mind. He just
has to remind himself that Lorie is Jake’s women and keep his mind on
The bond between Newt and Deets is unusual in that an older black man would never have been thought of as being a mentor to a young white boy. But Deets seems to understand Newt almost more than he does himself. Deets is a deep thinker and has had to turn to the beauty of the sky and the moon to take the place of his lost happiness. He listens to Newt and tries to offer him answers to his many questions, but he is wise enough to allow time and experience teach Newt that life is always going to be hard.
This chapter also adds to what we already know about the kind of young man Newt has become. He’s kind and gentle and yet hard-working. He’s devoted to Captain Call, and he has no problem with the color of Deets’ skin. He’s eager to learn and wants to see the world from the perspective of other people as evidenced by his friendship with Sean. In spite of Deets’ realization about the difficulty of life, we come to the realization that Newt has great potential for happiness.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017