Free Study Guide for Shane by Jack Schaefer|
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FREE STUDY GUIDE FOR SHANE BY JACK SCHAEFER
During the course of the novel, Joe proves that he has strength and power, just like Shane. When Shane begins to work on removing the tree stump, Joe joins in the effort and uses his muscle to help extract the hunk of wood. When Shane has a fight with Chris in the saloon and gets injured, Joe sees what has happened and joins in the fracas, fighting like a madman.
Joe does not want Shane to get involved in the fight with Fletcher and
tells him that Fletcher is not his problem. Shane, however, is insistent
that he goes into town alone, and Joe knows he is certain to find Fletcher
and fight with him. When he learns from Mr. Weir that Fletcher is dead,
Joe is scared that Shane has also been killed. He is relieved to find
that his friend is alive, but he is greatly grieved to learn that Shane
has left town. He knows that he has lost his best friend. As a result,
he thinks about leaving the farm, which will never be the same to him
without Shane’s presence. Marian, however, convinces Joe that he must
stay, for Shane has killed two men to make certain that the Starrett family
can always live on their farm. Joe finally understands the depth of Shane’s
sacrifice for the three of them.
Marian, Joe's wife, is an ideal spouse and mother, who mindfully tends to all the needs of her husband and her son. She is also a good hostess to Shane. Even though she is a little wary of him in the beginning, she cooks him special things, like pancakes for breakfast and apple pie for dessert.
Marian’s life on the farm is very hard, dull, and routine. Her only diversion is an occasional trip into town, where she can shop in the general store and gossip with some of the other women. As a result, Shane is a breath of fresh air to her. He is willing to converse with her and tell her about life outside the Wyoming valley. He even tells her about the latest fashions. When she learns about the latest style in hats, she trims and ties her own hat to make it more fashionable. When the men do not notice her, she is displeased, and when her husband tells her not to interrupt his work, she is angry.
During the course of the novel, Marian proves that she is also a wise
and determined woman. When Joe and Shane are trying to extract the tree
stump, she suggests that they use their horses to help them. When she
burns the first apple pie that she promised to bake for Shane, she insists
upon making another one. When she is attracted to Shane, she guards against
her own emotions, knowing that she must be faithful to her husband. When
Bob asks questions of her, she always takes time to answer and explain.
When Shane is determined to go and fight Fletcher by himself, she makes
certain that he is not doing it just for her benefit. When Joe is depressed
by Shane’s departure and thinks about leaving the farm, Marian is the
one that convinces him he must to honor what Shane has done for them.
In every way, Marian proves that she is a woman to be respected.
Bob, the young son of Marian and Joe, is the first person narrator of the story. Everything that the reader learns about Shane, Marian, Joe, or the other townsfolk comes from his point of view. Because he tells Shane’s story, it is not surprising that Bob is the first one to spy Shane coming into the valley; he is also the last one to see him leave.
Like Marian, Bob lives a quiet, dull, and routine life in the Wyoming valley, where he goes to school and helps his father with farm chores. As a result, he is very excited to have a mysterious stranger come into his midst. In fact, in Bob's young eyes, Shane becomes the epitome of everything that is brave, courageous, handsome, powerful, humane, and gentle. He is impressed with Shane’s fancy clothing and his fancy gun, for they are more sophisticated than anything he has ever seen in the valley. He is also delighted that Shane will take the time to talk to him and explain things, unlike his own father who has little time for him. It is not surprising, therefore, that Bob sees Shane as the ideal man and a true hero.
Bob wants to follow Shane everywhere he goes. As a result, he always has a ringside seat when Shane gets into a fight. He watches as his hero defeats Chris and Morgan. He also sees him shoot Wilson and Fletcher. He is amazed at the strength, power, and coordination that Shane displays. Like Marian and Joe, Bob is crushed when Shane goes away. Unfortunately, because of his young age, he has a harder time understanding his hero’s departure. Long after Shane leaves, Bob still thinks about him often, and the memories always make him happy.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on Shane".
. 09 May 2017