Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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LONESOME DOVE PLOT NOTES / CHAPTER ANALYSIS
This scene is important in that we see Call react like any father would when
his son was in trouble. He doesnít recognize thatís what causes the anger,
but thereís no doubt thatís the reason. Years before, when he had attacked
the Mexican, he did it because the man had scorned him. In a way, this
is what Dixon does when he attacks Newt - he scorns Call. Newt is his
flesh and blood, and he knows it inside. Therefore, his reaction is to
be expected, because thatís his offspring, and heís being scorned.
Before he leaves the younger boys, Gus slips each of them a ten dollar gold
piece so they can have a taste of what the hands have been talking about:
drinking and whoring. Heís a little wistful when he thinks of them, because
even though as a man he knows he can still best them with the women, he
will never again stand where they are - going into a whore house for the
first time. The boys find Lippy in one of the saloons and ask his advice
about whores. Lippy decides the best way to calm them down is to get them
drunk. His idea works, and itís Newt who has the most courage. He decides
he at least wants to meet a whore and climbs the stairs to the house.
When he gets there, he meets Mary and Buf. Pete Spettle decides not to
spend his money and leaves, but Newt moves forward with the plan. He ends
up with Buf, but the experience isnít everything he thought it would be.
They all head back to the herd feeling that it wasnít worth the ten dollars
they had spent. Nonetheless, Newt wishes he had another ten dollars so
he could do things differently. On the way back, something spooks their
horses and Newt and Ben Rainey are thrown. Newt has to walk back when
his horse heads for the herd, an altogether unexpected end to their ďexcitingĒ
Gus is always the character who seems to understand life and people the best. Giving the boys money for their first experience with a whore is rather touching even though itís also amusing. He knows that this is a rite of passage for any young boy and wishes he could have that experience himself once more. As for the boys, although they had a less than satisfying moment, it still is part of their growing up process and in reality, none of them would have missed the chance.Their horses being spooked by something unseen brings a more somber tone back to the story. Who knows what might be lurking in wait for them in this new country?
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017