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Summary Of Big Sky Essay

1842 words - 7 pages

Boone Caudill: An Admirable Mountain Man A.B. Guthrie Jr.'s novel, The Big Sky, accurately portrays the life and overall personality of a mountain man of the early 19th century through its story of Boone Caudill. Boone has numerous negative characteristics which were probably typical of mountain men of the west, such as his quick, often violent, temper and act first think later mentality,. Despite these negative characteristics, Boone is ultimately an admirable man because of the many positive traits such as loyalty to his companions and his brave and heroic attitude, which he displays throughout this novel . The typical view of a mountain man is a rough, violent, quick-tempered solemn adventurer, and Boone Caudill was no exception to these stereotypes. One of Boone's less admirable characteristics was his attitude toward most women. He used many squaws for physical pleasure without any emotional attachment to them. This however was not an uncommon practice by mountain men, and the squaws or their fathers often prostituted them to obtain desired goods, such as horses, clothes, guns etc. But Boone's horrible treatment of women is most apparent on page 357, when he leads a girl named Nancy to believe that the two of them will be married, but uses her for sex and then leaves her sobbing, telling her "I got a woman." It is clear that Boone either does not care about women's emotions, or he is unaware that he is hurting them, either way it is one of his negative traits. Perhaps the most severe of Boone Caudill's negative characteristics was his quick and violent temper, which lead him to act first and think later. The event that shows Boone's temper and violence most, occurs near the end of the book, on page 322. Boone suspects that his best friend Jim Deakins is sleeping with his wife Teal Eye. Overwhelmed by suspicion and anger at the possibility that Jim and Teal Eye had been together prompts Boone to spy on the two when they are alone together. After hearing Jim comforting a crying Teal Eye, Boone bursts into the tepee where they are holding each other in their arms. Seeing the two of them hugging each other enrages Boone and without thinking he shoots his best friend Jim in the chest killing him. "They fell apart, and Jim said, "Boone!" and didn't say more but stood trying to smile and the firelight showing guilt on his face"¦ The pistol was better than the rifle. Jim cried "Boone! Boone!""¦ The pistol sounded big. Jim staggered back, feeling as if his whole chest was empty (323)." Boone's temper causes him to kill his best friend in the world, Jim Deakins, without any evidence showing that Jim was guilty, and in fact Jim was innocent. Boone's quick, violent temper is by far his most negative characteristic. In addition to these negative characteristics, Boone also had positive traits that made him a likable person. He was a brave and heroic mountain man who fought with Indians...

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