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Shane by Jack Schaefer
Transcript of Shane by Jack Schaefer
"A gun is just a tool. No better and no worse than any other tool, a shovel - or an axe or a saddle or a stove or anything. Think of it always that way. A gun is as good - and as bad - as as the man who carries it."
-Shane (pg 79-80)
by Jack Schaefer
Presentation by Gillian McGinnis #14
The story takes place on a small farm and a nearby town from mid-1889 through early 1890
He never told anyone his full name, if he had one
He never talked about his past
People knew very little about him
He cut the roots of the tree stump all day and lifted it with Joe
He was able to win multiple fights with seemingly impossible odds
Even when he was hit hard, he would still stand strong (only once did he pass out)
He protected Joe's farm and family from Fletcher and his "helpers"
He almost always warned Bob not to go with him on his way to a fight (even though he did end up coming most of the time)
He would tell Bob the truth about things such as guns to keep him from becoming overly dependent
One day, a mysterious man who calls himself simply "Shane" comes to a small farm in Wyoming to get some water for him and his horse. The owner of the farm, a man named Joe Starrett, tells him to stay for a few days because of the bad weather. Later, Shane and Joe uproot a huge stump that was behind the barn for years. Joe then offers Shane a job to help out at the farm because they make a perfect team, and he accepts. However, the farm was in trouble because a nearby landowner named Luke Fletcher wanted Joe's land for himself. Fletcher was taking drastic measures to get everyone else's land too, sometimes even resorting to murder. Fletcher wanted Shane to leave Joe, so he sent a man named Chris to intimidate Shane to fight. Shane was calm and at first did not fight, but afterwards, people started making fun of him and Joe for "smelling like pigs". A few days later, Shane went to seek revenge in order to stop the taunting and broke Chris's arm in the process. Later, Fletcher sent more men to attack Shane, but once again was defeated when Joe stepped in to help. At one point, Fletcher even hired a gunslinger named Stark Wilson to help him "convince" people to give him land rights. In the end, however, everything is settled in a final shootout, and Shane was forced to leave because things like that, he said, leave a mark forever.
Robert "Bob" MacPherson Starret
Shane taught Bob how to be a real man and hero, not just a boy shooting at imaginary Indians. In addition, he also taught Bob that a gun is simply a tool, and that real, true strength is not found in a weapon. Also, people should not be able to provoke anger or a fight out of him for no reason, but he should still stand up for what he believes for.
He would watch Shane and his father when they would work
One time, he searched through Shane's belongings to see what was in a mysterious bag
At the end, he followed Shane where the final shootout took place, even though he was told not to
He was not scared of Shane, Fletcher, or Wilson
He tried to help Shane by warning him once when he heard that there was going to be an attack
He did not look away during a fight at a bar between Shane and Fletcher's men
He would pretend to shoot Indians with an imaginary pistol with the hope that he would have a real gun some day
He would follow Shane around, even when told not to
He did not always understand some of the things that his father and Shane did, and would try to find out, even if it meant going somewhere in a dangerous situation
He trusted Shane completely
He said his opinion and would stick with it, even if (and when) he was threatened
During one fight when Shane was about to be defeated, he boldly stepped in to help
He let Shane and his horse have water and let them stay the night and for a few days more because of the weather
He wanted Shane to help him at the farm and trusted him, even when he first met him
He cared about his farm and would not give it to Fletcher without a fight
He would always have something to do on his farm
He worked on the stump all day with Shane
He was never lazy and always tried his best
He wanted everyone's land for himself
Throughout the book, he became more and more desperate to get more land, resorting to violence
He would try to convince people to always do things his way, even if they may be horrible
He would not accept the truth, and would always try to get things to be in his favor
He hired a gunman to help with his "convincing"
He sent out men to taunt and make fun of Shane and Joe for him
He never took "no" for an answer
He was the complete opposite of Shane and Joe
He was very forceful, violent, and came very close to killing Shane multiple times
"A man can stand for a lot of pushing if he has to. 'Specially when he has his reasons." His glimpse shifted briefly to me. "But there are some things a man can't take. Not if he's to go on living with himself."
-Joe (pg 161)
I found this quote interesting because at first, you would think that Shane was a person who would always carry his "trusty gun" around to protect him, and would teach Bob how to shoot and be a strong man, but instead he taught Bob the truth: a gun is just a tool people can use for good or bad.
This quote is interesting because Joe is admitting that sometimes people cannot live with themselves after some of their choices. Joe wanted Bob to hear it as a lesson to stand up for what is right, that he would not just be a coward and hide from Fletcher.
"What a man knows isn't important. It's what he is that counts."
-Joe (pg 59)
This quote is interesting because it is a good lesson, even if some people may find it untrue. Joe was convincing his wife that even if Shane knew nothing about farming, he would learn about it quickly and make a perfect helper.
Shane did not let Fletcher win in the battle for land. Even though Fletcher sent multiple groups of men to try to defeat Shane in fights, Shane would always win and not give up. At the end, Shane is wounded and leaves because of what he had done, but he had also ended the war with Fletcher once and for all.