Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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LONESOME DOVE - LITERARY ANALYSIS
10.) When Gus and Call leave, they pass the old Alamo which is
now neglected, the famous battle all but forgotten. Ironically, it would
become one of the most remembered battle in American history.
11.) Lorena wonders if she should have married Xavier Wanz and allowed him to take her to San Francisco. Ironically, he commits suicide when she leaves him.
12.) Lorena makes the mistake of waiting for Jake, a man who
has left her alone in rough country while he gambles and drinks. Then,
she is kidnapped by Blue Duck.
13.) July is willing to leave Roscoe, Joe, and Janey behind in
order to find Elmira. But each one finds a reason to make sure he takes
them with him and all three will die because they did.
14.) It’s ironic that Jake acts too good to really speak to the
men he had ridden with for so long. Here he sits gambling and being arrogant
while Lorie and Gus are in a fight for their lives, a fight set in motion
by Jake’s refusal to protect Lorie.
15.) Jake intends not to be around when the Suggs Brothers begin to
kill, but he can never extricate himself and ends up being hung for it.
16.) That first night after his horse’s death, July Johnson thinks
about killing himself and laughs at the irony - the only person he would
ever be credited for killing would be himself.
17.) Gus observes that an accidental shot during a card game
in Arkansas had started all these things happening. It had ended up killing
more than the dentist - it also killed Sean O’Brien, Bill Spettle and
the three people traveling with July Johnson. So many lives lost so far
and Montana nowhere in sight. He thinks Jake should have taken his hanging
18.) July John has completely lost interest in capturing Jake
Spoon, but Jake hooks up with the Suggs Brothers out of fear of him and
dies as a result.
19.) Call makes the same observation about Jake that Jake had
made about Lorie - it’s a bad situation, but he put himself in it.
20.) If Jake hadn’t talked Call into the trip to Montana, he
wouldn’t have been hung by them that day.
21.) The ultimate irony occurs Chapter seventy-seven - Elmira comes all this way to find Dee Boot only to learn that he is going to be hanged.
22.) The fact that one of the hands blames Jake’s death on the
whore he had fallen in with is ironic in light of what the Captain will
discover at the end of the novel about Xavier Wanz. Wanz had burned down
the Dry Bean Saloon with himself inside in deep sorrow over losing Lorena
to Jake. Now she is being blamed for Jake’s death as well.
23.) Elmira is ethical enough to offer to pay the doctor when
she’s well, but has no concern about caring for her own children or husband.
24.) The quiet pride Call feels in Newt for his ability to break
horses is ironic, because he can’t bring himself to claim him as his son.
There are also examples of metaphors which are direct comparisons made
between characters and ideas:
1.) The storm then is a metaphor for the life of a cowboy on the western trail after the Civil War - life throws these men many problems to deal with and how they deal with them often is a measure of their character.
2.) The deaths of Monkey John, Dog Face, and the Indians at the
hands of Gus McCrae seem ordained as he represents good defeating evil.
3.) Playing cards with Gus along with the bath in the river make
Lorie begin the healing process, so they are a metaphor for life after
4.) 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,
so the emptiness of the countryside is a metaphor for his life.
5.) When Po Campo reads Gus’ future in the man’s spit and tells
him he will have no more wives, because the sky is his wife, it is a metaphor
for Gus’ free style of life that really allows no room for a long-term
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017