Can Normal People Be A Brave As Shane In "Shane" By Jack Schaefer?

1094 words - 4 pages

The novel Shane written by Jack Schaefer is a story of a mysterious stranger that walked into the Wyoming valley in late 1800’s. He was introduced into the life of Joe Starrett, an honest, hardworking Wyoming farmer. The stranger rarely speaks about himself except that his name is Shane. Even though Joe knows little about Shane, he invites Shane to stay at his place for a while. While Shane is staying with the Starrett family, he discovers Fletcher, a wealthy and greedy man, and understands he is trying to take hold of Joe’s and other homesteader’s land. He decides to stay with Joe and help him and the others. When Fletcher sees that Shane is a strong man, he sends a couple of guys to take down Shane, but Shane and Joe fight them off. Later, Fletcher brings a new guy named Stark Wilson, whose only goal is to remove Shane from the picture. In the climax, they have a final duel in the saloon between Shane, Stark Wilson, and Fletcher. First, Shane shoots and kills Stark Wilson, but Fletcher from behind shoots Shane. The gunshot does not kill Shane, but merely injures him. Shane turns around, shoots and kills Fletcher. Shane makes up his mind and leaves without saying good bye to the Starrett family that he loves because he understands that as long as he is there, somebody will always come looking for him and that will put Joe and his family in jeopardy. Reading the novel Shane, it is self evident that characters possess heroic qualities such as honesty, bravery, integrity as well as villainous qualities like cowardice and greed.
Shane, the protagonist in this adventure is not only a wise and honest mentor, but a man of integrity. For example, Shane realizes that he subtly needs to stop Joe from conforming to the gunman Stark Wilson; he dissuades Joe by saying, “Your debt is to the living” (90). Joe’s plan is to clean-up the slain Ernie Wright’s belongings and send the keepsakes to Wright’s relatives. But in doing so, the admirable man stands to expose himself to Stark, but the ever vigilant reminds Joe of his foremost obligation---family first. Additionally Shane honest is evident when he tells Bobby,” There is no going back from a killing” (113). Shane is confessing that he has killed in the past. His admittance shows he is believable and serves as a teacher to Bobby as to what not to do. At the end after Shane kills Wilson and Fletcher, Bobby tries to make him stay, but Shane says he must leave and also he says “A man is what he is, Bob, and there's no breaking the mold" (127). Shane’s acknowledgement that he had to kill two men illustrates he is a wise as well as compassionate man.
Joe, another protagonist in this work of fiction is hospitable, friendly, and emotionally strong. For example, after the fight in the bar Marian has feelings for Shane. Marian helps dress Shane’s wound and Joe knows exactly what’s going on between them. In private Joe tells Marian, “Don't fret yourself, Marian. I'm man enough to know better when his trail...

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