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Free Study Guide for Shane by Jack Schaefer

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Marian and Joe anxiously wait for Bobís return. When Weir brings the boy back home, he tells the Starretts that their troubles are over, for Fletcher is dead. Marian and Joe assume that Shane is also dead and are surprised to learn that he has simply walked out of town and their lives forever. Both of them are grieved over the loss of Shane.

Chris arrives at the Starrett home and offers to go to work for Joe in Shaneís place. Because he needs help, Joe accepts the offer. He then walks out into the fields to think about what has transpired. While Joe is out of the house, Bob tells his mother about everything that has happened.

The next morning an exhausted and depressed Joe tells Marian and Bob that he is tired of the farm and wants to leave. Marian points out to him that Shane had made a sacrifice in order to insure that all three of them could keep the farm. Joe understands the truth of her words and promises to stay.


The Starretts are relieved that Fletcher is no longer alive to torture them; but they are deeply grieved that Shane has left their midst forever. Joe, who considered Shane a true friend and companion, is so upset by the turn of events that he even contemplates leaving the farm for a new place. Marian has to convince him that Shane has killed two men so that they could stay on the farm forever, and it would dishonor him to leave the place. Realizing the truth of his wifeís words, Joe promises to stay and work the land.

When Shane decides to leave town, it is the only decision that he could make. He knows that he would always be feared as a murderer in the valley and could no longer live a peaceful life at the Starretts. Without knowing what the future hold for him, he simply walks out of town.



When Bob returns to school, there is a lot of talk about Shane and what he has done. Bob, however, refuses to enter the conversations, for he feels that the memory of Shane belongs only to him and his family. Even when people speculate that Shane was a gambler and gunslinger, Bob refuses to believe it. For him, Shane was a special man who had ridden into the valley; when his work was done, he had simply ridden away.

As time passes, Bob continues to think about his hero. He vividly remembers the moment when Shane twirled around and shot Fletcher. For the boy, Shane will always be the perfect picture of strength and coordination.


The brief, final chapter serves as a short summary of young Bobís deep and long lasting emotions for Shane, his hero. He feels that he is the best, most powerful man he has ever known, and the memories of him always make Bob happy.


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