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Small Big Leaders: Woodrow Call Character Analysis
HL English 11
September 15th, 2017
When I think about the typical cowboy, the first things that come to mind are men, who are of course wearing a pair of cowboy boots, a lasso ready on deck, and a sky high cowboy hat. However, there is a flip side to this ordinary thought. The way McMurtry characterizes Woodrow Call in Lonesome Dove fits the exact description of an effective leader. Some cowboys can be viewed as the “take charge” type of fellow who exemplifies leadership characteristics. In today’s society, there are many musicians who demonstrate these same leadership qualities.
An example of an influential leader who you probably listen to on the daily is Beyoncé. Not only is her voice booming with strength, but her lyrics are inspiring and powerful. People all over the globe are mesmerized by the substance of her words she delivers through her music. Beyoncé’s inspirational message makes listeners feel proud of who they are, and give them an abundance of confidence and motivation. Not only is she a leader through her music, but she also leads in and throughout her community. A true leader never looks for a token of recognition for their accomplishments, because most of the times they don’t even realize there was a task at hand.
Just as the reader first learns about Woodrow Call, we automatically realize that he is the big guy in charge. Throughout the entire novel, Call truly embodies the leadership that the typical cowboy would possess. Even the other characters in the book say that Call was “not one to sit on a porch all day, playing cards or gossiping; he intended to work” (28). “He had been in charge so long that everyone assumed all thoughts, questions, needs and wants had to be [discussed with] him.”(28). Further along in the book, the reader recognizes that Call is the one who actually put the trip to Montana into action. This very thing is ironic because while McMurtry has the reader thinking that Call likes being a leader, he says “virtually all his [Call’s] life he had been in the position of leading groups of men, yet the truth was he had never liked groups.”(222) Leaders aren’t always chosen, they chosen by their actions.
Every leader has a unique approach to unify a group of people in order to achieve the goal. According to Business News Weekly, leadership “stems from one thing: the ability of an individual to establish a following among other individuals or teams”. In Lonesome Dove Call was more of the fatherly type of leader, while Beyoncé is more of an influential type of leader. Though these two people have tremendous leadership skills, their messages and the way they lead have some differences. For example, Beyoncé realizes that people from all over the nation look up to her because she even says in one of her songs that her “persuasion can build a nation”. On the other hand, Call doesn’t truly grasp the impact he imposes with the people...