Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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ONLINE ANALYSIS FOR LONESOME DOVE
This chapter really reinforces the careless side of Jakeís character. He knows
that leaving Lorena the way he did is wrong, but he finds a way to deny
his bad decision by blaming her or the members of Callís company for her
kidnapping. He also associates with questionable characters like Sally
Skull and then the Suggs Brothers rather than finding the courage to do
the right thing. The more the reader comes in contact with Jake the more
obvious it is that he is heading for a fall.
July Johnson is continuing to work his way north in a country that seems devoid of any life, human or animal. The emptiness of the countryside begins to disturb him almost as much as the three bodies he left buried by the Canadian River. He thinks that his whole life is completely futile and that returning to the normalcy of Fort Smith is as remote as anything he can imagine. When his horse goes lame, July is forced to shoot him and so loses the last companion he has in life. Now he begins to walk, carrying only half a canteen of water and coming across no creeks. That first night after his horseís death, he thinks about killing himself and laughs at the irony - the only person he would be credited for killing would be himself. He berates himself for his wrong choices, but he feels like he just has to find Elmira.
The next day, July gets up and starts to walk again. He finds a spring which
is only a trickle, but enough fill his canteen. He also shoots a badger
to give himself some food. On the third day walking, he sees a small cattle
herd and persuades the old man leading them to sell him a horse. Four
days later, he trots into Dodge City.
This chapter is again character revealing, this time of the character of July Johnson. In a sense, itís easy to a see why Elmira might have found herself irked by July. He is indecisive most of the time or becomes fixated on one thought which he canít give up, like finding Elmira. He also makes unwise decisions when he makes them at all and then must face the consequences of his actions. The irony is that, most of the time, the consequences are more serious for the people around him than for him.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017